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Neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2) is an inherited disorder caused by bi-allelic inactivation of the NF2 tumor suppressor gene. NF2-associated tumors, including schwannoma and meningioma, are resistant to chemotherapy, often recurring despite surgery and/or radiation, and have generally shown cytostatic response to signal transduction pathway inhibitors, highlighting the need for improved cytotoxic therapies. Leveraging data from our previous high-throughput drug screening in NF2 preclinical models, we identified a class of compounds targeting the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway (UPP), and undertook studies using candidate UPP inhibitors, ixazomib/MLN9708, pevonedistat/MLN4924, and TAK-243/MLN7243. Employing human primary and immortalized meningioma (MN) cell lines, CRISPR-modified Schwann cells (SCs), and mouse Nf2-/- SCs, we performed dose response testing, flow cytometry-based Annexin V and cell cycle analyses, and RNA-sequencing to identify potential underlying mechanisms of apoptosis. In vivo efficacy was also assessed in orthotopic NF2-deficient meningioma and schwannoma tumor models. Testing of three UPP inhibitors demonstrated potent reduction in cell viability and induction of apoptosis for ixazomib or TAK-243, but not pevonedistat. In vitro analyses revealed that ixazomib or TAK-243 downregulates expression of c-KIT and PDGFRα, as well as the E3 ubiquitin ligase SKP2 while upregulating genes associated with endoplasmic reticulum stress-mediated activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR). In vivo treatment of mouse models revealed delayed tumor growth, suggesting a therapeutic potential. This study demonstrates the efficacy of proteasomal pathway inhibitors in meningioma and schwannoma preclinical models and lays the groundwork for use of these drugs as a promising novel treatment strategy for NF2 patients. © The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Neuro-Oncology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:


Srirupa Bhattacharyya, Janet L Oblinger, Roberta L Beauchamp, Zhenzhen Yin, Serkan Erdin, Priya Koundinya, Anna D Ware, Marc Ferrer, Justin T Jordan, Scott R Plotkin, Lei Xu, Long-Sheng Chang, Vijaya Ramesh. Proteasomal pathway inhibition as a potential therapy for NF2-associated meningioma and schwannoma. Neuro-oncology. 2023 Sep 05;25(9):1617-1630

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PMID: 36806881

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