Grade IV glioblastoma is characterized by increased kinase activity of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR); however, EGFR kinase inhibitors have failed to improve survival in individuals with this cancer because resistance to these drugs often develops. We showed that tumor necrosis factor-? (TNF?) produced in the glioblastoma microenvironment activated atypical protein kinase C (aPKC), thereby producing resistance to EGFR kinase inhibitors. Additionally, we identified that aPKC was required both for paracrine TNF?-dependent activation of the transcription factor nuclear factor ?B (NF-?B) and for tumor cell-intrinsic receptor tyrosine kinase signaling. Targeting aPKC decreased tumor growth in mouse models of glioblastoma, including models of EGFR kinase inhibitor-resistant glioblastoma. Furthermore, aPKC abundance and activity were increased in human glioblastoma tumor cells, and high aPKC abundance correlated with poor prognosis. Thus, targeting aPKC might provide an improved molecular approach for glioblastoma therapy.
Glioblastoma is the most aggressive primary central nervous tumor and carries a very poor prognosis. Invasion precludes effective treatment and virtually assures tumor recurrence. In the current study, we applied analytical and bioinformatics approaches to identify a set of microRNAs (miRs) from several different human glioblastoma cell lines that exhibit significant differential expression between migratory (edge) and migration-restricted (core) cell populations. The hypothesis of the study is that differential expression of miRs provides an epigenetic mechanism to drive cell migration and invasion.
Deregulation of the TNF-like weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK)-fibroblast growth factor-inducible 14 (Fn14) signaling pathway is observed in many diseases, including inflammation, autoimmune diseases, and cancer. Activation of Fn14 signaling by TWEAK binding triggers cell invasion and survival and therefore represents an attractive pathway for therapeutic intervention. Based on structural studies of the TWEAK-binding cysteine-rich domain of Fn14, several homology models of TWEAK were built to investigate plausible modes of TWEAK-Fn14 interaction. Two promising models, centered on different anchoring residues of TWEAK (tyrosine 176 and tryptophan 231), were prioritized using a data-driven strategy. Site-directed mutagenesis of TWEAK at Tyr(176), but not Trp(231), resulted in the loss of TWEAK binding to Fn14 substantiating Tyr(176) as the anchoring residue. Importantly, mutation of TWEAK at Tyr(176) did not disrupt TWEAK trimerization but failed to induce Fn14-mediated nuclear factor ?-light chain enhancer of activated B cell (NF-?B) signaling. The validated structural models were utilized in a virtual screen to design a targeted library of small molecules predicted to disrupt the TWEAK-Fn14 interaction. 129 small molecules were screened iteratively, with identification of molecules producing up to 37% inhibition of TWEAK-Fn14 binding. In summary, we present a data-driven in silico study revealing key structural elements of the TWEAK-Fn14 interaction, followed by experimental validation, serving as a guide for the design of small molecule inhibitors of the TWEAK-Fn14 ligand-receptor interaction. Our results validate the TWEAK-Fn14 interaction as a chemically tractable target and provide the foundation for further exploration utilizing chemical biology approaches focusing on validating this system as a therapeutic target in invasive cancers.
Glioma cell migration correlates with Pyk2 activity, but the intrinsic mechanism that regulates the activity of Pyk2 is not fully understood. Previous studies have supported a role for the N-terminal FERM domain in the regulation of Pyk2 activity as mutations in the FERM domain inhibit Pyk2 phosphorylation. To search for novel protein-protein interactions mediated by the Pyk2 FERM domain, we utilized a yeast two-hybrid genetic selection to identify the mammalian Ste20 homolog MAP4K4 as a binding partner for the Pyk2 FERM domain. MAP4K4 coimmunoprecipitated with Pyk2 and was a substrate for Pyk2 but did not coimmunoprecipitate with the closely related focal adhesion kinase FAK. Knockdown of MAP4K4 expression inhibited glioma cell migration and effectively blocked Pyk2 stimulation of glioma cell. Increased expression of MAP4K4 stimulated glioma cell migration; however, this stimulation was blocked by knockdown of Pyk2 expression. These data support that the interaction of MAP4K4 and Pyk2 is integrated with glioma cell migration and suggest that inhibition of this interaction may represent a potential therapeutic strategy to limit glioblastoma tumor dispersion.
