[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most malignant World Health Organization grade IV brain tumor. GBM patients have a poor prognosis because of its resistance to standard therapies, such as chemotherapy and radiation. Since stem-like cells have been associated with the treatment resistance of GBM, novel therapies targeting the cancer stem cell (CSC) population is critically required. However, GBM CSCs share molecular and functional characteristics with normal neural stem cells (NSCs). To elucidate differential therapeutic targets of GBM CSCs, we compared surface markers of GBM CSCs with adult human NSCs and found that GD2 and CD90 were specifically overexpressed in GBM CSCs. We further tested whether the GBM CSC specific markers are associated with the cancer stemness using primarily cultured patient-derived GBM cells. However, results consistently indicated that GBM cells with or without GD2 and CD90 had similar in vitro sphere formation capacity, a functional characteristics of CSCs. Therefore, GD2 and CD90, GBM specific surface markers, might not be used as specific therapeutic targets for GBM CSCs, although they could have other clinical utilities.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An unfortunate consequence of improvements in the treatments of advanced primary cancers is the concurrent increase of metastatic brain tumors. Despite of unfavorable clinical prognosis, radiation therapy is still the only viable treatment option for brain metastases. Expression of c-Met induces cell migration and invasion in many cancers, which are indispensable steps for metastasis. Accordingly, we examined the effects of gene silencing of c-Met on brain metastasis to evaluate the possibility of c-Met as a potential target. MDA-MB-435 cells were transfected with c-Met targeting short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs). Effects of c-Met shRNAs on the expression of epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) related proteins, in vitro migration, and in vivo brain metastasis were examined. Expression of mesenchymal markers and in vitro migration of MDA-MB-435 cells were significantly inhibited by introduction of c-Met shRNAs. When c-Met-silenced MDA-MB-435 cells were stereotactically implanted into the brains of immune-compromised mice or injected into the right internal carotid arteries, c-Met-silenced MDA-MB-435 cells produced significantly smaller tumor masses or survival time was significantly prolonged, respectively, compared with MDA-MB-435 cells transfected with control shRNA. The data reveal the novel function of c-Met in the process of brain metastasis and its potential as a preventive and/or therapeutic target in this disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Autologous adult human neural stem cells may be used for regenerative cell therapies bypass potential ethical problems. However, stable in vitro expansion protocols and experimental/clinical factors influencing primary cultures need to be further elucidated for clinically applicable techniques. To address these issues, we obtained biopsy specimens from 23 temporal lobe epilepsy patients and adult human multipotent neural cells (ahMNCs) were primarily cultured in a defined attachment culture condition. When the success of primary cultures was defined as stable expansion of cells (>ten in vitro passages) and expression of NSC markers, success rate of the primary culture was 39% (nine of 23 temporal lobes). During the long-term expansion, expressions of NSC markers and differentiation potentials into astrocytes and neurons were maintained. After the 18th sub-culture, spontaneous senescence and differentiation were observed, and the cultivated ahMNCs ceased their proliferation. The culture results were not affected by seizure characteristics, however, an older age (>40 years) and a smaller sample volume (<2ml) were found to exert negative influences on the primary culture results. Furthermore therapeutic effects of ahMNCs against stroke were analyzed in an animal model. Transplantation of ahMNCs cells reduced infarction volumes and enhanced motor activity, significantly. The results here would provide promising experimental and clinical strategy of using patient-specific autologous ahMNCs in regenerative medicine in the future.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Stem cell therapy is a promising approach for stroke. However, low survival rates and potential tumorigenicity of implanted cells could undermine the efficacy of the cell-based treatment. The use of stem cell-conditioned medium (CM) may be a feasible approach to overcome these limitations. Especially, specific stem cell culture condition and continuous infusion of CM into ischemic brains would have better therapeutic results. The CM was prepared by culturing human adipose-derived stem cells in a three-dimensional spheroid form to increase the secretion of angiogenic/neuroprotective factors. Ischemic stroke was induced by standard middle cerebral artery occlusion methods in the brain of 8-week-old Sprague-Dawley rats. Continuous infusion of CM or αMEM media (0.5 μl/hr) into the lateral ventricle was initiated 8 days after the surgery and maintained for 7 days. Alteration in the motor function was monitored by the rotarod test. Infarction volume and the number of microvessels or TUNEL-positive neural cells were analyzed 15 days after the surgery. Compared with αMEM, continuous CM infusion reduced the infarction volume and maintained motor function. The number of CD31-positive microvessels and TUNEL-positive neural cells significantly increased and decreased, respectively, in the penumbra regions. Although the apoptosis of all neural cell types decreased, reduction in the microglial apoptosis and astrogliosis was prominent and significant. In this study, the therapeutic effects of the CM against stroke were confirmed in an animal model. Increased endothelial cell proliferation, reduced neural cell apoptosis, and milder astrogliosis may play important roles in the treatment effects of CM.
