Daisuke Kuga

University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States

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Publications (16)86.59 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Despite recent advances in molecular classification, surgery, radiotherapy, and targeted therapies, the clinical outcome of patients with malignant brain tumors remains extremely poor. In this study, we have identified the tetraspan protein epithelial membrane protein-2 (EMP2) as a potential target for glioblastoma (GBM) killing. EMP2 had low or undetectable expression in normal brain, but was highly expressed in GBM as 95% of patients showed some expression of the protein. In GBM cells, EMP2 enhanced tumor growth in vivo in part by upregulating αvβ3 integrin surface expression, activating FAK and Src kinases, and promoting cell migration and invasion. Consistent with these findings, EMP2 expression significantly correlated with activated Src kinase in patient samples and promoted tumor cell invasion using intracranial mouse models. As a proof of principle to determine if EMP2 could serve as a target for therapy, cells were treated using specific anti-EMP2 antibody reagents. These reagents were effective in killing GBM cells in vitro and in reducing tumor load in subcutaneous mouse models. These results support the role of EMP2 in the pathogenesis of GBM and suggest that anti-EMP2 treatment may be a novel therapeutic treatment.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 03/2014; · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most aggressive of the astrocytic malignancies and the most common intracranial tumor in adults. Although the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is overexpressed and/or mutated in at least 50% of GBM cases and is required for tumor maintenance in animal models, EGFR inhibitors have thus far failed to deliver significant responses in GBM patients. One inherent resistance mechanism in GBM is the coactivation of multiple receptor tyrosine kinases, which generates redundancy in activation of phosphoinositide-3'-kinase (PI3K) signaling. Here we demonstrate that the phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) tumor suppressor is frequently phosphorylated at a conserved tyrosine residue, Y240, in GBM clinical samples. Phosphorylation of Y240 is associated with shortened overall survival and resistance to EGFR inhibitor therapy in GBM patients and plays an active role in mediating resistance to EGFR inhibition in vitro. Y240 phosphorylation can be mediated by both fibroblast growth factor receptors and SRC family kinases (SFKs) but does not affect the ability of PTEN to antagonize PI3K signaling. These findings show that, in addition to genetic loss and mutation of PTEN, its modulation by tyrosine phosphorylation has important implications for the development and treatment of GBM.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 08/2012; 109(35):14164-9. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The subclassification of glioblastoma (GBM) into clinically relevant subtypes using microRNA (miRNA)- and messenger RNA (mRNA)-based integrated analysis has been attempted. Because miRNAs regulate multiple gene-signaling pathways, understanding miRNA-mRNA interactions is a prerequisite for understanding glioma biology. However, such associations have not been thoroughly examined using high-throughput integrated analysis. To identify significant miRNA-mRNA correlations, we selected and quantified signature miRNAs and mRNAs in 82 gliomas (grade II: 14, III: 16, IV: 52) using real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Quantitative expression data were integrated into a single analysis platform that evaluated the expression relationship between miRNAs and mRNAs. The 21 miRNAs include miR-15b, -21, -34a, -105, -124a, -128a, -135b, -184, -196a-b, -200a-c, -203, -302a-d, -363, -367, and -504. In addition, we examined 23 genes, including proneural markers (DLL3, BCAN, and OLIG2), mesenchymal markers (YKL-40, CD44, and Vimentin), cancer stem cell-related markers, and receptor tyrosine kinase genes. Primary GBM was characterized exclusively by upregulation of mesenchymal markers, whereas secondary GBM was characterized by significant downregulation of mesenchymal markers, miR-21, and -34a, and by upregulation of proneural markers and miR-504. Statistical analysis showed that expression of miR-128a, -504, -124a, and -184 each negatively correlated with the expression of mesenchymal markers in GBM. Our functional analysis of miR-128a and -504 as inhibitors demonstrated that suppression of miR-128a and -504 increased the expression of mesenchymal markers in glioblastoma cell lines. Mesenchymal signaling in GBM may be negatively regulated by miR-128a and -504.
