Temozolomide-induced guanine mutations create exploitable vulnerabilities of guanine-rich DNA and RNA regions in drug-resistant gliomas.
ABSTRACT: Temozolomide (TMZ) is a chemotherapeutic agent that has been the first-line standard of care for the aggressive brain cancer glioblastoma (GBM) since 2005. Although initially beneficial, TMZ resistance is universal and second-line interventions are an unmet clinical need. Here, we took advantage of the known mechanism of action of TMZ to target guanines (G) and investigated G-rich G-quadruplex (G4) and splice site changes that occur upon TMZ resistance. We report that TMZ-resistant GBM has guanine mutations that disrupt the G-rich DNA G4s and splice sites that lead to deregulated alternative splicing. These alterations create vulnerabilities, which are selectively targeted by either the G4-stabilizing drug TMPyP4 or a novel splicing kinase inhibitor of cdc2-like kinase. Last, we show that the G4 and RNA binding protein EWSR1 aggregates in the cytoplasm in TMZ-resistant GBM cells and patient samples. Together, our findings provide insight into targetable vulnerabilities of TMZ-resistant GBM and present cytoplasmic EWSR1 as a putative biomarker.
Project description:It has been reported that metformin acts synergistically with temozolomide (TMZ) to inhibit proliferation of glioma cells including glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). However, the molecular mechanism underlying how metformin exerts its anti-cancer effects remains elusive. We used a combined experimental and bioinformatics approach to identify genes and complex regulatory/signal transduction networks that are involved in restoring TMZ sensitivity of GBM cells after metformin treatment. First, we established TMZ resistant GBM cell lines and found that the resistant cells regained TMZ sensitivity after metformin treatment. We further identified that metformin down-regulates SOX2 expression in TMZ-resistant glioma cells, reduces neurosphere formation capacity of glioblastoma cells, and inhibits GBM xenograft growth in vivo. Finally, the global gene expression profiling data reveals that multiple pathways are involved in metformin treatment related gene expression changes, including fatty acid metabolism and RNA binding and splicing pathways. Our work provided insight of the mechanisms on potential synergistic effects of TMZ and metformin in the treatment of glioblastoma, which will in turn yield potentially translational value for clinical applications.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Temozolomide (TMZ) is the most commonly used chemotherapeutic agent used to treat glioblastoma (GBM), which causes significant DNA damage to highly proliferative cells. Our observations have added to accumulating evidence that TMZ induces stress-responsive cellular programs known to promote cell survival, including autophagy. As such, targeting these survival pathways may represent new vulnerabilities of GBM after treatment with TMZ. METHODS:Using the T98G human glioma cell line, we assessed the molecular signaling associated with TMZ treatment, the cellular consequences of using the pan-PI3K inhibitor PX-866, and performed clonogenic assays to determine the effect sequential treatment of TMZ and PX-866 had on colony formation. Additionally, we also use subcutaneous GBM patient derived xenograft (PDX) tumors to show relative LC3 protein expression and correlations between survival pathways and molecular markers which dictate clinical responsiveness to TMZ. RESULTS:Here, we report that TMZ can induce autophagic flux in T98G glioma cells. GBM patient-derived xenograft (PDX) tumors treated with TMZ also display an increase in the autophagosome marker LC3 II. Additionally, O6-methylguanine-DNA-methyltransferase (MGMT) expression correlates with PI3K/AKT activity, suggesting that patients with inherent resistance to TMZ (MGMT-high) would benefit from PI3K/AKT inhibitors in addition to TMZ. Accordingly, we have identified that the blood-brain barrier (BBB) penetrant pan-PI3K inhibitor, PX-866, is an early-stage inhibitor of autophagic flux, while maintaining its ability to inhibit PI3K/AKT signaling in glioma cells. Lastly, due to the induction of autophagic flux by TMZ, we provide evidence for sequential treatment of TMZ followed by PX-866, rather than combined co-treatment, as a means to shut down autophagy-induced survival in GBM cells and to enhance apoptosis. CONCLUSIONS:The understanding of how TMZ induces survival pathways, such as autophagy, may offer new therapeutic vulnerabilities and opportunities to use sequential inhibition of alternate pro-survival pathways that regulate autophagy. As such, identification of additional ways to inhibit TMZ-induced autophagy could enhance the efficacy of TMZ.
