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Cancer Cell Int. 2017 Jul 21;17:72. doi: 10.1186/s12935-017-0441-7. eCollection 2017.

Pleomorphism and drug resistant cancer stem cells are characteristic of aggressive primary meningioma cell lines.

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King Fahd Medical Research Center, King Abdulaziz University, P.O. Box. 80216, Jeddah, 21589 Saudi Arabia.
Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, 21589 Saudi Arabia.
Center of Excellence in Genomic Medicine Research, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, 21589 Saudi Arabia.
Centre of Innovation for Personalized Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, 21589 Saudi Arabia.
Division of Neurosurgery, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, 21589 Saudi Arabia.
Pathology Department, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, 21589 Saudi Arabia.
Galician Foundation of Genomic Medicine, Cyber-University of Santiago de Compostela, 15706 Santiago De Compostela, Spain.
School of Biotechnology, Eternal University, Baru Sahib Road, Sirmour, 173101 Himachal Pradesh India.



Meningioma tumors arise in arachnoid membranes, and are the most reported central nervous system (CNS) tumors worldwide. Up to 20% of grade I meningioma tumors reoccur and currently predictive cancer stem cells (CSCs) markers for aggressive and drug resistant meningiomas are scarce.


Meningioma tissues and primary cell lines were investigated using whole transcriptome microarray analysis, immunofluorescence staining of CSCs markers (including CD133, Sox2, Nestin, and Frizzled 9), and drug treatment with cisplatin or etoposide.


Unsupervised hierarchical clustering of six meningioma samples separated tissues into two groups. Analysis identified stem cells related pathways to be differential between the two groups and indicated the de-regulation of the stem cell associated genes Reelin (RELN), Calbindin 1 (CALB1) and Anterior Gradient 2 Homolog (AGR2). Immunofluorescence staining for four tissues confirmed stemness variation in situ. Biological characterization of fifteen meningioma primary cell lines concordantly separated cells into two functionally distinct sub-groups. Pleomorphic cell lines (NG type) grew significantly faster than monomorphic cell lines (G type), had a higher number of cells that express Ki67, and were able to migrate aggressively in vitro. In addition, NG type cell lines had a lower expression of nuclear Caspase-3, and had a significantly higher number of CSCs co-positive for CD133+ Sox2+ or AGR2+ BMI1+. Importantly, these cells were more tolerant to cisplatin and etoposide treatment, showed a lower level of nuclear Caspase-3 in treated cells and harbored drug resistant CSCs.


Collectively, analyses of tissues and primary cell lines revealed stem cell associated genes as potential targets for aggressive and drug resistant meningiomas.


AGR2; CD133; Cancer stem cells; Caspase 3; Cisplatin; Drug resistance; Etoposide; Frizzled 9; Ki67; Meningioma; Nestin; Sox2; Vimentin

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