Hyperthermia Sensitizes Glioma Stem-like Cells to Radiation by Inhibiting AKT Signaling.
ABSTRACT: Glioma stem-like cells (GSC) are a subpopulation of cells in tumors that are believed to mediate self-renewal and relapse in glioblastoma (GBM), the most deadly form of primary brain cancer. In radiation oncology, hyperthermia is known to radiosensitize cells, and it is reemerging as a treatment option for patients with GBM. In this study, we investigated the mechanisms of hyperthermic radiosensitization in GSCs by a phospho-kinase array that revealed the survival kinase AKT as a critical sensitization determinant. GSCs treated with radiation alone exhibited increased AKT activation, but the addition of hyperthermia before radiotherapy reduced AKT activation and impaired GSC proliferation. Introduction of constitutively active AKT in GSCs compromised hyperthermic radiosensitization. Pharmacologic inhibition of PI3K further enhanced the radiosensitizing effects of hyperthermia. In a preclinical orthotopic transplant model of human GBM, thermoradiotherapy reduced pS6 levels, delayed tumor growth, and extended animal survival. Together, our results offer a preclinical proof-of-concept for further evaluation of combined hyperthermia and radiation for GBM treatment.
Project description:Glioblastoma (GBM) contains stem-like cells (GSCs) known to be resistant to ionizing radiation and thus responsible for therapeutic failure and rapidly lethal tumor recurrence. It is known that GSC radioresistance relies on efficient activation of the DNA damage response, but the mechanisms linking this response with the stem status are still unclear. Here, we show that the MET receptor kinase, a functional marker of GSCs, is specifically expressed in a subset of radioresistant GSCs and overexpressed in human GBM recurring after radiotherapy. We elucidate that MET promotes GSC radioresistance through a novel mechanism, relying on AKT activity and leading to (i) sustained activation of Aurora kinase A, ATM kinase, and the downstream effectors of DNA repair, and (ii) phosphorylation and cytoplasmic retention of p21, which is associated with anti-apoptotic functions. We show that MET pharmacological inhibition causes DNA damage accumulation in irradiated GSCs and their depletion in vitro and in GBMs generated by GSC xenotransplantation. Preclinical evidence is thus provided that MET inhibitors can radiosensitize tumors and convert GSC-positive selection, induced by radiotherapy, into GSC eradication.
Project description:Toward developing a model system for investigating the role of the microenvironment in the radioresistance of glioblastoma (GBM), human glioblastoma stem-like cells (GSCs) were grown in coculture with human astrocytes. Using a trans-well assay, survival analyses showed that astrocytes significantly decreased the radiosensitivity of GSCs compared to standard culture conditions. In addition, when irradiated in coculture, the initial level of radiation-induced ?H2AX foci in GSCs was reduced and foci dispersal was enhanced suggesting that the presence of astrocytes influenced the induction and repair of DNA double-strand breaks. These data indicate that astrocytes can decrease the radiosensitivity of GSCs in vitro via a paracrine-based mechanism and further support a role for the microenvironment as a determinant of GBM radioresponse. Chemokine profiling of coculture media identified a number of bioactive molecules not present under standard culture conditions. The gene expression profiles of GSCs grown in coculture were significantly different as compared to GSCs grown alone. These analyses were consistent with an astrocyte-mediated modification in GSC phenotype and, moreover, suggested a number of potential targets for GSC radiosensitization that were unique to coculture conditions. Along these lines, STAT3 was activated in GSCs grown with astrocytes; the JAK/STAT3 inhibitor WP1066 enhanced the radiosensitivity of GSCs under coculture conditions and when grown as orthotopic xenografts. Further, this coculture system may also provide an approach for identifying additional targets for GBM radiosensitization.