Journal of Neuroscience Research 09/2012; 90(9):1794-802. DOI:10.1002/jnr.23063 · 2.59 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glioblastomas multiforme (GBM) contain highly tumorigenic, self-renewing populations of stem/initiating cells [glioblastoma stem cells (GSC)] that contribute to tumor propagation and treatment resistance. However, our knowledge of the specific signaling pathways that regulate GSCs is limited. The MET tyrosine kinase is known to stimulate the survival, proliferation, and invasion of various cancers including GBM. Here, we identified a distinct fraction of cells expressing a high level of MET in human primary GBM specimens that were preferentially localized in perivascular regions of human GBM biopsy tissues and were found to be highly clonogenic, tumorigenic, and resistant to radiation. Inhibition of MET signaling in GSCs disrupted tumor growth and invasiveness both in vitro and in vivo, suggesting that MET activation is required for GSCs. Together, our findings indicate that MET activation in GBM is a functional requisite for the cancer stem cell phenotype and a promising therapeutic target.
Cancer Research 05/2012; 72(15):3828-38. DOI:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-11-3760 · 9.33 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Radiation therapy is an indispensable therapeutic modality for various brain diseases. Though endogenous neural stem cells (NSCs) would provide regenerative potential, many patients nevertheless suffer from radiation-induced brain damage. Accordingly, we tested beneficial effects of exogenous NSC supplementation using in vivo mouse models that received whole brain irradiation. Systemic supplementation of primarily cultured mouse fetal NSCs inhibited radiation-induced brain atrophy and thereby preserved brain functions such as short-term memory. Transplanted NSCs migrated to the irradiated brain and differentiated into neurons, astrocytes, or oligodendrocytes. In addition, neurotrophic factors such as NGF were significantly increased in the brain by NSCs, indicating that both paracrine and replacement effects could be the therapeutic mechanisms of NSCs. Interestingly, NSCs also differentiated into brain endothelial cells, which was accompanied by the restoration the cerebral blood flow that was reduced from the irradiation. Inhibition of the VEGF signaling reduced the migration and trans-differentiation of NSCs. Therefore, trans-differentiation of NSCs into brain endothelial cells by the VEGF signaling and the consequential restoration of the cerebral blood flow would also be one of the therapeutic mechanisms of NSCs. In summary, our data demonstrate that exogenous NSC supplementation could prevent radiation-induced functional loss of the brain. Therefore, successful combination of brain radiation therapy and NSC supplementation would provide a highly promising therapeutic option for patients with various brain diseases.
PLoS ONE 02/2012; 7(2):e25936. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0025936 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nitric oxide (NO) modulates the activities of various channels and receptors to participate in the regulation of neuronal intracellular Ca(2+) levels. Ca(2+) binding protein (CaBP) expression may also be altered by NO. Accordingly, we examined expression changes in calbindin-D28k, calretinin, and parvalbumin in the cerebral cortex and hippocampal region of neuronal NO synthase knockout(-/-) (nNOS(-/-)) mice using immunohistochemistry. For the first time, we demonstrate that the expression of CaBPs is specifically altered in the cerebral cortex and hippocampal region of nNOS(-/-) mice and that their expression changed according to neuronal type. As changes in CaBP expression can influence temporal and spatial intracellular Ca(2+) levels, it appears that NO may be involved in various functions, such as modulating neuronal Ca(2+) homeostasis, regulating synaptic transmission, and neuroprotection, by influencing the expression of CaBPs. Therefore, these results suggest another mechanism by which NO participates in the regulation of neuronal Ca(2+) homeostasis. However, the exact mechanisms of this regulation and its functional significance require further investigation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: One of the most detrimental hallmarks of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is cellular invasiveness, which is considered a potential cause of tumor recurrence. Infiltrated GBM cells are difficult to completely eradicate surgically and with local therapeutic modalities. Although much effort has focused on understanding the various mechanisms controlling GBM invasiveness, its nature remains poorly understood. In this study, we established highly serial intracranial transplantation. U87R4 cells were highly invasive and displayed stem cell-like properties, as compared to noninvasive but proliferative U87L4 cells. Microarray analysis during serial transplantation revealed that apoptosis-inducing genes (caspase3 and PDCD4) were downregulated whereas several cancer stem cell-relevant genes [Frizzled 4 (FZD4) and CD44] were upregulated in more invasive cells. U87R4 cells were resistant to anticancer drug-induced cell death, partly due to downregulation of caspase3 and PDCD4, and they retained activated Wnt/β-catenin signaling due to upregulation of Frizzled 4, which was sufficient to control neurosphere formation. We also found that FZD4 promoted expression of the epithelial to mesenchymal transition regulator SNAI1, along with acquisition of a mesenchymal phenotype. Taken together, our results argue that Frizzled 4 is a member of the Wnt signaling family that governs both stemness and invasiveness of glioma stem cells, and that it may be a major cause of GBM recurrence and poor prognosis.
