The oncogenic fusion protein EWS/NOR-1 induces transformation of CFK2 chondrogenic cells

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The EWS/NOR-1 fusion protein is encoded by the t(9;22) chromosomal translocation found in approximately 75% of extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma (EMC) tumors. The lack of cellular models in which the oncogenic properties of this fusion protein are expressed has seriously hampered the study of its role in the development of EMC. To generate such a cellular model, we have used the chondrogenic cell line CFK2. We show in this study that although stable expression of EWS/NOR-1 does not alter the population doubling time and the cell cycle distribution of CFK2 cells in subconfluent cultures, it induces their transformation as measured by growth beyond confluency and anchorage-independent growth in soft agarose medium. Glycosaminoglycan accumulation in CFK2(EWS/NOR-1) cell lines indicate that the fusion protein does not appear to interfere with the ability of CFK2 cells to differentiate into chondrocyte-like cells in vitro. These results support the hypothesis that the role of EWS/NOR-1 in EMC may be to disrupt the proliferation properties of cells involved in chondrogenesis.

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