Gene Summary

Gene:PAX3; paired box 3
Aliases: WS1, WS3, CDHS, HUP2
Summary:This gene is a member of the paired box (PAX) family of transcription factors. Members of the PAX family typically contain a paired box domain and a paired-type homeodomain. These genes play critical roles during fetal development. Mutations in paired box gene 3 are associated with Waardenburg syndrome, craniofacial-deafness-hand syndrome, and alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma. The translocation t(2;13)(q35;q14), which represents a fusion between PAX3 and the forkhead gene, is a frequent finding in alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma. Alternative splicing results in transcripts encoding isoforms with different C-termini. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:paired box protein Pax-3
Source:NCBIAccessed: 01 September, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (23)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (1)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 01 September 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

Tag cloud generated 01 September, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (5)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Entity Topic PubMed Papers
-PAX3 and Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma View Publications164
Soft Tissue SarcomaPAX3 and Soft Tissue Cancers View Publications43
MelanomaPAX3 and Melanoma View Publications41
Urinary System CancersPAX3 and Urinary System Cancers View Publications18
Rhabdomyosarcomat(2;13)(q35;q14) in Rhabdomyosarcoma
Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, a malignant tumour of skeletal muscle usually found in children and young adults, is characterised by a chromosomal translocation of the PAX3-FKHR genes: t(2;13)(q35;q14).

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: PAX3 (cancer-related)

Cortes Barrantes P, Jakobiec FA, Dryja TP
A Review of the Role of Cytogenetics in the Diagnosis of Orbital Rhabdomyosarcoma.
Semin Ophthalmol. 2019; 34(4):243-251 [PubMed] Related Publications
Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is the most common sarcoma of childhood and adolescence. Approximately 10% arise in the orbit, where the embryonal type is most common variant. The alveolar variant is less frequent and has a worse prognosis. Cytogenetic studies have revealed that most alveolar rhabdomyosarcomas have translocations involving the PAX and the FOX01 genes, giving rise to fusion genes that contribute to lack of differentiation and proliferation of the tumor cells. However, approximately 20% of alveolar rhabdomyosarcomas lack translocations and have been found to behave more similarly to embryonal cases. Histopathology remains the basis of diagnosis, but cytogenetic features and molecular signatures are becoming part of the routine analysis of RMS, since they determine not only prognosis, but also management and treatment regimens. A comprehensive review of the recent published literature in relation to orbital rhabdomyosarcomas and their cytogenetic features as well as clinical and therapeutic implications will be discussed.

Liang X, Dong Z, Bin W, et al.
PAX3 Promotes Proliferation of Human Glioma Cells by WNT/β-Catenin Signaling Pathways.
J Mol Neurosci. 2019; 68(1):66-77 [PubMed] Related Publications
The PAX3 (paired box 3) gene plays an important role in embryonic development, diseases, and cancer formation. Our preliminary studies have shown that PAX3 gene is upregulated in glioma cells, which is associated with a worse prognosis. Moreover, PAX3, by facilitating cell proliferation and invasion and inhibiting cell apoptosis, plays an oncogenic role in glioma. However, the specific molecular mechanism of PAX3 acting as an oncogene in glioma remains unclarified. In the present study, we have found that PAX3 overexpression was observed in high grade glioma and predicted a worse prognosis. PAX3 overexpression did not correlate significantly to IDH1 mutation and MGMT methylation. Moreover, the expression of PAX3 was positively correlated with that of β-catenin. In U87 glioma cells, PAX3 interacted with β-catenin, as was confirmed by CO-IP. Besides, PAX3 overexpression promoted cell proliferation and cell cycle progression, while it inhibited cell apoptosis by altering the expressions of important molecules associated with the Wnt signaling pathway, including β-catenin, Myc, VEGF, cyclinD1, MMP7, and Wnt1. In the meantime, it was also proved that PAX3 correlated to β-catenin through a negative regulatory mechanism with respect to the promotion of U87 glioma cell proliferation and cell cycle progression and inhibition of the cell apoptosis. Our experiment demonstrated the role of PAX3 in promoting glioma growth and development, possibly by interacting directly with β-catenin and regulating the Wnt signaling pathway.

Zhan FB, Zhang XW, Feng SL, et al.
MicroRNA-206 Reduces Osteosarcoma Cell Malignancy
Yonsei Med J. 2019; 60(2):163-173 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: This study was undertaken to explore how miR-206 represses osteosarcoma (OS) development.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Expression levels of miR-206, PAX3, and MET mRNA were explored in paired OS and adjacent tissue specimens. A patient-derived OS cell line was established. miR-206 overexpression and knockdown were achieved by lentiviral transduction. PAX3 and MET overexpression were achieved by plasmid transfection. Treatment with hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) was utilized to activate c-Met receptor. Associations between miR-206 and PAX3 or MET mRNA in OS cells were verified by AGO2-RNA immunoprecipitation assay and miRNA pulldown assay. OS cell malignancy was evaluated
RESULTS: Expression levels of miR-206 were significantly decreased in OS tissue specimens, compared to adjacent counterparts, and were inversely correlated with expression of PAX3 and MET mRNA. miR-206 directly interacted with PAX3 and MET mRNA in OS cells. miR-206 overexpression significantly reduced PAX3 and MET gene expression in OS cells
CONCLUSION: miR-206 reduces OS cell malignancy

