bims-malgli Biomed News
on Biology of malignant gliomas
Issue of 2021‒05‒30
fourteen papers selected by
Oltea Sampetrean
Keio University

  1. Neuro Oncol. 2021 May 28. pii: noab134. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: Intratumoral heterogeneity is a hallmark of diffuse gliomas. DNA methylation profiling is an emerging approach in the clinical classification of brain tumors. The goal of this study is to investigate the effects of intratumoral heterogeneity on classification confidence.METHODS: We used neuronavigation to acquire 133 image-guided and spatially-separated stereotactic biopsy samples from 16 adult patients with a diffuse glioma (7 IDH-wildtype and 2 IDH-mutant glioblastoma, 6 diffuse astrocytoma, IDH-mutant and 1 oligodendroglioma, IDH-mutant and 1p19q codeleted), which we characterized using DNA methylation arrays. Samples were obtained from regions with and without abnormalities on contrast enhanced T1 weighted and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery MRI. Methylation profiles were analyzed to devise a three-dimensional reconstruction of (epi)genetic heterogeneity. Tumor purity was assessed from clonal methylation sites.
    RESULTS: Molecular aberrations indicated that tumor was found outside imaging abnormalities, underlining the infiltrative nature of this tumor and the limitations of current routine imaging modalities. We demonstrate that tumor purity is highly variable between samples and explains a substantial part of apparent epigenetic spatial heterogeneity. We observed that DNA methylation subtypes are often, but not always, conserved in space taking tumor purity and prediction accuracy into account.
    CONCLUSION: Our results underscore the infiltrative nature of diffuse gliomas and suggest that DNA methylation subtypes are relatively concordant in this tumor type, although some heterogeneity exists.
    Keywords:  DNA methylation classification; Epigenetics; Glioma; Imaging; Intratumoral heterogeneity
  2. Nat Biomed Eng. 2021 May 27.
      In patients with glioblastoma, resistance to the chemotherapeutic temozolomide (TMZ) limits any survival benefits conferred by the drug. Here we show that the convection-enhanced delivery of nanoparticles containing disulfide bonds (which are cleaved in the reductive environment of the tumour) and encapsulating an oxaliplatin prodrug and a cationic DNA intercalator inhibit the growth of TMZ-resistant cells from patient-derived xenografts, and hinder the progression of TMZ-resistant human glioblastoma tumours in mice without causing any detectable toxicity. Genome-wide RNA profiling and metabolomic analyses of a glioma cell line treated with the cationic intercalator or with TMZ showed substantial differences in the signalling and metabolic pathways altered by each drug. Our findings suggest that the combination of anticancer drugs with distinct mechanisms of action with selective drug release and convection-enhanced delivery may represent a translational strategy for the treatment of TMZ-resistant gliomas.
  3. Clin Cancer Res. 2021 May 24. pii: clincanres.3760.2020. [Epub ahead of print]
      PURPOSE: The blood brain barrier (BBB) inhibits adequate dosing/penetration of therapeutic agents to malignancies in the brain. Low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPU) is a safe therapeutic method of temporary blood-brain barrier disruption (BBBD) to enhance chemotherapeutic delivery to the tumor and surrounding brain parenchyma for treatment of glioblastoma.EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We investigated if LIPU could enhance therapeutic efficacy of anti-PD-1 in C57BL/6 mice bearing intracranial GL261 gliomas, epidermal growth factor receptor variant III (EGFRvIII) chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells in NSG mice with EGFRvIII-U87 gliomas, and a genetically-engineered antigen-presenting cell (APC)-based therapy producing the T cell attracting chemokine CXCL10 in the GL261-bearing mice.
    RESULTS: Mice treated with anti-PD-1 and LIPU-induced BBBD had a median survival duration of 58 days compared with 39 days for mice treated with anti-PD-1, and long-term survivors all remained alive after contralateral hemisphere rechallenge. CAR T cell administration with LIPU-induced BBBD resulted in significant increases in CAR T cell delivery to the CNS after 24 (p<0.005) and 72 (p<0.001) hours and increased median survival by greater than 129%, in comparison with CAR T cells alone. Local deposition of CXCL10-secreting APCs in the glioma microenvironment with LIPU enhanced T cell glioma infiltration during the therapeutic window (p=0.004) and markedly enhanced survival (p<0.05).
