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Mol Cancer Ther. 2011 Oct;10(10):1818-28. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-11-0268. Epub 2011 Aug 22.

A molecular screening approach to identify and characterize inhibitors of glioblastoma stem cells.

Author information

1
Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.

Abstract

Glioblastoma (GBM) is among the most lethal of all cancers. GBM consist of a heterogeneous population of tumor cells among which a tumor-initiating and treatment-resistant subpopulation, here termed GBM stem cells, have been identified as primary therapeutic targets. Here, we describe a high-throughput small molecule screening approach that enables the identification and characterization of chemical compounds that are effective against GBM stem cells. The paradigm uses a tissue culture model to enrich for GBM stem cells derived from human GBM resections and combines a phenotype-based screen with gene target-specific screens for compound identification. We used 31,624 small molecules from 7 chemical libraries that we characterized and ranked based on their effect on a panel of GBM stem cell-enriched cultures and their effect on the expression of a module of genes whose expression negatively correlates with clinical outcome: MELK, ASPM, TOP2A, and FOXM1b. Of the 11 compounds meeting criteria for exerting differential effects across cell types used, 4 compounds showed selectivity by inhibiting multiple GBM stem cells-enriched cultures compared with nonenriched cultures: emetine, n-arachidonoyl dopamine, n-oleoyldopamine (OLDA), and n-palmitoyl dopamine. ChemBridge compounds #5560509 and #5256360 inhibited the expression of the 4 mitotic module genes. OLDA, emetine, and compounds #5560509 and #5256360 were chosen for more detailed study and inhibited GBM stem cells in self-renewal assays in vitro and in a xenograft model in vivo. These studies show that our screening strategy provides potential candidates and a blueprint for lead compound identification in larger scale screens or screens involving other cancer types.

PMID:
21859839
PMCID:
PMC3191241
DOI:
10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-11-0268
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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