Sugita S, Kubo T, Aoyama T, et al.
Imprint cytology of biphenotypic sinonasal sarcoma of the paranasal sinus: A case report.
Diagn Cytopathol. 2019; 47(5):507-511 [PubMed] Related Publications
Biphenotypic sinonasal sarcoma (BSNS) is a rare low-grade spindle cell sarcoma that predominantly affects middle-aged women with multiple tumors in the sinonasal tract. BSNS shows biphenotypic expression of neural and myogenic markers on immunohistochemistry (IHC) with a specific chimeric PAX3-MAML3 fusion. The cytological features of BSNS have so far not been reported. Here, we describe a case of BSNS including findings of imprint cytology, histology, IHC, and genetic analysis. A 30-year-old woman presented with a nodular tumor that completely occupied the ethmoid sinus. The tumor was resected and submitted for imprint cytology, which revealed relatively bland spindle tumor cells that had mildly enlarged oval to spindle-shaped nuclei with fine nuclear chromatin and a thin nuclear rim in a clear background. Nucleoli were inconspicuous and there was no significant nuclear atypia and pleomorphism. These cytological findings were consistent with the histology of low-grade spindle cell sarcoma in BSNS. On IHC, the tumor cells were focally positive for S-100 protein and α-smooth muscle actin; nuclear β-catenin expression was also seen. PAX3 split signals were detected in 52% of tumor cells by fluorescence in situ hybridization. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction also identified a chimeric PAX3-MAML3 fusion gene. Based on these findings, we diagnosed the tumor as BSNS. Our findings revealed that a relatively bland spindle cell cytology with a clear background is a characteristic feature of BSNS. BSNS should therefore be differentiated from benign and bland-appearing malignant spindle cell tumors and the combination of cytology, histology, IHC, and genetic analysis facilitates the diagnosis of BSNS.

Fujii R, Osaka E, Sato K, Tokuhashi Y
MiR-1 Suppresses Proliferation of Osteosarcoma Cells by Up-regulating p21
Cancer Genomics Proteomics. 2019 Jan-Feb; 16(1):71-79 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: miRNA-1(miR-1) is down-regulated in various cancer cells including osteosarcoma cells. This study was conducted to analyze the function of miR-1 in osteosarcoma cells.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: miR-1 expression in osteosarcoma cells was evaluated by qRT-PCR. Cell proliferation was evaluated after transfecting miR-1 by WST8 assay and FACS analysis, both in vitro and in vivo.
RESULTS: Overexpression of miR-1 suppressed cell proliferation and induced cell-cycle arrest in the G
CONCLUSION: Overexpression of miR-1 suppressed cell proliferation and induced arrest in the G

Nguyen TH, Barr FG
Therapeutic Approaches Targeting PAX3-FOXO1 and Its Regulatory and Transcriptional Pathways in Rhabdomyosarcoma.
Molecules. 2018; 23(11) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is a family of soft tissue cancers that are related to the skeletal muscle lineage and predominantly occur in children and young adults. A specific chromosomal translocation t(2;13)(q35;q14) that gives rise to the chimeric oncogenic transcription factor PAX3-FOXO1 has been identified as a hallmark of the aggressive alveolar subtype of RMS. PAX3-FOXO1 cooperates with additional molecular changes to promote oncogenic transformation and tumorigenesis in various human and murine models. Its expression is generally restricted to RMS tumor cells, thus providing a very specific target for therapeutic approaches for these RMS tumors. In this article, we review the recent understanding of PAX3-FOXO1 as a transcription factor in the pathogenesis of this cancer and discuss recent developments to target this oncoprotein for treatment of RMS.

Smith MP, Rana S, Ferguson J, et al.
A PAX3/BRN2 rheostat controls the dynamics of BRAF mediated MITF regulation in MITF
Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. 2019; 32(2):280-291 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The BRAF kinase and the MAPK pathway are targets of current melanoma therapies. However, MAPK pathway inhibition results in dynamic changes of downstream targets that can counteract inhibitor-action not only in during treatment, but also in acquired resistant tumours. One such dynamic change involves the expression of the transcription factor MITF, a crucial regulator of cell survival and proliferation in untreated as well as drug-addicted acquired resistant melanoma. Tight control over MITF expression levels is required for optimal melanoma growth, and while it is well established that the MAPK pathway regulates MITF expression, the actual mechanism is insufficiently understood. We reveal here, how BRAF through action on the transcription factors BRN2 and PAX3 executes control over the regulation of MITF expression in a manner that allows for considerable plasticity. This plasticity provides robustness to the BRAF mediated MITF regulation and explains the dynamics in MITF expression that are observed in patients in response to MAPK inhibitor therapy.

