CD99 is a cell surface molecule that has emerged as a novel target for Ewing sarcoma (EWS), an aggressive pediatric bone cancer. This report provides the first evidence of methuosis in EWS, a non-apoptotic form of cell death induced by an antibody directed against the CD99 molecule. Upon mAb triggering, CD99 induces an IGF-1R/RAS/Rac1 complex, which is internalized into RAB5-positive endocytic vacuoles. This complex is then dissociated, with the IGF-1R recycling to the cell membrane while CD99 and RAS/Rac1 are sorted into immature LAMP-1-positive vacuoles, whose excessive accumulation provokes methuosis. This process, which is not detected in CD99-expressing normal mesenchymal cells, is inhibited by disruption of the IGF-1R signaling, whereas enhanced by IGF-1 stimulation. Induction of IGF-1R/RAS/Rac1 was also observed in the EWS xenografts that respond to anti-CD99 mAb, further supporting the role of the IGF/RAS/Rac1 axis in the hyperstimulation of macropinocytosis and selective death of EWS cells. Thus, we describe a vulnerability of EWS cells, including those resistant to standard chemotherapy, to a treatment with anti-CD99 mAb, which requires IGF-1R/RAS signaling but bypasses the need for their direct targeting. Overall, we propose CD99 targeting as new opportunity to treat EWS patients resistant to canonical apoptosis-inducing agents.
Manara, Maria Cristina; Terracciano, Mario; Mancarella, Caterina; Sciandra, Marika; Guerzoni, Clara; Pasello, Michela; Grilli, Andrea; Zini, Nicoletta; Picci, Piero; Colombo, Mario P.; Morrione, Andrea; and Scotlandi, Katia, "CD99 triggering induces methuosis of Ewing sarcoma cells through IGF-1R/RAS/Rac1 signaling." (2016). Department of Urology Faculty Papers. Paper 37.
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