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PLoS One. 2010 Mar 22;5(3):e9808. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009808.

A role for fibrillar collagen deposition and the collagen internalization receptor endo180 in glioma invasion.

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Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre, The Institute of Cancer Research, London, United Kingdom.



Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM, WHO grade IV) is the most common and most malignant of astrocytic brain tumors, and is associated with rapid invasion into neighboring tissue. In other tumor types it is well established that such invasion involves a complex interaction between tumor cells and locally produced extracellular matrix. In GBMs, surprisingly little is known about the associated matrix components, in particular the fibrillar proteins such as collagens that are known to play a key role in the invasion of other tumor types.


In this study we have used both the Masson's trichrome staining and a high resolution multiple immunofluorescence labeling method to demonstrate that intratumoral fibrillar collagens are an integral part of the extracellular matrix in a subset of GBMs. Correlated with this collagen deposition we observed high level expression of the collagen-binding receptor Endo180 (CD280) in the tumor cells. Further, interrogation of multiple expression array datasets identified Endo180 as one of the most highly upregulated transcripts in grade IV GBMs compared to grade III gliomas. Using promoter analysis studies we show that this increased expression is, in part, mediated via TGF-beta signaling. Functionally, we demonstrate that Endo180 serves as the major collagen internalization receptor in GBM cell lines and provide the first evidence that this activity is critical for the invasion of GBM cells through fibrillar collagen matrices.


This study demonstrates, for the first time, that fibrillar collagens are extensively deposited in GBMs and that the collagen internalization receptor Endo180 is both highly expressed in these tumors and that it serves to mediate the invasion of tumor cells through collagen-containing matrices. Together these data provide important insights into the mechanism of GBM invasion and identify Endo180 as a potential target to limit matrix turnover by glioma cells and thereby restrict tumor progression.

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