A tubulin binding peptide targets glioma cells disrupting their microtubules, blocking migration, and inducing apoptosis.
ABSTRACT: Despite aggressive treatment regimes, glioma remains a largely fatal disease. Current treatment limitations are attributed to the precarious locations within the brain where such tumors grow, their highly infiltrative nature precluding complete resection and lack of specificity among agents capable of attenuating their growth. Here, we show that in vitro, glioma cells of diverse origins internalize a peptide encompassing a tubulin-binding site (TBS) on the neurofilament light protein. The internalized peptide disrupts the microtubule network, inhibits migration and proliferation, and leads to apoptosis. Using an intracerebral transplant model, we show that most, if not all, of these responses to peptide exposure also occur in vivo. Notably, a single intratumor injection significantly attenuates tumor growth, while neither peptide uptake nor downstream consequences are observed elsewhere in the host nervous system. Such preferential uptake suggests that the peptide may have potential as a primary or supplementary glioblastoma treatment modality by exploiting its autonomous microtubule-disrupting activity or engaging its capacity to selectively target glioma cells with other cell-disrupting cargos.
Project description:Despite aggressive therapies, including combinations of surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, glioblastoma remains a highly aggressive brain cancer with the worst prognosis of any central nervous system disease. We have previously identified a neurofilament-derived cell-penetrating peptide, NFL-TBS.40-63, that specifically enters by endocytosis in glioblastoma cells, where it induces microtubule destruction and inhibits cell proliferation. Here, we explore the impact of NFL-TBS.40-63 peptide on the mitochondrial network and its functions by using global cell respiration, quantitative PCR analysis of the main actors directing mitochondrial biogenesis, western blot analysis of the oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) subunits and confocal microscopy. We show that the internalized peptide disturbs mitochondrial and microtubule networks, interferes with mitochondrial dynamics and induces a rapid depletion of global cell respiration. This effect may be related to reduced expression of the NRF-1 transcription factor and of specific miRNAs, which may impact mitochondrial biogenesis, in regard to default mitochondrial mobility.
Project description:Chemotherapy of brain glioma faces a major obstacle owing to the inability of drug transport across the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Besides, neovasculatures in brain glioma site result in a rapid infiltration, making complete surgical removal virtually impossible. Herein, we reported a novel kind of C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP) modified vinorelbine lipid vesicles for transferring drug across the BBB, and for treating brain glioma along with disrupting neovasculatures. The studies were performed on brain glioma U87-MG cells in vitro and on glioma-bearing nude mice in vivo. The results showed that the CNP-modified vinorelbine lipid vesicles could transport vinorelbine across the BBB, kill the brain glioma, and destroy neovasculatures effectively. The above mechanisms could be associated with the following aspects, namely, long circulation in the blood; drug transport across the BBB via natriuretic peptide receptor B (NPRB)-mediated transcytosis; elimination of brain glioma cells and disruption of neovasculatures by targeting uptake and cytotoxic injury. Besides, CNP-modified vinorelbine lipid vesicles could induce apoptosis of the glioma cells. The mechanisms could be related to the activations of caspase 8, caspase 3, p53, and reactive oxygen species (ROS), and inhibition of survivin. Hence, CNP-modified lipid vesicles could be used as a carrier material for treating brain glioma and disabling glioma neovasculatures.
Project description:Microglia are a major cellular component of gliomas, and abundant in the centre of the tumour and at the infiltrative margins. While glioma is a notoriously infiltrative disease, the dynamics of microglia and glioma migratory patterns have not been well characterized. To investigate the migratory behaviour of microglia and glioma cells at the infiltrative edge, we performed two-colour time-lapse fluorescence microscopy of brain slices generated from a platelet-derived growth factor-B (PDGFB)-driven rat model of glioma, in which glioma cells and microglia were each labelled with one of two different fluorescent markers. We used mathematical techniques to analyse glioma cells and microglia motility with both single cell tracking and particle image velocimetry (PIV). Our results show microglia motility is strongly correlated with the presence of glioma, while the correlation of the speeds of glioma cells and microglia was variable and weak. Additionally, we showed that microglia and glioma cells exhibit different types of diffusive migratory behaviour. Microglia movement fit a simple random walk, while glioma cell movement fits a super diffusion pattern. These results show that glioma cells stimulate microglia motility at the infiltrative margins, creating a correlation between the spatial distribution of glioma cells and the pattern of microglia motility.
