Publications by authors named "Joy Gumin"

46 Publications

RNAi technology targeting the fusion breakpoint: an opportunity for precision medicine.

Neurooncol Adv 2020 Jan-Dec;2(1):vdaa132. Epub 2020 Oct 16.

Department of Neurosurgery, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA.

Background: Fusion genes form as a result of abnormal chromosomal rearrangements linking previously separate genes into one transcript. The FGFR3-TACC3 fusion gene (F3-T3) has been shown to drive gliomagenesis in glioblastoma (GBM), a cancer that is notoriously resistant to therapy. However, successful targeting of F3-T3 via small molecular inhibitors has not revealed robust therapeutic responses, and specific targeting of F3-T3 has not been achieved heretofore. Here, we demonstrate that depleting F3-T3 using custom siRNA to the fusion breakpoint junction results in successful inhibition of F3-T3+ GBMs, and that exosomes can successfully deliver these siRNAs.

Methods: We engineered 10 unique siRNAs (iF3T3) that specifically spanned the most common F3-T3 breakpoint with varying degrees of overlap, and assayed depletion by qPCR and immunoblotting. Cell viability assays were performed. Mesenchymal stem cell-derived exosomes (UC-MSC) were electroporated with iF3T3, added to cells, and F3-T3 depletion measured by qPCR.

Results: We verified that depleting F3-T3 using shRNA to FGFR3 resulted in decreased cell viability and improved survival in glioma-bearing mice. We then demonstrated that 7/10 iF3T3 depleted F3-T3, and importantly, did not affect levels of wild-type (WT) FGFR3 or TACC3. iF3T3 decreased cell viability in both F3T3+ GBM and bladder cancer cell lines. UC-MSC exosomes successfully delivered iF3T3 in vitro, resulting in F3-T3 depletion.

Conclusion: Targeting F3-T3 using siRNAs specific to the fusion breakpoint is capable of eradicating F3T3+ cancers without toxicity related to inhibition of WT FGFR3 or TACC3, and UC-MSC exosomes may be a plausible vehicle to deliver iF3T3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/noajnl/vdaa132DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7680176PMC
October 2020

Endovascular Selective Intra-Arterial Infusion of Mesenchymal Stem Cells Loaded With Delta-24 in a Canine Model.

Neurosurgery 2020 12;88(1):E102-E113

Department of Neurosurgery, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.

Background: Delta-24-RGD, an oncolytic adenovirus, shows promise against glioblastoma. To enhance virus delivery, we recently demonstrated that human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells loaded with Delta-24-RGD (hMSC-D24) can eradicate glioblastomas in mouse models. There are no studies examining the safety of endovascular selective intra-arterial (ESIA) infusions of MSC-D24 in large animals simulating human clinical situations.

Objective: To perform canine preclinical studies testing the feasibility and safety of delivering increasing doses of hMSCs-D24 via ESIA infusions.

Methods: ESIA infusions of hMSC-D24 were performed in the cerebral circulation of 10 normal canines in the target vessels (internal carotid artery [ICA]/P1) via transfemoral approach using commercially available microcatheters. Increasing concentrations of hMSC-D24 or particles (as a positive control) were injected into 1 hemisphere; saline (negative control) was infused contralaterally. Toxicity (particularly embolic stroke) was assessed on postinfusion angiography, diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging, clinical exam, and necropsy.

Results: ESIA injections were performed in the ICA (n = 7) or P1 (n = 3). In 2 animals injected with particles (positive control), strokes were detected by all assays. Of 6 canines injected with hMSC-D24 through the anterior circulation, escalating dose from 2 × 106 cells/20 mL to 1 × 108 cells/10 mL resulted in no strokes. Two animals had ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes after posterior cerebral artery catheterization. A survival experiment of 2 subjects resulted in no complications detected for 24-h before euthanization.

Conclusion: This novel study simulating ESIA infusion demonstrates that MSCs-D24 can be infused safely at least up to doses of 1 × 108 cells/10 mL (107 cells/ml) in the canine anterior circulation using commercially available microcatheters. These findings support a clinical trial of ESIA infusion of hMSCs-D24.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyaa470DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7735865PMC
December 2020

Advances in endovascular neuro-oncology: endovascular selective intra-arterial (ESIA) infusion of targeted biologic therapy for brain tumors.

J Neurointerv Surg 2020 Feb 1;12(2):197-203. Epub 2019 Nov 1.

Department of Neurosurgery, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA

Background: Malignant gliomas continue to have a poor clinical outcome with available therapies. In the past few years, new targeted biologic therapies have been studied, with promising results. However, owing to problems with ineffective IV delivery of these newer agents, an alternative, more direct delivery mechanism is needed. Simultaneously, advancements in neuroendovascular technology have allowed endovascular selective intra-arterial approaches to delivery. This method has the potential to increase drug delivery and selectively target tumor vasculature.

Objective: To review the history of IA therapy for brain tumors, prior failures and successes, the emergence of new technologies and therapies, and the future direction of this young field.

Methods: A comprehensive literature search of two databases (PubMed, Ovid Medline) was performed for several terms including 'brain tumor', 'glioma', and 'endovascular intra-arterial'. Forty-five relevant articles were identified via a systematic review following PRISMA guidelines. Additional relevant articles were selected for further in-depth review. Emphasis was given to articles discussing selective intra-arterial intracranial delivery using microcatheters.

Results: Endovascular intra-arterial therapy with chemotherapy has had mixed results, with currently active trials using temozolomide, cetuximab, and bevacizumab. Prior attempts at IA chemotherapy with older-generation medications did not surpass the efficacy of IV administration. Advances in neuro-oncology have brought to the forefront new targeted biologic therapies.

Conclusions: In this review, we discuss the emerging field of endovascular neuro-oncology, a field that applies modern neuroendovascular techniques to the delivery of new therapeutic agents to brain tumors. The development of targeted therapies for brain tumors has been concurrent with the development of microcatheter technology, which has made superselective distal intracranial arterial access feasible and safe.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/neurintsurg-2019-015137DOI Listing
February 2020

GITRL-armed Delta-24-RGD oncolytic adenovirus prolongs survival and induces anti-glioma immune memory.

Neurooncol Adv 2019 May-Dec;1(1):vdz009. Epub 2019 Jun 5.

Department of Neuro-Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Background: Viroimmunotherapy is evolving as a strong alternative for the standard treatment of malignant gliomas. Promising results from a recent clinical trial testing the anticancer effect of Delta-24-RGD in patients with glioblastoma suggested the induction of antitumoral immunity after viral administration. To further enhance the anti-glioma immune effect, we have armed Delta-24-RGD with the costimulatory ligand GITRL (Delta-24-GREAT [Glucocorticoid Receptor Enhanced Activity of T cells]).

Methods: We tested the infectivity and replication of Delta-24-GREAT, and the expression of ectopic GITRL in human and murine glioma cell lines. In vivo experiments involved the intracranial implantation of glioma cells into an immunocompetent model to study the anticancer effect, and rechallenging experiments to study long-term protection. Phenotypic and functional characterization of lymphocyte populations were performed by FACS and ELISA for Th1 cytokines expression, respectively.

