Molecular targeting of TRF2 suppresses the growth and tumorigenesis of glioblastoma stem cells.
ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma is the most prevalent primary brain tumor and is essentially universally fatal within 2 years of diagnosis. Glioblastomas contain cellular hierarchies with self-renewing glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs) that are often resistant to chemotherapy and radiation therapy. GSCs express high amounts of repressor element 1 silencing transcription factor (REST), which may contribute to their resistance to standard therapies. Telomere repeat-binding factor 2 (TRF2) stablizes telomeres and REST to maintain self-renewal of neural stem cells and tumor cells. Here we show viral vector-mediated delivery of shRNAs targeting TRF2 mRNA depletes TRF2 and REST from GSCs isolated from patient specimens. As a result, GSC proliferation is reduced and the level of proteins normally expressed by postmitotic neurons (L1CAM and ?3-tubulin) is increased, suggesting that loss of TRF2 engages a cell differentiation program in the GSCs. Depletion of TRF2 also sensitizes GSCs to temozolomide, a DNA-alkylating agent currently used to treat glioblastoma. Targeting TRF2 significantly increased the survival of mice bearing GSC xenografts. These findings reveal a role for TRF2 in the maintenance of REST-associated proliferation and chemotherapy resistance of GSCs, suggesting that TRF2 is a potential therapeutic target for glioblastoma.
Project description:Removal of TRF2, a telomere shelterin protein, recapitulates key aspects of telomere attrition including the DNA-damage response and cell-cycle arrest . Distinct from the response of proliferating cells to loss of TRF2 [2, 3], in rodent noncycling cells, TRF2 inhibition promotes differentiation and growth [4, 5]. However, the mechanism that couples telomere gene-silencing features [6-8] to differentiation programs has yet to be elucidated. Here we describe an extratelomeric function of TRF2 in the regulation of neuronal genes mediated by the interaction of TRF2 with repressor element 1-silencing transcription factor (REST), a master repressor of gene networks devoted to neuronal functions [9-12]. TRF2-REST complexes are readily detected by coimmunoprecipitation assays and are localized to aggregated PML-nuclear bodies in undifferentiated pluripotent human NTera2 stem cells. Inhibition of TRF2, either by a dominant-negative mutant or by RNA interference, dissociates TRF2-REST complexes resulting in ubiquitin-proteasomal degradation of REST. Consequentially, REST-targeted neural genes (L1CAM, beta3-tubulin, synaptophysin, and others) are derepressed, resulting in acquisition of neuronal phenotypes. Notably, selective damage to telomeres without affecting TRF2 levels causes neither REST degradation nor cell differentiation. Thus, in addition to protecting telomeres, TRF2 possesses a novel role in stabilization of REST thereby controlling neural tumor and stem cell fate.
Project description:Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) tumors are the most common malignant primary brain tumors in adults. Although many GBM tumors are believed to be caused by self-renewing, glioblastoma-derived stem-like cells (GSCs), the mechanisms that regulate self-renewal and other oncogenic properties of GSCs are only now being unraveled. Here we showed that GSCs derived from GBM patient specimens express varying levels of the transcriptional repressor repressor element 1 silencing transcription factor (REST), suggesting heterogeneity across different GSC lines. Loss- and gain-of-function experiments indicated that REST maintains self-renewal of GSCs. High REST-expressing GSCs (HR-GSCs) produced tumors histopathologically distinct from those generated by low REST-expressing GSCs (LR-GSCs) in orthotopic mouse brain tumor models. Knockdown of REST in HR-GSCs resulted in increased survival in GSC-transplanted mice and produced tumors with higher apoptotic and lower invasive properties. Conversely, forced expression of exogenous REST in LR-GSCs produced decreased survival in mice and produced tumors with lower apoptotic and higher invasive properties, similar to HR-GSCs. Thus, based on our results, we propose that a novel function of REST is to maintain self-renewal and other oncogenic properties of GSCs and that REST can play a major role in mediating tumorigenicity in GBM.
Project description:Glioblastoma (GBM) is an invariably fatal brain tumor in which a small subpopulation of self-renewable glioma stem cells (GSCs) contributes to tumor propagation and relapse. Targeting GSCs could therefore have a significant clinical impact for GBM. Telomestatin is a naturally-occurring compound that preferentially impairs GSC growth by perturbing transcription and inducing a DNA damage response. Telomestatin stabilizes G-quadruplexes (G4s), which are guanine-rich four-strand nucleic acid structures observed in vitro and in vivo. However, the mechanism underlying the GSC-selective nature of the DNA damage response remains unknown. Here we demonstrate that GSCs are more susceptible to telomestatin-induced telomere dysfunction and replication stress when compared with GSC-derived non-stem glioma cells (NSGCs). Telomestatin induced dissociation of the telomere-capping protein TRF2 from telomeres, leading to telomeric DNA damage in GSCs-but not in NSGCs. BIBR1532, a telomerase catalytic inhibitor, did not preferentially inhibit GSC growth, suggesting that telomestatin promotes telomere dysfunction in a telomerase-independent manner. GSCs and NSGCs had comparable levels of G4s in their nuclei, and both responded to telomestatin with phosphorylation of RPA2 at Ser33-a hallmark of replication stress. However, activation of the checkpoint kinase Chk1, induction of a DNA damage response, and subsequent growth inhibition occurred only in telomestatin-treated GSCs. These observations suggest that telomestatin impairs GSC growth through removal of TRF2 from telomeres and potent activation of the replication stress response pathway. Therefore, a novel G4-directed therapeutic strategy could specifically target cancer stem cells in GBM.
