bims-malgli Biomed News
on Biology of malignant gliomas
Issue of 2020‒10‒04
sixteen papers selected by
Oltea Sampetrean
Keio University

  1. Cancer Res. 2020 Sep 30. pii: canres.1094.2020. [Epub ahead of print]
      The aggressive primary brain tumor glioblastoma (GBM) is characterized by aberrant metabolism that fuels its malignant phenotype. Diverse genetic subtypes of malignant glioma are sensitive to selective inhibition of the NAD+ salvage pathway enzyme nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT). However, the potential impact of NAD+ depletion on the brain tumor microenvironment has not been elaborated. In addition, systemic toxicity of NAMPT inhibition remains a significant concern. Here we show that microparticle-mediated intratumoral delivery of NAMPT inhibitor GMX1778 induces specific immunological changes in the tumor microenvironment of murine GBM, characterized by upregulation of immune checkpoint PD-L1, recruitment of CD3+, CD4+, and CD8+ T cells, and reduction of M2-polarized immunosuppressive macrophages. NAD+ depletion and autophagy induced by NAMPT inhibitors mediated the upregulation of PD-L1 transcripts and cell surface protein levels in GBM cells. NAMPT inhibitor modulation of the tumor immune microenvironment was therefore combined with PD-1 checkpoint blockade in vivo, significantly increasing the survival of GBM bearing animals. Thus, the therapeutic impacts of NAMPT inhibition extended beyond neoplastic cells, shaping surrounding immune effectors. Microparticle delivery and release of NAMPT inhibitor at the tumor site offers a safe and robust means to alter an immune tumor microenvironment that could potentiate checkpoint immunotherapy for glioblastoma.
  2. Sci Rep. 2020 Oct 01. 10(1): 16218
      The Notch signaling network determines stemness in various tissues and targeting signaling activity in malignant brain cancers by gamma-secretase inhibitors (GSI) has shown promising preclinical success. However, the clinical translation remains challenging due to severe toxicity side effects and emergence of therapy resistance. Better anti-Notch directed therapies, specifically directed against the tumor promoting Notch receptor 1 signaling framework, and biomarkers predicting response to such therapy are of highest clinical need. We assessed multiple patient datasets to probe the clinical relevance Notch1 activation and possible differential distribution amongst molecular subtypes in brain cancers. We functionally assessed the biological effects of the first-in-human tested blocking antibody against Notch1 receptor (brontictuzumab, BRON) in a collection of glioma stem-like cell (GSC) models and compared its effects to genetic Notch1 inhibition as well as classical pharmacological Notch inhibitor treatment using gamma-secretase inhibitor MRK003. We also assess effects on Wingless (WNT) stem cell signaling activation, which includes the interrogation of genetic WNT inhibition models. Our computed transcriptional Notch pathway activation score is upregulated in neural stem cells, as compared to astrocytes; as well as in GSCs, as compared to differentiated glioblastoma cells. Moreover, the Notch signature is clinical predictive in our glioblastoma patient discovery and validation cohort. Notch signature is significantly increased in tumors with mutant IDH1 genome and tumors without 1p and 19q co-deletion. In GSCs with elevated Notch1 expression, BRON treatment blocks transcription of Notch pathway target genes Hes1/Hey1, significantly reduced the amount of cleaved Notch1 receptor protein and caused significantly impairment of cellular invasion. Benchmarking this phenotype to those observed with genetic Notch1 inhibition in corresponding cell models did result in higher reduction of cell invasion under chemotherapy. BRON treatment caused signs of upregulation of Wingless (WNT) stem cell signaling activity, and vice versa, blockage of WNT signaling caused induction of Notch target gene expression in our models. We extend the list of evidences that elevated Notch signal expression is a biomarker signature declaring stem cell prevalence and useful for predicting negative clinical course in glioblastoma. By using functional assays, we validated a first in man tested Notch1 receptor specific antibody as a promising drug candidate in the context of neuro oncology and propose biomarker panel to predict resistance and therapy success of this treatment option. We note that the observed phenotype seems only in part due to Notch1 blockage and the drug candidate leads to activation of off target signals. Further studies addressing a possible emergence of therapy resistance due to WNT activation need to be conducted. We further validated our 3D disease modeling technology to be of benefit for drug development projects.