Results: Our results showed that Delta-24-GREAT infects and induces the expression of GITRL. Delta-24-GREAT prolonged the survival of glioma-bearing immunocompetent mice and resulted in both anti-viral and anti-glioma immune responses, including increased frequency of central memory CD8 T cells. Rechallenging the surviving mice with a second implantation of glioma cells did not lead to tumor growth; however, the surviving mice developed lethal tumors when B16/F10 melanoma cells were implanted intracranially, strongly indicating that the immune response was specific for glioma antigens.

Conclusions: GITRL-armed Delta-24-RGD treatment results in an antigen-restricted antitumor memory, an enhanced anti-glioma effect, and the generation of central immune memory. Our results strongly indicate that this strategy represents a vertical advance in virotherapy designed to treat patients with malignant brain tumors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/noajnl/vdz009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6777503PMC
June 2019

Microcatheter delivery of neurotherapeutics: compatibility with mesenchymal stem cells.

J Neurosurg 2019 Sep 6:1-9. Epub 2019 Sep 6.

Departments of1Neurosurgery and.

Objective: Bone marrow-derived human mesenchymal stem cells (BM-hMSCs) have been used in clinical trials for the treatment of several neurological disorders. MSCs have been explored as a delivery modality for targeted viral therapeutic agents in the treatment of intracranial pathologies. Delta-24-RGD, a tumor-selective oncolytic adenovirus designed to target malignant glioma cells, has been shown to be effective in animal models and in a recent clinical trial. However, the most efficient strategy for delivering oncolytic therapies remains unclear. BM-hMSCs have been shown to home toward glioma xenografts after intracarotid delivery. The feasibility of selective intraarterial infusion of BM-hMSCs loaded with Delta-24-RGD (BM-hMSC-Delta-24) to deliver the virus to the tumor is being investigated. To evaluate the feasibility of endovascular intraarterial delivery, the authors tested in vitro the compatibility of BM-hMSC-Delta-24 with a variety of commercially available, clinically common microcatheters.

Methods: BM-hMSCs were cultured, transfected with Delta-24-RGD, and resuspended in 1% human serum albumin. The solution was then injected via 4 common neuroendovascular microcatheters of different inner diameters (Marathon, Echelon-14, Marksman, and SL-10). Cell count and viability after injection through the microcatheters were assessed, including tests of injection velocity and catheter configuration. Transwell assays were performed with the injected cells to test the efficacy of BM-hMSC-Delta-24 activity against U87 glioma cells. BM-hMSC-Delta-24 compatibility was also tested with common neuroendovascular medications: Omnipaque, verapamil, and heparin.

Results: The preinfusion BM-hMSC-Delta-24 cell count was 1.2 × 105 cells/ml, with 98.7% viability. There was no significant difference in postinfusion cell count or viability for any of the catheters. Increasing the injection velocity from 1.0 ml/min to 73.2 ml/min, or modifying the catheter shape from straight to tortuous, did not significantly reduce cell count or viability. Cell count and viability remained stable for up to 5 hours when the cell solution was stored on ice. Mixing BM-hMSC-Delta-24 with clinical concentrations of Omnipaque, verapamil, and heparin prior to infusion did not alter cell count or viability. Transwell experiments demonstrated that the antiglioma activity of BM-hMSC-Delta-24 was maintained after infusion.

Conclusions: BM-hMSC-Delta-24 is compatible with a wide variety of microcatheters and medications commonly used in neuroendovascular therapy. Stem cell viability and viral agent activity do not appear to be affected by catheter configuration or injection velocity. Commercially available microcatheters can be used to deliver stem cell neurotherapeutics via intraarterial routes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2019.6.JNS19327DOI Listing
September 2019

REST-DRD2 mechanism impacts glioblastoma stem cell-mediated tumorigenesis.

Neuro Oncol 2019 06;21(6):775-785

Department of Genetics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Background: Glioblastoma (GBM) is a lethal, heterogeneous human brain tumor, with regulatory mechanisms that have yet to be fully characterized. Previous studies have indicated that the transcriptional repressor REST (repressor element-1 silencing transcription factor) regulates the oncogenic potential of GBM stem cells (GSCs) based on level of expression. However, how REST performs its regulatory role is not well understood.

Methods: We examined 2 independent high REST (HR) GSC lines using genome-wide assays, biochemical validations, gene knockdown analysis, and mouse tumor models. We analyzed in-house patient tumors and patient data present in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA).

Results: Genome-wide transcriptome and DNA-binding analyses suggested the dopamine receptor D2 (DRD2) gene, a dominant regulator of neurotransmitter signaling, as a direct target of REST. Biochemical analyses and mouse intracranial tumor models using knockdown of REST and double knockdown of REST and DRD2 validated this target and suggested that DRD2 is a downstream target of REST regulating tumorigenesis, at least in part, through controlling invasion and apoptosis. Further, TCGA GBM data support the presence of the REST-DRD2 axis and reveal that high REST/low DRD2 (HRLD) and low REST/high DRD2 (LRHD) tumors are specific subtypes, are molecularly different from the known GBM subtypes, and represent functional groups with distinctive patterns of enrichment of gene sets and biological pathways. The inverse HRLD/LRHD expression pattern is also seen in in-house GBM tumors.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that REST regulates neurotransmitter signaling pathways through DRD2 in HR-GSCs to impact tumorigenesis. They further suggest that the REST-DRD2 mechanism forms distinct subtypes of GBM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuonc/noz030DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6556851PMC
June 2019

REST overexpression in mice causes deficits in spontaneous locomotion.

Sci Rep 2018 08 14;8(1):12083. Epub 2018 Aug 14.

Departments of Genetics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 77030, USA.

Overexpression of REST has been implicated in brain tumors, ischemic insults, epilepsy, and movement disorders such as Huntington's disease. However, owing to the lack of a conditional REST overexpression animal model, the mechanism of action of REST overexpression in these disorders has not been established in vivo. We created a REST overexpression mouse model using the human REST (hREST) gene. Our results using these mice confirm that hREST expression parallels endogenous REST expression in embryonic mouse brains. Further analyses indicate that REST represses the dopamine receptor 2 (Drd2) gene, which encodes a critical nigrostriatal receptor involved in regulating movement, in vivo. Overexpression of REST using Drd2-Cre in adult mice results in increased REST and decreased DRD2 expression in the striatum, a major site of DRD2 expression, and phenocopies the spontaneous locomotion deficits seen upon global DRD2 deletion or specific DRD2 deletion from indirect-pathway medium spiny neurons. Thus, our studies using this mouse model not only reveal a new function of REST in regulating spontaneous locomotion but also suggest that REST overexpression in DRD2-expressing cells results in spontaneous locomotion deficits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-29441-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6092433PMC
August 2018

A Coclinical Radiogenomic Validation Study: Conserved Magnetic Resonance Radiomic Appearance of Periostin-Expressing Glioblastoma in Patients and Xenograft Models.

Clin Cancer Res 2018 12 27;24(24):6288-6299. Epub 2018 Jul 27.

Department of Cancer Systems Imaging, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Purpose: Radiomics is the extraction of multidimensional imaging features, which when correlated with genomics, is termed radiogenomics. However, radiogenomic biological validation is not sufficiently described in the literature. We seek to establish causality between differential gene expression status and MRI-extracted radiomic-features in glioblastoma.