Project description:Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is one of the most aggressive human tumors with poor survival rates. The current standard treatment includes chemotherapy with temozolomide (TMZ), but acquisition of resistance is a persistent clinical problem limiting the successful treatment of GBM. The purpose of our study was to investigate therapeutic effects of nitroxoline (NTX) against TMZ-resistant GBM in vitro and in vivo in TMZ-resistant GBM-bearing mouse model, which was correlated with diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI). For in vitro study, we used TMZ-resistant GBM cell lines and evaluated therapeutic effects of NTX by clonogenic and migration assays. Quantitative RT-PCR was used to investigate the expression level of TMZ-resistant genes after NTX treatment. For in vivo study, we performed 9.4?T MR imaging to obtain T2WI for tumor volume measurement and DWI for assessment of apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) changes by NTX in TMZ-resistant GBM mice (n?=?8). Moreover, we performed regression analysis for the relationship between ADC and histological findings, which reflects the changes in cellularity and apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease-1 (APE-1) expression. We observed the recovery of TMZ-induced morphological changes, a reduced number of colonies and a decreased rate of migration capacity in TMZ-resistant cells after NTX treatment. The expression of APE-1 was significantly decreased in TMZ-resistant cells after NTX treatment compared with those without treatment. In an in vivo study, NTX reduced tumor growth in TMZ-resistant GBM mice (P?=?0.0122). Moreover, ADC was increased in the NTX-treated TMZ-resistant GBM mice compared to the control group (P?=?0.0079), which was prior to a tumor volume decrease. The cellularity and APE-1 expression by histology were negatively correlated with the ADC value, which in turn resulted in longer survival in NTX group. The decreased expression of APE-1 by NTX leads to therapeutic effects and is inversely correlated with ADC in TMZ-resistant GBM. Therefore, NTX is suggested as potential therapeutic candidate against TMZ-resistant GBM.
Project description:Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have emerged as new regulatory molecules implicated in diverse biological processes, including therapeutic resistance. However, the mechanisms underlying lncRNA-mediated temozolomide (TMZ) resistance in glioblastoma (GBM) remain largely unknown. To illustrate the role of lncRNA in TMZ resistance, we induce TMZ-resistant GBM cells, perform a lncRNA microarray of the parental and TMZ-resistant cells, and find an unreported lncRNA in GBM, lnc-TALC (temozolomide-associated lncRNA in glioblastoma recurrence), correlated with TMZ resistance via competitively binding miR-20b-3p to facilitate c-Met expression. A phosphorylated AKT/FOXO3 axis regulated lnc-TALC expression in TMZ-resistant GBM cells. Furthermore, lnc-TALC increased MGMT expression by mediating the acetylation of H3K9, H3K27 and H3K36 in MGMT promoter regions through the c-Met/Stat3/p300 axis. In clinical patients, lnc-TALC is required for TMZ resistance and GBM recurrence. Our results reveal that lnc-TALC in GBM could serve as a therapeutic target to overcome TMZ resistance, enhancing the clinical benefits of TMZ chemotherapy.