  3. Acta Neuropathol. 2020 Oct 03.
      Patient-based cancer models are essential tools for studying tumor biology and for the assessment of drug responses in a translational context. We report the establishment a large cohort of unique organoids and patient-derived orthotopic xenografts (PDOX) of various glioma subtypes, including gliomas with mutations in IDH1, and paired longitudinal PDOX from primary and recurrent tumors of the same patient. We show that glioma PDOXs enable long-term propagation of patient tumors and represent clinically relevant patient avatars that retain histopathological, genetic, epigenetic, and transcriptomic features of parental tumors. We find no evidence of mouse-specific clonal evolution in glioma PDOXs. Our cohort captures individual molecular genotypes for precision medicine including mutations in IDH1, ATRX, TP53, MDM2/4, amplification of EGFR, PDGFRA, MET, CDK4/6, MDM2/4, and deletion of CDKN2A/B, PTCH, and PTEN. Matched longitudinal PDOX recapitulate the limited genetic evolution of gliomas observed in patients following treatment. At the histological level, we observe increased vascularization in the rat host as compared to mice. PDOX-derived standardized glioma organoids are amenable to high-throughput drug screens that can be validated in mice. We show clinically relevant responses to temozolomide (TMZ) and to targeted treatments, such as EGFR and CDK4/6 inhibitors in (epi)genetically defined subgroups, according to MGMT promoter and EGFR/CDK status, respectively. Dianhydrogalactitol (VAL-083), a promising bifunctional alkylating agent in the current clinical trial, displayed high therapeutic efficacy, and was able to overcome TMZ resistance in glioblastoma. Our work underscores the clinical relevance of glioma organoids and PDOX models for translational research and personalized treatment studies and represents a unique publicly available resource for precision oncology.
    Keywords:  Glioblastoma; Glioma; Glioma recurrence; IDH1; MGMT; Organoid; Patient-derived orthotopic xenograft; Precision medicine; Preclinical models; VAL-083
  4. Oncogene. 2020 Oct 01.
      Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a highly proliferative and locally invasive cancer with poor prognosis and a high recurrence rate. Although anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) therapy offers short-term benefit to GBM patients, this approach fails as the tumor develops into a more invasive and drug-resistant phenotype and ultimately recurs. Recently, both glioma stemlike cells (GSCs) and brain tumor-initiating cells (BTICs) have been implicated in GBM recurrence and its resistance to therapy. We observed that patient-derived GBM cells expressing shRNAs of VEGF or neuropilin-1 (NRP-1) attenuate cancer stem cell markers, inhibit the tumor-initiating cell's neurosphere-forming capacity, and migration. Furthermore, both VEGF and NRP-1 knockdown inhibit the growth of patient-derived GBM xenografts in both zebrafish and mouse models. Interestingly, NRP-1-depleted patient-derived GBM xenografts substantially prolonged survival in mice compared to that of VEGF depletion. Our results also demonstrate that NRP-1 ablation of patient-derived GBM cells improves the sensitivity of TMZ and enhances the overall survival of the respective tumor-bearing mice. This improved outcome may provide insight into the inhibition of GBM progression and effective treatment strategies by targeting NRP-1 in addition to chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
  5. Sci Rep. 2020 Sep 30. 10(1): 16121
      In multiple solid tumours, including gliomas, the mechanical properties change as the disease progresses. If and how mechanical cues regulate tumour cell proliferation is currently not fully studied. PIEZO1 has recently been identified as a crucial mechanosensitive cation channel in multiple solid tumours. However, we didn't find any clinical data describing the association between PIEZO1 expression and glioma. To investigate the role of PIEZO1 in gliomas, we analysed PIEZO1 gene expression at the transcriptome level, genomic profiles and the association of PIEZO1 with clinical practice. In total, 1633 glioma samples with transcriptome data, including data from the Chinese Glioma Genome Atlas RNAseq, the Cancer Genome Atlas RNAseq and GSE16011 databases, were included in this study. Clinical information and genomic profiles including somatic mutations were also obtained. We found that PIEZO1 expression was highly correlated with malignant clinical and molecular subtypes of glioma. Gene ontology analysis showed that expression of PIEZO1 was correlated with tumour microenvironment-related genes that encode proteins involved in extracellular matrix (ECM) organization, angiogenesis and cell migration. Additionally, PIEZO1 was shown to be involved in tumour progression by serving as the central checkpoint of multiple ECM remodelling-related signalling pathways to modulate tumour cell proliferation and the tumour microenvironment in turn. Finally, high PIEZO1 expression was correlated with reduced survival time and acted as a robust biomarker for poor prognosis in gliomas. Taken together, the results indicated that high PIEZO1 expression is closely associated with highly malignant gliomas. Importantly, PIEZO1 serves as a key factor involved in sensing mechanical properties in the tumour and can regulate both tumour cells and their microenvironment to promote glioma progression, and it is also a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of gliomas.
