Matching Items (6)

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Disarming Olig2: Targeting its partner protein Hdac1

Description

Glioblastoma is the most aggressive and lethal brain tumor, due to its resistance to current conventional therapy. The resistance to chemo- and radiotherapy has been attributed to a special population

Glioblastoma is the most aggressive and lethal brain tumor, due to its resistance to current conventional therapy. The resistance to chemo- and radiotherapy has been attributed to a special population of cells known as glioma stem cells. Previous literature has shown the importance of a Central Nervous System-restricted transcription factor OLIG2 in maintaining the tumor-propagating potential of these glioma stem cells. OLIG2's function was further elucidated, with its pro-mitogenic function due to its ability to negatively regulate the p53 pathway by suppressing the acetylation of the p53 protein's C terminal domain. Past work in our lab has confirmed that one of OLIG2's partner proteins is Histone Deacetylase 1 (HDAC1). In vitro experiments have also shown that targeting HDAC1 using hairpin RNA in glioma stem cells negatively impacts proliferation. In a survival study using a murine glioma model, targeting Hdac1 using hairpin RNA is shown to reduce tumor burden and increase survival. In this paper, we demonstrate that silencing Hdac1 expression reduces proliferation, increases cell death, likely a result of increased acetylation of p53. Olig2 expression levels seem to be unaffected in GSCs, demonstrating that the Hdac1 protein ablation is indeed lethal to GSCs. This work builds upon previously collected results, confirming that Hdac1 is a potential surrogate target for Olig2's pro-mitotic function in regulating the p53 pathway.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05

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Glioblastoma in the Crosshairs: Development of a Dual Reporter Assay for Discovery of Olig2 Inhibiting Drugs

Description

A coincidence reporter construct, consisting of the p21-promoter and two luciferase genes (Firefly and Renilla), was constructed for the screening of drugs that might inhibit Olig2's tumorigenic role in glioblastoma.

A coincidence reporter construct, consisting of the p21-promoter and two luciferase genes (Firefly and Renilla), was constructed for the screening of drugs that might inhibit Olig2's tumorigenic role in glioblastoma. The reporter construct was tested using an Olig2 inhibitor, HSP990, as well as short hairpin RNA targeting Olig2. Further confirmatory analysis is needed before the reporter cell line is ready for high-throughput screening at the NIH and lead compound selection.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-05

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Engineering PNIPAAm Biomaterial Scaffolds to Model Microenvironmental Regulation of Glioblastoma Stem-Like Cells

Description

Following diagnosis of a glioblastoma (GBM) brain tumor, surgical resection, chemotherapy and radiation together yield a median patient survival of only 15 months. Importantly, standard treatments fail to address the

Following diagnosis of a glioblastoma (GBM) brain tumor, surgical resection, chemotherapy and radiation together yield a median patient survival of only 15 months. Importantly, standard treatments fail to address the dynamic regulation of the brain tumor microenvironment that actively supports tumor progression and treatment resistance. Moreover, specialized niches within the tumor microenvironment maintain a population of highly malignant glioblastoma stem-like cells (GSCs). GSCs are resistant to traditional chemotherapy and radiation therapy and are likely responsible for near universal rates of tumor recurrence and associated morbidity. Thus, disrupting microenvironmental support for GSCs could be critical to more effective GBM therapies. Three-dimensional (3D) culture models of the tumor microenvironment are powerful tools for identifying key biochemical and biophysical inputs that may support or inhibit malignant behaviors. Here, we developed synthetic poly(N-isopropylacrylamide-co-Jeffamine M-1000® acrylamide) or PNJ copolymers as a model 3D system for culturing GBM cell lines and low-passage patient-derived GSCs in vitro. These temperature responsive scaffolds reversibly transition from soluble to insoluble in aqueous solution by heating from room temperature to body temperature, thereby enabling easy encapsulation and release of cells in a 3D scaffold. We also designed this system with the capacity for presenting the cell-adhesion peptide sequence RGD for adherent culture conditions. Using this system, we identified conditions that promoted GBM proliferation, invasion, GSC phenotypes, and radiation resistance. In particular, using two separate patient-derived GSC models, we observed that PNJ scaffolds regulated self-renewal, provided protection from radiation induced cell death, and may promote stem cell plasticity in response to radiation. Furthermore, PNJ scaffolds produced de novo activation of the transcription factor HIF2α, which is critical to GSC tumorigenicity and stem plasticity. All together, these studies establish the robust utility of PNJ biomaterials as in vitro models for studying microenvironmental regulation of GSC behaviors and treatment resistance.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017

Investigating the Role of the Perivascular Niche on Glioma Stem Cell Invasion in a Three-Dimensional Microfluidic Tumor Microenvironment Model

Description

Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) is a grade IV astrocytoma and the most aggressive form of cancer that begins within the brain. The two-year average survival rate of GBM in the United

Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) is a grade IV astrocytoma and the most aggressive form of cancer that begins within the brain. The two-year average survival rate of GBM in the United States of America is 25%, and it has a higher incidence in individuals within the ages of 45 - 60 years. GBM Tumor formation can either begin as normal brain cells or develop from an existing low-grade astrocytoma and are housed by the perivascular niche in the brain microenvironment. This niche allows for the persistence of a population of cells known as glioma stem cells (GSC) by supplying optimum growth conditions that build chemoresistance and cause recurrence of the tumor within two to five years of treatment. It has therefore become imperative to understand the role of the perivascular niche on GSCs through in vitro modelling in order to improve the efficiency of therapeutic treatment and increase the survival rate of patients with GBM.