    CONCLUSIONS: LIPU increases immune therapeutic delivery to the tumor microenvironment with an associated increase in survival and is an emerging technique for enhancing novel therapies in the brain.
  4. Neuro Oncol. 2021 May 27. pii: noab126. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: The glioblastoma (GBM) mesenchymal (MES) phenotype, induced by NF-κB activation, is characterized by aggressive tumour progression and poor clinical outcomes. Our previous analysis indicated that MES GBM has a unique alternative splicing (AS) pattern; however, the underlying mechanism remains obscure. We aimed to reveal how splicing regulation contributes to MES phenotype promotion in GBM.METHODS: We screened novel candidate splicing factors that participate in NF-κB activation and MES phenotype promotion in GBM. In vitro and in vivo assays were used to explore the function of RSRP1 in MES GBM.
    RESULTS: Here, we identified that arginine/serine-rich protein 1 (RSRP1) promotes the MES phenotype by facilitating GBM cell invasion and apoptosis resistance. Proteomic, transcriptomic and functional analyses confirmed that RSRP1 regulates AS in MES GBM through mediating spliceosome assembly. One RSRP1-regulated AS event resulted in skipping PARP6 exon 18 to form truncated, oncogenic PARP6-s. This isoform was unable to effectively suppress NF-κB. Co-treatment of cultured GBM cells and GBM tumour-bearing mice with spliceosome and NF-κB inhibitors exerted a synergistic effect on MES GBM growth.
    CONCLUSION: We identified a novel mechanism through which RSRP1-dependent splicing promotes the GBM MES phenotype. Targeting AS via RSRP1-related spliceosomal factors might constitute a promising treatment for GBM.
    Keywords:  NF-κB; RSRP1; glioblastoma; mesenchymal phenotype; spliceosome
  5. Clin Cancer Res. 2021 May 23. pii: clincanres.4518.2020. [Epub ahead of print]
      PURPOSE: Five-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) is widely used as an intraoperative fluorescent probe for radical resection of high-grade glioma, and thus aids in extending progression-free survival of patients. However, there exist some cases where 5-ALA fails to fluoresce. In some other cases, it may undergo fluorescence quenching but cannot be orally re-administered during surgery. This study aimed to develop a novel hydroxymethyl rhodamine green (HMRG)-based fluorescence labeling system that can be repeatedly administered as a topical spray during surgery for the detection of glioblastoma.EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We performed a three-stage probe screening using tumor lysates and fresh tumor tissues with our probe library consisting of a variety of HMRG probes with different dipeptides. We then performed proteome and transcript expression analyses to detect candidate enzymes responsible for cleaving the probe. Moreover, in vitro and ex vivo studies using U87 glioblastoma cell line were conducted to validate the findings.
    RESULTS: The probe screening identified proline-arginine-HMRG (PR-HMRG) as the optimal probe that distinguished tumors from peritumoral tissues. Proteome analysis identified calpain-1 to be responsible for cleaving the probe. Calpain-1 was highly expressed in tumor tissues which reacted to the PR-HMRG probe. Knockdown of this enzyme suppressed fluorescence intensity in U87 glioblastoma cells. In situ assay using a mouse U87 xenograft model demonstrated marked contrast of fluorescence with the probe between the tumor and peritumoral tissues.
    CONCLUSIONS: The novel fluorescent probe PR-HMRG is effective in detecting glioblastoma when applied topically. Further investigations are warranted to assess the efficacy and safety of its clinical use.
  6. Neuro Oncol. 2021 May 29. pii: noab133. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: Antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), such as depatuxizumab mafodotin (Depatux-M), is a promising therapeutic strategy for glioblastoma (GBM) but recent clinical trials did not demonstrate a survival benefit. Understanding the mechanisms of failure for this promising strategy is critically important.METHODS: PDX models were employed to study efficacy of systemic vs intracranial delivery of Depatux-M. Immunofluorescence and MALDI-MSI were performed to detect drug levels in the brain. EGFR levels and compensatory pathways were studied using quantitative flow cytometry, Western blots, RNAseq, FISH and phosphoproteomics.
