Background: Atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors (ATRT) is a rare but aggressive malignancy in the central nervous system, predominantly occurring in early childhood. Despite aggressive treatment, the prognosis of ATRT patients remains poor. RRM2, a subunit of ribonucleotide reductase, has been reported as a biomarker for aggressiveness and poor prognostic conditions in several cancers. However, little is known about the role of RRM2 in ATRT. Uncovering the role of RRM2 in ATRT will further promote the development of feasible strategies and effective drugs to treat ATRT. Methods: Expression of RRM2 was evaluated by molecular profiling analysis and was confirmed by IHC in both ATRT patients and PDX tissues. Follow-up in vitro studies used shRNA knockdown RRM2 in three different ATRT cells to elucidate the oncogenic role of RRM2. The efficacy of COH29, an RRM2 inhibitor, was assessed in vitro and in vivo. Western blot and RNA-sequencing were used to determine the mechanisms of RRM2 transcriptional activation in ATRT. Results: RRM2 was found to be significantly overexpressed in multiple independent ATRT clinical cohorts through comprehensive bioinformatics and clinical data analysis in this study. The expression level of RRM2 was strongly correlated with poor survival rates in patients. In addition, we employed shRNAs to silence RRM2, which led to significantly decrease in ATRT colony formation, cell proliferation, and migration. In vitro experiments showed that treatment with COH29 resulted in similar but more pronounced inhibitory effect. Therefore, ATRT orthotopic mouse model was utilized to validate this finding, and COH29 treatment showed significant tumor growth suppression and prolong overall survival. Moreover, we provide evidence that COH29 treatment led to genomic instability, suppressed homologous recombinant DNA damage repair, and subsequently induced ATRT cell death through apoptosis in ATRT cells. Conclusions: Collectively, our study uncovers the oncogenic functions of RRM2 in ATRT cell lines, and highlights the therapeutic potential of targeting RRM2 in ATRT. The promising effect of COH29 on ATRT suggests its potential suitability for clinical trials as a novel therapeutic approach for ATRT.

Original languageEnglish
Article number346
JournalJournal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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