    Neuro-Oncology 07/2012; 14(9):1153-62. · 6.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Activation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in glioblastoma (GBM) occurs through mutations or deletions in the extracellular (EC) domain. Unlike lung cancers with EGFR kinase domain (KD) mutations, GBMs respond poorly to the EGFR inhibitor erlotinib. Using RNAi, we show that GBM cells carrying EGFR EC mutations display EGFR addiction. In contrast to KD mutants found in lung cancer, glioma-specific EGFR EC mutants are poorly inhibited by EGFR inhibitors that target the active kinase conformation (e.g., erlotinib). Inhibitors that bind to the inactive EGFR conformation, however, potently inhibit EGFR EC mutants and induce cell death in EGFR-mutant GBM cells. Our results provide first evidence for single kinase addiction in GBM and suggest that the disappointing clinical activity of first-generation EGFR inhibitors in GBM versus lung cancer may be attributed to the different conformational requirements of mutant EGFR in these 2 cancer types. SIGNIFICANCE: Approximately 40% of human glioblastomas harbor oncogenic EGFR alterations, but attempts to therapeutically target EGFR with first-generation EGFR kinase inhibitors have failed. Here, we demonstrate selective sensitivity of glioma-specific EGFR mutants to ATP-site competitive EGFR kinase inhibitors that target the inactive conformation of the catalytic domain.
    Cancer Discovery 05/2012; 2(5):458-71. · 10.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common malignant primary brain tumor of adults and one of the most lethal of all cancers. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations (EGFRvIII) and phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) hyperactivation are common in GBM, promoting tumor growth and survival, including through sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1 (SREBP-1)-dependent lipogenesis. The role of cholesterol metabolism in GBM pathogenesis, its association with EGFR/PI3K signaling, and its potential therapeutic targetability are unknown. In our investigation, studies of GBM cell lines, xenograft models, and GBM clinical samples, including those from patients treated with the EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor lapatinib, uncovered an EGFRvIII-activated, PI3K/SREBP-1-dependent tumor survival pathway through the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR). Targeting LDLR with the liver X receptor (LXR) agonist GW3965 caused inducible degrader of LDLR (IDOL)-mediated LDLR degradation and increased expression of the ABCA1 cholesterol efflux transporter, potently promoting tumor cell death in an in vivo GBM model. These results show that EGFRvIII can promote tumor survival through PI3K/SREBP-1-dependent upregulation of LDLR and suggest a role for LXR agonists in the treatment of GBM patients.
    Cancer Discovery 09/2011; 1(5):442-56. · 10.14 Impact Factor
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    Brain Tumor Pathology 07/2011; 28(3):197. · 1.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma is dependent on a specific signaling pathway to maintain its tumor phenotype. The receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) family mediates the multiple oncogenic growth factor receptor signaling and contributes to the pathogenesis of glioblastoma. Recently, many studies have shown that the expression of stem cell marker in glioblastoma tissue has prognostic significance, which indicates that the quantification of stem cell markers and RTK genes yields biological information about glioblastoma. In this study, we quantified RNA expression levels of stem cell markers [CD133, Nestin, BMI-1, maternal embryonic leucine zipper kinase (MELK), and Notch1-4] as well as RTKs (EGFR, ErbB4, VEGFR1-3, FGFR1, -2, PDGFRΑ, and PDGFRΒ) in 42 clinical samples of glioblastoma by the real-time RT-PCR method. We demonstrated that the expression of MELK is exclusively upregulated in glioblastoma tissue. Notch receptor expression is moderately upregulated and is correlated with that of VEGFR2, VEGFR3, and PDGFRβ. Unsupervised clustering identified one unique sample group that showed high expression of most of the genes analyzed. Our results suggest that quantification of these stem cell markers and RTK genes can stratify patients based on the expression profile, which might provide insight into the glioma biology in each cluster.
    Brain Tumor Pathology 06/2011; 28(4):291-6. · 1.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Despite recent advances in the diagnosis and treatment of glioblastomas, patient outcomes for these highly malignant tumors remain poor. Research into the molecular pathology of glioblastoma has uncovered various genetic changes that contribute to malignancy. Some of the identified molecular markers--such as loss of heterozygosity (LOH) on chromosome 1p/19q and chromosome 10, O6-methylguanine methyltransferase promoter hypermethylation, and mutation of isocitrate dehydrogenase-1--may help to predict patient outcomes. Indeed, LOH analysis is an effective approach to classify malignant gliomas. Genome-wide analyses have revealed that the extent and pattern of LOH regions may have important implications for the clinical course of the disease. As the genetic underpinnings of malignant gliomas are complex and varied, careful selection of the methods for genetic analysis in the clinic is important. The fundamental principles of each assay need to be understood to allow careful selection of practically useful methods. This review summarizes recent developments in the molecular analysis of malignant glioma.