Glioblastoma (GB) is the highest grade of primary adult brain tumors, characterized by a poorly defined and highly invasive cell population. Importantly, these invading cells are attributed with having a decreased sensitivity to radiation and chemotherapy. TNF-like weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK)-Fn14 ligand-receptor signaling is one mechanism in GB that promotes cell invasiveness and survival and is dependent upon the activity of multiple Rho GTPases, including Rac1. Here we report that Src homology 3 domain-containing guanine nucleotide exchange factor (SGEF), a RhoG-specific guanine nucleotide exchange factor, is overexpressed in GB tumors and promotes TWEAK-Fn14-mediated glioma invasion. Importantly, levels of SGEF expression in GB tumors inversely correlate with patient survival. SGEF mRNA expression is increased in GB cells at the invasive rim relative to those in the tumor core, and knockdown of SGEF expression by shRNA decreases glioma cell migration in vitro and invasion ex vivo. Furthermore, we showed that, upon TWEAK stimulation, SGEF is recruited to the Fn14 cytoplasmic tail via TRAF2. Mutation of the Fn14-TRAF domain site or depletion of TNF receptor-associated factor 2 (TRAF2) expression by siRNA oligonucleotides blocked SGEF recruitment to Fn14 and inhibited SGEF activity and subsequent GB cell migration. We also showed that knockdown of either SGEF or RhoG diminished TWEAK activation of Rac1 and subsequent lamellipodia formation. Together, these results indicate that SGEF-RhoG is an important downstream regulator of TWEAK-Fn14-driven GB cell migration and invasion.
Histology of malignant glioma depicts dense proliferative areas rich in angiogenesis as well as dissemination of neoplastic cells into adjacent brain tissue. Although the mechanisms that trigger transition from proliferative to invasive phenotypes are complex, the dichotomy of cell proliferation and migration, the "Go or Grow" hypothesis, argues for specific and coordinated regulation of these phenotypes. We investigated transcriptional elements that accompany the phenotypes of migration and proliferation, and consider the therapeutic significance of the "Go or Grow" hypothesis. Interrogation of matched core and rim regions from human glioblastoma biopsy specimens in situ (n?=?44) revealed higher proliferation (Ki67 labeling index) in cells residing at the core compared to the rim. Profiling activated transcription factors in a panel of migration-activated versus migration-restricted GBM cells portrayed strong NF-?B activity in the migratory cell population. In contrast, increased c-Myc activity was found in migration-restricted proliferative cells. Validation of transcriptional activity by NF-?B- or c-Myc-driven GFP or RFP, respectively, showed an increased NF-?B activity in the active migrating cells, whereas the proliferative, migration restricted cells displayed increased c-Myc activity. Immunohistochemistry on clinical specimens validated a robust phosphorylated c-Myc staining in tumor cells at the core, whereas increased phosphorylated NF-?B staining was detected in the invasive tumor cells at the rim. Functional genomics revealed that depletion of c-Myc expression by siRNA oligonucleotides reduced cell proliferation in vitro, but surprisingly, cell migration was enhanced significantly. Conversely, inhibition of NF-?B by pharmacological inhibitors, SN50 or BAY-11, decreased both cell migration in vitro and invasion ex vivo. Notably, inhibition of NF-?B was found to have no effect on the proliferation rate of glioma cells. These findings suggest that the reciprocal and coordinated suppression/activation of transcription factors, such as c-Myc and NF-?B may underlie the shift of glioma cells from a "growing-to-going" phenotype.
A critical problem in the treatment of malignant gliomas is the extensive infiltration of individual tumor cells into adjacent brain tissues. This invasive phenotype severely limits all current therapies, and to date, no treatment is available to control the spread of this disease. Members of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) ligand superfamily and their cognate receptors regulate various cellular responses including proliferation, migration, differentiation, and apoptosis. Specifically, the TNFRSF19/TROY gene encodes a type I cell surface receptor that is expressed on migrating or proliferating progenitor cells of the hippocampus, thalamus, and cerebral cortex. Here, we show that levels of TROY mRNA expression directly correlate with increasing glial tumor grade. Among malignant gliomas, TROY expression correlates inversely with overall patient survival. In addition, we show that TROY overexpression in glioma cells activates Rac1 signaling in a Pyk2-dependent manner to drive glioma cell invasion and migration. Pyk2 coimmunoprecipitates with the TROY receptor, and depletion of Pyk2 expression by short hairpin RNA interference oligonucleotides inhibits TROY-induced Rac1 activation and subsequent cellular migration. These findings position aberrant expression and/or signaling by TROY as a contributor, and possibly as a driver, of the malignant dispersion of glioma cells.