Experimental Design: Radiogenomic predictions and validation were done using the Cancer Genome Atlas and Repository of Molecular Brain Neoplasia Data glioblastoma patients ( = 93) and orthotopic xenografts (OX; = 40). Tumor phenotypes were segmented, and radiomic-features extracted using the developed radiome-sequencing pipeline. Patients and animals were dichotomized on the basis of Periostin ( expression levels. RNA and protein levels confirmed RNAi-mediated knockdown in OX. Total RNA of tumor cells isolated from mouse brains (knockdown and control) was used for microarray-based expression profiling. Radiomic-features were utilized to predict expression status in patient, mouse, and interspecies.

Results: Our robust pipeline consists of segmentation, radiomic-feature extraction, feature normalization/selection, and predictive modeling. The combination of skull stripping, brain-tissue focused normalization, and patient-specific normalization are unique to this study, providing comparable cross-platform, cross-institution radiomic features. expression status was not associated with qualitative or volumetric MRI parameters. Radiomic features significantly predicted expression status in patients (AUC: 76.56%; sensitivity/specificity: 73.91/78.26%) and OX (AUC: 92.26%; sensitivity/specificity: 92.86%/91.67%). Furthermore, radiomic features in OX were significantly associated with patients with similar expression levels (AUC: 93.36%; sensitivity/specificity: 82.61%/95.74%; = 02.021E-15).

Conclusions: We determined causality between radiomic texture features and expression levels in a preclinical model with clinical validation. Our biologically validated radiomic pipeline also showed the potential application for human-mouse matched coclinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-17-3420DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6538261PMC
December 2018

A gene expression signature predicts recurrence-free survival in meningioma.

Oncotarget 2018 Mar 15;9(22):16087-16098. Epub 2018 Feb 15.

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Department of Translational Molecular Pathology, Houston, TX, USA.

Background: Meningioma is the most common primary brain tumor and has a variable risk of local recurrence. While World Health Organization (WHO) grade generally correlates with recurrence, there is substantial within-grade variation of recurrence risk. Current risk stratification does not accurately predict which patients are likely to benefit from adjuvant radiation therapy (RT). We hypothesized that tumors at risk for recurrence have unique gene expression profiles (GEP) that could better select patients for adjuvant RT.

Methods: We developed a recurrence predictor by machine learning modeling using a training/validation approach.

Results: Three publicly available AffymetrixU133 gene expression datasets (GSE9438, GSE16581, GSE43290) combining 127 primary, non-treated meningiomas of all grades served as the training set. Unsupervised variable selection was used to identify an 18-gene GEP model (18-GEP) that separated recurrences. This model was validated on 62 primary, non-treated cases with similar grade and clinical variable distribution as the training set. When applied to the validation set, 18-GEP separated recurrences with a misclassification error rate of 0.25 (log-rank p=0.0003). 18-GEP was predictive for tumor recurrence [p=0.0008, HR=4.61, 95%CI=1.89-11.23)] and was predictive after adjustment for WHO grade, mitotic index, sex, tumor location, and Simpson grade [p=0.0311, HR=9.28, 95%CI=(1.22-70.29)]. The expression signature included genes encoding proteins involved in normal embryonic development, cell proliferation, tumor growth and invasion (FGF9, SEMA3C, EDNRA), angiogenesis (angiopoietin-2), cell cycle regulation (CDKN1A), membrane signaling (tetraspanin-7, caveolin-2), WNT-pathway inhibitors (DKK3), complement system (C1QA) and neurotransmitter regulation (SLC1A3, Secretogranin-II).

Conclusions: 18-GEP accurately stratifies patients with meningioma by recurrence risk having the potential to guide the use of adjuvant RT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.24498DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5882319PMC
March 2018

Glioblastoma stem cell-derived exosomes induce M2 macrophages and PD-L1 expression on human monocytes.

Oncoimmunology 2018;7(4):e1412909. Epub 2018 Jan 16.

Departments of Neurosurgery, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.

Exosomes can mediate a dynamic method of communication between malignancies, including those sequestered in the central nervous system and the immune system. We sought to determine whether exosomes from glioblastoma (GBM)-derived stem cells (GSCs) can induce immunosuppression. We report that GSC-derived exosomes (GDEs) have a predilection for monocytes, the precursor to macrophages. The GDEs traverse the monocyte cytoplasm, cause a reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton, and skew monocytes toward the immune suppresive M2 phenotype, including programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression. Mass spectrometry analysis demonstrated that the GDEs contain a variety of components, including members of the signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) pathway that functionally mediate this immune suppressive switch. Western blot analysis revealed that upregulation of PD-L1 in GSC exosome-treated monocytes and GBM-patient-infiltrating CD14 cells predominantly correlates with increased phosphorylation of STAT3, and in some cases, with phosphorylated p70S6 kinase and Erk1/2. Cumulatively, these data indicate that GDEs are secreted GBM-released factors that are potent modulators of the GBM-associated immunosuppressive microenvironment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/2162402X.2017.1412909DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5889290PMC
January 2018

Magnetic resonance and photoacoustic imaging of brain tumor mediated by mesenchymal stem cell labeled with multifunctional nanoparticle introduced via carotid artery injection.

Nanotechnology 2018 Apr;29(16):165101

Department of Interventional Radiology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd., Houston, TX 77030, United States of America. Texas A&M University College of Medicine, 8447 Riverside Pkwy., Bryan, TX 77807, United States of America.

Objective: To evaluate the feasibility of visualizing bone marrow-derived human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) labeled with a gold-coated magnetic resonance (MR)-active multifunctional nanoparticle and injected via the carotid artery for assessing the extent of MSC homing in glioma-bearing mice.

Materials And Methods: Nanoparticles containing superparamagnetic iron oxide coated with gold (SPIO@Au) with a diameter of ∼82 nm and maximum absorbance in the near infrared region were synthesized. Bone marrow-derived MSCs conjugated with green fluorescent protein (GFP) were successfully labeled with SPIO@Au at 4 μg ml and injected via the internal carotid artery in six mice bearing orthotopic U87 tumors. Unlabeled MSCs were used as a control. The ability of SPIO@Au-loaded MSCs to be imaged using MR and photoacoustic (PA) imaging at t = 0 h, 2 h, 24 h, and 72 h was assessed using a 7 T Bruker Biospec experimental MR scanner and a Vevo LAZR PA imaging system with a 5 ns laser as the excitation source. Histological analysis of the brain tissue was performed 72 h after MSC injection using GFP fluorescence, Prussian blue staining, and hematoxylin-and-eosin staining.

Results: MSCs labeled with SPIO@Au at 4 μg ml did not exhibit cell death or any adverse effects on differentiation or migration. The PA signal in tumors injected with SPIO@Au-loaded MSCs was clearly more enhanced post-injection, as compared with the tumors injected with unlabeled MSCs at t = 72 h. Using the same mice, T2-weighted MR imaging results taken before injection and at t = 2 h, 24 h, and 72 h were consistent with the PA imaging results, showing significant hypointensity of the tumor in the presence of SPIO@Au-loaded MSCs. Histological analysis also showed co-localization of GFP fluorescence and iron, thereby confirming that SPIO@Au-labeled MSCs continue to carry their nanoparticle payloads even at 72 h after injection.

Conclusions: Our results demonstrated the feasibility of tracking carotid artery-injected SPIO@Au-labeled MSCs in vivo via MR and PA imaging.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1361-6528/aaaf16DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5863233PMC
April 2018

Phase I Study of DNX-2401 (Delta-24-RGD) Oncolytic Adenovirus: Replication and Immunotherapeutic Effects in Recurrent Malignant Glioma.

J Clin Oncol 2018 05 12;36(14):1419-1427. Epub 2018 Feb 12.