Project description:The clinicopathological heterogeneity of glioblastoma (GBM) and the various genetic and phenotypic subtypes in GBM stem cells (GSCs) are well described. However, the relationship between GSCs and the corresponding primary tumor from which they were isolated is poorly understood. We have established GSC-enriched neurosphere cultures from 15 newly diagnosed GBM specimens and examined the relationship between the histopathological and genomic features of GSC-derived orthotopic xenografts and those of the respective patient tumors. GSC-initiated xenografts recapitulate the distinctive cytological hallmarks and diverse histological variants associated with the corresponding patient GBM, including giant cell and gemistocytic GBM, and primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET)-like components. This indicates that GSCs generate tumors that preserve patient-specific disease phenotypes. The majority of GSC-derived intracerebral xenografts (11 of 15) demonstrated a highly invasive behavior crossing the midline, whereas the remainder formed discrete nodular and vascular masses. In some cases, GSC invasiveness correlated with preoperative MRI, but not with the status of PI3-kinase/Akt pathways or O(6)-methylguanine methyltransferase expression. Genome-wide screening by array comparative genomic hybridization and fluorescence in situ hybridization revealed that GSCs harbor unique genetic copy number aberrations. GSCs acquiring amplifications of the myc family genes represent only a minority of tumor cells within the original patient tumors. Thus, GSCs are a genetically distinct subpopulation of neoplastic cells within a GBM. These studies highlight the value of GSCs for preclinical modeling of clinically relevant, patient-specific GBM and, thus, pave the way for testing novel anti-GSC/GBM agents for personalized therapy.
Project description:Glioblastoma (GBM) represents the most common and lethal primary malignant brain tumor. The standard treatment for glioblastoma patients involves surgical resection with concomitant radio and chemotherapy. Despite today's clinical protocol, the prognosis for patients remains very poor with a median survival of 15 months. Tumor resistance and recurrence is strongly correlated with a subpopulation of highly radioresistant and invasive cells termed Glioblastoma Stem Cells (GSCs). The transcription factor STAT3 has been found to be constitutively activated in different tumors including GBM and enhanced tumor radioresistance. In this study, we assessed radiosensitization of GSC lines isolated from patients by inhibition of STAT3 activation using Stattic or WP1066. We showed that inhibitor treatment before cell irradiation decreased the surviving fraction of GSCs suggesting that STAT3 inhibition could potentiate radiation effects. Finally, we investigated STAT3 activation status on 61 GBM clinical samples and found a preferential phosphorylation of STAT3 on Serine727 (pS727). Moreover, we found that pS727 was associated with a significant lower overall patient survival and progression-free survival but not pY705. Taken together, our results suggest that pS727-STAT3 could be a potential prognostic marker and could constitute a therapeutic target to sensitize highly radioresistant GSCs.
Project description:An integrated genomic and functional analysis to elucidate DNA damage signaling factors promoting self-renewal of glioma stem cells (GSCs) identified proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA)-associated factor (PAF) up-regulation in glioblastoma. PAF is preferentially overexpressed in GSCs. Its depletion impairs maintenance of self-renewal without promoting differentiation and reduces tumor-initiating cell frequency. Combined transcriptomic and metabolomic analyses revealed that PAF supports GSC maintenance, in part, by influencing DNA replication and pyrimidine metabolism pathways. PAF interacts with PCNA and regulates PCNA-associated DNA translesion synthesis (TLS); consequently, PAF depletion in combination with radiation generated fewer tumorspheres compared with radiation alone. Correspondingly, pharmacological impairment of DNA replication and TLS phenocopied the effect of PAF depletion in compromising GSC self-renewal and radioresistance, providing preclinical proof of principle that combined TLS inhibition and radiation therapy may be a viable therapeutic option in the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).
Project description:Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most lethal primary brain tumor in adults with a median survival of around 15 months. A potential treatment strategy involves targeting glioma stem-like cells (GSCs) that are able to initiate, maintain, and repopulate the tumor mass. Here, we identify ACT001, a parthenolide derivative, targeting GSCs through regulation of adipocyte enhancer binding protein 1 (AEBP1) signaling. <b>Methods:</b> The effects of ACT001 on cell survival of normal human astrocytes (NHA) and patient-derived glioma stem-like cells (GSCs) were evaluated. RNA-Seq were performed to detect differentially expressed genes. ACT001 efficacy as a single agent or in combination with SHP-2 inhibitor SHP099 was assessed using a GSC orthotopic xenograft model. <b>Results:</b> GSCs exhibit high response to ACT001 in compared with normal human astrocytes. AEBP1 is a putative target of ACT001 by RNA-Seq analysis, which expression associates with prognosis of GBM patients. Knockdown of AEBP1 inhibits GSC proliferation and glioma sphere formation. Treatment with ACT001 or PI3K inhibitor or AEBP1 depletion would impair AKT phosphorylation and GSC proliferation, whereas constitutive AKT activation rescues ACT001 treatment or AEBP1 depletion-inhibited cell proliferation. Moreover, ACT001 blocks TGF-?-activated AEBP1/AKT signaling in GSCs. ACT001 exhibits antitumor activity either as a single agent or in combination with SHP099, which provides significant survival benefits for GSC tumor xenograft-bearing animals. <b>Conclusions:</b> Our data demonstrate AEBP1 as a new druggable target in GBM and ACT001 as a potential therapeutic option for improving the clinical treatment of GBM in combination with SHP099.