Project description:In contrast to almost all other brain tumors, diffuse gliomas infiltrate extensively in the neuropil. This growth pattern is a major factor in therapeutic failure. Diffuse infiltrative glioma cells show some similarities with guerilla warriors. Histopathologically, the tumor cells tend to invade individually or in small groups in between the dense network of neuronal and glial cell processes. Meanwhile, in large areas of diffuse gliomas the tumor cells abuse pre-existent "supply lines" for oxygen and nutrients rather than constructing their own. Radiological visualization of the invasive front of diffuse gliomas is difficult. Although the knowledge about migration of (tumor)cells is rapidly increasing, the exact molecular mechanisms underlying infiltration of glioma cells in the neuropil have not yet been elucidated. As the efficacy of conventional methods to fight diffuse infiltrative glioma cells is limited, a more targeted ("search & destroy") tactic may be needed for these tumors. Hopefully, the study of original human glioma tissue and of genotypically and phenotypically relevant glioma models will soon provide information about the Achilles heel of diffuse infiltrative glioma cells that can be used for more effective therapeutic strategies.
Project description:Regenerative medicine is a promising approach to treat neurodegenerative diseases by replacing degenerating cells like neurons or oligodendrocytes. Targeting human neural stem cells directly in the brain is a big challenge in such a strategy. The neurofilament derived NFL-TBS.40-63 peptide has recently been introduced as a novel tool to target neural stem cells. Previous studies showed that this peptide can be internalized by rat neural stem cells in vitro and in vivo, which coincided with lower proliferation and self-renewal capacity and increase of differentiation. In this study, we analyzed the uptake and potential effects of the NFL-TBS.40-63 peptide on human neural stem cells isolated from human fetuses. We showed that the peptide inhibits proliferation and the ability to produce neurospheres in vitro, which is consistent with an increase in cell adhesion and differentiation. These results confirm that the peptide could be a promising molecule to target and manipulate human neural stem cells and thus could serve as a strategic tool for regenerative medicine.
Project description:Current positron emission tomography (PET) imaging biomarkers for detection of infiltrating gliomas are limited. Translocator protein (TSPO) is a novel and promising biomarker for glioma PET imaging. To validate TSPO as a potential target for molecular imaging of glioma, TSPO expression was assayed in a tumor microarray containing 37 high-grade (III, IV) gliomas. TSPO staining was detected in all tumor specimens. Subsequently, PET imaging was performed with an aryloxyanilide-based TSPO ligand, [18F]PBR06, in primary orthotopic xenograft models of WHO grade III and IV gliomas. Selective uptake of [18F]PBR06 in engrafted tumor was measured. Furthermore, PET imaging with [18F]PBR06 demonstrated infiltrative glioma growth that was undetectable by traditional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Preliminary PET with [18F]PBR06 demonstrated a preferential tumor-to-normal background ratio in comparison to 2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-D-glucose ([18F]FDG). These results suggest that TSPO PET imaging with such high-affinity radiotracers may represent a novel strategy to characterize distinct molecular features of glioma growth, as well as better define the extent of glioma infiltration for therapeutic purposes.