  6. Cell Death Dis. 2020 Oct 01. 11(9): 819
      Here we uncovered the involved subcellular mechanisms that sulforaphane-cysteine (SFN-Cys) inhibited invasion in human glioblastoma (GBM). SFN-Cys significantly upregulated 45 and downregulated 14 microtubule-, mitophagy-, and invasion-associated proteins in GBM cells via HPLC-MS/MS and GEO ontology analysis; SFN-Cys disrupted microtubule by ERK1/2 phosphorylation-mediated downregulation of α-tubulin and Stathmin-1 leading to the inhibition of cell migration and invasion; SFN-Cys downregulated invasion-associated Claudin-5 and S100A4, and decreased the interaction of α-tubulin to Claudin-5. Knockdown of Claudin-5 and S100A4 significantly reduced the migration and invasion. Besides, SFN-Cys lowered the expressions of α-tubulin-mediated mitophagy-associated proteins Bnip3 and Nix. Transmission electron microscopy showed more membrane-deficient mitochondria and accumulated mitophagosomes in GBM cells, and mitochondria fusion might be downregulated because that SFN-Cys downregulated mitochondrial fusion protein OPA1. SFN-Cys increased the colocalization and interplay of LC3 to lysosomal membrane-associated protein LAMP1, aggravating the fusion of mitophagosome to lysosome. Nevertheless, SFN-Cys inhibited the lysosomal proteolytic capacity causing LC3II/LC3I elevation but autophagy substrate SQSTM1/p62 was not changed, mitophagosome accumulation, and the inhibition of migration and invasion in GBM cells. These results will help us develop high-efficiency and low-toxicity anticancer drugs to inhibit migration and invasion in GBM.
  7. Cell Rep. 2020 Sep 29. pii: S2211-1247(20)31185-2. [Epub ahead of print]32(13): 108196
      Loss of PTEN, the negative regulator of PI3K activity, is frequent in glioblastomas (GBMs). However, the role of the two major PI3K isoforms, p110α and p110β, in PTEN-deficient gliomagenesis remains unknown. We show that PTEN-deficient GBM largely depends on p110α for proliferation and p110β for migration. Genetic ablation of either isoform delays tumor progression in mice, but only ablating both isoforms completely blocks GBM driven by the concurrent ablation of Pten and p53. BKM120 (buparlisib) treatment only modestly prolongs survival in mice bearing intracranial Pten/p53 null tumors due to partial pathway inhibition. BKM120 extends the survival of mice bearing intracranial tumors in which p110β, but not p110α, has been genetically ablated in the Pten/p53 null glioma, indicating that BKM120 fails to inhibit p110β effectively. Our study suggests that the failure of PI3K inhibitors in GBM may be due to insufficient inhibition of p110β and indicates a need to develop brain-penetrant p110α/β inhibitors.
