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Carcinogenesis. 2014 Jan;35(1):218-26. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgt289. Epub 2013 Aug 23.

Tumor necrosis factor-like weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK) promotes glioblastoma cell chemotaxis via Lyn activation.

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Cancer and Cell Biology Division, The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), Phoenix, AZ, USA and.


The long-term survival of patients with glioblastoma is compromised by the proclivity for local invasion into the surrounding normal brain, escaping surgical resection and contributing to therapeutic resistance. Tumor necrosis factor-like weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK), a member of the tumor necrosis factor superfamily, can stimulate glioma cell invasion via binding to fibroblast growth factor-inducible 14 (Fn14) and subsequent activation of the Rho guanosine triphosphatase family member Rac1. Here, we demonstrate that TWEAK acts as a chemotactic factor for glioma cells, a potential process for driving cell invasion into the surrounding brain tissue. TWEAK exposure induced the activation of Src family kinases (SFKs), and pharmacologic suppression of SFK activity inhibited TWEAK-induced chemotactic migration. We employed a multiplexed Luminex assay and identified Lyn as a candidate SFK activated by TWEAK. Depletion of Lyn suppressed TWEAK-induced chemotaxis and Rac1 activity. Furthermore, Lyn gene expression levels increase with primary glioma tumor grade and inversely correlate with patient survival. These results show that TWEAK-induced glioma cell chemotaxis is dependent upon Lyn kinase function and, thus, provides opportunities for therapeutic targeting of this deadly disease.

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