Lysine-specific demethylase 1 is strongly expressed in poorly differentiated neuroblastoma: Implications for therapy

Johannes H. Schulte, Soyoung Lim, Alexander Schramm, Nicolaus Friedrichs, Jan Koster, Rogier Versteeg, Ingrid Ora, Kristián Pajtler, Ludger Klein-Hitpass, Steffi Kuhfittig-Kulle, Eric Metzger, Roland Schüle, Angelika Eggert, Reinhard Buettner, Jutta Kirfel*

*Corresponding author for this work
326 Citations (Scopus)


Aberrant epigenetic changes in DNA methylation and histone acetylation are hallmarks of most cancers, whereas histone methylation was previously considered to be irreversible and less versatile. Recently, several histone demethylases were identified catalyzing the removal of methyl groups from histone H3 lysine residues and thereby influencing gene expression. Neuroblastomas continue to remain a clinical challenge despite advances in multimodal therapy. Here, we address the functional significance of the chromatin modifying enzyme lysine-specificdemethylase 1 (LSDl) in neuroblasto-ma. LSDl expression correlated with adverse outcome and was inversely correlated with differentiation in neuroblastic tumors. Differentiation of neuroblastoma cells resulted in down-regulation of LSDl. Small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown of LSDl decreased cellular growth, induced expression of differentiation- associated genes, and increased target gene-specific H3K4 methylation. Moreover, LSDl inhibition using monoamine oxidase inhibitors resulted in an increase of global H3K4 methylation and growth inhibition of neuroblastoma cells in vitro. Finally, targeting LSDl reduced neuroblastoma xenograft growth in vivo. Here, we provide the first evidence that a histone demethylase, LSDl, is involved in maintaining the undifferentiated, malignant phenotype of neuroblastoma cells. We show that inhibition of LSDl «programs the transcriptome of neuroblastoma cells and inhibits neuroblastoma xenograft growth. Our results suggest that targeting histone demethylases may provide a novel option for cancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCancer Research
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)2065-2071
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 01.03.2009


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