    Keywords:  BKM120; BYL719; GEMM; PDX; PI3K isoform; PTEN; PTEN-deficient; glioblastoma; isoform-selective inhibitor; migration
  8. STAR Protoc. 2020 Sep 18. pii: 100044. [Epub ahead of print]1(2):
      Malignant gliomas are the most common and aggressive primary brain tumor in adults, and high mitotic rates are associated with their malignancy. Gliomas were modeled in mice using the Sleeping Beauty system to encode genetic lesions recapitulating the human disease. The presented workflow allows the study of the proliferation of glioma cells in vivo, enabling the identification of different phases of the cell cycle, with the advantage that 5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine staining does not involve denaturation steps and samples do not require histological processing. For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Núñez et al. (2019).
  9. Sci Rep. 2020 Sep 30. 10(1): 16162
      Two recurrent mutations, K27M and G34R/V, in H3F3A, encoding non-canonical histone H3.3, are reported in pediatric and young adult gliomas, whereas G34W mutation is prevalent in bone tumors. In contrast to K27M mutation, it remains elusive how G34 mutations affect the epigenome. Here we performed whole-genome bisulfite sequencing of four G34R-mutated gliomas and the G34V-mutated glioma cell line KNS-42 for comparison with gliomas harboring K27M and no mutations in H3F3A and with G34W-mutated bone tumors. G34R-mutated gliomas exhibited lower global methylation levels, similar CpG island (CGI) methylation levels, and compromised hypermethylation of telomere-proximal CGIs, compared to the other two glioma subgroups. Hypermethylated regions specific to G34R-mutated gliomas were enriched for CGIs, including those of OLIG1, OLIG2, and canonical histone genes in the HIST1 cluster. They were notably hypermethylated in osteosarcomas with, but not without, G34W mutation. Independent component analysis revealed that G34 mutation-specific components shared a significant similarity between glioma and osteosarcoma, suggesting that G34 mutations exert characteristic methylomic effects regardless of the tumor tissue-of-origin. CRISPR/Cas9-mediated disruption of G34V-allele in KNS-42 cells led to demethylation of a subset of CGIs hypermethylated in G34R-mutated gliomas. These findings will provide a basis for elucidating epigenomic roles of G34 oncohistone in tumorigenesis.
  10. Nat Biomed Eng. 2020 Sep 28.
      Clinical scores, molecular markers and cellular phenotypes have been used to predict the clinical outcomes of patients with glioblastoma. However, their clinical use has been hampered by confounders such as patient co-morbidities, by the tumoral heterogeneity of molecular and cellular markers, and by the complexity and cost of high-throughput single-cell analysis. Here, we show that a microfluidic assay for the quantification of cell migration and proliferation can categorize patients with glioblastoma according to progression-free survival. We quantified with a composite score the ability of primary glioblastoma cells to proliferate (via the protein biomarker Ki-67) and to squeeze through microfluidic channels, mimicking aspects of the tight perivascular conduits and white-matter tracts in brain parenchyma. The assay retrospectively categorized 28 patients according to progression-free survival (short-term or long-term) with an accuracy of 86%, predicted time to recurrence and correctly categorized five additional patients on the basis of survival prospectively. RNA sequencing of the highly motile cells revealed differentially expressed genes that correlated with poor prognosis. Our findings suggest that cell-migration and proliferation levels can predict patient-specific clinical outcomes.
  11. Neurooncol Adv. 2020 Jan-Dec;2(1):2(1): vdaa096
    Keywords:  glioblastoma; glioma; heterogeneity; niches; single cell; therapeutics; transcriptomics
  12. Clin Cancer Res. 2020 Sep 30. pii: clincanres.2171.2020. [Epub ahead of print]
      PURPOSE: Molecular subtype classifications in glioblastoma may detect therapy sensitivities. Immunohistochemistry would potentially allow the identification of molecular subtypes in routine clinical practice.EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Paraffin-embedded tumor samples of 124 uniformly treated, newly diagnosed glioblastoma patients were submitted to RNA-Sequencing, immunohistochemistry, and immune-phenotyping to identify differences in molecular subtypes associated with treatment sensitivities.
