88 research outputs found

    Histone deacetylase inhibitors induce medulloblastoma cell death independent of HDACs recruited in REST repression complexes

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    Background Repressor element 1‚Äźsilencing transcription factor (REST) acts as a transcriptional repressor by recruiting several chromatin modifiers, including histone deacetylase (HDAC). Elevated REST expression in medulloblastoma has been associated with tumor progression nevertheless, the tumor shows high sensitivity to HDAC inhibitors (HDACi). However, the functional implications of REST and its requirement for HDACi‚Äźinduced anti‚Äźcancer effects are not well understood. Methods In this study, the expression of REST was evaluated across the medulloblastoma subgroups and subtypes using published gene expression data. Further, the expression of REST was modulated using the CRISPR/Cas9 knockout and shRNA knockdown in the Daoy medulloblastoma cell line. Results The results of this study showed that the expression of REST is elevated in most medulloblastoma subgroups compared to the non‚Äźcancerous cerebellum. Blocking of REST expression resulted in increasing the expression of REST‚Äźregulated genes, a moderate decrease in the fraction of the cells in the S‚Äźphase, and reducing the cells' migration ability. However, REST deficiency did not lead to a marked decrease in the Daoy cell viability and sensitivity to HDACi. Conclusion The findings of this study indicate that REST is not essential for sustaining the proliferation/viability of the Daoy cells. It also revealed that the anti‚Äźproliferative effect of HDACi is independent of REST expression

    Spontaneous Glioblastoma Spheroid Infiltration of Early-Stage Cerebral Organoids Models Brain Tumor Invasion.

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    Organoid methodology provides a platform for the ex vivo investigation of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying brain development and disease. The high-grade brain tumor glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is considered a cancer of unmet clinical need, in part due to GBM cell infiltration into healthy brain parenchyma, making complete surgical resection improbable. Modeling the process of GBM invasion in real time is challenging as it requires both tumor and neural tissue compartments. Here, we demonstrate that human GBM spheroids possess the ability to spontaneously infiltrate early-stage cerebral organoids (eCOs). The resulting formation of hybrid organoids demonstrated an invasive tumor phenotype that was distinct from noncancerous adult neural progenitor (NP) spheroid incorporation into eCOs. These findings provide a basis for the modeling and quantification of the GBM infiltration process using a stem-cell-based organoid approach, and may be used for the identification of anti-GBM invasion strategies

    Prognostic microRNAs in high-grade glioma reveal a link to oligodendrocyte precursor differentiation.

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    MicroRNA expression can be exploited to define tumor prognosis and stratification for precision medicine. It remains unclear whether prognostic microRNA signatures are exclusively tumor grade and/or molecular subtype-specific, or whether common signatures of aggressive clinical behavior can be identified. Here, we defined microRNAs that are associated with good and poor prognosis in grade III and IV gliomas using data from The Cancer Genome Atlas. Pathway analysis of microRNA targets that are differentially expressed in good and poor prognosis glioma identified a link to oligodendrocyte development. Notably, a microRNA expression profile that is characteristic of a specific oligodendrocyte precursor cell type (OP1) correlates with microRNA expression from 597 of these tumors and is consistently associated with poor patient outcome in grade III and IV gliomas. Our study reveals grade-independent and subtype-independent prognostic molecular signatures in high-grade glioma and provides a framework for investigating the mechanisms of brain tumor aggressiveness

    Polyelectrolyte Complex Templated Synthesis of Monodisperse, Sub-100 nm Porous Silica Nanoparticles for Cancer Targeted and Stimuli-Responsive Drug Delivery

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    Porous silica nanoparticles (PSiNPs) have long attracted interest in drug delivery research. However, conventional synthesis methods for sub-100 nm, functionalised PSiNPs typically give poor monodispersity, reproducibility, or involve complex synthetic protocols. We report a facile, reproducible, and cost-effective one-pot method for the synthesis of cancer targeting and pH responsive PSiNPs in this size range, without the need for post-synthetic modification. This was achieved by using monodisperse L-arginine (Arg)/ poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) polyelectrolyte complexes (PECs) as soft templates for silane hydrolysis and condensation. Highly uniform PSiNPs with tunable size control between 42 and 178 nm and disordered pore structure (1.1‚Äď2.7 nm) were obtained. Both PAA and Arg were retained within the PSiNPs, which enabled a high doxorubicin hydrochloride (Dox) loading capacity (22% w/w) and a 4-fold increase in drug release under weakly acidic pH compared to physiological pH. The surface presentation of Arg conferred significantly higher intracellular accumulation of Arg/PAA-PSiNPs in patient-derived glioblastoma cells compared to non-tumorigenic neural progenitor cells, which effectively translated to lower IC50 values for Dox-loaded Arg/PAA-PSiNPs than non-functionalised PSiNPs. This work brings forward new insights for the development of monodisperse PSiNPs with highly desirable built-in functionalities for biomedical applications

    RAD51 Is a Selective DNA Repair Target to Radiosensitize Glioma Stem Cells.

