Casein kinase 2 inhibition sensitizes medulloblastoma to temozolomide

Ryan T. Nitta, Sara Bolin, Emily Luo, David E. Solow-Codero, Peyman Samghabadi, Teresa Purzner, Parvir S. Aujla, Ginikachi Nwagbo, Yoon-Jae Cho, Gordon Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common malignant pediatric brain tumor. Since surviving patients experience severe neurocognitive disabilities, better and more effective treatments are needed to enhance their quality of life. Casein kinase 2 (CK2) is known to regulate cell growth and survival in multiple cancers; however, the role of CK2 in MB is currently being studied. In this study, we verified the importance of CK2 in MB tumorigenesis and discovered that inhibition of CK2 using the small molecule inhibitor, CX-4945, can sensitize MB cells to a well-known and tolerated chemotherapeutic, temozolomide (TMZ). To study the role of CK2 in MB we modulated CK2 expression in multiple MB cells. Exogenous expression of CK2 enhanced cell growth and tumor growth in mice, while depletion or inhibition of CK2 expression decreased MB tumorigenesis. Treatment with CX-4945 reduced MB growth and increased apoptosis. We conducted a high-throughput screen where 4000 small molecule compounds were analyzed to identify compounds that increased the anti-tumorigenic properties of CX-4945. TMZ was found to work synergistically with CX-4945 to decrease cell survival and increase apoptosis in MB cells. O-6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) activity is directly correlated to TMZ sensitivity. We found that loss of CK2 activity reduced β-catenin expression, a known MGMT regulator, which in turn led to a decrease in MGMT expression and an increased sensitivity to TMZ. Our findings show that CK2 is important for MB maintenance and that treatment with CX-4945 can sensitize MB cells to TMZ treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalOncogene
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research

Cite this

Nitta, R. T., Bolin, S., Luo, E., Solow-Codero, D. E., Samghabadi, P., Purzner, T., Aujla, P. S., Nwagbo, G., Cho, Y-J., & Li, G. (Accepted/In press). Casein kinase 2 inhibition sensitizes medulloblastoma to temozolomide. Oncogene. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41388-019-0927-y