Pennington JD, Welch RJ, Lally SE, et al.
Botryoid Rhabdomyosarcoma of the Conjunctiva in a Young Boy.
Middle East Afr J Ophthalmol. 2018 Apr-Jun; 25(2):111-114 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Primary conjunctival rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is a rare entity that can present with or without papillomatous features. A 5-year-old Asian boy was referred for a rapidly growing conjunctival tumor in the superior fornix of the left eye. Surgical excision yielded a 28 mm multilobulated papillomatous specimen that exhibited histopathologic and immunohistochemical features consistent with embryonal (botryoid) RMS. Molecular analysis revealed the absence of the PAX3/FOXO1 fusion gene, indicating favorable prognosis. After surgery, he was promptly treated with systemic chemotherapy and proton beam radiotherapy.

Andreasen S, Bishop JA, Hellquist H, et al.
Biphenotypic sinonasal sarcoma: demographics, clinicopathological characteristics, molecular features, and prognosis of a recently described entity.
Virchows Arch. 2018; 473(5):615-626 [PubMed] Related Publications
Biphenotypic sinonasal sarcoma (BSNS) is a recently recognized type of sarcoma arising exclusively in the sinonasal tract displaying unique clinical course, histopathology, and genetics. Due to its rarity, only case series and case reports are available. In order to provide an overview of the current understanding of this disease, we present a comprehensive review of the literature and present three previously unreported cases of BSNS. A total of 55 genetically characterized and 41 cases without molecular data were identified in the literature. Two-thirds of patients were female and the peak incidence was in the fifth decade. Fatal outcome was rare (two cases with intracranial extension) and local recurrence occurred in 31.6%, all occurring within 5 years after initial treatment. Histologically, BSNS is highly cellular in the majority of cases and composed of fascicles of spindle cells, with entrapped hyperplastic surface epithelium being a frequent finding. The immunohistochemical profile is characteristic due to the biphasic nature of this lesion, with shared features of both myogenic and neural origin. Rhabdomyoblastic differentiation is apparent in a subset of cases. The most common genetic event is the PAX3-MAML3 fusion (58.6%) but isolated PAX3 rearrangement (19.2%), absence of rearrangements (9.1%), PAX3-FOXO1 (8.1%), PAX3-NCOA1 (4%), and isolated MAML3 rearrangement (2%) have also been reported. In conclusion, the recognition of BSNS is crucial due to its relatively indolent clinical course. A selected immunohistochemical panel and/or molecular confirmation can be used to aid in appropriate diagnosis and consequently in prognostication and to avoid overtreatment with chemotherapy regimens used in its mimics.

Kendall GC, Watson S, Xu L, et al.
Elife. 2018; 7 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma is a pediatric soft-tissue sarcoma caused by

Katoh M
Multi‑layered prevention and treatment of chronic inflammation, organ fibrosis and cancer associated with canonical WNT/β‑catenin signaling activation (Review).
Int J Mol Med. 2018; 42(2):713-725 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
β‑catenin/CTNNB1 is an intracellular scaffold protein that interacts with adhesion molecules (E‑cadherin/CDH1, N‑cadherin/CDH2, VE‑cadherin/CDH5 and α‑catenins), transmembrane‑type mucins (MUC1/CD227 and MUC16/CA125), signaling regulators (APC, AXIN1, AXIN2 and NHERF1/EBP50) and epigenetic or transcriptional regulators (BCL9, BCL9L, CREBBP/CBP, EP300/p300, FOXM1, MED12, SMARCA4/BRG1 and TCF/LEF). Gain‑of‑function CTTNB1 mutations are detected in bladder cancer, colorectal cancer, gastric cancer, liver cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer and uterine cancer, whereas loss‑of‑function CTNNB1 mutations are also detected in human cancer. ABCB1, ALDH1A1, ASCL2, ATF3, AXIN2, BAMBI, CCND1, CD44, CLDN1, CTLA4, DKK1, EDN1, EOMES, FGF18, FGF20, FZD7, IL10, JAG1, LEF1, LGR5, MITF, MSX1, MYC, NEUROD1, NKD1, NODAL, NOTCH2, NOTUM, NRCAM, OPN, PAX3, PPARD, PTGS2, RNF43, SNAI1, SP5, TCF7, TERT, TNFRSF19, VEGFA and ZNRF3 are representative β‑catenin target genes. β‑catenin signaling is involved in myofibroblast activation and subsequent pulmonary fibrosis, in addition to other types of fibrosis. β‑catenin and NF‑κB signaling activation are involved in field cancerization in the stomach associated with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection and in the liver associated with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and other etiologies. β‑catenin‑targeted therapeutics are functionally classified into β‑catenin inhibitors targeting upstream regulators (AZ1366, ETC‑159, G007‑LK, GNF6231, ipafricept, NVP‑TNKS656, rosmantuzumab, vantictumab, WNT‑C59, WNT974 and XAV939), β‑catenin inhibitors targeting protein‑protein interactions (CGP049090, CWP232228, E7386, ICG‑001, LF3 and PRI‑724), β‑catenin inhibitors targeting epigenetic regulators (PKF118‑310), β‑catenin inhibitors targeting mediator complexes (CCT251545 and cortistatin A) and β‑catenin inhibitors targeting transmembrane‑type transcriptional outputs, including CD44v6, FZD7 and LGR5. Eradicating H. pylori and HCV is the optimal approach for the first‑line prevention of gastric cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), respectively. However, β‑catenin inhibitors may be applicable for the prevention of organ fibrosis, second‑line HCC prevention and treating β‑catenin‑driven cancer. The multi‑layered prevention and treatment strategy of β‑catenin‑related human diseases is necessary for the practice of personalized medicine and implementation of precision medicine.

