Expression of the TrkA or TrkB receptor tyrosine kinase alters the double-strand break (DSB) repair capacity of SY5Y neuroblastoma cells

Johannes H Schulte, Steffi Kuhfittig-Kulle, Ludger Klein-Hitpass, Alexander Schramm, Denis S F Biard, Petra Pfeiffer, Angelika Eggert
DNA Repair 2008 October 1, 7 (10): 1757-64
In the childhood tumor neuroblastoma, high expression of the TrkA neurotrophin receptor is associated with a favorable prognosis and a lack of structural chromosomal changes, whereas TrkB is expressed in aggressive neuroblastomas demonstrating high genomic instability. The ability to repair DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) is considered a central determinant of chromosomal stability with nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ) being the major pathway of DSB repair in vertebrates. Here, we used the SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cell line ectopically expressing either TrkA or TrkB as a model system to analyze the impact of Trk receptor expression on NHEJ-mediated DSB repair. In a cell-free NHEJ assay, SY5Y-TrkA cells displayed a significantly higher efficiency for NHEJ compared to SY5Y-TrkB cells. To detect possible underlying mechanisms, gene expression data (Affymetrix U95A microarray chips) obtained from the same SY5Y-TrkA/TrkB model system were reanalyzed focussing on genes involved in DNA repair. Expression of XRCC4, a central component of NHEJ, was significantly upregulated in SY5Y-TrkA compared to SY5Y-TrkB cells. Expression data were confirmed using real-time PCR and western blotting. Additionally, XRCC4 expression was enhanced in most primary neuroblastomas with high TrkA expression. The TrkA-induced increase in NHEJ activity could be reverted by XRCC4 knock-down, confirming the induction of XRCC4 by TrkA to be essential for the observed phenotype. Our data provide the first evidence for a functional relationship between tyrosine kinase receptor signaling and NHEJ-mediated DSB repair in cancer cells, potentially contributing to their genomic stability.

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