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BMC Cancer. 2012; 12: 154.
Published online Apr 25, 2012. doi:  10.1186/1471-2407-12-154
PMCID: PMC3453510
Carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1A (CPT1A): a transcriptional target of PAX3-FKHR and mediates PAX3-FKHR–dependent motility in alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma cells
Lingling Liu,1 Yong-Dong Wang,2 Jing Wu,1 Jimmy Cui,1 and Taosheng Chencorresponding author1
1Department of Chemical Biology and Therapeutics, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN, 38105, USA
2Hartwell Center for Bioinformatics and Biotechnology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN, 38105, USA
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
Lingling Liu: lingling.liu/at/stjude.org; Yong-Dong Wang: michael.wang/at/stjude.org; Jing Wu: jing.wu/at/stjude.org; Jimmy Cui: jimmy.cui/at/stjude.org; Taosheng Chen: taosheng.chen/at/stjude.org
Received October 17, 2011; Accepted April 25, 2012.
Abstract
Background
Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS) has a high propensity to metastasize, leading to its aggressiveness and a poor survival rate among those with the disease. More than 80% of aggressive ARMSs harbor a PAX3-FKHR fusion transcription factor, which regulates cell migration and promotes metastasis, most likely by regulating the fusion protein’s transcriptional targets. Therefore, identifying druggable transcription targets of PAX3-FKHR that are also downstream effectors of PAX3-FKHR–mediated cell migration and metastasis may lead to novel therapeutic approaches for treating ARMS.
Methods
To identify genes whose expression is directly affected by the level of PAX3-FKHR in an ARMS cellular-context, we first developed an ARMS cell line in which PAX3-FKHR is stably down-regulated, and showed that stably downregulating PAX3-FKHR in ARMS cells significantly decreased the cells’ motility. We used microarray analysis to identify genes whose expression level decreased when PAX3-FKHR was downregulated. We used mutational analysis, promoter reporter assays, and electrophoretic mobility shift assays to determine whether PAX3-FKHR binds to the promoter region of the target gene. We used siRNA and pharmacologic inhibitor to downregulate the target gene of PAX3-FKHR and investigated the effect of such downregulation on cell motility.
Results
We found that when PAX3-FKHR was downregulated, the expression of carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1A (CPT1A) decreased. We showed that PAX3-FKHR binds to a paired-domain binding-site in the CPT1A promoter region, indicating that CPT1A is a novel transcriptional target of PAX3-FKHR. Furthermore, downregulating CPT1A decreased cell motility in ARMS cells, indicating that CPT1A is a downstream effector of PAX3-FKHR–mediated cell migration and metastasis.
Conclusions
Taken together, we have identified CPT1A as a novel transcriptional target of PAX3-FKHR and revealed the novel function of CPT1A in promoting cell motility. CPT1A may represent a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of ARMS.
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