MYB alternative promoter activity is increased in adenoid cystic carcinoma metastases and is associated with a specific gene expression signature

Junchi Huang, André Fehr, Fredrik Jäwert, Jonas A. Nilsson, Luc G.T. Morris, Göran Stenman, Mattias K. Andersson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) is a head and neck cancer with a poor long-term prognosis that shows frequent local recurrences and distant metastases. The tumors are characterized by MYB oncogene activation and are notoriously unresponsive to systemic therapies. The biological underpinnings behind therapy resistance of disseminated ACC are largely unknown. Here, we have studied the molecular and clinical significance of MYB alternative promoter (TSS2) usage in ACC metastases. Materials and methods: MYB TSS2 activity was investigated in primary tumors and metastases from 26 ACC patients using RNA-sequencing and quantitative real-time PCR analysis. Differences in global gene expression between MYB TSS2 high and low cases were studied, and pathway analyses were performed. Results: MYB TSS2 activity was significantly higher in ACC metastases than in primary tumors (median activity 15.1 vs 3.0, P = 0.0003). MYB TSS2 high ACC metastases showed a specific gene expression signature, including increased expression of multi-drug resistance genes and canonical MYB target genes, and suppression of the p53 and NOTCH pathways. Conclusions: Collectively, our findings indicate that elevated MYB TSS2 activity is associated with metastases, potential drug resistance, and augmented MYB-driven gene expression in ACC. Our study advocates the need for new therapies that specifically target MYB and drug resistance mechanisms in disseminated ACC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106763
JournalOral Oncology
Volume151
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024

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