Boudjadi S, Chatterjee B, Sun W, et al.
The expression and function of PAX3 in development and disease.
Gene. 2018; 666:145-157 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The PAX3 gene encodes a member of the PAX family of transcription factors that is characterized by a highly conserved paired box motif. The PAX3 protein is a transcription factor consisting of an N-terminal DNA binding domain (containing a paired box and homeodomain) and a C-terminal transcriptional activation domain. This protein is expressed during development of skeletal muscle, central nervous system and neural crest derivatives, and regulates expression of target genes that impact on proliferation, survival, differentiation and motility in these lineages. Germline mutations of the murine Pax3 and human PAX3 genes cause deficiencies in these developmental lineages and result in the Splotch phenotype and Waardenburg syndrome, respectively. Somatic genetic rearrangements that juxtapose the PAX3 DNA binding domain to the transcriptional activation domain of other transcription factors deregulate PAX3 function and contribute to the pathogenesis of the soft tissue cancers alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma and biphenotypic sinonasal sarcoma. The wild-type PAX3 protein is also expressed in other cancers related to developmental lineages that normally express this protein and exerts phenotypic effects related to its normal developmental role.

Wu Y, Wan X, Ji F, et al.
Serum miR-658 induces metastasis of gastric cancer by activating PAX3-MET pathway: A population-based study.
Cancer Biomark. 2018; 22(1):111-118 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: MiR-658, paired box gene 3 (PAX3) and met proto-oncogene (MET) are overexpressed in gastric cancer while PAX3 and MET can be regulated by miRNA. Serum miR-658 may be associated with metastasis of gastric cancer (MGC) by affecting PAX3-MET pathway.
METHODS: Ninety-eight gastric carcinoma patients with distant MGC (DM group) and ninety-six gastric carcinoma patients with no MGC (NM group) were recruited. Serum miR-658 was validated between DM and NM groups by using quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR). PAX3 and MET levels were measured by Western Blot. The molecular mechanism for the function of serum miR-658 was further validated in gastric cell lines.
RESULTS: The results demonstrate that serum level of miR-658 is significantly lower in the NM group than in the DM group (P< 0.001). Meanwhile, the levels of PAX3 and MET are lower in the NM group than in the DM group too (P< 0.01). Both overexpression and silence of miR-658 significantly up-regulate or down-regulate the levels of PAX3 and MET in gastric cell lines (P< 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: The present findings demonstrate that elevated circulating miR-658 is associated with MGC by activating PAX3-MET pathway.

Miskolczi Z, Smith MP, Rowling EJ, et al.
Collagen abundance controls melanoma phenotypes through lineage-specific microenvironment sensing.
Oncogene. 2018; 37(23):3166-3182 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Despite the general focus on an invasive and de-differentiated phenotype as main driver of cancer metastasis, in melanoma patients many metastatic lesions display a high degree of pigmentation, indicative for a differentiated phenotype. Indeed, studies in mice and fish show that melanoma cells switch to a differentiated phenotype at secondary sites, possibly because in melanoma differentiation is closely linked to proliferation through the lineage-specific transcriptional master regulator MITF. Importantly, while a lot of effort has gone into identifying factors that induce the de-differentiated/invasive phenotype, it is not well understood how the switch to the differentiated/proliferative phenotype is controlled. We identify collagen as a contributor to this switch. We demonstrate that collagen stiffness induces melanoma differentiation through a YAP/PAX3/MITF axis and show that in melanoma patients increased collagen abundance correlates with nuclear YAP localization. However, the interrogation of large patient datasets revealed that in the context of the tumour microenvironment, YAP function is more complex. In the absence of fibroblasts, YAP/PAX3-mediated transcription prevails, but in the presence of fibroblasts tumour growth factor-β suppresses YAP/PAX3-mediated MITF expression and induces YAP/TEAD/SMAD-driven transcription and a de-differentiated phenotype. Intriguingly, while high collagen expression is correlated with poorer patient survival, the worst prognosis is seen in patients with high collagen expression, who also express MITF target genes such as the differentiation markers TRPM1, TYR and TYRP1, as well as CDK4. In summary, we reveal a distinct lineage-specific route of YAP signalling that contributes to the regulation of melanoma pigmentation and uncovers a set of potential biomarkers predictive for poor survival.

