bims-malgli Biomed News
on Biology of malignant gliomas
Issue of 2021‒06‒27
nine papers selected by
Oltea Sampetrean
Keio University

  1. Acta Neuropathol. 2021 Jun 20.
      The Consortium to Inform Molecular and Practical Approaches to CNS Tumor Taxonomy (cIMPACT-NOW) update 3 recommends that histologic grade II and III IDH-wildtype diffuse astrocytic gliomas that harbor EGFR amplification, the combination of whole chromosome 7 gain and whole chromosome 10 loss (7 + /10 -), or TERT promoter (pTERT) mutations should be considered as glioblastomas (GBM), World Health Organization grade IV. In this retrospective study, we examined the utility of molecular classification based on pTERT status and copy-number alterations (CNAs) in IDH-wildtype lower grade gliomas (LGGs, grade II, and III). The impact on survival was evaluated for the pTERT mutation and CNAs, including EGFR gain/amplification, PTEN loss, CDKN2A homozygous deletion, and PDGFRA gain/amplification. We analyzed 46 patients with IDH-wildtype/pTERT-mutant (mut) LGGs and 85 with IDH-wildtype/pTERT-wildtype LGGs. EGFR amplification and a combination of EGFR gain and PTEN loss (EGFR + /PTEN -) were significantly more frequent in pTERT-mut patients (p < 0.0001). Cox regression analysis showed that the pTERT mutation was a significant predictor of poor prognosis (hazard ratio [HR] 2.79, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.55-4.89, p = 0.0008), but neither EGFR amplification nor EGFR + /PTEN - was an independent prognostic factor in IDH-wildtype LGGs. PDGFRA gain/amplification was a significant poor prognostic factor in IDH-wildtype/pTERT-wildtype LGGs (HR 2.44, 95% CI 1.09-5.27, p = 0.03, Cox regression analysis). The IDH-wildtype LGGs with either pTERT-mut or PDGFRA amplification were mostly clustered with GBM by DNA methylation analysis. Thus, our study suggests that analysis of pTERT mutation status is necessary and sufficient to diagnose IDH-wildtype diffuse astrocytic gliomas with molecular features of glioblastoma. The PDGFRA status may help further delineate IDH-wildtype/pTERT-wildtype LGGs. Methylation profiling showed that IDH-wildtype LGGs without molecular features of GBM were a heterogeneous group of tumors. Some of them did not fall into existing categories and had significantly better prognoses than those clustered with GBM.
    Keywords:  Copy-number alteration; IDH-wildtype; Lower grade glioma; TERT promoter mutation
  2. Front Cell Neurosci. 2021 ;15 663092
      Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common and malignant form of primary brain tumor with a median survival time of 14-16 months in GBM patients. Surgical treatment with chemotherapy and radiotherapy may help increase survival by removing GBM from the brain. However, complete surgical resection to eliminate GBM is almost impossible due to its high invasiveness. When GBM cells migrate to the brain, they interact with various cells, including astrocytes, neurons, endothelial cells, and the extracellular matrix (ECM). They can also make their cell body shrink to infiltrate into narrow spaces in the brain; thereby, they can invade regions of the brain and escape from surgery. Brain tumor cells create an appropriate microenvironment for migration and invasion by modifying and degrading the ECM. During those processes, the Ca2+ signaling pathway and other signaling cascades mediated by various ion channels contribute mainly to gene expression, motility, and invasion of GBM cells. Furthermore, GBM cells release glutamate, affecting migration via activation of ionotropic glutamate receptors in an autocrine manner. This review focuses on the cellular mechanisms of glioblastoma invasion and motility related to ECM, Ca2+ signaling, and glutamate. Finally, we discuss possible therapeutic interventions to inhibit invasion by GBM cells.
    Keywords:  Ca2+; extracellular matrix; glioblastoma; glutamate; invasion; ion channels
  3. Cancer Invest. 2021 Jun 21. 1-14
      We compared the morphological aspect of glioblastoma associated microglia/macrophages cells in 15 paired recurrent glioblastomas to check the ability of glioblastoma to recreate its microenvironment. The absolute number of GAMs is lower in normal tissue (21/mm2) than in the isolated tumor cells area (100-112/mm2) than in the solid tumor area (212-220/mm2) (p < 0.01). The morphology of GAMs remained the same in each tumor area with a reduced covered area by cell processes (196 to 216/mm2) than in normal tissue (708/mm2) (p < 0.01). In paired tumors, GAMs morphology remained the same in successive resections and was not modified by the treatments.
