bims-malgli Biomed News
on Biology of malignant gliomas
Issue of 2022‒01‒09
nine papers selected by
Oltea Sampetrean
Keio University

  1. Neuro Oncol. 2022 Jan 04. pii: noac001. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: Tumor invasion, a hallmark of malignant gliomas, involves reorganization of cell polarity and changes in the expression and distribution of scaffolding proteins associated with polarity complexes. The scaffolding proteins of the DLG family are usually downregulated in invasive tumors and regarded as tumor suppressors. Despite their important role in regulating neurodevelopmental signaling, the expression and functions of DLG proteins have remained almost entirely unexplored in malignant gliomas.METHODS: Western blot, immunohistochemistry, and analysis of gene expression were used to quantify DLG members in glioma specimens and cancer datasets. Over-expression and knockdown of DLG5, the highest-expressed DLG member in glioblastoma, were used to investigate its effects on tumor stem cells and tumor growth. qRT-PCR, Western blotting, and co-precipitation assays were used to investigate DLG5 signaling mechanisms.
    RESULTS: DLG5 was upregulated in malignant gliomas compared to other solid tumors, being the predominant DLG member in all glioblastoma molecular subtypes. DLG5 promoted glioblastoma stem cell invasion, viability, and self-renewal. Knockdown of this protein in vivo disrupted tumor formation and extended survival. At the molecular level, DLG5 regulated Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) signaling, making DLG5-deficient cells insensitive to Shh ligand. Loss of DLG5 increased the proteasomal degradation of Gli1, underlying the loss of Shh signaling and tumor stem cell sensitization.
    CONCLUSIONS: The high expression and pro-tumoral functions of DLG5 in glioblastoma, including its dominant regulation of Shh signaling in tumor stem cells, reveal a novel role for this protein that is strikingly different from its proposed tumor-suppressor role in other solid tumors.
    Keywords:  GLI signaling; Shh signaling; glioma invasion; scaffold proteins; tumor stem cells
  2. Theranostics. 2022 ;12(1): 362-378
      Though surgical biopsies provide direct access to tissue for genomic characterization of brain cancer, they are invasive and pose significant clinical risks. Brain cancer management via blood-based liquid biopsies is a minimally invasive alternative; however, the blood-brain barrier (BBB) restricts the release of brain tumor-derived molecular biomarkers necessary for sensitive diagnosis. Methods: A mouse glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) model was used to demonstrate the capability of focused ultrasound (FUS)-enabled liquid biopsy (sonobiopsy) to improve the diagnostic sensitivity of brain tumor-specific genetic mutations compared with conventional blood-based liquid biopsy. Furthermore, a pig GBM model was developed to characterize the translational implications of sonobiopsy in humans. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided FUS sonication was performed in mice and pigs to locally enhance the BBB permeability of the GBM tumor. Contrast-enhanced T1-weighted MR images were acquired to evaluate the BBB permeability change. Blood was collected immediately after FUS sonication. Droplet digital PCR was used to quantify the levels of brain tumor-specific genetic mutations in the circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA). Histological staining was performed to evaluate the potential for off-target tissue damage by sonobiopsy. Results: Sonobiopsy improved the detection sensitivity of EGFRvIII from 7.14% to 64.71% and TERT C228T from 14.29% to 45.83% in the mouse GBM model. It also improved the diagnostic sensitivity of EGFRvIII from 28.57% to 100% and TERT C228T from 42.86% to 71.43% in the porcine GBM model. Conclusion: Sonobiopsy disrupts the BBB at the spatially-targeted brain location, releases tumor-derived DNA into the blood circulation, and enables timely collection of ctDNA. Converging evidence from both mouse and pig GBM models strongly supports the clinical translation of sonobiopsy for the minimally invasive, spatiotemporally-controlled, and sensitive molecular characterization of brain cancer.
    Keywords:  Image-guided focused ultrasound; blood-based liquid biopsy; blood-brain barrier; droplet digital PCR; glioblastoma mutation
  3. Neurooncol Adv. 2021 Jan-Dec;3(1):3(1): vdab176
      Background: Gliomas exhibit widespread bilateral functional connectivity (FC) alterations that may be associated with tumor grade. Limited studies have examined the connection-level mechanisms responsible for these effects. Given the typically strong FC observed between mirroring/homotopic brain regions in healthy subjects, we hypothesized that homotopic connectivity (HC) is altered in low-grade and high-grade glioma patients and the extent of disruption is associated with tumor grade and predictive of overall survival (OS) in a cohort of de novo high-grade glioma (World Health Organization [WHO] grade 4) patients.Methods: We used a mirrored FC-derived cortical parcellation to extract blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) signals and to quantify FC differences between homotopic pairs in normal-appearing brain in a retrospective cohort of glioma patients and healthy controls.
