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Negative control of the HGF/c-MET pathway by TGF-β: a new look at the regulation of stemness in glioblastoma


Papa, Eleanna; Weller, Michael; Weiss, Tobias; Ventura, Elisa; Burghardt, Isabel; Szabó, Emese (2017). Negative control of the HGF/c-MET pathway by TGF-β: a new look at the regulation of stemness in glioblastoma. Cell Death and Disease, 8(12):3210.

Abstract

Multiple target inhibition has gained considerable interest in combating drug resistance in glioblastoma, however, understanding the molecular mechanisms of crosstalk between signaling pathways and predicting responses of cancer cells to targeted interventions has remained challenging. Despite the significant role attributed to transforming growth factor (TGF)-β family and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)/c-MET signaling in glioblastoma pathogenesis, their functional interactions have not been well characterized. Using genetic and pharmacological approaches to stimulate or antagonize the TGF-β pathway in human glioma-initiating cells (GIC), we observed that TGF-β exerts an inhibitory effect on c-MET phosphorylation. Inhibition of either mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/ extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) or phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (PKB/AKT) signaling pathway attenuated this effect. A comparison of c-MET-driven and c-MET independent GIC models revealed that TGF-β inhibits stemness in GIC at least in part via its negative regulation of c-MET activity, suggesting that stem cell (SC) maintenance may be controlled by the balance between these two oncogenic pathways. Importantly, immunohistochemical analyses of human glioblastoma and ex vivo single-cell gene expression profiling of TGF-β and HGF confirm the negative interaction between both pathways. These novel insights into the crosstalk of two major pathogenic pathways in glioblastoma may explain some of the disappointing results when targeting either pathway alone in human glioblastoma patients and inform on potential future designs on targeted pharmacological or genetic intervention.

Abstract

Multiple target inhibition has gained considerable interest in combating drug resistance in glioblastoma, however, understanding the molecular mechanisms of crosstalk between signaling pathways and predicting responses of cancer cells to targeted interventions has remained challenging. Despite the significant role attributed to transforming growth factor (TGF)-β family and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)/c-MET signaling in glioblastoma pathogenesis, their functional interactions have not been well characterized. Using genetic and pharmacological approaches to stimulate or antagonize the TGF-β pathway in human glioma-initiating cells (GIC), we observed that TGF-β exerts an inhibitory effect on c-MET phosphorylation. Inhibition of either mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/ extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) or phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (PKB/AKT) signaling pathway attenuated this effect. A comparison of c-MET-driven and c-MET independent GIC models revealed that TGF-β inhibits stemness in GIC at least in part via its negative regulation of c-MET activity, suggesting that stem cell (SC) maintenance may be controlled by the balance between these two oncogenic pathways. Importantly, immunohistochemical analyses of human glioblastoma and ex vivo single-cell gene expression profiling of TGF-β and HGF confirm the negative interaction between both pathways. These novel insights into the crosstalk of two major pathogenic pathways in glioblastoma may explain some of the disappointing results when targeting either pathway alone in human glioblastoma patients and inform on potential future designs on targeted pharmacological or genetic intervention.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Neurology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:13 December 2017
Deposited On:01 Mar 2018 10:37
Last Modified:01 Apr 2018 01:23
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2041-4889
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41419-017-0051-2
PubMed ID:29238047

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