bims-malgli Biomed News
on Biology of malignant gliomas
Issue of 2023‒03‒26
eight papers selected by
Oltea Sampetrean
Keio University

  1. bioRxiv. 2023 Mar 06. pii: 2023.03.05.531162. [Epub ahead of print]
      Background: Glioblastoma (GBM) evades the immune system by creating an immune-suppressive tumor microenvironment (TME), where GBM-associated myeloid cells are geared towards tumor-supportive roles. However, it is unclear whether recruited myeloid cells are phenotypically and functionally identical. Here, we aim to understand the TME heterogeneity in GBM patients recapitulated in patient-derived orthotopic xenografts (PDOXs) and systematically characterize myeloid cell type identities at the molecular and functional level.Methods: We applied single-cell RNA-sequencing and spatial transcriptomics, multicolor flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry and functional assays to examine the heterogeneity of the TME in GBM. Various GBM PDOXs representing different tumor phenotypes were analyzed and compared to the patient tumors, normal brain and mouse GL261 glioma model.
    Results: PDOX models recapitulate the major components of the TME detected in human GBM, where tumor cells reciprocally interact with host cells to create a GBM-specific TME. We detect the most prominent transcriptomic adaptations in myeloid cells, which are largely of microglial origin. We reveal intra-tumoral heterogeneity of microglia and identify diverse phenotypic states across distinct GBM landscapes and tumor niches. GBM-educated microglia acquire dendritic cell-like features, displaying increased migration and phagocytosis. We further find novel microglial states expressing astrocytic and endothelial markers. Lastly, we show that temozolomide (TMZ) treatment leads to transcriptomic plasticity of both GBM tumor cells and adjacent TME components.
    Conclusions: Our data provide insight into the phenotypic adaptation of the heterogeneous TME instructed by GBM. We uncover that GBM-educated microglia are represented by various concomitant states, both in patients and recapitulated in PDOXs, displaying different pro- or anti-tumoral properties that are modulated by anti-neoplastic treatments, such as TMZ.
    KEY POINTS: GBM-educated tumor microenvironment is faithfully recapitulated and modulated in PDOX modelsMicroglia represent an essential myeloid cell population in the GBM microenvironmentGBM-educated microglia acquire heterogeneous transcriptomic states across distinct tumor nichesGBM-educated microglia subsets display phagocytic and dendritic cell-like gene expression programs, which are modulated upon TMZ treatment.
    IMPORTANCE OF THE STUDY: This manuscript addresses tumor-immune interactions in GBM, focusing on the molecular changes of the myeloid compartment. We find that myeloid cells, the most abundant immune cell population in brain tumors, undergo the most prominent transcriptional adaptation in the TME. Resident microglia represent the main myeloid cell population in the cellular tumor, while peripheral-derived myeloid cells appear to infiltrate the brain at sites of blood-brain barrier disruption. We identify reactive dendritic cell-like gene expression programs associated with enhanced phagocytic and antigen-presentation features in GBM-educated microglia subsets that might be harnessed for novel immunotherapeutic approaches. Overall, PDOX models faithfully recapitulate the major components of the GBM-educated TME and allow assessment of phenotypic changes in the GBM ecosystem upon treatment.
  2. Nat Commun. 2023 Mar 22. 14(1): 1566
      Whereas the contribution of tumor microenvironment to the profound immune suppression of glioblastoma (GBM) is clear, tumor-cell intrinsic mechanisms that regulate resistance to CD8 T cell mediated killing are less understood. Kinases are potentially druggable targets that drive tumor progression and might influence immune response. Here, we perform an in vivo CRISPR screen to identify glioma intrinsic kinases that contribute to evasion of tumor cells from CD8 T cell recognition. The screen reveals checkpoint kinase 2 (Chek2) to be the most important kinase contributing to escape from CD8 T-cell recognition. Genetic depletion or pharmacological inhibition of Chek2 with blood-brain-barrier permeable drugs that are currently being evaluated in clinical trials, in combination with PD-1 or PD-L1 blockade, lead to survival benefit in multiple preclinical glioma models. Mechanistically, loss of Chek2 enhances antigen presentation, STING pathway activation and PD-L1 expression in mouse gliomas. Analysis of human GBMs demonstrates that Chek2 expression is inversely associated with antigen presentation and T-cell activation. Collectively, these results support Chek2 as a promising target for enhancement of response to immune checkpoint blockade therapy in GBM.
  3. Nat Med. 2023 Mar 23.
      Molecular classification has transformed the management of brain tumors by enabling more accurate prognostication and personalized treatment. However, timely molecular diagnostic testing for patients with brain tumors is limited, complicating surgical and adjuvant treatment and obstructing clinical trial enrollment. In this study, we developed DeepGlioma, a rapid (<90 seconds), artificial-intelligence-based diagnostic screening system to streamline the molecular diagnosis of diffuse gliomas. DeepGlioma is trained using a multimodal dataset that includes stimulated Raman histology (SRH); a rapid, label-free, non-consumptive, optical imaging method; and large-scale, public genomic data. In a prospective, multicenter, international testing cohort of patients with diffuse glioma (n = 153) who underwent real-time SRH imaging, we demonstrate that DeepGlioma can predict the molecular alterations used by the World Health Organization to define the adult-type diffuse glioma taxonomy (IDH mutation, 1p19q co-deletion and ATRX mutation), achieving a mean molecular classification accuracy of 93.3 ± 1.6%. Our results represent how artificial intelligence and optical histology can be used to provide a rapid and scalable adjunct to wet lab methods for the molecular screening of patients with diffuse glioma.
