Loss of p53 drives neuron reprogramming in head and neck cancer.
Here, by comparing the transcriptomes of cancer-associated trigeminal sensory neurons with those of endogenous neurons in mouse models of oral cancer, we identified an adrenergic differentiation signature.
“The solid tumour microenvironment includes nerve fibres that arise from the peripheral nervous system. Recent work indicates that newly formed adrenergic nerve fibres promote tumour growth, but the origin of these nerves and the mechanism of their inception are unknown.”
This crosstalk between cancer cells and neurons represents mechanism by which tumour-associated neurons are reprogrammed towards an adrenergic phenotype that can stimulate tumour progression, and is a potential target for anticancer therapy.