    Keywords:  Glioblastoma; Human; Macrophages; Microglia; Tumor Microenvironment
  4. Clin Transl Oncol. 2021 Jun 21.
      Rethinking IDH-wildtype glioblastoma through its unique features can help researchers find innovative and effective treatments. It is currently emerging that, after decades of therapeutic impasse, some traditional concepts regarding IDH-wildtype glioblastoma need to be supplemented and updated to overcome therapeutic resistance. Indeed, multiple clinical aspects and recent indirect and direct experimental data are providing evidence that the supratentorial brain parenchyma becomes entirely and quiescently micro-infiltrated long before primary tumor bulk growth. Furthermore, they are indicating that the known micro-infiltration that occurs during the IDH-wildtype glioblastoma growth and evolution is not at the origin of distant relapses. It follows that the ubiquitous supratentorial brain parenchyma micro-infiltration as a source for the development of widespread distant recurrences is actually due to the silent stage that precedes tumor growth rather than to the latter. All this implies that, in addition to the heterogeneity of the primary bulk, there is a second crucial cause of therapeutic resistance that has never hitherto been identified and challenged. In this regard, the ancestral founder cancer stem cell (CSC) appears as the key cell that can link the two causes of resistance.
    Keywords:  Ancestral founder cancer stem cell; Inverse paradigm; Three steps to IDH-wildtype glioblastoma; Two causes of therapeutic resistance; Two widespread micro-infiltrations
  5. Front Neuroanat. 2021 ;15 679405
      Background: Intraventricular penetration is rare in glioblastoma (GBM). Whether the ependymal region including the ependyma and subventricular zone (SVZ) can prevent GBM invasion remains unclear.Methods: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and haematoxylin-eosin (HE) staining were performed to evaluate the size and anatomical locations of GBM. Binary logistic regression analysis was used to assess the correlation between tumor-ependyma contact, ventricle penetration and clinical characteristics. Cell migration and invasion were assessed via Transwell assays and an orthotopic transplantation model.
    Results: Among 357 patients with GBM, the majority (66%) showed ependymal region contact, and 34 patients (10%) showed ventricle penetration of GBM. GBM cells were spread along the ependyma in the orthotopic transplantation model. The longest tumor diameter was an independent risk factor for GBM-ependymal region contact, as demonstrated by univariate (OR = 1.706, p < 0.0001) and multivariate logistic regression analyses (OR = 1.767, p < 0.0001), but was not associated with ventricle penetration. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) could significantly induce tumor cell migration (p < 0.0001), and GBM could grow in CSF. Compared with those from the cortex, cells from the ependymal region attenuated the invasion of C6 whether cocultured with C6 or mixed with Matrigel (p = 0.0054 and p = 0.0488). Immunofluorescence analysis shows a thin gap with GFAP expression delimiting the tumor and ependymal region.
    Conclusion: The ependymal region might restrict GBM cells from entering the ventricle via a non-mechanical force. Further studies in this area may reveal mechanisms that occur in GBM patients and may enable the design of new therapeutic strategies.
    Keywords:  ependymal; glioblastoma; penetration; subventricular zone; ventricle
  6. Cancer Metab. 2021 Jun 25. 9(1): 27
      BACKGROUND: Reprogramming of metabolic pathways is crucial to satisfy the bioenergetic and biosynthetic demands and maintain the redox status of rapidly proliferating cancer cells. In tumors, the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle generates biosynthetic intermediates and must be replenished (anaplerosis), mainly from pyruvate and glutamine. We recently described a novel enolase inhibitor, HEX, and its pro-drug POMHEX. Since glycolysis inhibition would deprive the cell of a key source of pyruvate, we hypothesized that enolase inhibitors might inhibit anaplerosis and synergize with other inhibitors of anaplerosis, such as the glutaminase inhibitor, CB-839.METHODS: We analyzed polar metabolites in sensitive (ENO1-deleted) and resistant (ENO1-WT) glioma cells treated with enolase and glutaminase inhibitors. We investigated whether sensitivity to enolase inhibitors could be attenuated by exogenous anaplerotic metabolites. We also determined the synergy between enolase inhibitors and the glutaminase inhibitor CB-839 in glioma cells in vitro and in vivo in both intracranial and subcutaneous tumor models.
