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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2012 May 1;83(1):e43-52. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2011.11.037.

Gefitinib radiosensitizes stem-like glioma cells: inhibition of epidermal growth factor receptor-Akt-DNA-PK signaling, accompanied by inhibition of DNA double-strand break repair.

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  • 1Brain Tumour Research Laboratory, Division of Medical Sciences, National Cancer Centre Singapore, Singapore.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

We compared radiosensitivity of brain tumor stem cells (BTSCs) with matched nonstem glioma cells, and determined whether gefitinib enhanced BTSC radiosensitivity by inhibiting epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-Akt-DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) signaling, followed by enhanced DNA double-stand breaks (DSBs) and inhibition of DSB repair.

METHODS AND MATERIALS:

Radiosensitivity of stem-like gliomaspheres and nonstem glioma cells (obtained at patient neurosurgical resection) were evaluated by clonogenic assays, γ-H(2)AX immunostaining and cell cycle distribution. Survival of irradiated and nonirradiated NOD-SCID mice intracranially implanted with stem-like gliomaspheres were monitored. Glioma cells treated with gefitinib, irradiation, or both were assayed for clonogenic survival, γ-H(2)AX immunostaining, DNA-PKcs expression, and phosphorylation of EGFR and Akt.

RESULTS:

Stem-like gliomaspheres displayed BTSC characteristics of self-renewal; differentiation into lineages of neurons, oligodendrocytes, and astrocytes; and initiation of glioma growth in NOD-SCID mice. Irradiation dose-dependently reduced clonogenic survival, induced G(2)/M arrest and increased γ-H(2)AX immunostaining of nonstem glioma cells, but not stem-like gliomaspheres. There was no difference in survival of irradiated and nonirradiated mice implanted with stem-like gliomaspheres. The addition of gefitinib significantly inhibited clonogenic survival, increased γ-H(2)AX immunostaining, and reduced DNA-PKcs expression of irradiated stem-like gliomaspheres, without affecting irradiated-nonstem glioma cells. Gefitinib alone, and when combined with irradiation, inhibited phosphorylation of EGFR (Y1068 and Y1045) and Akt (S473) in stem-like gliomaspheres. In nonstem glioma cells, gefitinib alone inhibited EGFR Y1068 phosphorylation, with further inhibition by combined gefitinib and irradiation.

CONCLUSIONS:

Stem-like gliomaspheres are resistant to irradiation-induced cytotoxicity, G(2)/M arrest, and DNA DSBs, compared with nonstem glioma cells. Gefitinib differentially enhances radiosensitivity of stem-like gliomaspheres by reducing EGFR-Akt activation and DNA-PKcs expression, accompanied by enhanced irradiation-induced DNA DSBs and inhibition of DSB repair.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:
22516386
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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