EWS-FLI1, a multi-functional fusion oncogene, is exclusively detected in Ewing sarcomas. However, previous studies reported that rare varieties of osteosarcomas also harbor EWS-ETS family fusion. Here, using the doxycycline-inducible EWS-FLI1 system, we established an EWS-FLI1-dependent osteosarcoma model from murine bone marrow stromal cells. We revealed that the withdrawal of EWS-FLI1 expression enhances the osteogenic differentiation of sarcoma cells, leading to mature bone formation. Taking advantage of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology, we also show that sarcoma-derived iPSCs with cancer-related genetic abnormalities exhibited an impaired differentiation program of osteogenic lineage irrespective of the EWS-FLI1 expression. Finally, we demonstrate that EWS-FLI1 contributed to secondary sarcoma development from the sarcoma iPSCs after osteogenic differentiation. These findings demonstrate that modulating cellular differentiation is a fundamental principle of EWS-FLI1-induced osteosarcoma development. This in vitro cancer model using sarcoma iPSCs should provide a unique platform for dissecting relationships between the cancer genome and cellular differentiation.
Komura, S., Semi, K., Itakura, F., Shibata, H., Ohno, T., Hotta, A., … Yamada, Y. (2016). An EWS-FLI1-Induced Osteosarcoma Model Unveiled a Crucial Role of Impaired Osteogenic Differentiation on Osteosarcoma Development. Stem Cell Reports, 6(4), 592–606. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.stemcr.2016.02.009