Project description:Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is one of the most aggressive cancers. Despite recent advances in multimodal therapies, high-grade glioma remains fatal. Temozolomide (TMZ) is an alkylating agent used worldwide for the clinical treatment of GBM; however, the innate and acquired resistance of GBM limits its application. Here, we found that TMZ inhibited the proliferation and induced the G2/M arrest of GBM cells. Therefore, we performed microarrays to identify the cell cycle- and apoptosis-related genes affected by TMZ. Notably, GADD45A was found to be up-regulated by TMZ in both cell cycle and apoptosis arrays. Furthermore, GADD45A knockdown (GADD45A<sup>kd</sup>) enhanced the cell growth arrest and cell death induced by TMZ, even in natural (T98) and adapted (TR-U373) TMZ-resistant cells. Interestingly, GADD45A<sup>kd</sup> decreased the expression of O<sup>6</sup>-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) in TMZ-resistant cells (T98 and TR-U373). In MGMT-deficient/TMZ-sensitive cells (U87 and U373), GADD45A<sup>kd</sup> decreased TMZ-induced TP53 expression. Thus, in this study, we investigated the genes influenced by TMZ that were important in GBM therapy, and revealed that GADD45A plays a protective role against TMZ treatment which may through TP53-dependent and MGMT-dependent pathway in TMZ-sensitive and TMZ-resistant GBM, respectively. This protective role of GADD45A against TMZ treatment may provide a new therapeutic strategy for GBM treatment.
Project description:Glioblastomas (GBM) often acquire resistance against temozolomide (TMZ) after continuous treatment and recur as TMZ-resistant GBM (TMZ-R-GBM). Lomustine (CCNU) and nimustine (ACNU), which were previously used as standard therapeutic agents against GBM before TMZ, have occasionally been used for the salvage therapy of TMZ-R-GBM; however, their efficacy has not yet been thoroughly examined. Therefore, we investigated the antitumor effects of CCNU and ACNU against TMZ-R-GBM. As a model of TMZ-R-GBM, TMZ resistant clones of human GBM cell lines (U87, U251MG, and U343MG) were established (TMZ-R-cells) by the culture of each GBM cells under continuous TMZ treatment, and the antitumor effects of TMZ, CCNU, or ACNU against these cells were analyzed in vitro and in vivo. As a result, although growth arrest and apoptosis were triggered in all TMZ-R-cells after the administration of each drug, the antitumor effects of TMZ against TMZ-R-cells were significantly reduced compared to those of parental cells, whereas CCNU and ACNU demonstrated efficient antitumor effects on TMZ-R-cells as well as parental cells. It was also demonstrated that TMZ resistance of TMZ-R-cells was regulated at the initiation of DNA damage response. Furthermore, survival in mice was significantly prolonged by systemic treatment with CCNU or ACNU but not TMZ after implantation of TMZ-R-cells. These findings suggest that CCNU or ACNU may serve as a therapeutic agent in salvage treatment against TMZ-R-GBM.
Project description:Glioblastoma (GBM) is an aggressive and incurable tumor of the brain with limited treatment options. Current first-line standard of care is the DNA alkylating agent temozolomide (TMZ), but this treatment strategy adds only ~4 months to median survival due to the rapid development of resistance. While some mechanisms of TMZ resistance have been identified, they are not fully understood. There are few effective strategies to manage therapy resistant GBM, and we lack diverse preclinical models of acquired TMZ resistance in which to test therapeutic strategies on TMZ resistant GBM. In this study, we create and characterize two new GBM cell lines resistant to TMZ in vitro, based on the 8MGBA and 42MGBA cell lines. Analysis of the TMZ resistant (TMZres) variants in conjunction with their parental, sensitive cell lines shows that acquisition of TMZ resistance is accompanied by broad phenotypic changes, including increased proliferation, migration, chromosomal aberrations, and secretion of cytosolic lipids. Importantly, each TMZ resistant model captures a different facet of the "go" (8MGBA-TMZres) or "grow" (42MGBA-TMZres) hypothesis of GBM behavior. These in vitro model systems will be important additions to the available tools for investigators seeking to define molecular mechanisms of acquired TMZ resistance.