    RESULTS: We detected high molecular and immunohistochemical overlapping of the TCGA mesenchymal subtype with IGS cluster 23 and of the TCGA classical subtype with IGS cluster 18. Immunohistochemical patterns, gene fusion profiles, and immune-phenotypes varied across subtypes. Immunohistochemistry revealed that the TCGA classical subtype was identified by high expression of EGFR and low expression of PTEN, while the mesenchymal subtype was identified by low expression of SOX2 and high expression of two antibodies, SHC1 and TCIRG1, selected based on RNA differential transcriptomic expression. The proneural subtype was identified by frequent positive IDH1 expression and high Olig2 and Ki67 expression. Immune-phenotyping showed that mesenchymal and IGS 23 tumors exhibited a higher positive effector cell score, a higher negative suppressor cell score, and lower levels of immune checkpoint molecules. The cell-type deconvolution analysis revealed that these tumors are highly enriched in M2 macrophages, resting memory CD4+ T cells, and activated dendritic cells, indicating that they may be ideal candidates for immunotherapy, especially with anti-M2 and/or dendritic cell vaccination.
    CONCLUSIONS: There is a subset of tumors, frequently classified as mesenchymal or IGS cluster 23, that may be identified with immunohistochemistry and could well be optimal candidates to immunotherapy.
  13. Mol Cancer Ther. 2020 Oct;19(10): 1959-1969
      Malignant gliomas are the most common primary central nervous system tumors and their prognosis is very poor. In recent years, ion channels have been demonstrated to play important roles in tumor pathophysiology such as regulation of gene expression, cell migration, and cell proliferation. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on the role of ion channels on the development and progression of gliomas. Cell volume changes through the regulation of ion flux, accompanied by water flux, are essential for migration and invasion. Signaling pathways affected by ion channel activity play roles in cell survival and cell proliferation. Moreover, ion channels are involved in glioma-related seizures, sensitivity to chemotherapy, and tumor metabolism. Ion channels are potential targets for the treatment of these lethal tumors. Despite our increased understanding of the contributions of ion channels to glioma biology, this field remains poorly studied. This review summarizes the current literature on this important topic.
  14. J Clin Invest. 2020 Sep 29. pii: 142158. [Epub ahead of print]
      Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) kills more children than any other type of brain tumor. Despite clinical trials testing many chemotherapeutic agents, palliative radiotherapy remains the standard treatment. Here, we utilized Cre/loxP technology to show that deleting Ataxia telangiectasia mutated (Atm) in primary mouse models of DIPG can enhance tumor radiosensitivity. Genetic deletion of Atm improved survival of mice with p53 deficient but not p53 wild-type gliomas following radiotherapy. Similar to patients with DIPG, mice with p53 wild-type tumors had improved survival after radiotherapy independent of Atm deletion. Primary p53 wild-type tumor cell lines induced proapoptotic genes after radiation and repressed the NRF2 target, NAD(P)H quinone dehydrogenase 1 (Nqo1). Tumors lacking p53 and Ink4a/Arf expressed the highest level of Nqo1 and were most resistant to radiation, but deletion of Atm enhanced the radiation response. These results suggest that tumor genotype may determine whether inhibition of ATM during radiotherapy will be an effective clinical approach to treat DIPGs.
    Keywords:  Brain cancer; Mouse models; Oncology; P53
  15. Cancers (Basel). 2020 Sep 30. pii: E2813. [Epub ahead of print]12(10):
      Malignant gliomas (MG) are among the most prevalent and lethal primary intrinsic brain tumors. Although radiotherapy (RT) is the most effective nonsurgical therapy, recurrence is universal. Dysregulated DNA damage response pathway (DDR) signaling, rampant genomic instability, and radio-resistance are among the hallmarks of MGs, with current therapies only offering palliation. A subgroup of pediatric high-grade gliomas (pHGG) is characterized by H3K27M mutation, which drives global loss of di- and trimethylation of histone H3K27. Here, we review the most recent literature and discuss the key studies dissecting the molecular biology of H3K27M-mutated gliomas in children. We speculate that the aberrant activation and/or deactivation of some of the key components of DDR may be synthetically lethal to H3K27M mutation and thus can open novel avenues for effective therapeutic interventions for patients suffering from this deadly disease.
    Keywords:  DNA damage response; H3K27M mutation; pediatric high-grade gliomas; radio-resistance