Project description:Despite continuous improvements in treatment of glioblastoma, tumor recurrence and therapy resistance still occur in a high proportion of patients. One underlying reason for this radioresistance might be the presence of glioblastoma cancer stem cells (GSCs), which feature high DNA repair capability. PARP protein plays an important cellular role by detecting the presence of damaged DNA and then activating signaling pathways that promote appropriate cellular responses. Thus, PARP inhibitors (PARPi) have recently emerged as potential radiosensitizing agents. In this study, we investigated the preclinical efficacy of talazoparib, a new PARPi, in association with low and high linear energy transfer (LET) irradiation in two GSC cell lines. Reduction of GSC fraction, impact on cell proliferation, and cell cycle arrest were evaluated for each condition. All combinations were compared with a reference schedule: photonic irradiation combined with temozolomide. The use of PARPi combined with photon beam and even more carbon beam irradiation drastically reduced the GSC frequency of GBM cell lines in vitro. Furthermore, talazoparib combined with irradiation induced a marked and prolonged G2/M block, and decreased proliferation. These results show that talazoparib is a new candidate that effects radiosensitization in radioresistant GSCs, and its combination with high LET irradiation, is promising.
Project description:Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common and lethal primary intrinsic tumour of the adult brain and evidence indicates disease progression is driven by glioma stem cells (GSCs). Extensive advances in the molecular characterization of GBM allowed classification into proneural, mesenchymal and classical subtypes, and have raised expectations these insights may predict response to targeted therapies. We utilized GBM neurospheres that display GSC characteristics and found activation of the PI3K/AKT pathway in sphere-forming cells. The PI3K? selective inhibitor alpelisib blocked PI3K/AKT activation and inhibited spheroid growth, suggesting an essential role for the PI3K? catalytic isoform. p110? expression was highest in the proneural subtype and this was associated with increased phosphorylation of AKT. Further, employing the GBM BioDP, we found co-expression of PIK3CA with the neuronal stem/progenitor marker NES was associated with poor prognosis in PN GBM patients, indicating a unique role for PI3K? in PN GSCs. Alpelisib inhibited GSC neurosphere growth and these effects were more pronounced in GSCs of the PN subtype. The antineoplastic effects of alpelisib were substantially enhanced when combined with pharmacologic mTOR inhibition. These findings identify the alpha catalytic PI3K isoform as a unique therapeutic target in proneural GBM and suggest that pharmacological mTOR inhibition may sensitize GSCs to selective PI3K? inhibition.
Project description:Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most prevalent and aggressive brain tumor. The current standard therapy, which includes radiation and chemotherapy, is frequently ineffective partially because of drug resistance and poor penetration of the blood-brain barrier. Reducing resistance and increasing sensitivity to chemotherapy may improve outcomes. Glioma stem cells (GSCs) are a source of relapse and chemoresistance in GBM; sensitization of GSCs to temozoliomide (TMZ), the primary chemotherapeutic agent used to treat GBM, is therefore integral for therapeutic efficacy. We previously discovered a unique tumor-specific target, cell surface vimentin (CSV), on patient-derived GSCs. In this study, we found that the anti-CSV monoclonal antibody 86C efficiently increased GSC sensitivity to TMZ. The combination TMZ+86C induced significantly greater antitumor effects than TMZ alone in eight of 12 GSC lines. TMZ+86C-sensitive GSCs had higher CSV expression overall and faster CSV resurfacing among CSV- GSCs compared with TMZ+86C-resistant GSCs. Finally, TMZ+86C increased apoptosis of tumor cells and prolonged survival compared with either drug alone in GBM mouse models. The combination of TMZ+86C represents a promising strategy to reverse GSC chemoresistance.