The focal adhesion kinase Pyk2 integrates signals from cell adhesion receptors, growth factor receptors, and G-protein-coupled receptors leading to the activation of intracellular signaling pathways that regulate cellular phenotypes. The intrinsic mechanism for the activation of Pyk2 activity remains to be fully defined. Previously, we reported that mutations in the N-terminal FERM domain result in loss of Pyk2 activity and expression of the FERM domain as an autonomous fragment inhibits Pyk2 activity. In the present study, we sought to determine the mechanism that underlies these effects. Utilizing differentially epitope-tagged Pyk2 constructs, we observed that Pyk2 forms oligomeric complexes in cells and that complex formation correlates positively with tyrosine phosphorylation. Similarly, when expressed as an autonomous fragment, the Pyk2 FERM domain formed a complex with other Pyk2 FERM domains but not the FAK FERM domain. When co-expressed with full-length Pyk2, the autonomously expressed Pyk2 FERM domain formed a complex with full-length Pyk2 preventing the formation of Pyk2 oligomers and resulting in reduced Pyk2 phosphorylation. Deletion of the FERM domain from Pyk2 enhanced Pyk2 complex formation and phosphorylation. Together, these data indicate that the Pyk2 FERM domain is involved in the regulation of Pyk2 activity by acting to regulate the formation of Pyk2 oligomers that are critical for Pyk2 activity.
Malignant gliomas are the most common primary brain tumors. Despite intensive clinical investigation and significant technical advances in surgical and radiation treatment, the impact on clinical outcome for patients with malignant gliomas is disappointing. 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 survival via binding to the Fn14 receptor, activation of the NF-kappaB pathway, and upregulation of BCL-X(L) gene expression. Here, we show that TWEAK treatment of glioma cells leads to phosphorylation of Akt and BAD. TWEAK stimulation results in the phosphorylation of both Akt1 and Akt2. However, small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated depletion of either Akt1 or Akt2 showed that BAD serine 136 phosphorylation is dependent specifically on Akt2 function. Depletion of Akt2 expression by siRNA also abrogates TWEAK-stimulated glioma cell survival, whereas no effect on glioma cell survival was observed after siRNA-mediated depletion of Akt1 expression. Surprisingly, although siRNA-mediated depletion of BAD in glioma cells abrogates cytotoxic- and chemotherapy-induced apoptosis, TWEAK still displays a strong protective effect, suggesting that BAD serine 136 phosphorylation plays a minor role in TWEAK-Akt2-induced glioma cell survival. We also report here that AKT2 gene expression levels increased with glioma grade and inversely correlate with patient survival. Additionally, immunohistochemical analysis showed that Akt2 expression positively correlates with Fn14 expression in glioblastoma multiforme specimens. We hypothesize that the TWEAK-Fn14 signaling axis functions, in part, to enhance glioblastoma cell survival by activation of the Akt2 serine/threonine protein kinase.
The invasion of malignant glioma cells into the surrounding normal brain precludes effective clinical treatment. In this report, we investigated the role of the NH(2)-terminal FERM domain in the regulation of the promigratory function of Pyk2. We report that the substitution of residues that constitute a small cleft on the surface of the F3 module of the FERM domain do not significantly alter Pyk2 expression but result in the loss of Pyk2 phosphorylation. A monoclonal antibody, designated 12A10, specifically targeting the Pyk2 FERM domain was generated and recognizes an epitope located on the beta5C-alpha1C surface of the F3 module of the FERM domain. Amino acid substitutions in the F3 module that resulted in the loss of Pyk2 phosphorylation also inhibited the binding of 12A10, suggesting that the 12A10 epitope overlaps a site that plays a role in Pyk2 activity. Conjugation of 12A10 to a membrane transport peptide led to intracellular accumulation and inhibition of glioma cell migration in a concentration-dependent manner. A single chain Fv fragment of 12A10 was stable when expressed in the intracellular environment, interacted directly with Pyk2, reduced Pyk2 phosphorylation, and inhibited glioma cell migration in vitro. Stable intracellular expression of the 12A10 scFv significantly extended survival in a glioma xenograft model. Together, these data substantiate a central role for the FERM domain in regulation of Pyk2 activity and identify the F3 module as a novel target to inhibit Pyk2 activity and inhibit glioma progression.
