Wenchao Zhou

Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, United States

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Publications (6)44.9 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Different cancer cell compartments often communicate through soluble factors to facilitate tumor growth. Glioma stem cells (GSCs) are a subset of tumor cells that resist standard therapy to contribute to disease progression. How GSCs employ a distinct secretory program to communicate with and nurture each other over the nonstem tumor cell (NSTC) population is not well defined. Here, we show that GSCs preferentially secrete Sema3C and coordinately express PlexinA2/D1 receptors to activate Rac1/nuclear factor (NF)-κB signaling in an autocrine/paracrine loop to promote their own survival. Importantly, Sema3C is not expressed in neural progenitor cells (NPCs) or NSTCs. Disruption of Sema3C induced apoptosis of GSCs, but not NPCs or NSTCs, and suppressed tumor growth in orthotopic models of glioblastoma. Introduction of activated Rac1 rescued the Sema3C knockdown phenotype in vivo. Our study supports the targeting of Sema3C to break this GSC-specific autocrine/paracrine loop in order to improve glioblastoma treatment, potentially with a high therapeutic index. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Cell reports. 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most lethal type of primary brain tumor with florid angiogenesis. GBMs display striking cellular hierarchies containing self-renewing glioma stem cells (GSCs) that are highly tumorigenic. GSCs not only produce elevated levels of VEGF to promote tumor angiogenesis but also contribute to cellular compartments of tumor vessels.
    Neuro-oncology. 07/2014; 16 Suppl 3:iii14.
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    ABSTRACT: Glioblastomas are highly lethal brain tumors containing tumor-propagating glioma stem cells (GSCs). The molecular mechanisms underlying the maintenance of the GSC phenotype are not fully defined. Here we demonstrate that the zinc finger and X-linked transcription factor (ZFX) maintains GSC self-renewal and tumorigenic potential by up-regulating c-Myc expression. ZFX is differentially expressed in GSCs relative to non-stem glioma cells and neural progenitor cells (NPCs). Disrupting ZFX by shRNA reduced c-Myc expression and potently inhibited GSC self-renewal and tumor growth. Ectopic expression of c-Myc to its endogenous level rescued the effects caused by ZFX disruption, supporting that ZFX controls GSC properties through c-Myc. Furthermore, ZFX binds to a specific sequence (GGGCCCCG) on the human c-Myc promoter to up-regulate c-Myc expression. These data demonstrate that ZFX functions as a critical upstream regulator of c-Myc and plays essential roles in the maintenance of the GSC phenotype. This study also supports that c-Myc is a dominant driver linking self-renewal to malignancy. Stem Cells 2014
    Stem Cells 05/2014; · 7.70 Impact Factor
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    Wenchao Zhou, Shideng Bao
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    ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most lethal and aggressive type of primary brain malignancy. Failures of the traditional therapies in treating GBMs raise the urgent requirement to develop new approaches with more responsive targets. The phenomenon of the high infiltration of tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) into GBMs has been observed for a long time. Regardless of the limited knowledge about TAMs, the high percentage of supportive TAM in GBM tumor mass makes it possible to be a good target for GBM treatment. In this review, we discussed the unique features of TAMs in GBMs, including their origin, the tumor-supportive properties, the secreted cytokines, and the relevant mechanisms. In addition, we tried to interpret the current understandings about the interplay between GBM cancer cells and TAMs. Finally, the translational studies of targeting TAMs were also described.
    Cancers. 01/2014; 6(2):723-40.
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    ABSTRACT: Glioblastomas (GBMs) are highly vascular and lethal brain tumors that display cellular hierarchies containing self-renewing tumorigenic glioma stem cells (GSCs). Because GSCs often reside in perivascular niches and may undergo mesenchymal differentiation, we interrogated GSC potential to generate vascular pericytes. Here, we show that GSCs give rise to pericytes to support vessel function and tumor growth. In vivo cell lineage tracing with constitutive and lineage-specific fluorescent reporters demonstrated that GSCs generate the majority of vascular pericytes. Selective elimination of GSC-derived pericytes disrupts the neovasculature and potently inhibits tumor growth. Analysis of human GBM specimens showed that most pericytes are derived from neoplastic cells. GSCs are recruited toward endothelial cells via the SDF-1/CXCR4 axis and are induced to become pericytes predominantly by transforming growth factor β. Thus, GSCs contribute to vascular pericytes that may actively remodel perivascular niches. Therapeutic targeting of GSC-derived pericytes may effectively block tumor progression and improve antiangiogenic therapy.
    Cell 03/2013; 153(1):139-52. · 31.96 Impact Factor
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    Zhi Huang, Wenchao Zhou, Shideng Bao
    Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) 04/2011; 10(8):1182-3. · 5.24 Impact Factor