In this study, a unique three dimensional (3D) microfluidic platform that permitted the study of intercellular interactions between three different cell types in the perivascular niche of the brain was developed and utilized for the first time. Specifically, human endothelial cells were embedded in a fibrin matrix and introduced into the vascular layer of the microfluidic platform.

After spontaneous formation of a vascular layer, Normal Human Astrocytes and Patient derived GSC were embedded in a Matrigel® matrix and incorporated in the stroma and tumor regions of the microfluidic device respectively.

Using the established platform, migration, proliferation and stemness of GSCs studies were conducted. The findings obtained indicate that astrocytes in the perivascular niche significantly increase the migratory and proliferative properties of GSCs in the tumor microenvironment, consistent with previous in vivo findings.

The novel GBM tumor microenvironment developed herein, could be utilized for further

in-depth cellular and molecular level studies to dissect the influence of individual factors within the tumor niche on GSCs biology, and could serve as a model for developing targeted therapies.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Specific functions of ERK/MAPK signaling in brain development and neurocognition

Description

Development of the cerebral cortex requires the complex integration of extracellular stimuli to affect changes in gene expression. Trophic stimulation activates specialized intracellular signaling cascades to instruct processes necessary for

Development of the cerebral cortex requires the complex integration of extracellular stimuli to affect changes in gene expression. Trophic stimulation activates specialized intracellular signaling cascades to instruct processes necessary for the elaborate cellular diversity, architecture, and function of the cortex. The canonical RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK (ERK/MAPK) cascade is a ubiquitously expressed kinase pathway that regulates crucial aspects of neurodevelopment. Mutations in the ERK/MAPK pathway or its regulators give rise to neurodevelopmental syndromes termed the “RASopathies.” RASopathy individuals present with neurological symptoms that include intellectual disability, ADHD, and seizures. The precise cellular mechanisms that drive neurological impairments in RASopathy individuals remain unclear. In this thesis, I aimed to 1) address how RASopathy mutations affect neurodevelopment, 2) elucidate fundamental requirements of ERK/MAPK in GABAergic circuits, and 3) determine how aberrant ERK/MAPK signaling disrupts GABAergic development.

Here, I show that a Noonan Syndrome-linked gain-of-function mutation Raf1L613V, drives modest changes in astrocyte and oligodendrocyte progenitor cell (OPC) density in the mouse cortex and hippocampus. Raf1L613V mutant mice exhibited enhanced performance in hippocampal-dependent spatial reference and working memory and amygdala-dependent fear learning tasks. However, we observed normal perineuronal net (PNN) accumulation around mutant parvalbumin-expressing (PV) interneurons. Though PV-interneurons were minimally affected by the Raf1L613V mutation, other RASopathy mutations converge on aberrant GABAergic development as a mediator of neurological dysfunction.

I therefore hypothesized interneuron expression of the constitutively active Mek1S217/221E (caMek1) mutation would be sufficient to perturb GABAergic circuit development. Interestingly, the caMek1 mutation selectively disrupted crucial PV-interneuron developmental processes. During embryogenesis, I detected expression of cleaved-caspase 3 (CC3) in the medial ganglionic eminence (MGE). Interestingly, adult mutant cortices displayed a selective 50% reduction in PV-expressing interneurons, but not other interneuron subtypes. PV-interneuron loss was associated with seizure-like activity in mutants and coincided with reduced perisomatic synapses. Mature mutant PV-interneurons exhibited somal hypertrophy and a substantial increase in PNN accumulation. Aberrant GABAergic development culminated in reduced behavioral response inhibition, a process linked to ADHD-like behaviors. Collectively, these data provide insight into the mechanistic underpinnings of RASopathy neuropathology and suggest that modulation of GABAergic circuits may be an effective therapeutic option for RASopathy individuals.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Ketogenic Therapy as an Adjuvant for Malignant Glioma: Impacts on Anti-Tumor Immunity

Description

Malignant brain tumors are devastating despite aggressive treatments such as surgical resection, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The average life expectancy of patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma is approximately 15 months.

Malignant brain tumors are devastating despite aggressive treatments such as surgical resection, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The average life expectancy of patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma is approximately 15 months. One novel therapeutic strategy involves using a ketogenic diet (KD) which increases circulating ketones and reduces circulating glucose. While the preclinical work has shown that the KD increases survival, enhances radiation and alters several pathways in malignant gliomas, its impact on the anti-tumor immune response has yet to be examined. This dissertation demonstrates that mice fed the KD had increased tumor-reactive innate and adaptive immune responses, including increased cytokine production and cytolysis via tumor-reactive CD8+ T cells. Additionally, we saw that mice maintained on the KD had increased CD4 infiltration, while T regulatory cell numbers stayed consistent. Lastly, mice fed the KD had a significant reduction in immune inhibitory receptor expression as well as decreased inhibitory ligand expression on glioma cells, namely programmed death receptor -1 (PD-1) and its ligand programmed death receptor ligand -1 (PD-L1). Further, it is demonstrated that the ketone body beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) reduces expression of PD-L1 on glioma cells in vitro suggesting it may be responsible in part for immune-related changes elicited by the KD. Finally this dissertation also shows that the KD increases the expression of microRNAs predicted to target PD-L1 suggesting a potential mechanism to explain the ability of the KD to modulate immune inhibitory checkpoint pathways. Taken together these studies shed important light on the mechanisms underlying the KD and provide additional support for its use an adjuvant therapy for malignant glioma.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018