AMACR amplification in myxofibrosarcomas: A mechanism of overexpression that promotes cell proliferation with therapeutic relevance

Chien Feng Li, Fu Min Fang, Jui Lan, Jun Wen Wang, Hsing-Jien Kung, Li Tzong Chen, Tzu Ju Chen, Shau Hsuan Li, Yu Hui Wang, Hui Chun Tai, Shih Chen Yu, Hsuan Ying Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Purpose: Myxofibrosarcomas frequently display arm-level gains on 5p. We characterized the pathogenetic and therapeutic relevance of the α-methylacyl coenzyme A racemase (AMACR) at 5p13.3.

Experimental Design: AMACR mRNA expression in myxofibrosarcomas was analyzed using the public transcriptome and laser-microdissected sarcoma cells. We performed florescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and immunohistochemistry in independent samples for clinical correlates. In AMACR-overexpres-sing myxofibrosarcoma cells and xenografts, we elucidated the biologic function of AMACR using RNA interference and explored the therapeutic effect and mechanism of an AMACR inhibitor, ebselen oxide.

Results: AMACR protein overexpression and gene amplification were significantly associated with each other (P < 0.001), with higher tumor grades (both P < 0.002), and univariately with worse metastasis-free survival (MFS; both P < 0.0001) and disease-specific survival (DSS; P - 0.0002 for overexpression; P - 0.0062 for amplification). AMACR protein overexpression also independently portended adverse outcome (DSS, P - 0.007; MFS, P - 0.001). However, 39% of AMACR-overexpression cases did not show gene amplification, implying alternative regulatory mechanisms. In myxofibrosarcoma cell lines, stable AMACR knockdown suppressed cell proliferation, anchorage-independent growth, and expression of cyclin D1 and cyclin T2. These growth-promoting attributes of AMACR were corroborated in the AMACR-silenced xenograft model and AMACR-underexpressed myxofibrosarcomas, showing decreased labeling for cyclin D1, cyclin T2, and Ki-67. Compared with fibroblasts, AMACR-expressing myxofibrosarcoma cells were more susceptible to ebselen oxide, which not only decreased viable cells, promoted proteasome-mediated degradation of AMACR protein, and induced cellular apoptosis in vitro, but also dose-dependently suppressed xenografted tumor growth in vivo.

Conclusions: Overexpressed AMACR in myxofibrosarcomas can be amplification-driven, associated with tumor aggressiveness, and maybe relevant as a druggable target.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6141-6152
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


Dive into the research topics of 'AMACR amplification in myxofibrosarcomas: A mechanism of overexpression that promotes cell proliferation with therapeutic relevance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this