Frederick F. Lang, Charles Conrad, Candelaria Gomez-Manzano, W.K. Alfred Yung, Raymond Sawaya, Jeffrey S. Weinberg, Sujit S. Prabhu, Ganesh Rao, Gregory N. Fuller, Kenneth D. Aldape, Joy Gumin, Luis M. Vence, Ignacio Wistuba, Jaime Rodriguez-Canales, Pamela A. Villalobos, and Juan Fueyo, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center; Brett Ewald, Joanna J. Peterkin, and Frank Tufaro, DNAtrix, Houston, TX; Clemens M.F. Dirven, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands; and Sonia Tejada, Ricardo D. Valle, and Marta M. Alonso, Clínica Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain.

Purpose DNX-2401 (Delta-24-RGD; tasadenoturev) is a tumor-selective, replication-competent oncolytic adenovirus. Preclinical studies demonstrated antiglioma efficacy, but the effects and mechanisms of action have not been evaluated in patients. Methods A phase I, dose-escalation, biologic-end-point clinical trial of DNX-2401 was conducted in 37 patients with recurrent malignant glioma. Patients received a single intratumoral injection of DNX-2401 into biopsy-confirmed recurrent tumor to evaluate safety and response across eight dose levels (group A). To investigate the mechanism of action, a second group of patients (group B) underwent intratumoral injection through a permanently implanted catheter, followed 14 days later by en bloc resection to acquire post-treatment specimens. Results In group A (n = 25), 20% of patients survived > 3 years from treatment, and three patients had a ≥ 95% reduction in the enhancing tumor (12%), with all three of these dramatic responses resulting in > 3 years of progression-free survival from the time of treatment. Analyses of post-treatment surgical specimens (group B, n = 12) showed that DNX-2401 replicates and spreads within the tumor, documenting direct virus-induced oncolysis in patients. In addition to radiographic signs of inflammation, histopathologic examination of immune markers in post-treatment specimens showed tumor infiltration by CD8 and T-bet cells, and transmembrane immunoglobulin mucin-3 downregulation after treatment. Analyses of patient-derived cell lines for damage-associated molecular patterns revealed induction of immunogenic cell death in tumor cells after DNX-2401 administration. Conclusion Treatment with DNX-2401 resulted in dramatic responses with long-term survival in recurrent high-grade gliomas that are probably due to direct oncolytic effects of the virus followed by elicitation of an immune-mediated antiglioma response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2017.75.8219DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6075856PMC
May 2018

Dexamethasone-mediated oncogenicity in vitro and in an animal model of glioblastoma.

J Neurosurg 2018 12;129(6):1446-1455

Departments of2Cancer Systems Imaging.

OBJECTIVEDexamethasone, a known regulator of mesenchymal programming in glioblastoma (GBM), is routinely used to manage edema in GBM patients. Dexamethasone also activates the expression of genes, such as CEBPB, in GBM stem cells (GSCs). However, the drug's impact on invasion, proliferation, and angiogenesis in GBM remains unclear. To determine whether dexamethasone induces invasion, proliferation, and angiogenesis in GBM, the authors investigated the drug's impact in vitro, in vivo, and in clinical information derived from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) cohort.METHODSExpression profiles of patients from the TCGA cohort with mesenchymal GBM (n = 155) were compared with patients with proneural GBM by comparative marker selection. To obtain robust data, GSCs with IDH1 wild-type (GSC3) and with IDH1 mutant (GSC6) status were exposed to dexamethasone in vitro and in vivo and analyzed for invasion (Boyden chamber, human-specific nucleolin), proliferation (Ki-67), and angiogenesis (CD31). Ex vivo tumor cells from dexamethasone-treated and control mice were isolated by fluorescence activated cell sorting and profiled using Affymetrix chips for mRNA (HTA 2.0) and microRNAs (miRNA 4.0). A pathway analysis was performed to identify a dexamethasone-regulated gene signature, and its relationship with overall survival (OS) was assessed using Kaplan-Meier analysis in the entire GBM TCGA cohort (n = 520).RESULTSThe mesenchymal subgroup, when compared with the proneural subgroup, had significant upregulation of a dexamethasone-regulated gene network, as well as canonical pathways of proliferation, invasion, and angiogenesis. Dexamethasone-treated GSC3 demonstrated a significant increase in invasion, both in vitro and in vivo, whereas GSC6 demonstrated a modest increase. Furthermore, dexamethasone treatment of both GSC3 and GSC6 lines resulted in significantly elevated cell proliferation and angiogenesis in vivo. Patients with mesenchymal GBM had significant upregulation of dexamethasone-regulated pathways when compared with patients with proneural GBM. A prognostic (p = 0.0007) 33-gene signature was derived from the ex vivo expression profile analyses and used to dichotomize the entire TCGA cohort by high (median OS 12.65 months) or low (median OS 14.91 months) dexamethasone signature.CONCLUSIONSThe authors present evidence that furthers the understanding of the complex effects of dexamethasone on biological characteristics of GBM. The results suggest that the drug increases invasion, proliferation, and angiogenesis in human GSC-derived orthotopic tumors, potentially worsening GBM patients' prognoses. The authors believe that careful investigation is needed to determine how to minimize these deleterious dexamethasone-associated side effects in GBM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2017.7.JNS17668DOI Listing
December 2018

Mesenchymal stem cells as natural biofactories for exosomes carrying miR-124a in the treatment of gliomas.

Neuro Oncol 2018 02;20(3):380-390

Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Tumor Center, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Background: MicroRNAs (miRs) are promising new therapeutics for glioblastoma. However, which miRs are most effective against glioblastomas and how these miRs should be delivered are major unanswered problems.

Methods: To identify potent antiglioma miRs, we selected 8 miRs based on a literature search and screened them against a panel of glioma stem cell (GSC) lines, representing all of the glioblastoma subtypes defined by The Cancer Genome Atlas. To address delivery, we tested the hypothesis that ex vivo cultured bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can package miRs into exosomes and that these engineered exosomes can systemically deliver antiglioma miRs to glioblastomas.

Results: Of the screened miRs, we identified miR-124a as the most effective antiglioma agent against GSCs. We then transduced MSCs with lentivirus vectors containing miR-124a and isolated vesicles from the medium. Electron microscopy, western blotting, and Nanosight proved that the isolated vesicles were exosomes. Quantitative PCR documented that these exosomes contained high levels of miR-124a, which was not present in control exosomes. In vitro treatment of GSCs with exosomes containing miR-124a (Exo-miR124) resulted in a significant reduction in viability and clonogenicity of GSCs compared with controls. In vivo treatment of mice harboring intracranial GSC267 with systemically delivered Exo-miR124 resulted in 50% of animals living long term. No evidence of tumor was present on histological analysis of the survivors. Mechanistic studies showed that miR-124a acts by silencing Forkhead box (FOX)A2, resulting in aberrant intracellular lipid accumulation.

Conclusion: MSCs can be used as natural biofactories to produce Exo-miR124, which is an effective antiglioma agent worthy of further clinical evaluation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuonc/nox152DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5817945PMC
February 2018

Exosomes from Glioma-Associated Mesenchymal Stem Cells Increase the Tumorigenicity of Glioma Stem-like Cells via Transfer of miR-1587.

Cancer Res 2017 11 30;77(21):5808-5819. Epub 2017 Aug 30.