Baribault C, Ehrlich KC, Ponnaluri VKC, et al.
Developmentally linked human DNA hypermethylation is associated with down-modulation, repression, and upregulation of transcription.
Epigenetics. 2018; 13(3):275-289 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
DNA methylation can affect tissue-specific gene transcription in ways that are difficult to discern from studies focused on genome-wide analyses of differentially methylated regions (DMRs). To elucidate the variety of associations between differentiation-related DNA hypermethylation and transcription, we used available epigenomic and transcriptomic profiles from 38 human cell/tissue types to focus on such relationships in 94 genes linked to hypermethylated DMRs in myoblasts (Mb). For 19 of the genes, promoter-region hypermethylation in Mb (and often a few heterologous cell types) was associated with gene repression but, importantly, DNA hypermethylation was absent in many other repressed samples. In another 24 genes, DNA hypermethylation overlapped cryptic enhancers or super-enhancers and correlated with down-modulated, but not silenced, gene expression. However, such methylation was absent, surprisingly, in both non-expressing samples and highly expressing samples. This suggests that some genes need DMR hypermethylation to help repress cryptic enhancer chromatin only when they are actively transcribed. For another 11 genes, we found an association between intergenic hypermethylated DMRs and positive expression of the gene in Mb. DNA hypermethylation/transcription correlations similar to those of Mb were evident sometimes in diverse tissues, such as aorta and brain. Our findings have implications for the possible involvement of methylated DNA in Duchenne's muscular dystrophy, congenital heart malformations, and cancer. This epigenomic analysis suggests that DNA methylation is not simply the inevitable consequence of changes in gene expression but, instead, is often an active agent for fine-tuning transcription in association with development.

Hanna JA, Garcia MR, Lardennois A, et al.
PAX3-FOXO1 drives miR-486-5p and represses miR-221 contributing to pathogenesis of alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma.
Oncogene. 2018; 37(15):1991-2007 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common soft-tissue sarcoma in childhood and histologically resembles developing skeletal muscle. Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS) is an aggressive subtype with a higher rate of metastasis and poorer prognosis. The majority of ARMS tumors (80%) harbor a PAX3-FOXO1 or less commonly a PAX7-FOXO1 fusion gene. The presence of either the PAX3-FOXO1 or PAX7-FOXO1 fusion gene foretells a poorer prognosis resulting in clinical re-classification as either fusion-positive (FP-RMS) or fusion-negative RMS (FN-RMS). The PAX3/7-FOXO1 fusion genes result in the production of a rogue transcription factors that drive FP-RMS pathogenesis and block myogenic differentiation. Despite knowing the molecular driver of FP-RMS, targeted therapies have yet to make an impact for patients, highlighting the need for a greater understanding of the molecular consequences of PAX3-FOXO1 and its target genes including microRNAs. Here we show FP-RMS patient-derived xenografts and cell lines display a distinct microRNA expression pattern. We utilized both loss- and gain-of function approaches in human cell lines with knockdown of PAX3-FOXO1 in FP-RMS cell lines and expression of PAX3-FOXO1 in human myoblasts and identified microRNAs both positively and negatively regulated by the PAX3-FOXO1 fusion protein. We demonstrate PAX3-FOXO1 represses miR-221/222 that functions as a tumor suppressing microRNA through the negative regulation of CCND2, CDK6, and ERBB3. In contrast, miR-486-5p is transcriptionally activated by PAX3-FOXO1 and promotes FP-RMS proliferation, invasion, and clonogenic growth. Inhibition of miR-486-5p in FP-RMS xenografts decreased tumor growth, illustrating a proof of principle for future therapeutic intervention. Therefore, PAX3-FOXO1 regulates key microRNAs that may represent novel therapeutic vulnerabilities in FP-RMS.

Ahn EH, Lee MB, Seo DJ, et al.
Sphingosine Induces Apoptosis and Down-regulation of
Anticancer Res. 2018; 38(1):71-76 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common type of pediatric soft-tissue sarcoma. Among the subsets of this disease, alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS) expressing paired box 3 (PAX3) and forkhead box O1 (PAX3-FOXO1) fusion oncoprotein has the worst prognosis. The goal of this study was to investigate the chemotherapeutic effects of sphingosine on PAX3-FOXO1-positive ARMS cells [tumor protein p53 (TP53)-mutated RH30 and TP53 wild-type RH18 cells].
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The proliferation, cell death, apoptosis, cell cycle, and MYCN proto-oncogene (MYCN) expression of RH30 and RH18 cells were determined.
RESULTS: Sphingosine inhibited the growth and caused cell death in a dose-dependent manner in both cell lines. Sphingosine triggered cell death by inducing apoptosis without affecting the cell cycle. MYCN expression was down-regulated within 2 and 4 h of sphingosine treatment in both RH30 and RH18 cells.
CONCLUSION: Sphingosine exerts antiproliferative and pro-apoptotic effects via MYCN down-regulation independently of TP53 mutation status in PAX3-FOXO1-positive ARMS cells.

Siegfried A, Romary C, Escudié F, et al.
RREB1-MKL2 fusion in biphenotypic "oropharyngeal" sarcoma: New entity or part of the spectrum of biphenotypic sinonasal sarcomas?
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2018; 57(4):203-210 [PubMed] Related Publications
An increasing number of sarcomas displaying a primitive, monomorphic spindle cell phenotype have been shown to harbor recurrent gene fusions, including biphenotypic sinonasal sarcoma (SNS). Occurring in the sinonasal area of middle-aged patients, SNS is a locally aggressive tumor harboring in 90% of cases recurrent gene fusions involving the PAX3 gene, in which the chimeric transcription factor induces an aberrant dual myogenic and neural phenotype. Here, we report an unusual oropharyngeal monomorphic spindle cell sarcoma in a 53-year-old man that revealed a novel RREB1-MKL2 gene fusion by RNA sequencing with the Illumina TruSight RNA Fusion Panel. The gene fusion was validated by RT-PCR. Although the tumor location is unusual (but head and neck seated), most of the other clinical, morphologic, immunophenotypic (focal combined expression of S100 protein, SMA, desmin, and myogenin) and oncogenic data suggest that this biphenotypic "oropharyngeal" sarcoma is closely related to the biphenotypic SNS spectrum. Notably, the RREB1-MKL2 chimeric transcription factor encoded by this fusion gene produced an increase in MKL2 expression, which regulates both neural and myogenic differentiation, mimicking the crucial role of PAX3 reported in SNS oncogenesis. NGS and especially RNA sequencing may be used to identify new candidate fusion oncogenes in soft tissue tumors, which would help in updating the existing classification. In turn, this would lead to better therapeutic management of patients.

