- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Amplification of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) or expression of its constitutively activated mutant, DeltaEGFR(2-7), in association with the inactivation of the INK4a/Arf gene locus is a frequent alteration in human glioblastoma. The notion of a cooperative effect between these two alterations has been demonstrated in respective mouse brain tumor models including our own. Here, we investigated underlying molecular mechanisms in early passage cortical astrocytes deficient for p16(INK4a)/p19(Arf) or p53, respectively, with or without ectopic expression of DeltaEGFR(2-7). Targeting these cells with the specific EGFR inhibitor tyrphostin AG1478 revealed that phosphorylation of ERK was only abrogated in the presence of an intact INK4a/Arf gene locus. The sensitivity to inhibit ERK phosphorylation was independent of ectopic expression of DeltaEGFR(2-7) and independent of the TP53 status. This resistance to downregulate the MAPK pathway in the absence of INK4a/Arf was confirmed in cell lines derived from our mouse glioma models with the respective initial genetic alterations. Thus, deletion of INK4a/Arf appears to keep ERK in its active, phosphorylated state insensitive to an upstream inhibitor specifically targeting EGFR/DeltaEGFR(2-7). This resistance may contribute to the cooperative tumorigenic effect selected for in human glioblastoma that may be of crucial clinical relevance for treatments specifically targeting EGFR/DeltaEGFR(2-7) in glioblastoma patients.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The development of targeted treatment strategies adapted to individual patients requires identification of the different tumor classes according to their biology and prognosis. We focus here on the molecular aspects underlying these differences, in terms of sets of genes that control pathogenesis of the different subtypes of astrocytic glioma. By performing cDNA-array analysis of 53 patient biopsies, comprising low-grade astrocytoma, secondary glioblastoma (respective recurrent high-grade tumors), and newly diagnosed primary glioblastoma, we demonstrate that human gliomas can be differentiated according to their gene expression. We found that low-grade astrocytoma have the most specific and similar expression profiles, whereas primary glioblastoma exhibit much larger variation between tumors. Secondary glioblastoma display features of both other groups. We identified several sets of genes with relatively highly correlated expression within groups that: (a). can be associated with specific biological functions; and (b). effectively differentiate tumor class. One prominent gene cluster discriminating primary versus nonprimary glioblastoma comprises mostly genes involved in angiogenesis, including VEGF fms-related tyrosine kinase 1 but also IGFBP2, that has not yet been directly linked to angiogenesis. In situ hybridization demonstrating coexpression of IGFBP2 and VEGF in pseudopalisading cells surrounding tumor necrosis provided further evidence for a possible involvement of IGFBP2 in angiogenesis. The separating groups of genes were found by the unsupervised coupled two-way clustering method, and their classification power was validated by a supervised construction of a nearly perfect glioma classifier.