The related cytoplasmic non-receptor tyrosine kinases Pyk2 (proline-rich tyrosine kinase 2) and FAK (focal adhesion kinase) have been implicated in phenylephrine-induced G-protein-coupled receptor-mediated signaling mechanisms leading to cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. We report that, in phenylephrine-stimulated neonatal rat ventricular myocytes (NRVM), Pyk2 augments expression of the hypertrophic marker atrial natriuretic factor (ANF) but reduces cytoskeletal organization and cell spreading. In contrast, FAK attenuates ANF production but does not alter cytoskeletal organization and cell spreading. Pyk2 and FAK exhibit differential localization in both unstimulated and phenylephrine-stimulated myocytes. Pyk2 catalytic activity is required for Pyk2 to augment ANF secretion but is not necessary to reduce cell spreading. Pyk2 autophosphorylation is required but not sufficient for Pyk2 to augment ANF secretion. Expression of the Pyk2 FERM domain as an autonomous fragment inhibits phenylephrine-mediated ANF secretion and reduces cell spreading. In addition, expression of the Pyk2 FERM domain inhibits the ability of Pyk2 to augment ANF secretion; this is correlated with reduced Pyk2 autophosphorylation. These data indicate that Pyk2 and FAK have different roles and occupy different positions in signaling pathways leading to the development of cardiomyocyte hypertrophy.
Glioblastoma (GB) is the most common and lethal type of primary brain tumor. Clinical outcome remains poor and is essentially palliative due to the highly invasive nature of the disease. A more thorough understanding of the molecular mechanisms that drive glioma invasion is required to limit dispersion of malignant glioma cells.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide; approximately 85% of these cancers are non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Patients with NSCLC frequently have tumors harboring somatic mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene that cause constitutive receptor activation. These patients have the best clinical response to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). Herein, we show that fibroblast growth factor-inducible 14 (Fn14; TNFRSF12A) is frequently overexpressed in NSCLC tumors, and Fn14 levels correlate with p-EGFR expression. We also report that NSCLC cell lines that contain EGFR-activating mutations show high levels of Fn14 protein expression. EGFR TKI treatment of EGFR-mutant HCC827 cells decreased Fn14 protein levels, whereas EGF stimulation of EGFR wild-type A549 cells transiently increased Fn14 expression. Furthermore, Fn14 is highly expressed in EGFR-mutant H1975 cells that also contain an EGFR TKI-resistance mutation, and high TKI doses are necessary to reduce Fn14 levels. Constructs encoding EGFRs with activating mutations induced Fn14 expression when expressed in rat lung epithelial cells. We also report that short hairpin RNA-mediated Fn14 knockdown reduced NSCLC cell migration and invasion in vitro. Finally, Fn14 overexpression enhanced NSCLC cell migration and invasion in vitro and increased experimental lung metastases in vivo. Thus, Fn14 may be a novel therapeutic target for patients with NSCLC, in particular for those with EGFR-driven tumors who have either primary or acquired resistance to EGFR TKIs.
Malignant glioblastomas are characterized by their ability to infiltrate into normal brain. We previously reported that binding of the multifunctional cytokine TNF-like weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK) to its receptor fibroblast growth factor-inducible 14 (Fn14) induces glioblastoma cell invasion via Rac1 activation. Here, we show that Cdc42 plays an essential role in Fn14-mediated activation of Rac1. TWEAK-treated glioma cells display an increased activation of Cdc42, and depletion of Cdc42 using siRNA abolishes TWEAK-induced Rac1 activation and abrogates glioma cell migration and invasion. In contrast, Rac1 depletion does not affect Cdc42 activation by Fn14, showing that Cdc42 mediates TWEAK-stimulated Rac1 activation. Furthermore, we identified two guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEF), Ect2 and Trio, involved in TWEAK-induced activation of Cdc42 and Rac1, respectively. Depletion of Ect2 abrogates both TWEAK-induced Cdc42 and Rac1 activation, as well as subsequent TWEAK-Fn14-directed glioma cell migration and invasion. In contrast, Trio depletion inhibits TWEAK-induced Rac1 activation but not TWEAK-induced Cdc42 activation. Finally, inappropriate expression of Fn14 or Ect2 in mouse astrocytes in vivo using an RCAS vector system for glial-specific gene transfer in G-tva transgenic mice induces astrocyte migration within the brain, corroborating the in vitro importance of the TWEAK-Fn14 signaling cascade in glioblastoma invasion. Our results suggest that the TWEAK-Fn14 signaling axis stimulates glioma cell migration and invasion through two GEF-GTPase signaling units, Ect2-Cdc42 and Trio-Rac1. Components of the Fn14-Rho GEF-Rho GTPase signaling pathway present innovative drug targets for glioma therapy.
Related JoVE Video
Journal of Visualized Experiments
What is Visualize?
JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.
How does it work?
We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.
Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...
In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.