Project description:Telomere binding factor 2 (TRF2), is a protein that plays a major role in the maintenance of telomere integrity. In mitotic normal and transformed cells, TRF2 inhibition triggers a rapid telomere DNA damage response that results in cell senescence or apoptosis. Here we provide evidence that TRF2 plays a role suppressing neuronal differentiation. TRF2 interacts with the RE1-silencing transcription factor (REST) in nuclear PML protein-containing compartments of neuronal cells in vivo. Inhibition of TRF2 function with a dominant-negative form of TRF2 elicits a telomeric DNA damage response, and disrupts the TRF2-REST complex resulting in proteasomal degradation of REST. Overexpression of REST impairs the ability of DN-TRF2 to induce neuronal differentiation, indicating that enhanced degradation of REST is sufficient to account for the differentiation-inducing effect of DN-TRF2. REST degradation derepresses RE1-regulated genes (L1CAM, BDNF, b3-tubulin, syntaxin and others) resulting in morphological and functional differentiation of neurons. Our findings identify a novel interaction between the telomeric protein TRF2 and REST which regulates the molecular differentiation program of neurons. Keywords: transfection and molecular inhibition Overall design: Cells were transfected with GFP vector, WT-TRF2 or DN-TRF2, and were maintained under G418 selection for 7 days. To confirm an inhibitory effect of DN-TRF2 on cell proliferation cells were counted daily during a 4 day post-transfection period. Gene array analysis was performed using NIA MGC1 9600 human gene cDNA microarray on 6 samples; 3 controls and 3 DN-TRF2 positive.
Project description:Glioblastomas (GBMs) are the most lethal and common types of primary brain tumors. The hallmark of GBMs is their highly infiltrative nature. The cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the aggressive cancer invasion in GBMs are poorly understood. GBM displays remarkable cellular heterogeneity and hierarchy containing self-renewing glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs). Whether GSCs are more invasive than non-stem tumor cells and contribute to the invasive phenotype in GBMs has not been determined. Here we provide experimental evidence supporting that GSCs derived from GBM surgical specimens or xenografts display greater invasive potential in vitro and in vivo than matched non-stem tumor cells. Furthermore, we identified several invasion-associated proteins that were differentially expressed in GSCs relative to non-stem tumor cells. One of such proteins is L1CAM, a cell surface molecule shown to be critical to maintain GSC tumorigenic potential in our previous study. Immunohistochemical staining showed that L1CAM is highly expressed in a population of cancer cells in the invasive fronts of primary GBMs. Collectively, these data demonstrate the invasive nature of GSCs, suggesting that disrupting GSCs through a specific target such as L1CAM may reduce GBM cancer invasion and tumor recurrence.
Project description:Even with rigorous treatments, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) has an abysmal median survival rate, greatly due to the drug-resistant glioblastoma stem cell (GSC) population. GSCs are known to remodel their microenvironment, but the precise role of extracellular matrix components hyaluronic acid (HA) and hyaluronidases (HAases) on the GSC population is still largely unknown. Our objective was to determine how HAase can sensitize GSCs to chemotherapy drugs by disrupting the HA-CD44 signaling. GBM cell line U87-MG and patient-derived D456 cells were grown in GSC-enriching media and treated with HA or HAase. Expressions of GSC markers, HA-related genes, and drug resistance genes were measured via flow cytometry, confocal microscopy, and qRT-PCR. Proliferation after combined HAase and temozolomide (TMZ) treatment was measured via WST-8. HA supplementation promoted the expression of GSC markers and CD44 in GBM cells cultured in serum-free media. Conversely, HAase addition inhibited GSC gene expression while promoting CD44 expression. Finally, HAase sensitized GBM cells to TMZ. We propose a combined treatment of HAase and chemotherapy drugs by disrupting the stemness-promoting HA to target GSCs. This combination therapy shows promise even when temozolomide treatment alone causes resistance.