    Results: Fifty-nine glioma patients (WHO grade 2, n = 9; grade 4 = 50; mean age, 57.5 years) and 30 healthy subjects (mean age, 65.9 years) were analyzed. High-grade glioma patients showed lower HC compared with low-grade glioma patients and healthy controls across several cortical locations and resting-state networks. Connectivity disruptions were also strongly correlated with hemodynamic lags between homotopic regions. Finally, in high-grade glioma patients with known survival times (n = 42), HC in somatomotor and dorsal attention networks were significantly correlated with OS.
    Conclusions: These findings demonstrate an association between tumor grade and HC alterations that may underlie global FC changes and provide prognostic information.
    Keywords:  functional MRI; functional connectivity; glioma; homotopic connectivity; resting state
  4. Neurooncol Adv. 2021 Jan-Dec;3(1):3(1): vdab171
      Background: MGMT methylation in glioblastoma predicts response to temozolomide but dichotomizing methylation status may mask the true prognostic value of quantitative MGMT methylation. This study evaluated whether extent of MGMT methylation interacts with the effect of temozolomide on overall survival.Methods: We included consecutive glioblastoma patients aged ≥16 years diagnosed (April 2012-May 2020) at a neuro-oncology center. All patients had quantitative MGMT methylation measured using pyrosequencing. Those with MGMT methylated tumors were stratified into high and low methylation groups based on a cut-off using Youden index on 2-year survival. Our accelerated failure time survival models included extent of MGMT methylation, age, postoperative Karnofsky performance score, extent of resection, temozolomide regimen, and radiotherapy.
    Results: There were 414 patients. Optimal cut-off point using Youden index was 25.9% MGMT methylation. The number of patients in the unmethylated, low and high methylation groups was 223 (53.9%), 81 (19.6%), and 110 (26.6%), respectively. In the adjusted model, high (hazard ratio [HR] 0.60, 95% confidence intervals [CI] 0.46-0.79, P = 0.005) and low (HR 0.67, 95% CI 0.50-0.89, P < 0.001) methylation groups had better survival compared to unmethylated group. There was no evidence for interaction between MGMT methylation and completed temozolomide regimen (interaction term for low methylation P = 0.097; high methylation P = 0.071). This suggests no strong effect of MGMT status on survival in patients completing temozolomide regimen. In patients not completing the temozolomide regimen, higher MGMT methylation predicted better survival (interaction terms P < 0.001).
    Conclusions: Quantitative MGMT methylation may provide additional prognostic value. This is important when assessing clinical and research therapies.
    Keywords:  GBM; O-6 methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase; Temodal; effect modification
  5. Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2022 Jan 03. 10(1): 1
      We previously identified matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2) and MMP9 plasma levels as candidate biomarkers of bevacizumab activity in patients with recurrent glioblastoma. The aim of this study was to assess the predictive value of MMP2 and MMP9 in a randomized phase III trial in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma and to explore their tumor source. In this post hoc analysis of the AVAglio trial (AVAGlio/NCT00943826), plasma samples from 577 patients (bevacizumab, n = 283; placebo, n = 294) were analyzed for plasma MMP9 and MMP2 levels by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. A prospective local cohort of 38 patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma was developed for analysis of tumor characteristics by magnetic resonance imaging and measurement of plasma and tumor levels of MMP9 and MMP2. In this AVAglio study, MMP9, but not MMP2, was correlated with bevacizumab efficacy. Patients with low MMP9 derived a significant 5.2-month overall survival (OS) benefit with bevacizumab (HR 0.51, 95% CI 0.34-0.76, p = 0.0009; median 13.6 vs. 18.8 months). In multivariate analysis, a significant interaction was seen between treatment and MMP9 (p = 0.03) for OS. In the local cohort, we showed that preoperative MMP9 plasma levels decreased after tumor resection and were correlated with tumor levels of MMP9 mRNA (p = 0.03). However, plasma MMP9 was not correlated with tumor size, invasive pattern, or angiogenesis. Using immunohistochemistry, we showed that MMP9 was expressed by inflammatory cells but not by tumor cells. After cell sorting, we showed that MMP9 was expressed by CD45+ immune cells. Finally, using flow cytometry, we showed that MMP9 was expressed by tumor-infiltrating neutrophils. In conclusion, circulating MMP9 is predictive of bevacizumab efficacy and is released by tumor-infiltrating neutrophils.