Department of Neurosurgery, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Tumor-stromal communications impact tumorigenesis in ways that are incompletely understood. Here, we show that glioma-associated human mesenchymal stem cells (GA-hMSC), a newly identified stromal component of glioblastoma, release exosomes that increase the proliferation and clonogenicity of tumor-initiating glioma stem-like cells (GSC). This event leads to a significantly greater tumor burden and decreased host survival compared with untreated GSCs in orthotopic xenografts. Analysis of the exosomal content identified miR-1587 as a mediator of the exosomal effects on GSCs, in part via downregulation of the tumor-suppressive nuclear receptor corepressor NCOR1. Our results illuminate the tumor-supporting role for GA-hMSCs by identifying GA-hMSC-derived exosomes in the intercellular transfer of specific miRNA that enhance the aggressiveness of glioblastoma. .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-16-2524DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5668150PMC
November 2017

Efficacy of Onalespib, a Long-Acting Second-Generation HSP90 Inhibitor, as a Single Agent and in Combination with Temozolomide against Malignant Gliomas.

Clin Cancer Res 2017 Oct 5;23(20):6215-6226. Epub 2017 Jul 5.

Division of Neuro-oncology, The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbus, Ohio.

HSP90, a highly conserved molecular chaperone that regulates the function of several oncogenic client proteins, is altered in glioblastoma. However, HSP90 inhibitors currently in clinical trials are short-acting, have unacceptable toxicities, or are unable to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). We examined the efficacy of onalespib, a potent, long-acting novel HSP90 inhibitor as a single agent and in combination with temozolomide (TMZ) against gliomas and The effect of onalespib on HSP90, its client proteins, and on the biology of glioma cell lines and patient-derived glioma-initiating cells (GSC) was determined. Brain and plasma pharmacokinetics of onalespib and its ability to inhibit HSP90 were assessed in non-tumor-bearing mice. Its efficacy as a single agent or in combination with TMZ was assessed and using zebrafish and patient-derived GSC xenograft mouse glioma models. Onalespib-mediated HSP90 inhibition depleted several survival-promoting client proteins such as EGFR, EGFRvIII, and AKT, disrupted their downstream signaling, and decreased the proliferation, migration, angiogenesis, and survival of glioma cell lines and GSCs. Onalespib effectively crossed the BBB to inhibit HSP90 and extended survival as a single agent in zebrafish xenografts and in combination with TMZ in both zebrafish and GSC mouse xenografts. Our results demonstrate the long-acting effects of onalespib against gliomas and which combined with its ability to cross the BBB support its development as a potential therapeutic agent in combination with TMZ against gliomas. .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-16-3151DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5986078PMC
October 2017

Percentage of mesenchymal stem cells in high-grade glioma tumor samples correlates with patient survival.

Neuro Oncol 2017 05;19(5):660-668

Department of Neurosurgery, Unit 442, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA.

Background: Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) have been shown to reside as stromal cells in human gliomas as glioma-associated hMSCs (GA-hMSCs), but their biological role remains unclear. Because recent evidence indicates that GA-hMSCs drive tumor cell proliferation and stemness, we hypothesized that a higher percentage of GA-hMSCs in tumors predicts poor patient prognosis.

Method: We determined the percentage of cells coexpressing GA-hMSC markers CD105+/CD73+/CD90+ from patients with newly diagnosed high-grade glioma and analyzed the association between this percentage and overall survival (OS) in 3 independent cohorts: fresh surgical glioblastoma specimens (cohort 1, N = 9), cultured tumor specimens at passage 3 (cohort 2, N = 28), and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database.

Results: In all cohorts, patient OS correlated with the percentages of GA-hMSCs in tumors. For cohort 1, the median OS of patients with tumors with a low percentage of triple-positive cells was 46 months, and for tumors with a high percentage of triple-positive cells, it was 12 months (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.24; 95% CI: 0.02-0.5, P = .02). For cohort 2, the median OS of patients with tumors with a low percentage of GA-hMSCs was 66 months, and for tumors with a high percentage, it was 11 months (HR = 0.38; 95% CI: 0.13-0.9, P = .04). In the database of TCGA, the median OS times in patients with high and low coexpression levels of CD105/CD73/CD90 were 8.4 months and 13.1 months (HR = 0.4; 95% CI: 0.1-0.88; P = .04), respectively.

Conclusions: The percentage of GA-MSCs inversely correlates with OS, suggesting a role for GA-MSCs in promoting aggressive behavior of gliomas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuonc/now239DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5464439PMC
May 2017

Ionizing radiation augments glioma tropism of mesenchymal stem cells.

J Neurosurg 2018 01 31;128(1):287-295. Epub 2017 Mar 31.

Departments of1Neurosurgery and.

OBJECTIVE Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been shown to localize to gliomas after intravascular delivery. Because these cells home to areas of tissue injury, the authors hypothesized that the administration of ionizing radiation (IR) to tumor would enhance the tropism of MSCs to gliomas. Additionally, they sought to identify which radiation-induced factors might attract MSCs. METHODS To assess the effect of IR on MSC migration in vitro, transwell assays using conditioned medium (CM) from an irradiated commercially available glioma cell line (U87) and from irradiated patient-derived glioma stem-like cells (GSCs; GSC7-2 and GSC11) were employed. For in vivo testing, green fluorescent protein (GFP)-labeled MSCs were injected into the carotid artery of nude mice harboring orthotopic U87, GSC7-2, or GSC17 xenografts that were treated with either 0 or 10 Gy of IR, and brain sections were quantitatively analyzed by immunofluorescence for GFP-positive cells. These GSCs were used because GSC7-2 is a weak attractor of MSCs at baseline, whereas GSC17 is a strong attractor. To determine the factors implicated in IR-induced tropism, CM from irradiated GSC7-2 and from GSC11 was assayed with a cytokine array and quantitative ELISA. RESULTS Transwell migration assays revealed statistically significant enhanced MSC migration to CM from irradiated U87, GSC7-2, and GSC11 compared with nonirradiated controls and in a dose-dependent manner. After their intravascular delivery into nude mice harboring orthotopic gliomas, MSCs engrafted more successfully in irradiated U87 (p = 0.036), compared with nonirradiated controls. IR also significantly increased the tropism of MSCs to GSC7-2 xenografts (p = 0.043), which are known to attract MSCs only poorly at baseline (weak-attractor GSCs). Ionizing radiation also increased the engraftment of MSCs in strong-attractor GSC17 xenografts, but these increases did not reach statistical significance. The chemokine CCL2 was released by GSC7-2 and GSC11 after irradiation in a dose-dependent manner and mediated in vitro transwell migration of MSCs. Immunohistochemistry revealed increased CCL2 in irradiated GSC7-2 gliomas near the site of MSC engraftment. CONCLUSIONS Administering IR to gliomas enhances MSC localization, particularly in GSCs that attract MSCs poorly at baseline. The chemokine CCL2 appears to play a crucial role in the IR-induced tropism of MSCs to gliomas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2016.9.JNS16278DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6008155PMC
January 2018

Preclinical Evaluation of Sequential Combination of Oncolytic Adenovirus Delta-24-RGD and Phosphatidylserine-Targeting Antibody in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma.

Mol Cancer Ther 2017 04 30;16(4):662-670. Epub 2017 Jan 30.

