[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: One important function of endothelial cells in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is to create a niche that helps promote self-renewal of cancer stem-like cells (CSLC). However, the underlying molecular mechanism for this endothelial function is not known. Since activation of NOTCH signaling has been found to be required for propagation of GBM CSLCs, we hypothesized that the GBM endothelium may provide the source of NOTCH ligands. Here, we report a corroboration of this concept with a demonstration that NOTCH ligands are expressed in endothelial cells adjacent to NESTIN and NOTCH receptor-positive cancer cells in primary GBMs. Coculturing human brain microvascular endothelial cells (hBMEC) or NOTCH ligand with GBM neurospheres promoted GBM cell growth and increased CSLC self-renewal. Notably, RNAi-mediated knockdown of NOTCH ligands in hBMECs abrogated their ability to induce CSLC self-renewal and GBM tumor growth, both in vitro and in vivo. Thus, our findings establish that NOTCH activation in GBM CSLCs is driven by juxtacrine signaling between tumor cells and their surrounding endothelial cells in the tumor microenvironment, suggesting that targeting both CSLCs and their niche may provide a novel strategy to deplete CSLCs and improve GBM treatment.
Cancer Research 07/2011; 71(18):6061-72. · 9.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are thought to be critical for the engraftment and long-term growth of many tumors, including glioblastoma (GBM). The cells are at least partially spared by traditional chemotherapies and radiation therapies, and finding new treatments that can target CSCs may be critical for improving patient survival. It has been shown that the NOTCH signaling pathway regulates normal stem cells in the brain, and that GBMs contain stem-like cells with higher NOTCH activity. We therefore used low-passage and established GBM-derived neurosphere cultures to examine the overall requirement for NOTCH activity, and also examined the effects on tumor cells expressing stem cell markers. NOTCH blockade by gamma-secretase inhibitors (GSIs) reduced neurosphere growth and clonogenicity in vitro, whereas expression of an active form of NOTCH2 increased tumor growth. The putative CSC markers CD133, NESTIN, BMI1, and OLIG2 were reduced following NOTCH blockade. When equal numbers of viable cells pretreated with either vehicle (dimethyl sulfoxide) or GSI were injected subcutaneously into nude mice, the former always formed tumors, whereas the latter did not. In vivo delivery of GSI by implantation of drug-impregnated polymer beads also effectively blocked tumor growth, and significantly prolonged survival, albeit in a relatively small cohort of animals. We found that NOTCH pathway inhibition appears to deplete stem-like cancer cells through reduced proliferation and increased apoptosis associated with decreased AKT and STAT3 phosphorylation. In summary, we demonstrate that NOTCH pathway blockade depletes stem-like cells in GBMs, suggesting that GSIs may be useful as chemotherapeutic reagents to target CSCs in malignant gliomas.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Notch family of proteins plays an integral role in determining cell fates, such as proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. We show that Notch-1 and its ligands, Delta-like-1 and Jagged-1, are overexpressed in many glioma cell lines and primary human gliomas. Immunohistochemistry of a primary human glioma tissue array shows the presence in the nucleus of the Notch-1 intracellular domain, indicating Notch-1 activation in situ. Down-regulation of Notch-1, Delta-like-1, or Jagged-1 by RNA interference induces apoptosis and inhibits proliferation in multiple glioma cell lines. In addition, pretreatment of glioma cells with Notch-1 or Delta-like-1 small interfering RNA significantly prolongs survival in a murine orthotopic brain tumor model. These results show, for the first time, the dependence of cancer cells on a single Notch ligand; they also suggest a potential Notch juxtacrine/autocrine loop in gliomas. Notch-1 and its ligands may present novel therapeutic targets in the treatment of glioma.
Cancer Research 04/2005; 65(6):2353-63. · 8.65 Impact Factor
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