Abstract 629: Flavonoids are NR4A1 antagonists and target PAX3-FOXO1 and G9a in alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma cells Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is the most common soft-tissue sarcoma that is primarily observed in children and adolescent, and accounts for 50% of soft tissue sarcomas in children. There are two major forms of RMS, namely embryonal RMS (ERMS) and alveolar RMS (ARMS) and these tumors are readily distinguished by their histological and genomic characteristics. ERMS patients have a better prognosis than ARMS patients and both groups undergo radiation, surgical and chemotherapeutic regiments. Many ARMS patients express different oncogenes including the histone methyltransferase G9a and the PAX3-FOXO1 fusion gene that contribute to ARMS cell growth, survival and migration/invasion. Studies in this laboratory have demonstrated that both G9a and PAX3-FOXO1 are regulated by the orphan nuclear receptor 4A1 (NR4A1) and can be targeted by bis-indole derived (CDIMs) NR4A1 antagonists. A recent study showed that the flavonoid kaempferol decreased G9a expression in gastric cancer cells and we hypothesized that kaempferol may be an NR4A1 ligand. Kamepferol and quercetin were used as models and both compounds bound NR4A1 at low M concentrations and decreased NR4A1-dependent transactivation in ARMS cells. Functional studies showed that like CDIM/NR4A1 ligands, kaempferol and quercetin decrease ARMS cell growth, survival and migration/invasion, consistent with their activity as antagonists and inhibitors of NR4A1 regulated pro-oncogenic functions. In addition, kaempferol and quercetin also decreased expression of G9a, PAX3-FOXO1 and downstream genes regulated by them in ARMS cells further demonstrating their activity as NR4A1 antagonists. These results suggest that NR4A1-active flavonoids could be readily incorporated into chemotherapies used for treatment of ARMS patients to improve their efficacy and decrease the toxic side-effects of currently used cytotoxic drugs. Citation Format: Rupesh Shrestha, Kumaravel Mohankumar, Gregory Martin, Stephen Safe. Flavonoids are NR4A1 antagonists and target PAX3-FOXO1 and G9a in alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma cells [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2021; 2021 Apr 10-15 and May 17-21. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2021;81(13_Suppl):Abstract nr 629.

published proceedings

  • Cancer Research

author list (cited authors)

  • Shrestha, R., Mohankumar, K., Martin, G., & Safe, S.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Shrestha, Rupesh||Mohankumar, Kumaravel||Martin, Gregory||Safe, Stephen

publication date

  • July 2021