A G316A Polymorphism in the Ornithine Decarboxylase Gene Promoter Modulates MYCN-Driven Childhood Neuroblastoma

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Laura D. Gamble, Stefania Purgato, Michelle J. Henderson, Simone Di Giacomo, Amanda J. Russell, Paolo Pigini, Jayne Murray, Emanuele Valli, Giorgio Milazzo, Federico M. Giorgi, Mark Cowley, Lesley J. Ashton, Jaydutt Bhalshankar, Gudrun Schleiermacher, Ali Rihani, Tom Van Maerken, Jo Vandesompele, Frank Speleman, Rogier Versteeg, Jan Koster, Angelika Eggert, Rosa Noguera, Raymond L. Stallings, Gian Paolo Tonini, Kwun Fong, Zalman Vaksman, Sharon J. Diskin, John M. Maris, Wendy B. London, Glenn M. Marshall, David S. Ziegler, Michael D. Hogarty, Giovanni Perini, Murray D. Norris, Michelle Haber

Ornithine decarboxylase (ODC1), a critical regulatory enzyme in polyamine biosynthesis, is a direct transcriptional target of MYCN, amplification of which is a powerful marker of aggressive neuroblastoma. A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), G316A, within the first intron of ODC1, results in genotypes wildtype GG, and variants AG/AA. CRISPR-cas9 technology was used to investigate the effects of AG clones from wildtype MYCN-amplified SK-N-BE(2)-C cells and the effect of the SNP on MYCN binding, and promoter activity was investigated using EMSA and luciferase assays. AG clones exhibited decreased ODC1 expression, growth rates, and histone acetylation and increased sensitivity to ODC1 inhibition. MYCN was a stronger transcriptional regulator of the ODC1 promoter containing the G allele, and preferentially bound the G allele over the A. Two neuroblastoma cohorts were used to investigate the clinical impact of the SNP. In the study cohort, the minor AA genotype was associated with improved survival, while poor prognosis was associated with the GG genotype and AG/GG genotypes in MYCN-amplified and non-amplified patients, respectively. These effects were lost in the GWAS cohort. We have demonstrated that the ODC1 G316A polymorphism has functional significance in neuroblastoma and is subject to allele-specific regulation by the MYCN oncoprotein.