EWS Knockdown and Taxifolin Treatment Induced Differentiation and Removed DNA Methylation from p53 Promoter to Promote Expression of Puma and Noxa for Apoptosis in Ewing’s Sarcoma


Ewing’s sarcoma is a pediatric tumor that mainly occurs in soft tissues and bones. Malignant characteristics of Ewing’s sarcoma are correlated with expression of EWS oncogene. We achieved knockdown of EWS expression using a plasmid vector encoding EWS short hairpin RNA (shRNA) to increase anti-tumor mechanisms of taxifolin (TFL), a new flavonoid, in human Ewing’s sarcoma cells in culture and animal models. Immunofluorescence microscopy and flow cytometric analysis showed high expression of EWS in human Ewing’s sarcoma SK-N-MC and RD-ES cell lines. EWS shRNA plus TFL inhibited 80% cell viability and caused the highest decreases in EWS expression at mRNA and protein levels in both cell lines. Knockdown of EWS expression induced morphological features of differentiation. EWS shRNA plus TFL caused more alterations in molecular markers of differentiation than either agent alone. EWS shRNA plus TFL caused the highest decreases in cell migration with inhibition of survival, angiogenic and invasive factors. Knockdown of EWS expression was associated with removal of DNA methylation from p53 promoter, promoting expression of p53, Puma, and Noxa. EWS shRNA plus TFL induced the highest amounts of apoptosis with activation of extrinsic and intrinsic pathways in both cell lines in culture. EWS shRNA plus TFL also inhibited growth of Ewing’s sarcoma tumors in animal models due to inhibition of differentiation inhibitors and angiogenic and invasive factors and also induction of activation of caspase-3 for apoptosis. Collectively, knockdown of EWS expression increased various anti-tumor mechanisms of TFL in human Ewing’s sarcoma in cell culture and animal models.

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Hossain, M. and Ray, S. (2014) EWS Knockdown and Taxifolin Treatment Induced Differentiation and Removed DNA Methylation from p53 Promoter to Promote Expression of Puma and Noxa for Apoptosis in Ewing’s Sarcoma. Journal of Cancer Therapy, 5, 1092-1113. doi: 10.4236/jct.2014.512114.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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