    RESULTS: Systemic delivery of Depatux-M was highly effective in nine of 10 EGFR-amplified heterotopic PDXs with survival extending beyond one year in eight PDXs. Acquired resistance in two PDXs (GBM12 and GBM46) was driven by suppression of EGFR expression or emergence of a novel short-variant of EGFR lacking the epitope for the Depatux-M antibody. In contrast to the profound benefit observed in heterotopic tumors, only two of seven intrinsically sensitive PDXs were responsive to Depatux-M as intracranial tumors. Poor efficacy in orthotopic PDXs was associated with limited and heterogeneous distribution of Depatux-M into tumor tissues, and artificial disruption of the BBB or bypass of the BBB by direct intracranial injection of Depatux-M into orthotopic tumors markedly enhanced the efficacy of drug treatment.
    CONCLUSIONS: Despite profound intrinsic sensitivity to Depatux-M, limited drug delivery into brain tumor may have been a key contributor to lack of efficacy in recently failed clinical trials.
    Keywords:  Antibody drug conjugates; Blood-brain barrier; Depatux-M; EGFR; Glioblastoma
  7. Front Immunol. 2021 ;12 637146
      Glioblastoma (GBM) remains an aggressive brain tumor with a high rate of mortality. Immune checkpoint (IC) molecules are expressed on tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) and promote T cell exhaustion upon binding to IC ligands expressed by the tumor cells. Interfering with IC pathways with immunotherapy has promoted reactivation of anti-tumor immunity and led to success in several malignancies. However, IC inhibitors have achieved limited success in GBM patients, suggesting that other checkpoint molecules may be involved with suppressing TIL responses. Numerous IC pathways have been described, with current testing of inhibitors underway in multiple clinical trials. Identification of the most promising checkpoint pathways may be useful to guide the future trials for GBM. Here, we analyzed the The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) transcriptomic database and identified PD1 and TIGIT as top putative targets for GBM immunotherapy. Additionally, dual blockade of PD1 and TIGIT improved survival and augmented CD8+ TIL accumulation and functions in a murine GBM model compared with either single agent alone. Furthermore, we demonstrated that this combination immunotherapy affected granulocytic/polymorphonuclear (PMN) myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) but not monocytic (Mo) MDSCs in in our murine gliomas. Importantly, we showed that suppressive myeloid cells express PD1, PD-L1, and TIGIT-ligands in human GBM tissue, and demonstrated that antigen specific T cell proliferation that is inhibited by immunosuppressive myeloid cells can be restored by TIGIT/PD1 blockade. Our data provide new insights into mechanisms of GBM αPD1/αTIGIT immunotherapy.
    Keywords:  MDSCs; PD1; TIGIT; gene network analyses; glioblastoma; immunotherapy; myeloid suppressor cell
  8. Cancer Discov. 2021 May 26. pii: candisc.1437.2020. [Epub ahead of print]
      Glioblastoma (GBM) is highly resistant to chemo- and immune-based therapies and targeted inhibitors. To identify novel drug targets, we screened orthotopically implanted, patient-derived glioblastoma sphere-forming cells (GSCs) using an RNAi library to probe essential tumor cell metabolic programs. This identified high dependence on mitochondrial fatty acid metabolism. We focused on medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (MCAD), which oxidizes medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), due to its consistently high score and high expression among models and upregulation in GBM compared to normal brain. Beyond the expected energetics impairment, MCAD depletion in primary GBM models induced an irreversible cascade of detrimental metabolic effects characterized by accumulation of unmetabolized MCFAs, which induced lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress, irreversible mitochondrial damage, and apoptosis. Our data uncover a novel protective role for MCAD to clear lipid molecules that may cause lethal cell damage, suggesting that therapeutic targeting of MCFA catabolism could exploit a key metabolic feature of GBM.