Cancer Research 03/2011; 71(8):3066-75. DOI:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-1495 · 9.33 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of present study is to investigate more functional neural stem cells (NSCs) could be isolated from brains with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and expanded in vitro, based on previous reports demonstrating de novo neurogenesis is enhanced to replace degenerating neural tissue.
Thirteen- or eighteen-week-old mutant human Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1(G93A)) transgenic ALS and wild-type SOD1 transgenic control mice were utilized. Changes in numbers of NSCs in the dentate gyrus were analyzed by immunohistochemistry against nestin and CD133. NSCs were primarily cultured from hippocampus of ALS or control mice. Expression of NSC markers, in vitro expansion capacity, and differentiating potential were compared.
Hippocampus of 13-week-old pre-symptomatic ALS mice harbor more cells that can be propagated for more than 12 passages in vitro, compared with same age control mice. Primarily-cultured cells formed neurospheres in the NSC culture medium, expressed NSC markers, and differentiated into cells with differentiated neural cell characteristics in the differentiation condition confirming that they are NSCs. In contrast, long-term expansible NSCs could not be derived from brains of 18-week-old symptomatic ALS mice with the same experimental techniques, although they had comparable nestin-immunoreactive cells in the dentate gyrus.
These results would suggest that increased neuroregeneration in early phase of ALS could be translated to regenerative approaches; however, long-term exposure to ALS microenvironments could abolish functional capacities of NSCs.
Neurological Research 01/2011; 33(1):33-7. DOI:10.1179/016164110X12807570509899 · 1.44 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have previously reported that MMTR (MAT1-mediated transcriptional repressor) is a co-repressor that inhibits TFIIH-mediated transcriptional activity via interaction with MAT1 (Kang et al., 2007). Since MAT1 is a member of the CAK kinase complex that is crucial for cell cycle progression and that regulates CDK phosphorylation as well as the general transcription factor TFIIH, we investigated MMTR function in cell cycle progression. We found that MMTR over-expression delayed G1/S and G2/M transitions, whereas co-expression of MAT1 and MMTR rescued the cell growth and proliferation rate. Moreover, MMTR was required for inhibition of CAK kinase-mediated CDK1 phosphorylation. We also showed that the expression level of MMTR was modulated during cell cycle progression. Our data support the notion that MMTR is an intrinsic negative cell cycle regulator that modulates the CAK kinase activity via interaction with MAT1.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 10/2010; 402(1):110-5. DOI:10.1016/j.bbrc.2010.09.126 · 2.30 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide (PACAP) and vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) have been implicated in a large array of physiological and patho-physiological processes through their receptors (VPAC(1), VPAC(2), and PAC(1) receptor) in the central nervous system. Previously, we demonstrated age-related decreases in VPAC(1) receptor expression in the rat brain providing a possible basis of several age-induced functional changes in the aged brain. In the current study, we also examined age-related changes in PAC(1) and VPAC(2) receptors in aged rat brains using an immunohistochemical approach. We found that PAC1 immunoreactivity was significantly increased in the hippocampal formation, hypothalamus, thalamus, midbrain septal nuclei, and white matter of aged rats compared with young control rats although its distribution pattern was not altered. In contrast, both distribution pattern and immunoreactivity of VPAC(2) receptor remained unchanged in aged rat brains. These results suggest that the PACAP/VIP receptors exhibit specific expressional changes in the aged brain and that these specific changes could underlie age-associated memory and cognitive functional declines as well as several other age-induced functional changes in the brain. However, the exact regulatory mechanism and its functional significance require further elucidation.