Project description:Metabolic dysregulation promotes cancer growth through not only energy production, but also epigenetic reprogramming. Here, we report that a critical node in methyl donor metabolism, nicotinamide N-methyltransferase (NNMT), ranked among the most consistently overexpressed metabolism genes in glioblastoma relative to normal brain. NNMT was preferentially expressed by mesenchymal glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs). NNMT depletes S-adenosyl methionine (SAM), a methyl donor generated from methionine. GSCs contained lower levels of methionine, SAM, and nicotinamide, but they contained higher levels of oxidized nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) than differentiated tumor cells. In concordance with the poor prognosis associated with DNA hypomethylation in glioblastoma, depletion of methionine, a key upstream methyl group donor, shifted tumors toward a mesenchymal phenotype and accelerated tumor growth. Targeting NNMT expression reduced cellular proliferation, self-renewal, and in vivo tumor growth of mesenchymal GSCs. Supporting a mechanistic link between NNMT and DNA methylation, targeting NNMT reduced methyl donor availability, methionine levels, and unmethylated cytosine, with increased levels of DNA methyltransferases, DNMT1 and DNMT3A. Supporting the clinical significance of these findings, NNMT portended poor prognosis for glioblastoma patients. Collectively, our findings support NNMT as a GSC-specific therapeutic target in glioblastoma by disrupting oncogenic DNA hypomethylation.
Project description:Glioblastoma is the most aggressive primary brain tumor. Slowly dividing and therapy-resistant glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs) reside in protective peri-arteriolar niches and are held responsible for glioblastoma recurrence. Recently, we showed similarities between GSC niches and hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) niches in bone marrow. Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells hijack HSC niches and are transformed into therapy-resistant leukemic stem cells (LSCs). Current clinical trials are focussed on removal of LSCs out of HSC niches to differentiate and to become sensitized to chemotherapy. In the present study, we elaborated further on these similarities by immunohistochemical analyses of 17 biomarkers in paraffin sections of human glioblastoma and human bone marrow. We found all 17 biomarkers to be expressed both in hypoxic peri-arteriolar HSC niches in bone marrow and hypoxic peri-arteriolar GSC niches in glioblastoma. Our findings implicate that GSC niches are being formed in glioblastoma as a copy of HSC niches in bone marrow. These similarities between HSC niches and GSC niches provide a theoretic basis for the development of novel strategies to force GSCs out of their niches, in a similar manner as in AML, to induce GSC differentiation and proliferation to render them more sensitive to anti-glioblastoma therapies.
Project description:Despite post-operative radio-chemotherapy, glioblastoma systematically locally recurs. Tumors contacting the periventricular zone (PVZ) show earlier and more distant relapses than tumors not contacting the PVZ. Since glioblastoma stem-like cells (GSCs) have been proposed to play a major role in glioblastoma recurrence, we decided to test whether GSC migration properties could be different according to their anatomical location (PVZ+/PVZ-). For that purpose, we established paired cultures of GSCs from the cortical area (CT) and the PVZ of glioblastoma patient tumors. We demonstrated that PVZ GSCs possess higher migration and invasion capacities than CT GSCs. We highlighted specific transcriptomic profiles in PVZ versus CT populations and identified a down-regulation of the RhoGTPase, <i>RND1</i> in PVZ GSCs compared to CT GSCs. Overexpression of RND1, dramatically inhibited PVZ GSC migration and conversely, downregulation of <i>RND1</i> increased CT GSC migration. Additionally, transcriptomic analyses also revealed a down-regulation of <i>RND1</i> in glioblastoma compared to normal brain. Using the glioblastoma TCGA database, low levels of <i>RND1</i> were also shown to correlate with a decreased overall survival of patients. Finally, based on signaling pathways activated in patients with low levels of <i>RND1</i>, we identified an <i>RND1</i> <sup><i>low</i></sup> signature of six genes (MET, LAMC1, ITGA5, COL5A1, COL3A1, COL1A2) that is an independent prognostic factor in glioblastoma. These findings contribute to explain the shorter time to progression of patients with PVZ involvement and, point out genes that establish the <i>RND1</i> <sup><i>low</i></sup> signature as key targets genes to impede tumor relapse after treatment.
Project description:Glioblastoma is one of the most malignant tumors with very poor prognosis. Glioma stem cells (GSCs) occupy a small proportion in glioma, but they are closely associated with radiotherapy and chemotherapy resistance, promoting tumor angiogenesis, hypoxia response, invasion and recurrence. Therefore, GSCs have become a new target for tumor treatment and are used in drug screening. Rupesin E is a natural compound obtained from Valeriana jatamansi, and its antitumor activity has not been reported. In the present study, the antitumor activity of rupesin E was investigated, and the results demonstrated that it inhibited the proliferation of GSCs (GSC-3#, GSC-12#, GSC-18#) with the IC50 values of 7.13±1.41, 13.51±1.46 and 4.44±0.22 µg/ml, respectively. In addition, immunofluorescence cell staining and flow cytometry techniques demonstrated that rupesin E inhibited GSC proliferation and induced apoptosis. Furthermore, rupesin E inhibited the ability of GSC colony formation, indicating its antitumor activity against GSCs in vitro.