Lee DH, Park CJ, Jang S, et al.
Clinical and Cytogenetic Profiles of Rhabdomyosarcoma with Bone Marrow Involvement in Korean Children: A 15-Year Single-Institution Experience.
Ann Lab Med. 2018; 38(2):132-138 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is the most common soft tissue sarcoma in children. Alveolar RMS (ARMS) is characterized by FOXO1-related chromosomal translocations that result in a poorer clinical outcome compared with embryonal RMS (ERMS). Because the chromosomal features of RMS have not been comprehensively defined, we analyzed the clinical and laboratory data of childhood RMS patients and determined the clinical significance of chromosomal abnormalities in the bone marrow.
METHODS: Fifty-one Korean patients with RMS <18 years of age treated between 2001 and 2015 were enrolled in this study. Clinical factors, bone marrow and cytogenetic results, and overall survival (OS) were analyzed.
RESULTS: In total, 36 patients (70.6%) had ERMS and 15 (29.4%) had ARMS; 80% of the ARMS patients had stage IV disease. The incidences of bone and bone marrow metastases were 21.6% and 19.6%, respectively, and these results were higher than previously reported results. Of the 40 patients who underwent bone marrow cytogenetic investigation, five patients had chromosomal abnormalities associated with the 13q14 rearrangement. Patients with a chromosomal abnormality (15 vs 61 months, P=0.037) and bone marrow involvement (17 vs 61 months, P=0.033) had a significantly shorter median OS than those without such characteristics. Two novel rearrangements associated with the 13q14 locus were detected. One patient with concomitant MYCN amplification and PAX3/FOXO1 fusion showed an aggressive clinical course.
CONCLUSIONS: A comprehensive approach involving conventional cytogenetics and FOXO1 FISH of the bone marrow is needed to assess high-risk ARMS patients and identify novel cytogenetic findings.

Wachtel M, Schäfer BW
PAX3-FOXO1: Zooming in on an "undruggable" target.
Semin Cancer Biol. 2018; 50:115-123 [PubMed] Related Publications
Driver oncogenes are prime targets for therapy in tumors many of which, including leukemias and sarcomas, express recurrent fusion transcription factors. One specific example for such a cancer type is alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, which is associated in the majority of cases with the fusion protein PAX3-FOXO1. Since fusion transcription factors are challenging targets for development of small molecule inhibitors, indirect inhibitory strategies for this type of oncogenes represent a more promising approach. One can envision strategies at different molecular levels including upstream modifiers and activators, epigenetic and transcriptional co-regulators, and downstream effector targets. In this review, we will discuss the current knowledge regarding potential therapeutic targets that might contribute to indirect interference with PAX3-FOXO1 activity in alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma at the different molecular levels and extrapolate these findings to fusion transcription factors in general.

Stueven NA, Schlaeger NM, Monte AP, et al.
A novel stilbene-like compound that inhibits melanoma growth by regulating melanocyte differentiation and proliferation.
Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2017; 337:30-38 [PubMed] Related Publications
Melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer. Current challenges to melanoma therapy include the adverse effects from immunobiologics, resistance to drugs targeting the MAPK pathway, intricate interaction of many signal pathways, and cancer heterogeneity. Thus combinational therapy with drugs targeting multiple signaling pathways becomes a new promising therapy. Here, we report a family of stilbene-like compounds called A11 that can inhibit melanoma growth in both melanoma-forming zebrafish embryos and mouse melanoma cells. The growth inhibition by A11 is a result of mitosis reduction but not apoptosis enhancement. Meanwhile, A11 activates both MAPK and Akt signaling pathways. Many A11-treated mouse melanoma cells exhibit morphological changes and resemble normal melanocytes. Furthermore, we found that A11 causes down-regulation of melanocyte differentiation genes, including Pax3 and MITF. Together, our results suggest that A11 could be a new melanoma therapeutic agent by inhibiting melanocyte differentiation and proliferation.