Department of Surgical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Delta-24-RGD (DNX-2401) is a conditional replication-competent oncolytic virus engineered to preferentially replicate in and lyse tumor cells with abnormality of p16/RB/E2F pathway. In a phase I clinical trial, Delta-24-RGD has shown favorable safety profile and promising clinical efficacy in brain tumor, which prompted us to evaluate its anticancer activity in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), which also has high frequency of homozygous deletion and promoter methylation of CDKN2A encoding the p16 protein. Our results demonstrate that Delta-24-RGD can induce dramatic cytotoxicity in a subset of PDAC cell lines with high cyclin D1 expression. Induction of autophagy and apoptosis by Delta-24-RGD in sensitive PDAC cells was confirmed with LC3B-GFP autophagy reporter and acridine orange staining as well as Western blotting analysis of LC3B-II expression. Notably, we found that Delta-24-RGD induced phosphatidylserine exposure in infected cells independent of cells' sensitivity to Delta-24-RGD, which renders a rationale for combination of Delta-24-RGD viral therapy and phosphatidylserine targeting antibody for PDAC. In a mouse PDAC model derived from a liver metastatic pancreatic cancer cell line, Delta-24-RGD significantly inhibited tumor growth compared with control ( < 0.001), and combination of phosphatidylserine targeting antibody 1N11 further enhanced its anticancer activity ( < 0.01) possibly through inducing synergistic anticancer immune responses. Given that these 2 agents are currently in clinical evaluation, our study warrants further clinical evaluation of this novel combination strategy in pancreatic cancer therapy. .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-16-0526DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5512885PMC
April 2017

A Dexamethasone-regulated Gene Signature Is Prognostic for Poor Survival in Glioblastoma Patients.

J Neurosurg Anesthesiol 2017 Jan;29(1):46-58

*Department of Anesthesiology, Bern University Hospital Inselspital, Bern, Switzerland Departments of †Cancer Systems Imaging ‡Diagnostic Imaging §Neurosurgery and Brain Tumor Center ∥Radiation Oncology, Division of Radiation Oncology #Neurosurgery, Cancer Systems Imaging, and Cancer Biology **Cancer Systems Imaging, and Diagnostic Imaging, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center ¶Department of Neurosurgery, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX.

Background: Dexamethasone is reported to induce both tumor-suppressive and tumor-promoting effects. The purpose of this study was to identify the genomic impact of dexamethasone in glioblastoma stem cell (GSC) lines and its prognostic value; furthermore, to identify drugs that can counter these side effects of dexamethasone exposure.

Methods: We utilized 3 independent GSC lines with tumorigenic potential for this study. Whole-genome expression profiling and pathway analyses were done with dexamethasone-exposed and control cells. GSCs were also co-exposed to dexamethasone and temozolomide. Risk scores were calculated for most affected genes, and their associations with survival in The Cancer Genome Atlas and Repository of Molecular Brain Neoplasia Data databases. In silico Connectivity Map analysis identified camptothecin as antagonist to dexamethasone-induced negative effects.

Results: Pathway analyses predicted an activation of dexamethasone network (z-score: 2.908). Top activated canonical pathways included "role of breast cancer 1 in DNA damage response" (P=1.07E-04). GSCs were protected against temozolomide-induced apoptosis when coincubated with dexamethasone. Altered cellular functions included cell movement, cell survival, and apoptosis with z-scores of 2.815, 5.137, and -3.122, respectively. CCAAT/enhancer binding protein beta (CEBPB) was activated in a dose dependent manner specifically in slow-dividing "stem-like" cells. CEBPB was activated in dexamethasone-treated orthotopic tumors. Patients with high risk scores had significantly shorter survival. Camptothecin was validated as potential partial neutralizer of dexamethasone-induced oncogenic effects.

Conclusions: Dexamethasone exposure induces a genetic program and CEBPB expression in GSCs that adversely affects key cellular functions and response to therapeutics. High risk scores associated with these genes have negative prognostic value in patients. Our findings further suggest camptothecin as a potential neutralizer of adverse dexamethasone-mediated effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/ANA.0000000000000368DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5143186PMC
January 2017

Critical Role of Autophagy in the Processing of Adenovirus Capsid-Incorporated Cancer-Specific Antigens.

PLoS One 2016 19;11(4):e0153814. Epub 2016 Apr 19.

Department of Neuro-Oncology, Brain Tumor Center, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, United States of America.

Adenoviruses are highly immunogenic and are being examined as potential vectors for immunotherapy. Infection by oncolytic adenovirus is followed by massive autophagy in cancer cells. Here, we hypothesize that autophagy regulates the processing of adenoviral proteins for antigen presentation. To test this hypothesis, we first examined the presentation of viral antigens by infected cells using an antibody cocktail of viral capsid proteins. We found that viral antigens were processed by JNK-mediated autophagy, and that autophagy was required for their presentation. Consistent with these results, splenocytes isolated from virus-immunized mice were activated by infected cells in an MHC II-dependent manner. We then hypothesize that this mechanism can be utilized to generate an efficient cancer vaccine. To this end, we constructed an oncolytic virus encompassing an EGFRvIII cancer-specific epitope in the adenoviral fiber. Infection of cancer cells with this fiber-modified adenovirus resulted in recognition of infected cancer cells by a specific anti-EGFRvIII antibody. However, inhibition of autophagy drastically decreased the capability of the specific antibody to detect the cancer-related epitope in infected cells. Our data suggest that combination of adenoviruses with autophagy inducers may enhance the processing and presentation of cancer-specific antigens incorporated into capsid proteins.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0153814PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4836716PMC
September 2016

Soluble Tie2 overrides the heightened invasion induced by anti-angiogenesis therapies in gliomas.

Oncotarget 2016 Mar;7(13):16146-57

Department of Neuro-Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.

Glioblastoma recurrence after treatment with the anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) agent bevacizumab is characterized by a highly infiltrative and malignant behavior that renders surgical excision and chemotherapy ineffective. Our group has previously reported that Tie2-expressing monocytes (TEMs) are aberrantly present at the tumor/normal brain interface after anti-VEGF therapies and their significant role in the invasive outgrowth of these tumors. Here, we aimed to further understand the mechanisms leading to this pro-invasive tumor microenvironment. Examination of a U87MG xenogeneic glioma model and a GL261 murine syngeneic model showed increased tumor expression of angiopoietin 2 (Ang2), a natural ligand of Tie2, after anti-angiogenesis therapies targeting VEGF or VEGF receptor (VEGFR), as assessed by immunohistochemical analysis, immunofluorescence analysis, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays of tumor lysates. Migration and gelatinolytic assays showed that Ang2 acts as both a chemoattractant of TEMs and an enhancing signal for their tumor-remodeling properties. Accordingly, in vivo transduction of Ang2 into intracranial gliomas increased recruitment of TEMs into the tumor. To reduce invasive tumor outgrowth after anti-angiogenesis therapy, we targeted the Ang-Tie2 axis using a Tie2 decoy receptor. Using syngeneic models, we observed that overexpression of soluble Tie2 within the tumor prevented the recruitment of TEMs to the tumor and the development of invasion after anti-angiogenesis treatment. Taken together, these data indicate an active role for the Ang2-Tie2 pathway in invasive glioma recurrence after anti-angiogenesis treatment and provide a rationale for testing the combined targeting of VEGF and Ang-Tie2 pathways in patients with glioblastoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.7550DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4941303PMC
March 2016

Mir-21-Sox2 Axis Delineates Glioblastoma Subtypes with Prognostic Impact.

