Interleukin-24 (IL24) Is Suppressed by PAX3-FOXO1 and Is a Novel Therapy for Rhabdomyosarcoma. Academic Article uri icon


  • Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS) patients have a poor prognosis, and this is primarily due to overexpression of the oncogenic fusion protein PAX3-FOXO1. Results of RNA-sequencing studies show that PAX3-FOXO1 represses expression of interleukin-24 (IL24), and these two genes are inversely expressed in patient tumors. PAX3-FOXO1 also regulates histone deacetylase 5 (HDAC5) in ARMS cells, and results of RNA interference studies confirmed that PAX3-FOXO1-mediated repression of IL24 is HDAC5-dependent. Knockdown of PAX3-FOXO1 decreases ARMS cell proliferation, survival, and migration, and we also observed similar responses in cells after overexpression of IL24, consistent with results reported for this tumor suppressor-like cytokine in other solid tumors. We also observed in double knockdown studies that the inhibition of ARMS cell proliferation, survival, and migration after knockdown of PAX3-FOXO1 was significantly (>75%) reversed by knockdown of IL24. Adenoviral-expressed IL24 was directly injected into ARMS tumors in athymic nude mice, and this resulted in decreased tumor growth and weight. Because adenoviral IL24 has already successfully undergone phase I in clinical trials, this represents an alternative approach (alone and/or combination) for treating ARMS patients who currently undergo cytotoxic drug therapies.

published proceedings

  • Mol Cancer Ther

author list (cited authors)

  • Lacey, A., Hedrick, E., Cheng, Y., Mohankumar, K., Warren, M., & Safe, S.

citation count

  • 11

complete list of authors

  • Lacey, Alexandra||Hedrick, Erik||Cheng, Yating||Mohankumar, Kumaravel||Warren, Melanie||Safe, Stephen

publication date

  • December 2018