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TWEAK functions as chemotactic factor for glioma cells via Lyn activation

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The long-term survival of patients with glioblastoma multiforme is compromised by the tumor's proclivity for local invasion into the surrounding normal brain. These invasive cells escape surgery and display resistance

The long-term survival of patients with glioblastoma multiforme is compromised by the tumor's proclivity for local invasion into the surrounding normal brain. These invasive cells escape surgery and display resistance to chemotherapeutic- and radiation-induced apoptosis. We have previously shown that tumor necrosis factor-like weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK), a member of the tumor necrosis factor superfamily, can stimulate glioma cell invasion and survival via binding to the fibroblast growth factor-inducible 14 (Fn14) receptor and subsequent activation of the Rac1/NF-kappaB pathway. In addition, we have reported previously that Fn14 is expressed at high levels in migrating glioma cells in vitro and invading glioma cells in vivo. Here we demonstrate that TWEAK can act as a chemotactic factor for glioma cells, a potential process to drive cell invasion into the surrounding brain tissue. Specifically, we detected a chemotactic migration of glioma cells to the concentration gradient of TWEAK. Since Src family kinases (SFK) have been implicated in chemotaxis, we next determined whether TWEAK:Fn14 engagement activated these cytoplasmic tyrosine kinases. Our data shows that TWEAK stimulation of glioma cells results in a rapid phosphorylation of the SFK member Lyn as determined by multiplex Luminex assay and verified by immunoprecipitation. Immunodepletion of Lyn by siRNA oligonucleotides suppressed the chemoattractive effect of TWEAK on glioma cells. We hypothesize that TWEAK secretion by cells present in the glioma microenvironment induce invasion of glioma cells into the brain parenchyma. Understanding the function and signaling of the TWEAK-Fn14 ligand-receptor system may lead to development of novel therapies to therapeutically target invasive glioma cells.

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  • 2013-05