J Neurosci 2015 Nov;35(45):15097-112

Departments of Genetics, Neuro-Oncology, The Brain Tumor Center, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Houston, Texas 77030

Unlabelled: Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most aggressive human brain tumor. Although several molecular subtypes of GBM are recognized, a robust molecular prognostic marker has yet to be identified. Here, we report that the stemness regulator Sox2 is a new, clinically important target of microRNA-21 (miR-21) in GBM, with implications for prognosis. Using the MiR-21-Sox2 regulatory axis, approximately half of all GBM tumors present in the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and in-house patient databases can be mathematically classified into high miR-21/low Sox2 (Class A) or low miR-21/high Sox2 (Class B) subtypes. This classification reflects phenotypically and molecularly distinct characteristics and is not captured by existing classifications. Supporting the distinct nature of the subtypes, gene set enrichment analysis of the TCGA dataset predicted that Class A and Class B tumors were significantly involved in immune/inflammatory response and in chromosome organization and nervous system development, respectively. Patients with Class B tumors had longer overall survival than those with Class A tumors. Analysis of both databases indicated that the Class A/Class B classification is a better predictor of patient survival than currently used parameters. Further, manipulation of MiR-21-Sox2 levels in orthotopic mouse models supported the longer survival of the Class B subtype. The MiR-21-Sox2 association was also found in mouse neural stem cells and in the mouse brain at different developmental stages, suggesting a role in normal development. Therefore, this mechanism-based classification suggests the presence of two distinct populations of GBM patients with distinguishable phenotypic characteristics and clinical outcomes.

Significance Statement: Molecular profiling-based classification of glioblastoma (GBM) into four subtypes has substantially increased our understanding of the biology of the disease and has pointed to the heterogeneous nature of GBM. However, this classification is not mechanism based and its prognostic value is limited. Here, we identify a new mechanism in GBM (the miR-21-Sox2 axis) that can classify ∼50% of patients into two subtypes with distinct molecular, radiological, and pathological characteristics. Importantly, this classification can predict patient survival better than the currently used parameters. Further, analysis of the miR-21-Sox2 relationship in mouse neural stem cells and in the mouse brain at different developmental stages indicates that miR-21 and Sox2 are predominantly expressed in mutually exclusive patterns, suggesting a role in normal neural development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1265-15.2015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4642241PMC
November 2015

Aberrant mesenchymal differentiation of glioma stem-like cells: implications for therapeutic targeting.

Oncotarget 2015 Oct;6(31):31007-17

Department of Neuro-Oncology, University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA.

Differentiation has been proposed as a therapeutic strategy for glioblastoma (GBM) in part due to observations of stem-like cells in GBM that have been shown to undergo terminal differentiation in response to growth factor withdrawal and BMP activation. However, the effects of long term exposure to serum culture conditions on glioma sphere cultures/glioma stem-like cells (GSCs) have not been examined. Here we show that GSCs retained both neurosphere formation and tumor initiation abilities after short or long term serum exposure. Under these conditions, GSCs expressed both neural lineage and stem cell markers, highlighting the aberrant pseudo-differentiation state. GSCs maintained under adherent serum cultured conditions continued to proliferate and initiate tumor formation with efficiencies similar to GSCs maintained under proliferating (neurosphere) conditions. Proneural (PN) GSCs under serum exposure showed an induction of mesenchymal (MES) gene expression signatures. Our data indicate that exposure to serum containing media result in aberrant differentiation (e.g. toward MES lineage) and activation of alternative oncogenic pathways in GSCs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.5219DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4741584PMC
October 2015

Integrated Transcriptomic and Glycomic Profiling of Glioma Stem Cell Xenografts.

J Proteome Res 2015 Sep 4;14(9):3932-9. Epub 2015 Aug 4.

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Texas Tech University , 2500 Broadway, Lubbock, Texas 79409, United States.

Bone marrow-derived human mesenchymal stem cells (BM-hMSCs) have the innate ability to migrate or home toward and engraft in tumors such as glioblastoma (GBM). Because of this unique property of BM-hMSCs, we have explored their use for cell-mediated therapeutic delivery for the advancement of GBM treatment. Extravasation, the process by which blood-borne cells—such as BM-hMSCs—enter the tissue, is a highly complex process but is heavily dependent upon glycosylation for glycan-glycan and glycan-protein adhesion between the cell and endothelium. However, in a translationally significant preclinical glioma stem cell xenograft (GSCX) model of GBM, BM-hMSCs demonstrate unequal tropism toward these tumors. We hypothesized that there may be differences in the glycan compositions between the GSCXs that elicit homing ("attractors") and those that do not ("non-attractors") that facilitate or impede the engraftment of BM-hMSCs in the tumor. In this study, glycotranscriptomic analysis revealed significant heterogeneity within the attractor phenotype and the enrichment of high mannose type N-glycan biosynthesis in the non-attractor phenotype. Orthogonal validation with topical PNGase F deglycosylation on the tumor regions of xenograft tissue, followed by nLC-ESI-MS, confirmed the presence of increased high mannose type N-glycans in the non-attractors. Additional evidence provided by our glycomic study revealed the prevalence of terminal sialic acid-containing N-glycans in non-attractors and terminal galactose and N-acetyl-glucosamine N-glycans in attractors. Our results provide the first evidence for differential glycomic profiles in attractor and non-attractor GSCXs and extend the scope of molecular determinates in BM-hMSC homing to glioma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jproteome.5b00549DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4917366PMC
September 2015

Mesenchymal Stem Cells Isolated From Human Gliomas Increase Proliferation and Maintain Stemness of Glioma Stem Cells Through the IL-6/gp130/STAT3 Pathway.

Stem Cells 2015 Aug 27;33(8):2400-15. Epub 2015 May 27.

Department of Neurosurgery.

Although mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been implicated as stromal components of several cancers, their ultimate contribution to tumorigenesis and their potential to drive cancer stem cells, particularly in the unique microenvironment of human brain tumors, remain largely undefined. Consequently, using established criteria, we isolated glioma-associated-human MSCs (GA-hMSCs) from fresh human glioma surgical specimens for the first time. We show that these GA-hMSCs are nontumorigenic stromal cells that are phenotypically similar to prototypical bone marrow-MSCs. Low-passage genomic sequencing analyses comparing GA-hMSCs with matched tumor-initiating glioma stem cells (GSCs) suggest that most GA-hMSCs (60%) are normal cells recruited to the tumor (group 1 GA-hMSCs), although, rarely (10%), GA-hMSCs may differentiate directly from GSCs (group 2 GA-hMSCs) or display genetic patterns intermediate between these groups (group 3 GA-hMSCs). Importantly, GA-hMSCs increase proliferation and self-renewal of GSCs in vitro and enhance GSC tumorigenicity and mesenchymal features in vivo, confirming their functional significance within the GSC niche. These effects are mediated by GA-hMSC-secreted interleukin-6, which activates STAT3 in GSCs. Our results establish GA-hMSCs as a potentially new stromal component of gliomas that drives the aggressiveness of GSCs, and point to GA-hMSCs as a novel therapeutic target within gliomas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/stem.2053DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4509942PMC
August 2015

ESI-MS/MS and MALDI-IMS Localization Reveal Alterations in Phosphatidic Acid, Diacylglycerol, and DHA in Glioma Stem Cell Xenografts.