Sugito N, Taniguchi K, Kuranaga Y, et al.
Cancer-Specific Energy Metabolism in Rhabdomyosarcoma Cells Is Regulated by MicroRNA.
Nucleic Acid Ther. 2017; 27(6):365-377 [PubMed] Related Publications
Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is a soft tissue sarcoma and is most frequently found in children. In RMS, there are two major subtypes, that is, embryonal RMS and alveolar RMS (ARMS). ARMS has exclusively the worse prognosis and is caused by formation of the chimeric PAX3-FOXO1 gene. Regarding cancer, the Warburg effect is known as a feature of cancer-specific metabolism. Polypyrimidine tract-binding protein 1 (PTBP1), a splicer of pyruvate kinase muscle (PKM) mRNA, is a positive regulator of cancer-specific energy metabolism. We investigated the expression and effects of muscle-specific miR-1 and miR-133b on RMS cells (RD, KYM-1, Rh30, and Rh41) from the view of energy metabolism and regulation of the chimeric gene. As a result, downregulated miR-1 and miR-133b/upregulated PTBP1 were found in RMS cell lines as well as in RMS clinical cases. Ectopic expression of either miR in both types of RMS cells induced autophagic cell death through silencing of PTBP1. Interestingly, we validated that miR-133b also knock downed PAX3-FOXO1. Moreover, we found that PAX3-FOXO1 positively regulated the PKM2-dominant expression through enhanced expression of PTBP1. These findings suggest that the miR-1 and miR-133b/PTBP1 axis and miR-133b/PAX3-FOXO1/PTBP1 axis contributed to the maintenance of cancer-specific energy metabolism.

Cleary MM, Mansoor A, Settelmeyer T, et al.
NFκB signaling in alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma.
Dis Model Mech. 2017; 10(9):1109-1115 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (aRMS) is a pediatric soft tissue cancer commonly associated with a chromosomal translocation that leads to the expression of a Pax3:Foxo1 or Pax7:Foxo1 fusion protein, the developmental underpinnings of which may give clues to its therapeutic approaches. In aRMS, the NFκB-YY1-miR-29 regulatory circuit is dysregulated, resulting in repression of

Hathaway-Schrader JD, Doonan BP, Hossain A, et al.
Autophagy-dependent crosstalk between GILT and PAX-3 influences radiation sensitivity of human melanoma cells.
J Cell Biochem. 2018; 119(2):2212-2221 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Melanoma represents an ever-increasing problem in the western world as incidence rates continue to climb. Though manageable during early stages, late stage metastatic disease is highly resistant to current intervention. We have previously shown that gamma-interferon-inducible lysosomal thiol-reductase (GILT) enhances HLA class II antigen processing and immune detection of human melanoma cells. Here we report that GILT expression inhibits a potential target, paired box-3 (PAX-3) protein, in late stage human metastatic melanoma. We also show that GILT transfection or induction by IFN-γ, decreases PAX-3 protein expression while upregulating the expression of Daxx, which is also a repressor of PAX-3. Confocal microscopic analysis demonstrated that GILT co-localizes with PAX-3 protein, but not with Daxx within melanoma cells. Immunoprecipitation and immunoblotting studies suggest that GILT expression negatively regulates PAX-3 through the autophagy pathway, potentially resulting in increased susceptibility to conventional treatment in the form of chemotherapy or radiotherapy. While high-dose radiation is a common treatment for melanoma patients, our data suggest that GILT expression significantly increased the susceptibility of melanoma cells to low-dose radiation therapy via upregulation of tumor suppressor protein p53. Overall, these data suggest that GILT has multiple roles in inducing human melanoma cells as better targets for radiation and immunotherapy.

Ennen M, Keime C, Gambi G, et al.
Clin Cancer Res. 2017; 23(22):7097-7107 [PubMed] Related Publications

Karsli-Ceppioglu S, Dagdemir A, Judes G, et al.
The Epigenetic Landscape of Promoter Genome-wide Analysis in Breast Cancer.
Sci Rep. 2017; 7(1):6597 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease due to its clinico-pathological features and response to therapy. The classification of breast tumors based on their hormone receptor status and pathologic features. Post-translational histone modifications come into prominence for regulation of gene expression in cancer pathogenesis. Here, we analyzed dysregulation of H3K9ac and H3K27me3-enriched subtype-specific genes using ChIP-on-chip assay in breast cancer tumors and matched normal tissue samples. Breast cancer tumors were classified according to St Gallen Consensus 2013. Our results indicated that the promoter regions of genes modified by H3K9ac epi-mark are commonly associated with tumors with HER2-positive and TNBC subtype. H3K27me3-enriched genes were comprised of Luminal A and B1 subtypes. We constructed a network structure to elicit epigenetically regulated genes related with breast cancer progression. The central genes of the network (RUNX1, PAX3, GATA4 and DLX5) were subjected for epigenetically dysregulation in association with different breast cancer subtypes. Our study submits epigenetic mechanisms are crucial to elicit subtype-specific regulation in breast cancer and ChIP-on-chip assay provides a better understanding for breast tumorigenesis and new approaches for prevention and treatment.