Project description:p150(Glued) is the major subunit of dynactin, a complex that functions with dynein in minus-end-directed microtubule transport. Mutations within the p150(Glued) CAP-Gly microtubule-binding domain cause neurodegenerative diseases through an unclear mechanism. A p150(Glued) motor neuron degenerative disease-associated mutation introduced into the Drosophila Glued locus generates a partial loss-of-function allele (Gl(G38S)) with impaired neurotransmitter release and adult-onset locomotor dysfunction. Disruption of the p150(Glued) CAP-Gly domain in neurons causes a specific disruption of vesicle trafficking at terminal boutons (TBs), the distal-most ends of synapses. Gl(G38S) larvae accumulate endosomes along with dynein and kinesin motor proteins within swollen TBs, and genetic analyses show that kinesin and p150(Glued) function cooperatively at TBs to coordinate transport. Therefore, the p150(Glued) CAP-Gly domain regulates dynein-mediated retrograde transport at synaptic termini, and this function of dynactin is disrupted by a mutation that causes motor neuron disease.
Project description:Intratumor heterogeneity is a primary feature of high-grade gliomas, complicating their therapy. As accumulating evidence suggests that intratumor heterogeneity is a consequence of cellular subsets with different cycling frequencies, we developed a method for transcriptional profiling of gliomas, using a novel technique to dissect the tumors into two fundamental cellular subsets, namely, the proliferating and non-proliferating cell fractions. The tumor fractions were sorted whilst maintaining their molecular integrity, by incorporating the thymidine analog 5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine into actively dividing cells. We sorted the actively dividing versus non-dividing cells from cultured glioma cells, and parental and clonally derived orthotopic tumors, and analyzed them for a number of transcripts. While there was no significant difference in the transcriptional profiles between the two cellular subsets in cultured glioma cells, we demonstrate ?2-6 fold increase in transcripts of cancer and neuronal stem cell and tumor cell migration/invasion markers, and ?2-fold decrease in transcripts of markers of hypoxia and their target genes, in the dividing tumor cells of the orthotopic glioma when compared to their non-proliferative counterparts. This suggests the influence of the brain microenvironment in transcriptional regulation and, thereby, the physiology of glioma cells in vivo. When clonal glioma cells were derived from a parental glioma and the resultant orthotopic tumors were compared, their transcriptional profiles were closely correlated to tumor aggression and consequently, survival of the experimental animals. This study demonstrates the resolution of intratumor heterogeneity for profiling studies based on cell proliferation, a defining feature of cancers, with implications for treatment design.
Project description:Microtubule-targeting agents (MTAs) are widely used chemotherapy drugs capable of disrupting microtubule-dependent cellular functions, such as division and migration. We show that two clinically approved MTAs, paclitaxel and vinblastine, each suppress stiffness-sensitive migration and polarization characteristic of human glioma cells on compliant hydrogels. MTAs influence microtubule dynamics and cell traction forces by nearly opposite mechanisms, the latter of which can be explained by a combination of changes in myosin motor and adhesion clutch number. Our results support a microtubule-dependent signaling-based model for controlling traction forces through a motor-clutch mechanism, rather than microtubules directly relieving tension within F-actin and adhesions. Computational simulations of cell migration suggest that increasing protrusion number also impairs stiffness-sensitive migration, consistent with experimental MTA effects. These results provide a theoretical basis for the role of microtubules and mechanisms of MTAs in controlling cell migration.
Project description:Lipid-mediated delivery of DNA is hindered by extracellular and intracellular barriers that significantly reduce the transfection efficiency of synthetic nonviral vectors.In this study we investigated the role of the actin and microtubule networks on the uptake and cytoplasmic transport of multicomponent cationic liposome-DNA complexes in CHO-K1 live cells by means of confocal laser scanning microscopy and 3D single particle tracking. Treatment with actin (latrunculin B)- and microtubule-disrupting (nocodazole) reagents indicated that intracellular trafficking of complexes predominantly involves microtubule-dependent active transport. We found that the actin network has a major effect on the initial uptake of complexes, while the microtubule network is mainly responsible for the subsequent active transportation to the lysosomes.Collectively, a strategy to improve the efficiency of lipid gene vectors can be formulated. We could find a lipid formulation that allows the nanoparticles to avoid the microtubule pathway to lysosomes.