J Proteome Res 2015 Jun 29;14(6):2511-9. Epub 2015 Apr 29.

§UTMB Cancer Center, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Boulevard, Galveston, Texas 77555-1074, United States.

Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common adult primary brain tumor. Despite aggressive multimodal therapy, the survival of patients with GBM remains dismal. However, recent evidence has demonstrated the promise of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-hMSCs) as a therapeutic delivery vehicle for anti-glioma agents due to their ability to migrate or home to human gliomas. While several studies have demonstrated the feasibility of harnessing the homing capacity of BM-hMSCs for targeted delivery of cancer therapeutics, it is now also evident, based on clinically relevant glioma stem cell (GSC) models of GBMs, that BM-hMSCs demonstrate variable tropism toward these tumors. In this study, we compared the lipid environment of GSC xenografts that attract BM-hMSCs (N = 9) with those that do not attract (N = 9) to identify lipid modalities that are conducive to homing of BM-hMSC to GBMs. We identified lipids directly from tissue by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) and electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-MS/MS) of lipid extracts. Several species of signaling lipids, including phosphatidic acid (PA 36:2, PA 40:5, PA 42:5, and PA 42:7) and diacylglycerol (DAG 34:0, DAG 34:1, DAG 36:1, DAG 38:4, DAG 38:6, and DAG 40:6), were lower in attracting xenografts. Molecular lipid images showed that PA (36:2), DAG (40:6), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) were decreased within tumor regions of attracting xenografts. Our results provide the first evidence for lipid signaling pathways and lipid-mediated tumor inflammatory responses in the homing of BM-hMSCs to GSC xenografts. Our studies provide new fundamental knowledge on the molecular correlates of the differential homing capacity of BM-hMSCs toward GSC xenografts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jproteome.5b00076DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4912016PMC
June 2015

Orthotopic murine model of a primary malignant bone tumor in the spine: functional, bioluminescence, and histological correlations.

J Neurosurg Spine 2014 Sep 27;21(3):378-85. Epub 2014 Jun 27.

Department of Neurosurgery, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Object: There is currently no reproducible animal model of human primary malignant bone tumors in the spine to permit laboratory investigation of the human disease. Therefore, the authors sought to adapt their previously developed orthotopic model of spinal metastasis to a model for primary malignant bone tumors of the spine.

Methods: A transperitoneal surgical approach was used to implant osteosarcoma (Krib-1) into the L-3 vertebral body of nude mice via a drill hole. Motor function was evaluated daily using the previously validated qualitative key milestones of tail dragging, dorsal stepping, hindlimb sweeping, and paralysis. A subset of these animals was euthanized upon reaching the various milestones, and the spines were removed, sectioned, and stained. The degree of spinal cord compression was correlated with the occurrence of milestones and assessed by a ratio between the neural elements divided by the area of the spinal canal. Another subset of animals received stably transfected Krib-1 cells with the luciferase gene, and bioluminescence was measured at 10, 20, and 30 days postimplantation.

Results: Osteosarcoma xenografts grew in all animals according to a reliable and reproducible time course; the mean time for development of behavioral milestones was noted in relation to the day of implantation (Day 1). Tail dragging (Milestone 1) occurred on Day 19.06 (95% CI 16.11-22.01), dorsal stepping (Milestone 2) occurred on Day 28.78 (95% CI 26.79-30.77), hindlimb sweeping (Milestone 3) occurred on Day 35.61 (95% CI 32.9-38.32), and paralysis of the hindlimb (Milestone 4) occurred on Day 41.78 (95% CI 39.31-44.25). These clinically observed milestones correlated with increasing compression of the spinal cord on histological sections. The authors observed a progressive increase in the local bioluminescence (in photons/cm²/sec) of the implanted level over time with a mean of 2.17 (range 0.0-8.61) at Day 10, mean 4.68 (range 1.17-8.52) at Day 20, and mean 5.54 (range 1.22-9.99) at Day 30.

Conclusions: The authors have developed the first orthotopic murine model of a primary malignant bone tumor in the spine, in which neurological decline reproducibly correlates with tumor progression as evidenced by pathological confirmation and noninvasive bioluminescence measurements. Although developed for osteosarcoma, this model can be expanded to study other types of primary malignant bone tumors in the spine. This model will potentially allow animal testing of targeted therapies against specific primary malignant tumor types.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2014.5.SPINE13205DOI Listing
September 2014

Delta-24-RGD oncolytic adenovirus elicits anti-glioma immunity in an immunocompetent mouse model.

PLoS One 2014 14;9(5):e97407. Epub 2014 May 14.

Brain Tumor Center, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, United States of America.

Background: Emerging evidence suggests anti-cancer immunity is involved in the therapeutic effect induced by oncolytic viruses. Here we investigate the effect of Delta-24-RGD oncolytic adenovirus on innate and adaptive anti-glioma immunity.

Design: Mouse GL261-glioma model was set up in immunocompetent C57BL/6 mouse for Delta-24-RGD treatment. The changes of the immune cell populations were analyzed by immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry. The anti-glioma immunity was evaluated with functional study of the splenocytes isolated from the mice. The efficacy of the virotherapy was assessed with animal survival analysis. The direct effect of the virus on the tumor-associated antigen presentation to CD8+ T cells was analyzed with an in vitro ovalbumin (OVA) modeling system.

Results: Delta-24-RGD induced cytotoxic effect in mouse glioma cells. Viral treatment in GL261-glioma bearing mice caused infiltration of innate and adaptive immune cells, instigating a Th1 immunity at the tumor site which resulted in specific anti-glioma immunity, shrunken tumor and prolonged animal survival. Importantly, viral infection and IFNγ increased the presentation of OVA antigen in OVA-expressing cells to CD8+ T-cell hybridoma B3Z cells, which is blocked by brefeldin A and proteasome inhibitors, indicating the activity is through the biosynthesis and proteasome pathway.

Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that Delta-24-RGD induces anti-glioma immunity and offers the first evidence that viral infection directly enhances presentation of tumor-associated antigens to immune cells.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0097407PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4020829PMC
January 2015

Two mature products of MIR-491 coordinate to suppress key cancer hallmarks in glioblastoma.

Oncogene 2015 Mar 21;34(13):1619-1628. Epub 2014 Apr 21.

Department of Pathology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA.

MIR-491 is commonly co-deleted with its adjacent CDKN2A on chromosome 9p21.3 in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). However, it is not known whether deletion of MIR-491 is only a passenger event or has an important role. Small-RNA sequencing of samples from GBM patients demonstrated that both mature products of MIR-491 (miR-491-5p and -3p) are downregulated in tumors compared with the normal brain. The integration of GBM data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), miRNA target prediction and reporter assays showed that miR-491-5p directly targets EGFR, CDK6 and Bcl-xL, whereas miR-491-3p targets IGFBP2 and CDK6. Functionally, miR-491-3p inhibited glioma cell invasion; overexpression of both miR-491-5p and -3p inhibited proliferation of glioma cell lines and impaired the propagation of glioma stem cells (GSCs), thereby prolonging survival of xenograft mice. Moreover, knockdown of miR-491-5p in primary Ink4a-Arf-null mouse glial progenitor cells exacerbated cell proliferation and invasion. Therefore, MIR-491 is a tumor suppressor gene that, by utilizing both mature forms, coordinately controls the key cancer hallmarks: proliferation, invasion and stem cell propagation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/onc.2014.98DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4205227PMC
March 2015