Seberg HE, Van Otterloo E, Cornell RA
Beyond MITF: Multiple transcription factors directly regulate the cellular phenotype in melanocytes and melanoma.
Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. 2017; 30(5):454-466 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
MITF governs multiple steps in the development of melanocytes, including specification from neural crest, growth, survival, and terminal differentiation. In addition, the level of MITF activity determines the phenotype adopted by melanoma cells, whether invasive, proliferative, or differentiated. However, MITF does not act alone. Here, we review literature on the transcription factors that co-regulate MITF-dependent genes. ChIP-seq studies have indicated that the transcription factors SOX10, YY1, and TFAP2A co-occupy subsets of regulatory elements bound by MITF in melanocytes. Analyses at single loci also support roles for LEF1, RB1, IRF4, and PAX3 acting in combination with MITF, while sequence motif analyses suggest that additional transcription factors colocalize with MITF at many melanocyte-specific regulatory elements. However, the precise biochemical functions of each of these MITF collaborators and their contributions to gene expression remain to be elucidated. Analogous to the transcriptional networks in morphogen-patterned tissues during embryogenesis, we anticipate that the level of MITF activity is controlled not only by the concentration of activated MITF, but also by additional transcription factors that either quantitatively or qualitatively influence the expression of MITF-target genes.

Vicente-García C, Villarejo-Balcells B, Irastorza-Azcárate I, et al.
Regulatory landscape fusion in rhabdomyosarcoma through interactions between the PAX3 promoter and FOXO1 regulatory elements.
Genome Biol. 2017; 18(1):106 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The organisation of vertebrate genomes into topologically associating domains (TADs) is believed to facilitate the regulation of the genes located within them. A remaining question is whether TAD organisation is achieved through the interactions of the regulatory elements within them or if these interactions are favoured by the pre-existence of TADs. If the latter is true, the fusion of two independent TADs should result in the rewiring of the transcriptional landscape and the generation of ectopic contacts.
RESULTS: We show that interactions within the PAX3 and FOXO1 domains are restricted to their respective TADs in normal conditions, while in a patient-derived alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma cell line, harbouring the diagnostic t(2;13)(q35;q14) translocation that brings together the PAX3 and FOXO1 genes, the PAX3 promoter interacts ectopically with FOXO1 sequences. Using a combination of 4C-seq datasets, we have modelled the three-dimensional organisation of the fused landscape in alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma.
CONCLUSIONS: The chromosomal translocation that leads to alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma development generates a novel TAD that is likely to favour ectopic PAX3:FOXO1 oncogene activation in non-PAX3 territories. Rhabdomyosarcomas may therefore arise from cells which do not normally express PAX3. The borders of this novel TAD correspond to the original 5'- and 3'- borders of the PAX3 and FOXO1 TADs, respectively, suggesting that TAD organisation precedes the formation of regulatory long-range interactions. Our results demonstrate that, upon translocation, novel regulatory landscapes are formed allowing new intra-TAD interactions between the original loci involved.

Busse TM, Roth JJ, Wilmoth D, et al.
Copy number alterations determined by single nucleotide polymorphism array testing in the clinical laboratory are indicative of gene fusions in pediatric cancer patients.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2017; 56(10):730-749 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gene fusions resulting from structural rearrangements are an established mechanism of tumorigenesis in pediatric cancer. In this clinical cohort, 1,350 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-based chromosomal microarrays from 1,211 pediatric cancer patients were evaluated for copy number alterations (CNAs) associated with gene fusions. Karyotype or fluorescence in situ hybridization studies were performed in 42% of the patients. Ten percent of the bone marrow or solid tumor specimens had SNP array-associated CNAs suggestive of a gene fusion. Alterations involving ETV6, ABL1-NUP214, EBF1-PDGFRB, KMT2A(MLL), LMO2-RAG, MYH11-CBFB, NSD1-NUP98, PBX1, STIL-TAL1, ZNF384-TCF3, P2RY8-CRLF2, and RUNX1T1-RUNX1 fusions were detected in the bone marrow samples. The most common alteration among the low-grade gliomas was a 7q34 tandem duplication resulting in a KIAA1549-BRAF fusion. Additional fusions identified in the pediatric brain tumors included FAM131B-BRAF and RAF1-QKI. COL1A1-PDGFB, CRTC1-MAML2, EWSR1, HEY1, PAX3- and PAX7-FOXO1, and PLAG1 fusions were determined in a variety of solid tumors and a novel potential gene fusion, FGFR1-USP6, was detected in an aneurysmal bone cyst. The identification of these gene fusions was instrumental in tumor diagnosis. In contrast to hematologic and solid tumors in adults that are predominantly driven by mutations, the majority of hematologic and solid tumors in children are characterized by CNAs and gene fusions. Chromosomal microarray analysis is therefore a robust platform to identify diagnostic and prognostic markers in the clinical setting.

Gryder BE, Yohe ME, Chou HC, et al.
PAX3-FOXO1 Establishes Myogenic Super Enhancers and Confers BET Bromodomain Vulnerability.
Cancer Discov. 2017; 7(8):884-899 [PubMed] Related Publications
Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma is a life-threatening myogenic cancer of children and adolescent young adults, driven primarily by the chimeric transcription factor PAX3-FOXO1. The mechanisms by which PAX3-FOXO1 dysregulates chromatin are unknown. We find PAX3-FOXO1 reprograms the

Disclaimer: This site is for educational purposes only; it can not be used in diagnosis or treatment.

Cite this page: Cotterill SJ. PAX3, Cancer Genetics Web: Accessed:

Creative Commons License
This page in Cancer Genetics Web by Simon Cotterill is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Note: content of abstracts copyright of respective publishers - seek permission where appropriate.

 [Home]    Page last revised: 01 September, 2019     Cancer Genetics Web, Established 1999