    Brain Tumor Pathology 06/2011; 28(3):191-6. · 1.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNA) are short noncoding RNAs that can play critical roles in diverse biological processes. They are implicated in tumorigenesis and function both as tumor suppressors and as oncogenes. The clinical significance of miRNA expression profiles in malignant gliomas remains unclear. In this study, we examined the expression levels of 365 mature human miRNAs in 12 malignant gliomas, including 8 glioblastomas and 4 anaplastic astrocytomas, using TaqMan real-time quantitative PCR arrays. A validation study was done to corroborate a subset of the results, including expression levels of miR-196a, -196b, -21, and -15b, by analyzing 92 malignant gliomas by conventional real-time PCR. We modeled the relationship between the expression levels of these miRNAs and the survival rate of 39 glioblastoma patients by Kaplan-Meier method and multivariate analysis. Expression profiles in glioblastomas and anaplastic astrocytomas suggested that 16 miRNAs were candidate markers associated with the malignant progression of gliomas. Among them, miR-196a showed the most significant difference (P = 0.0038), with miR-196b also having a high significance (P = 0.0371). Both miRNAs showed increased expression levels in glioblastomas relative to both anaplastic astrocytomas and normal brains in the validation study. Furthermore, patients with high miR-196 expression levels showed significantly poorer survival by the Kaplan-Meier method (P = 0.0073). Multivariate analysis showed that miR-196 expression levels were an independent predictor of overall survival in all 39 glioblastoma patients (P = 0.021; hazard ratio, 2.81). Our results suggest that miR-196 may play a role in the malignant progression of gliomas and may be a prognostic predictor in glioblastomas.
    Clinical Cancer Research 08/2010; 16(16):4289-97. · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) is a tumor suppressor that is inactivated in many human cancers. PTEN loss has been associated with resistance to inhibitors of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), but the molecular basis of this resistance is unclear. It is believed that unopposed phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) activation through multiple receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) can relieve PTEN-deficient cancers from their "dependence" on EGFR or any other single RTK for survival. Here we report a distinct resistance mechanism whereby PTEN inactivation specifically raises EGFR activity by impairing the ligand-induced ubiquitylation and degradation of the activated receptor through destabilization of newly formed ubiquitin ligase Cbl complexes. PTEN-associated resistance to EGFR kinase inhibitors is phenocopied by expression of dominant negative Cbl and can be overcome by more complete EGFR kinase inhibition. PTEN inactivation does not confer resistance to inhibitors of the MET or PDGFRA kinase. Our study identifies a critical role for PTEN in EGFR signal termination and suggests that more potent EGFR inhibition should overcome resistance caused by PI3K pathway activation.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/2010; 107(14):6459-64. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma, the most common malignant brain tumor, is among the most lethal and difficult cancers to treat. Although epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations are frequent in glioblastoma, their clinical relevance is poorly understood. Studies of tumors from patients treated with the EGFR inhibitor lapatinib revealed that EGFR induces the cleavage and nuclear translocation of the master transcriptional regulator of fatty acid synthesis, sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1 (SREBP-1). This response was mediated by Akt; however, clinical data from rapamycin-treated patients showed that SREBP-1 activation was independent of the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1, possibly explaining rapamycin's poor efficacy in the treatment of such tumors. Glioblastomas without constitutively active EGFR signaling were resistant to inhibition of fatty acid synthesis, whereas introduction of a constitutively active mutant form of EGFR, EGFRvIII, sensitized tumor xenografts in mice to cell death, which was augmented by the hydroxymethylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitor atorvastatin. These results identify a previously undescribed EGFR-mediated prosurvival metabolic pathway and suggest new therapeutic approaches to treating EGFR-activated glioblastomas.
    Science Signaling 01/2009; 2(101):ra82. · 7.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have employed a laser-capture microdissection technique and single-nucleotide polymorphism arrays to characterize genomic alterations associated with the development of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Combined analysis of loss of heterozygosity (LOH) and copy number revealed that more than half (56.3%) of the 254 identified LOH loci showed no copy-number alteration, indicating the presence of copy-number neutral LOH (cnLOH). Furthermore, we found a GBM case that showed cnLOH in 18 of the 22 autosomes. These results were confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR, microsatellite analysis, and fluorescence in situ hybridization. The high rate of cnLOH suggests that epigenetic abnormalities of many genes are involved in the development and progression of GBMs.
