Theranostics 2020; 10(4):1555-1571. doi:10.7150/thno.37383 This issue

Research Paper

Therapeutic targeting of YY1/MZF1 axis by MZF1-uPEP inhibits aerobic glycolysis and neuroblastoma progression

Erhu Fang1*, Xiaojing Wang2*, Jianqun Wang1*, Anpei Hu1, Huajie Song1, Feng Yang1, Dan Li1, Wenjing Xiao3, Yajun Chen3, Yanhua Guo1, Yang Liu1, Hongjun Li3, Kai Huang2, Liduan Zheng2,3✉, Qiangsong Tong1,2✉

1. Department of Pediatric Surgery, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, 1277 Jiefang Avenue, Wuhan 430022, Hubei Province, P. R. China.
2. Clinical Center of Human Genomic Research, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, 1277 Jiefang Avenue, Wuhan 430022, Hubei Province, P. R. China.
3. Department of Pathology, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, 1277 Jiefang Avenue, Wuhan 430022, Hubei Province, P. R. China.
* These authors contributed equally to this work.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). See http://ivyspring.com/terms for full terms and conditions.
Citation:
Fang E, Wang X, Wang J, Hu A, Song H, Yang F, Li D, Xiao W, Chen Y, Guo Y, Liu Y, Li H, Huang K, Zheng L, Tong Q. Therapeutic targeting of YY1/MZF1 axis by MZF1-uPEP inhibits aerobic glycolysis and neuroblastoma progression. Theranostics 2020; 10(4):1555-1571. doi:10.7150/thno.37383. Available from https://www.thno.org/v10p1555.htm

File import instruction

Abstract

Graphic abstract

As a hallmark of metabolic reprogramming, aerobic glycolysis contributes to tumorigenesis and aggressiveness. However, the mechanisms and therapeutic strategies regulating aerobic glycolysis in neuroblastoma (NB), one of leading causes of cancer-related death in childhood, still remain elusive.

Methods: Transcriptional regulators and their downstream glycolytic genes were identified by a comprehensive screening of publicly available datasets. Dual-luciferase, chromatin immunoprecipitation, real-time quantitative RT-PCR, western blot, gene over-expression or silencing, co-immunoprecipitation, mass spectrometry, peptide pull-down assay, sucrose gradient sedimentation, seahorse extracellular flux, MTT colorimetric, soft agar, matrigel invasion, and nude mice assays were undertaken to explore the biological effects and underlying mechanisms of transcriptional regulators in NB cells. Survival analysis was performed by using log-rank test and Cox regression assay.

Results: Transcription factor myeloid zinc finger 1 (MZF1) was identified as an independent prognostic factor (hazard ratio=2.330, 95% confidence interval=1.021 to 3.317), and facilitated glycolysis process through increasing expression of hexokinase 2 (HK2) and phosphoglycerate kinase 1 (PGK1). Meanwhile, a 21-amino acid peptide encoded by upstream open reading frame of MZF1, termed as MZF1-uPEP, bound to zinc finger domain of Yin Yang 1 (YY1), resulting in repressed transactivation of YY1 and decreased transcription of MZF1 and downstream genes HK2 and PGK1. Administration of a cell-penetrating MZF1-uPEP or lentivirus over-expressing MZF1-uPEP inhibited the aerobic glycolysis, tumorigenesis and aggressiveness of NB cells. In clinical NB cases, low expression of MZF1-uPEP or high expression of MZF1, YY1, HK2, or PGK1 was associated with poor survival of patients.

Conclusions: These results indicate that therapeutic targeting of YY1/MZF1 axis by MZF1-uPEP inhibits aerobic glycolysis and NB progression.

Keywords: aerobic glycolysis, myeloid zinc finger 1, tumor progression, upstream open reading frame, Yin Yang 1.