Brain research 09/2010; 1351:32-40. DOI:10.1016/j.brainres.2010.06.048 · 2.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The tumor-tropic properties of neural stem cells (NSCs) led to the development of a novel strategy for delivering therapeutic genes to tumors in the brain. To apply this strategy to the treatment of brain metastases, we made a human NSC line expressing cytosine deaminase (F3.CD), which converts 5-fluorocytosine (5-FC) into 5-fluorouracil, an anticancer agent. In vitro, the F3.CD cells significantly inhibited the growth of tumor cell lines in the presence of the prodrug 5-FC. In vivo, MDA-MB-435 human breast cancer cells were implanted into the brain of immune-deficient mouse stereotactically, and F3.CD cells were injected into the contralateral hemisphere followed by systemic 5-FC administration. The F3.CD cells migrated selectively into the brain metastases located in the opposite hemisphere and resulted in significantly reduced volumes. The F3.CD and 5-FC treatment also decreased both tumor volume and number of tumor mass significantly, when immune-deficient mouse had MDA-MB-435 cells injected into the internal carotid artery and F3.CD cells were transplanted into the contralateral brain hemisphere stereotactically. Taken together, brain transplantation of human NSCs, encoding the suicide enzyme CD, combined with systemic administration of the prodrug 5-FC, is an effective treatment regimen for brain metastases of tumors.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: P-glycoprotein (P-gp), a factor responsible for the multidrug resistance of tumors, is specifically expressed in brain microenvironment. To test its roles in brain metastatic tumor chemoresistance, we implanted the paclitaxel-sensitive melanoma cell line, K1735, into the skin or brain of mice and examined its paclitaxel resistances. When implanted into the skin, paclitaxel inhibited tumor growth, however, it had no inhibitory effect on cells implanted into the brain. The paclitaxel resistance of the brain K1735 tumors was eliminated by combined treatment with a P-gp inhibitor, HM30181A, and paclitaxel. Previously we found that there is a defined therapeutic window for combined treatment of brain tumors with HM30181A and paclitaxel. To determine whether it is due to responses of the brain microenvironment we measured changes in P-gp expression and function of brain endothelial cells in response to HM30181A treatment in vitro and in vivo. They were significantly increased by high-dose HM30181A treatment and it was related with the therapeutic effect loss of high-dose HM30181A treatment. Therefore, P-gp in the brain microenvironment has crucial roles in the brain metastatic tumor chemoresistance and brain microenvironment responses to P-gp inhibitor treatment should be considered in the development of brain endothelial cell-targeted chemotherapy using P-gp inhibitor.
International Journal of Oncology 11/2008; 33(4):705-12. DOI:10.3892/ijo_00000056 · 3.03 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A number of recent reports have demonstrated that only CD133-positive cancer cells of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) have tumor-initiating potential. These findings raise an attractive hypothesis that GBMs can be cured by eradicating CD133-positive cancer stem cells (CSCs), which are a small portion of GBM cells. However, as GBMs are known to possess various genetic alterations, GBMs might harbor heterogeneous CSCs with different genetic alterations. Here, we compared the clinical characteristics of two GBM patient groups divided according to CD133-positive cell ratios. The CD133-low GBMs showed more invasive growth and gene expression profiles characteristic of mesenchymal or proliferative subtypes, whereas the CD133-high GBMs showed features of cortical and well-demarcated tumors and gene expressions typical of proneuronal subtype. Both CD133-positive and CD133-negative cells purified from four out of six GBM patients produced typical GBM tumor masses in NOD-SCID brains, whereas brain mass from CD133-negative cells showed more proliferative and angiogenic features compared to that from CD133-positive cells. Our results suggest, in contrast to previous reports that only CD133-positive cells of GBMs can initiate tumor formation in vivo CD133-negative cells also possess tumor-initiating potential, which is indicative of complexity in the identification of cancer cells for therapeutic targeting.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A transcription corepressor, MAT1-mediated transcriptional repressor (MMTR), was found in mouse embryonic stem cell lines. MMTR orthologs (DMAP1) are found in a wide variety of life forms from yeasts to humans. MMTR down-regulation in differentiating mouse embryonic stem cells in vitro resulted in activation of many unrelated genes, suggesting its role as a general transcriptional repressor. In luciferase reporter assays, the transcriptional repression activity resided at amino acids 221 to 468. Histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1) interacts with MMTR both in vitro and in vivo and also interacts with MMTR in the nucleus. Interestingly, MMTR activity was only partially rescued by competition with dominant-negative HDAC1(H141A) or by treatment with an HDAC inhibitor, trichostatin A (TSA). To identify the protein responsible for HDAC1-independent MMTR activity, we performed a yeast two-hybrid screen with the full-length MMTR coding sequence as bait and found MAT1. MAT1 is an assembly/targeting factor for cyclin-dependent kinase-activating kinase which constitutes a subcomplex of TFIIH. The coiled-coil domain in the middle of MAT1 was confirmed to interact with the C-terminal half of MMTR, and the MMTR-mediated transcriptional repression activity was completely restored by MAT1 in the presence of TSA. Moreover, intact MMTR was required to inhibit phosphorylation of the C-terminal domain in the RNA polymerase II largest subunit by TFIIH kinase in vitro. Taken together, these data strongly suggest that MMTR is part of the basic cellular machinery for a wide range of transcriptional regulation via interaction with TFIIH and HDAC.