  4. Nat Commun. 2023 Mar 22. 14(1): 1578
      Diffuse infiltration is the main reason for therapeutic resistance and recurrence in glioblastoma (GBM). However, potential targeted therapies for GBM stem-like cell (GSC) which is responsible for GBM invasion are limited. Herein, we report Insulin-like Growth Factor-Binding Protein 5 (IGFBP5) is a ligand for Receptor tyrosine kinase like Orphan Receptor 1 (ROR1), as a promising target for GSC invasion. Using a GSC-derived brain tumor model, GSCs were characterized into invasive or non-invasive subtypes, and RNA sequencing analysis revealed that IGFBP5 was differentially expressed between these two subtypes. GSC invasion capacity was inhibited by IGFBP5 knockdown and enhanced by IGFBP5 overexpression both in vitro and in vivo, particularly in a patient-derived xenograft model. IGFBP5 binds to ROR1 and facilitates ROR1/HER2 heterodimer formation, followed by inducing CREB-mediated ETV5 and FBXW9 expression, thereby promoting GSC invasion and tumorigenesis. Importantly, using a tumor-specific targeting and penetrating nanocapsule-mediated delivery of CRISPR/Cas9-based IGFBP5 gene editing significantly suppressed GSC invasion and downstream gene expression, and prolonged the survival of orthotopic tumor-bearing mice. Collectively, our data reveal that IGFBP5-ROR1/HER2-CREB signaling axis as a potential GBM therapeutic target.
  5. Neuro Oncol. 2023 Mar 19. pii: noad060. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: Glioblastomas (GBMs) display striking dysregulation of metabolism to promote tumor growth. Glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs) adapt to regions of heterogeneous nutrient availability, yet display dependency on de novo cholesterol biosynthesis. The transcription factor Sterol Regulatory Element-Binding Protein 2 (SREBP2) regulates cholesterol biosynthesis enzymes and uptake receptor. Here, we investigate adaptive behavior of GSCs under different cholesterol supplies.METHODS: In silico analysis of patient tumors demonstrated enrichment of cholesterol synthesis associated with decreased angiogenesis. Comparative gene expression of cholesterol biosynthesis enzymes in paired GBM specimens and GSCs were performed. In vitro and in vivo loss-of-function genetic and pharmacologic assays were conducted to evaluate the effect of SREBP2 on GBM cholesterol biosynthesis, proliferation, and self-renewal. ChIP-qPCR was leveraged to map the regulation of SREBP2 to cholesterol biosynthesis enzymes and uptake receptor in GSCs.
    RESULTS: Cholesterol biosynthetic enzymes were expressed at higher levels in GBM tumor cores than invasive margins. SREBP2 promoted cholesterol biosynthesis in GSCs, especially under starvation, as well as proliferation, self-renewal, and tumor growth. SREBP2 governed the balance between cholesterol biosynthesis and uptake in different nutrient condition.
    CONCLUSIONS: SREBP2 displays context-specific regulation of cholesterol biology based on its availability in the microenvironment with induction of cholesterol biosynthesis in the tumor core and uptake in the margin, informing a novel treatment strategy for GBM.
    Keywords:  SREBP2; cholesterol; cholesterol biosynthesis; glioblastoma; glioblastoma stem cell
  6. Nat Commun. 2023 Mar 23. 14(1): 1610
      As a key component of the standard of care for glioblastoma, radiotherapy induces several immune resistance mechanisms, such as upregulation of CD47 and PD-L1. Here, leveraging these radiotherapy-elicited processes, we generate a bridging-lipid nanoparticle (B-LNP) that engages tumor-associated myeloid cells (TAMCs) to glioblastoma cells via anti-CD47/PD-L1 dual ligation. We show that the engager B-LNPs block CD47 and PD-L1 and promote TAMC phagocytic activity. To enhance subsequent T cell recruitment and antitumor responses after tumor engulfment, the B-LNP was encapsulated with diABZI, a non-nucleotidyl agonist for stimulator of interferon genes. In vivo treatment with diABZI-loaded B-LNPs induced a transcriptomic and metabolic switch in TAMCs, turning these immunosuppressive cells into antitumor effectors, which induced T cell infiltration and activation in brain tumors. In preclinical murine models, B-LNP/diABZI administration synergized with radiotherapy to promote brain tumor regression and induce immunological memory against glioma. In summary, our study describes a nanotechnology-based approach that hijacks irradiation-triggered immune checkpoint molecules to boost potent and long-lasting antitumor immunity against glioblastoma.
  7. Cancer Cell. 2023 Mar 20. pii: S1535-6108(23)00077-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      Malignant gliomas are largely refractory to immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) therapy. To explore the underlying immune regulators, we examine the microenvironment in glioma and find that tumor-infiltrating T cells are mainly confined to the perivascular cuffs and express high levels of CCR5, CXCR3, and programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1). Combined analysis of T cell clustering with T cell receptor (TCR) clone expansion shows that potential tumor-killing T cells are mainly categorized into pre-exhausted/exhausted and effector CD8+ T subsets, as well as cytotoxic CD4+ T subsets. Notably, a distinct subpopulation of CD4+ T cells exhibits innate-like features with preferential interleukin-8 (IL-8) expression. With IL-8-humanized mouse strain, we demonstrate that IL-8-producing CD4+ T, myeloid, and tumor cells orchestrate myeloid-derived suppressor cell infiltration and angiogenesis, which results in enhanced tumor growth but reduced ICB efficacy. Antibody-mediated IL-8 blockade or the inhibition of its receptor, CXCR1/2, unleashes anti-PD-1-mediated antitumor immunity. Our findings thus highlight IL-8 as a combinational immunotherapy target for glioma.
    Keywords:  CyTOF; Glioma immune microenvironment; IL-8- producing T cell; scRNA-seq; tumor immunotherapy