    Keywords:  Bevacizumab; Glioblastoma; MMP9; Neutrophils; Predictive biomarker
  6. Neuro Oncol. 2022 Jan 05. pii: noac003. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: Uncontrolled seizures in patients with gliomas have a significant impact on quality of life and morbidity, yet the mechanisms through which these tumors cause seizures remain unknown. Here, we hypothesize that the active metabolite D-2-hydroxyglutarate (D-2-HG) produced by the IDH-mutant enzyme leads to metabolic disruptions in surrounding cortical neurons that consequently promote seizures.METHODS: We use a complementary study of in vitro neuron-glial cultures and electrographically sorted human cortical tissue from patients with IDH-mutant gliomas to test this hypothesis. We utilize micro-electrode arrays for in vitro electrophysiological studies in combination with pharmacological manipulations and biochemical studies in order to better elucidate the impact of D-2-HG on cortical metabolism and neuronal spiking activity.
    RESULTS: We demonstrate that D-2-HG leads to increased neuronal spiking activity and promotes a distinct metabolic profile in surrounding neurons, evidenced by distinct metabolomic shifts and increased LDHA expression, as well as upregulation of mTOR signaling. The increases in neuronal activity are induced by mTOR activation and reversed with mTOR inhibition.
    CONCLUSION: Together, our data suggest that metabolic disruptions in the surrounding cortex due to D-2-HG may be a driving event for epileptogenesis in patients with IDH-mutant gliomas.
    Keywords:  D-2-HG; IDH mutated gliomas; Tumor related epilepsy; mTOR
  7. Neurooncol Adv. 2021 Jan-Dec;3(1):3(1): vdab169
      Background: Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is a fatal childhood brainstem tumor for which radiation is the only treatment. Case studies report a clinical response to ONC201 for patients with H3K27M-mutant gliomas. Oncoceutics (ONC201) is only available in the United States and Japan; however, in Germany, DIPG patients can be prescribed and dispensed a locally produced compound-ONC201 German-sourced ONC201 (GsONC201). Pediatric oncologists face the dilemma of supporting the administration of GsONC201 as conjecture surrounds its authenticity. Therefore, we compared GsONC201 to original ONC201 manufactured by Oncoceutics Inc.Methods: Authenticity of GsONC201 was determined by high-resolution mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Biological activity was shown via assessment of on-target effects, in vitro growth, proliferation, and apoptosis analysis. Patient-derived xenograft mouse models were used to assess plasma and brain tissue pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and overall survival (OS). The clinical experience of 28 H3K27M+ mutant DIPG patients who received GsONC201 (2017-2020) was analyzed.
    Results: GsONC201 harbored the authentic structure, however, was formulated as a free base rather than the dihydrochloride salt used in clinical trials. GsONC201 in vitro and in vivo efficacy and drug bioavailability studies showed no difference compared to Oncoceutics ONC201. Patients treated with GsONC201 (n = 28) showed a median OS of 18 months (P = .0007). GsONC201 patients who underwent reirradiation showed a median OS of 22 months compared to 12 months for GsONC201 patients who did not (P = .012).
    Conclusions: This study confirms the biological activity of GsONC201 and documents the OS of patients who received the drug; however, GsONC201 was never used as a monotherapy.
    Keywords:  ONC201; diffuse intrinsic; diffuse midline glioma; pontine glioma
  8. Sci Rep. 2022 Jan 07. 12(1): 57
      Mutations in isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) and IDH2 are oncogenic drivers to a variable extent in several tumors, including gliomas, acute myeloid leukemia (AML), cholangiocarcinoma, melanoma, and thyroid carcinoma. The pathobiological effects of these mutations vary considerably, impeding the identification of common expression profiles. We performed an expression meta-analysis between IDH-mutant (IDHmut) and IDH-wild-type (IDHwt) conditions in six human and mouse isogenic disease models. The datasets included colon cancer cells, glioma cells, heart tissue, hepatoblasts, and neural stem cells. Among differentially expressed genes (DEGs), serine protease 23 (PRSS23) was upregulated in four datasets, i.e., in human colon carcinoma cells, mouse heart tissue, mouse neural stem cells, and human glioma cells. Carbonic anhydrase 2 (CA2) and prolyl 3-hydroxylase 2 (P3H2) were upregulated in three datasets, and SOX2 overlapping transcript (SOX2-OT) was downregulated in three datasets. The most significantly overrepresented protein class was termed intercellular signal molecules. An additional DEG set contained genes that were both up- and downregulated in different datasets and included oxidases and extracellular matrix structural proteins as the most significantly overrepresented protein classes. In conclusion, this meta-analysis provides a comprehensive overview of the expression effects of IDH mutations shared between different isogenic disease models. The generated dataset includes biomarkers, e.g., PRSS23 that may gain relevance for further research or clinical applications in IDHmut tumors.