    Neuro-Oncology 09/2008; 10(6):995-1003. · 6.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mapping loss of heterozygosity (LOH) regions in the genomes of tumor tissues is a practical approach for identifying genes whose loss is related to tumorigenesis. Conventional LOH analyses using microsatellite or single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers require the simultaneous examination of tumor- and matched normal-DNA. Here, we improved the previously developed SNP-based LOH assay using single strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analysis, so that LOH in tumor samples heavily contaminated with normal DNA can now be precisely estimated, even when matched normal DNA is not available. We demonstrate the reliability of the improved SSCP-based LOH detection method, called the LOH estimation by quantitative SSCP analysis using averaged control (LOQUS-AC), by comparing the results with those of the previous "LOH estimated by quantitative SSCP assay" (LOQUS) method. Using the LOQUS-AC assay, LOH was detected at a high consistency (98.1%) with the previous LOQUS method. We then applied this new method to characterize LOH profiles in 130 meningiomas, using 68 SNPs (i.e., a mean inter-SNP interval of 441 kbp) that are evenly distributed throughout chromosome 1p36. Benign, atypical and anaplastic meningiomas exhibited 1p36 LOH at frequencies of 48.39, 84.62 and 100.00%, respectively, using LOQUS-AC. Subsequently, we detected a candidate common LOH region on 1p36.11 that might harbor tumor suppressor genes related to malignant progression of meningioma.
    International Journal of Cancer 05/2008; 122(8):1820-6. · 6.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common malignant neuroepithelial tumor of childhood. The DNA topoisomerase II (Topo II) inhibitor etoposide has been widely used for the treatment of MBs; however, it remains unknown whether MB cells are more sensitive to etoposide than other malignant neuroepithelial tumor cells. In this study, we tested the chemosensitivities of malignant neuroepithelial tumors (26 glioblastomas, 9 anaplastic astrocytomas, and 5 MBs) to etoposide and vincristine using the succinate dehydrogenase inhibition test and found that MB cells are more sensitive to etoposide and more resistant to vincristine than other tumor cells. We performed quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction to evaluate the expression of genes related to etoposide sensitivity, and found co-overexpression of DNA topoisomerase II (Topo II) alpha and beta mRNA in MBs. In addition, the levels of Topo IIalpha and beta mRNA in these tumors correlated with etoposide sensitivity. Immunohistochemical studies using surgical samples of these tumors demonstrated that the percentages of Topo IIalpha immunopositive cells (Topo IIalpha labeling index) correlated with those of Ki-67 immunopositive cells (MIB-1 labeling index); however, neither the Topo IIalpha nor the MIB-1 labeling index correlated with the levels of Topo IIalpha mRNA or etoposide sensitivity. Based on these observations, Topo IIalpha and beta mRNA expression, but not the Topo IIalpha labeling index, might be a useful marker for sensitivity to etoposide in human malignant neuroepithelial tumors.
    Journal of Neuro-Oncology 10/2007; 84(2):119-29. · 3.12 Impact Factor
  • Daisuke Kuga, Tomio Sasaki
    Nippon rinsho. Japanese journal of clinical medicine 12/2006; 64 Suppl 8:455-9.
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    ABSTRACT: A 73-year-old woman was admitted to our hospital presenting slowly progressive hypoesthesia below the 5th thoracic dermatome and spastic paraparesis. Computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed a mass lesion in the T3 vertebral body extending into the spinal canal. The spinal cord was compressed to the left side and right T3 and T4 nerve roots were encased in the mass lesion. One week after admission, T2-T4 laminectomy was performed to relieve the spinal cord compression. A highly vascularized tumor was observed in the epidural space at T3 and T4 levels. The tumor in the spinal canal was removed. The histopathological diagnosis was cavernous hemangioma. The patient's symptoms improved after the surgery. Asymptomatic vertebral hemangiomas are common, but its extraosseus extension causing neurologic symptoms (compressive vertebral hemangioma) is rare. The clinical symptoms, the radiological features, and the strategies for the treatment of compressive vertebral hemangiomas were discussed.
    No shinkei geka. Neurological surgery 02/2004; 32(1):43-7. · 0.13 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

255 Citations
86.59 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2011–2012
    • University of California, Los Angeles
      • Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
      Los Angeles, California, United States
  • 2004–2012
    • Kyushu University
      • • Department of Neurosurgery
      • • Department of Neuropathology
      Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka-ken, Japan