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    Patients with glioblastoma die from local relapse despite surgery and high-dose radiotherapy. Resistance to radiotherapy is thought to be due to efficient DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair in stem-like cells able to survive DNA damage and repopulate the tumor. We used clinical samples and patient-derived glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs) to confirm that the DSB repair protein RAD51 is highly expressed in GSCs, which are reliant on RAD51-dependent DSB repair after radiation. RAD51 expression and RAD51 foci numbers fall when these cells move toward astrocytic differentiation. In GSCs, the small-molecule RAD51 inhibitors RI-1 and B02 prevent RAD51 focus formation, reduce DNA DSB repair, and cause significant radiosensitization. We further demonstrate that treatment with these agents combined with radiation promotes loss of stem cells defined by SOX2 expression. This indicates that RAD51-dependent repair represents an effective and specific target in GSCs

    Expression profiling of single cells and patient cohorts identifies multiple immunosuppressive pathways and an altered NK cell phenotype in glioblastoma.

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    Glioblastoma (GBM) is an aggressive cancer with a very poor prognosis. Generally viewed as weakly immunogenic, GBM responds poorly to current immunotherapies. To understand this problem more clearly we used a combination of natural killer (NK) cell functional assays together with gene and protein expression profiling to define the NK cell response to GBM and explore immunosuppression in the GBM microenvironment. In addition, we used transcriptome data from patient cohorts to classify GBM according to immunological profiles. We show that glioma stem-like cells,¬†a source of post-treatment tumour recurrence,¬†express multiple immunomodulatory cell surface molecules and are targeted in preference to normal neural progenitor cells by natural killer (NK) cells¬†ex vivo. In contrast, GBM-infiltrating NK cells express reduced levels of activation receptors within the tumour microenvironment, with hallmarks of transforming growth factor (TGF)-ő≤-mediated inhibition. This NK cell inhibition is accompanied by expression of multiple immune checkpoint molecules on T cells. Single-cell transcriptomics demonstrated that both tumour and haematopoietic-derived cells in GBM express multiple, diverse mediators of immune evasion. Despite this, immunome analysis across a patient cohort identifies a spectrum of immunological activity in GBM, with active immunity marked by co-expression of immune effector molecules and feedback inhibitory mechanisms. Our data show that GBM is recognized by the immune system but that anti-tumour immunity is restrained by multiple immunosuppressive pathways, some of which operate in the healthy brain. The presence of immune activity in a subset of patients suggests that these patients will more probably benefit from combination immunotherapies directed against multiple immunosuppressive pathways

    Identification of genes with oscillatory expression in glioblastoma: the paradigm of SOX2

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    Quiescence, a reversible state of cell-cycle arrest, is an important state during both normal development and cancer progression. For example, in glioblastoma (GBM) quiescent glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs) play an important role in re-establishing the tumour, leading to relapse. While most studies have focused on identifying differentially expressed genes between proliferative and quiescent cells as potential drivers of this transition, recent studies have shown the importance of protein oscillations in controlling the exit from quiescence of neural stem cells. Here, we have undertaken a genome-wide bioinformatic inference approach to identify genes whose expression oscillates and which may be good candidates for controlling the transition to and from the quiescent cell state in GBM. Our analysis identified, among others, a list of important transcription regulators as potential oscillators, including the stemness gene SOX2, which we verified to oscillate in quiescent GSCs. These findings expand on the way we think about gene regulation and introduce new candidate genes as key regulators of quiescence

    Metabolic impairment of non-small cell lung cancers by mitochondrial HSPD1 targeting

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    Background!#!The identification of novel targets is of paramount importance to develop more effective drugs and improve the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Since cells alter their metabolic rewiring during tumorigenesis and along cancer progression, targeting key metabolic players and metabolism-associated proteins represents a valuable approach with a high therapeutic potential. Metabolic fitness relies on the functionality of heat shock proteins (HSPs), molecular chaperones that facilitate the correct folding of metabolism enzymes and their assembly in macromolecular structures.!##!Methods!#!Gene fitness was determined by bioinformatics analysis from available datasets from genetic screenings. HSPD1 expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues from NSCLC patients. Real-time proliferation assays with and without cytotoxicity reagents, colony formation assays and cell cycle analyses were used to monitor growth and drug sensitivity of different NSCLC cells in vitro. In vivo growth was monitored with subcutaneous injections in immune-deficient mice. Cell metabolic activity was analyzed through extracellular metabolic flux analysis. Specific knockouts were introduced by CRISPR/Cas9.!##!Results!#!We show heat shock protein family D member 1 (HSPD1 or HSP60) as a survival gene ubiquitously expressed in NSCLC and associated with poor patients' prognosis. HSPD1 knockdown or its chemical disruption by the small molecule KHS101 induces a drastic breakdown of oxidative phosphorylation, and suppresses cell proliferation both in vitro and in vivo. By combining drug profiling with transcriptomics and through a whole-genome CRISPR/Cas9 screen, we demonstrate that HSPD1-targeted anti-cancer effects are dependent on oxidative phosphorylation and validated molecular determinants of KHS101 sensitivity, in particular, the creatine-transporter SLC6A8 and the subunit of the cytochrome c oxidase complex COX5B.!##!Conclusions!#!These results highlight mitochondrial metabolism as an attractive target and HSPD1 as a potential theranostic marker for developing therapies to combat NSCLC
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