  9. Sci Rep. 2021 May 27. 11(1): 11223
      Amide proton transfer (APT) imaging is a magnetic resonance (MR) molecular imaging technique that is sensitive to mobile proteins and peptides in living tissue. Studies have shown that APT-related signal intensity (APTSI) parallels with the malignancy grade of gliomas, allowing the preoperative assessment of tumor grades. An increased APTSI in malignant gliomas has been attributed to cytosolic proteins and peptides in proliferating tumor cells; however, the exact underlying mechanism is poorly understood. To get an insight into the mechanism of high APTSI in malignant gliomas, we investigated the correlations between APTSI and several MR imaging parameters including apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), relative cerebral blood volume and pharmacokinetic parameters obtained in the same regions-of-interest in 22 high-grade gliomas. We found a significant positive correlation between APTSI and ADC (ρ = 0.625 and 0.490 for observers 1 and 2, respectively; p < 0.001 for both), which is known to be inversely correlated with cell density. Multiple regression analysis revealed that ADC was significantly associated with APTSI (p < 0.001 for both observers). Our results suggest possible roles of extracellular proteins and peptides in high APTSI in malignant gliomas.
  10. STAR Protoc. 2021 Jun 18. 2(2): 100534
      Tumor organoids and patient-derived orthotopic xenografts (PDOXs) are some of the most valuable pre-clinical tools in cancer research. In this protocol, we describe efficient derivation of organoids and PDOX models from glioma patient tumors. We provide detailed steps for organoid culture, intracranial implantation, and detection of tumors in the brain. We further present technical adjustments for standardized functional assays and drug testing. For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Golebiewska et al. (2020).
    Keywords:  Cancer; Cell Biology; Cell culture; Cell isolation; Model Organisms; Neuroscience; Organoids
  11. Nature. 2021 May 26.
      Neurons have recently emerged as essential cellular constituents of the tumour microenvironment, and their activity has been shown to increase the growth of a diverse number of solid tumours1. Although the role of neurons in tumour progression has previously been demonstrated2, the importance of neuronal activity to tumour initiation is less clear-particularly in the setting of cancer predisposition syndromes. Fifteen per cent of individuals with the neurofibromatosis 1 (NF1) cancer predisposition syndrome (in which tumours arise in close association with nerves) develop low-grade neoplasms of the optic pathway (known as optic pathway gliomas (OPGs)) during early childhood3,4, raising  the possibility that postnatal light-induced activity of the optic nerve drives tumour initiation. Here we use an authenticated mouse model of OPG driven by mutations in the neurofibromatosis 1 tumour suppressor gene (Nf1)5 to demonstrate that stimulation of optic nerve activity increases optic glioma growth, and that decreasing visual experience via light deprivation prevents tumour formation and maintenance. We show that the initiation of Nf1-driven OPGs (Nf1-OPGs) depends on visual experience during a developmental period in which Nf1-mutant mice are susceptible to tumorigenesis. Germline Nf1 mutation in retinal neurons results in aberrantly increased shedding of neuroligin 3 (NLGN3) within the optic nerve in response to retinal neuronal activity. Moreover, genetic Nlgn3 loss or pharmacological inhibition of NLGN3 shedding blocks the formation and progression of Nf1-OPGs. Collectively, our studies establish an obligate role for neuronal activity in the development of some types of brain tumours, elucidate a therapeutic strategy to reduce OPG incidence or mitigate tumour progression, and underscore the role of Nf1mutation-mediated dysregulation of neuronal signalling pathways in mouse models of the NF1 cancer predisposition syndrome.
  12. Neuro Oncol. 2021 May 25. pii: noab123. [Epub ahead of print]
  13. Sci Rep. 2021 May 25. 11(1): 10942
      Deep learning is a promising method for medical image analysis because it can automatically acquire meaningful representations from raw data. However, a technical challenge lies in the difficulty of determining which types of internal representation are associated with a specific task, because feature vectors can vary dynamically according to individual inputs. Here, based on the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of gliomas, we propose a novel method to extract a shareable set of feature vectors that encode various parts in tumor imaging phenotypes. By applying vector quantization to latent representations, features extracted by an encoder are replaced with a fixed set of feature vectors. Hence, the set of feature vectors can be used in downstream tasks as imaging markers, which we call deep radiomics. Using deep radiomics, a classifier is established using logistic regression to predict the glioma grade with 90% accuracy. We also devise an algorithm to visualize the image region encoded by each feature vector, and demonstrate that the classification model preferentially relies on feature vectors associated with the presence or absence of contrast enhancement in tumor regions. Our proposal provides a data-driven approach to enhance the understanding of the imaging appearance of gliomas.