    RESULTS: Metabolomic profiling of ENO1-deleted glioma cells treated with the enolase inhibitor revealed a profound decrease in the TCA cycle metabolites with the toxicity reversible upon exogenous supplementation of supraphysiological levels of anaplerotic substrates, including pyruvate. ENO1-deleted cells also exhibited selective sensitivity to the glutaminase inhibitor CB-839, in a manner rescuable by supplementation of anaplerotic substrates or plasma-like media PlasmaxTM. In vitro, the interaction of these two drugs yielded a strong synergistic interaction but the antineoplastic effects of CB-839 as a single agent in ENO1-deleted xenograft tumors in vivo were modest in both intracranial orthotopic tumors, where the limited efficacy could be attributed to the blood-brain barrier (BBB), and subcutaneous xenografts, where BBB penetration is not an issue. This contrasts with the enolase inhibitor HEX, which, despite its negative charge, achieved antineoplastic effects in both intracranial and subcutaneous tumors.
    CONCLUSION: Together, these data suggest that at least for ENO1-deleted gliomas, tumors in vivo-unlike cells in culture-show limited dependence on glutaminolysis and instead primarily depend on glycolysis for anaplerosis. Our findings reinforce the previously reported metabolic idiosyncrasies of in vitro culture and suggest that cell culture media nutrient composition more faithful to the in vivo environment will more accurately predict in vivo efficacy of metabolism targeting drugs.
    Keywords:  Anaplerosis; CB-839; Cancer metabolism; Collateral lethality; Enolase inhibitor; Glutaminolysis; Glycolysis; POMHEX
  7. Nat Commun. 2021 06 23. 12(1): 3895
      Brain tumors are typically immunosuppressive and refractory to immunotherapies for reasons that remain poorly understood. The unbiased profiling of immune cell types in the tumor microenvironment may reveal immunologic networks affecting therapy and course of disease. Here we identify and validate the presence of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) within glioblastoma tissues. Furthermore, we demonstrate a positive link of tumor-associated HSPCs with malignant and immunosuppressive phenotypes. Compared to the medullary hematopoietic compartment, tumor-associated HSPCs contain a higher fraction of immunophenotypically and transcriptomically immature, CD38- cells, such as hematopoietic stem cells and multipotent progenitors, express genes related to glioblastoma progression and display signatures of active cell cycle phases. When cultured ex vivo, tumor-associated HSPCs form myeloid colonies, suggesting potential in situ myelopoiesis. In experimental models, HSPCs promote tumor cell proliferation, expression of the immune checkpoint PD-L1 and secretion of tumor promoting cytokines such as IL-6, IL-8 and CCL2, indicating concomitant support of both malignancy and immunosuppression. In patients, the amount of tumor-associated HSPCs in tumor tissues is prognostic for patient survival and correlates with immunosuppressive phenotypes. These findings identify an important element in the complex landscape of glioblastoma that may serve as a target for brain tumor immunotherapies.
  8. J Histochem Cytochem. 2021 Jun 24. 221554211025482
      Brain tumors in adults may be infrequent when compared with other cancer etiologies, but they remain one of the deadliest with bleak survival rates. Current treatment modalities encompass surgical resection, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. However, increasing resistance rates are being witnessed, and this has been attributed, in part, to cancer stem cells (CSCs). CSCs are a subpopulation of cancer cells that reside within the tumor bulk and have the capacity for self-renewal and can differentiate and proliferate into multiple cell lineages. Studying those CSCs enables an increasing understanding of carcinogenesis, and targeting CSCs may overcome existing treatment resistance. One approach to weaponize new drugs is to target these CSCs through drug repurposing which entails using drugs, which are Food and Drug Administration-approved and safe for one defined disease, for a new indication. This approach serves to save both time and money that would otherwise be spent in designing a totally new therapy. In this review, we will illustrate drug repurposing strategies that have been used in brain tumors and then further elaborate on how these approaches, specifically those that target the resident CSCs, can help take the field of drug repurposing to a new level.
    Keywords:  angiogenesis; brain tumors; cancer stem cells; drug repurposing; glioblastoma; meningioma; stemness; tumor heterogeneity; tumor immune infiltrate; tumor microenvironment
  9. Science. 2021 06 11. 372(6547): 1205-1209
      Quiescent neural stem cells (NSCs) in the adult mouse ventricular-subventricular zone (V-SVZ) undergo activation to generate neurons and some glia. Here we show that platelet-derived growth factor receptor beta (PDGFRβ) is expressed by adult V-SVZ NSCs that generate olfactory bulb interneurons and glia. Selective deletion of PDGFRβ in adult V-SVZ NSCs leads to their release from quiescence, uncovering gliogenic domains for different glial cell types. These domains are also recruited upon injury. We identify an intraventricular oligodendrocyte progenitor derived from NSCs inside the brain ventricles that contacts supraependymal axons. Together, our findings reveal that the adult V-SVZ contains spatial domains for gliogenesis, in addition to those for neurogenesis. These gliogenic NSC domains tend to be quiescent under homeostasis and may contribute to brain plasticity.