RBL1 (p107) functions as tumor suppressor in glioblastoma and small-cell pancreatic neuroendocrine carcinoma
Alterations of the retinoblastoma and/or the p53 signaling network are associated with specific cancers such as high-grade astrocytoma/glioblastoma, small cell lung cancer (SCLC), choroid plexus tumors and small-cell pancreatic neuroendocrine carcinoma (SC-PaNEC). However, the intricate functional compensation between RB1 and the related pocket proteins RBL1/p107 and RBL2/p130 in suppressing tumorigenesis remains poorly understood. Here we performed lineage-restricted parallel inactivation of
... 1 and rbl1 by multiplex CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing in the true diploid Xenopus tropicalis to gain insight into these in vivo compensatory mechanisms. We show that while rb1 inactivation is sufficient to induce choroid plexus papilloma, combined rb1 and rbl1 inactivation is required and sufficient to drive SC-PaNEC, retinoblastoma and astrocytoma. Further, using a novel Li-Fraumeni syndrome-mimicking tp53 mutant X. tropicalis line, we demonstrate increased malignancy of retinoblastoma-mutant neural malignancies upon concomitant inactivation of tp53. Interestingly, although clinical SC-PaNEC samples are characterized by abnormal p53 expression or localization, in the current experimental models, the tp53 status had little effect on the establishment and growth of SC-PaNEC, but may rather be essential for maintaining chromosomal stability. SCLC was only rarely observed in our experimental set-up, indicating requirement of additional or alternative oncogenic insults. In conclusion, we used CRISPR/Cas9 to delineate the tumor suppressor properties of Rbl1 and generate new insights in functional compensation within the retinoblastoma protein family in suppressing pancreatic and specific neural cancers.