Project description:Background:Glioblastoma (GBM) is a difficult to treat brain cancer that nearly uniformly recurs, and recurrent tumors are largely therapy resistant. Our prior work has demonstrated an important role for the tumor necrosis factor-like weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK) receptor fibroblast growth factor-inducible 14 (Fn14) in GBM pathobiology. In this study, we investigated Fn14 expression in recurrent GBM and in the setting of temozolomide (TMZ) resistance. Methods:Fn14 mRNA expression levels in nonneoplastic brain, primary (newly diagnosed) GBM, and recurrent GBM (post-chemotherapy and radiation) specimens were obtained from The Cancer Genome Atlas data portal. Immunohistochemistry was performed using nonneoplastic brain, patient-matched primary and recurrent GBM, and gliosarcoma (GSM) specimens to examine Fn14 protein levels. Western blot analysis was used to compare Fn14 expression in parental TMZ-sensitive or matched TMZ-resistant patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) established from primary or recurrent tumor samples. The migratory capacity of control and Fn14-depleted TMZ-resistant GBM cells was assessed using the transwell migration assay. Results:We found that Fn14 is more highly expressed in recurrent GBM tumors than their matched primary GBM counterparts. Fn14 expression is also significantly elevated in GSM tumors. GBM PDX cells with acquired TMZ resistance have higher Fn14 levels and greater migratory capacity than their corresponding parental TMZ-sensitive cells, and the migratory difference is due, at least in part, to Fn14 expression in the TMZ-resistant cells. Conclusions:This study demonstrates that the Fn14 gene is highly expressed in recurrent GBM, GSM, and TMZ-resistant GBM PDX tumors. These findings suggest that Fn14 may be a valuable therapeutic target or drug delivery portal for treatment of recurrent GBM and GSM patients.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Although temozolomide (TMZ) resistance is a significant clinical problem in glioblastoma (GBM), its underlying molecular mechanisms are poorly understood. In this study, we identified the role of exosomal microRNAs (miRNAs) from TMZ-resistant cells as important mediators of chemoresistance in GBM cells. METHODS:Exosomes were isolated from TMZ-resistant GBM cells and characterized via scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Expression levels of miR-1238 in GBM cell lines and their exosomes, clinical tissues, and sera were evaluated by RT-qPCR. In vitro and in vivo experiments were performed to elucidate the function of exosomal miR-1238 in TMZ resistance in GBM cells. Co-immunoprecipitation assays and western blot analysis were used to investigate the potential mechanisms of miR-1238/CAV1 that contribute to TMZ resistance. FINDINGS:MiR-1238 levels were higher in TMZ-resistant GBM cells and their exosomes than in sensitive cells. Higher levels of miR-1238 were found in the sera of GBM patients than in healthy people. The loss of miR-1238 may sensitize resistant GBM cells by directly targeting the CAV1/EGFR pathway. Furthermore, bioactive miR-1238 may be incorporated into the exosomes shed by TMZ-resistant cells and taken up by TMZ-sensitive cells, thus disseminating TMZ resistance. INTERPRETATION:Our findings establish that miR-1238 plays an important role in mediating the acquired chemoresistance of GBM and that exosomal miR-1238 may confer chemoresistance in the tumour microenvironment. These results suggest that circulating miR-1238 serves as a clinical biomarker and a promising therapeutic target for TMZ resistance in GBM. FUND: This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No·81402056, 81472362, and 81772951) and the National High Technology Research and Development Program of China (863) (No·2012AA02A508).
Project description:Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a chemotherapy-resistant brain tumor with limited treatment options. Temozolomide (TMZ), an alkylating agent, is a front-line chemotherapeutic drug currently employed in GBM. Although it is currently the most promising chemotherapy for GBM, resistance to TMZ is also common and accounts for many treatment failures. Therefore, understanding the underlying mechanisms that generate resistance is essential to develop more effective chemotherapies. Here, we show that microRNA-101 (miR-101) was significantly downregulated in TMZ-resistant GBM cells and human specimens. Instead, over-expression of miR-101 could sensitize resistant GBM cells to TMZ through downregulation of glycogen synthase kinase 3? (GSK3?). Moreover, we found that GSK3? inhibition could enhance TMZ effect through repression of MGMT via promoter methylation. Importantly, decreased expression of miR-101 is related to poor prognosis in patients with GBM, suggesting its potential role as a new prognostic marker in GBM. In conclusion, our study demonstrates that miR-101 can reverse TMZ resistance by inhibition of GSK3? in GBM, thus offer a novel and powerful strategy for GBM therapy.