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Cell Rep. 2018 Apr 24;23(4):1220-1229. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.03.105.

Glioblastoma Model Using Human Cerebral Organoids.

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Laboratory of Genetics, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.
The Razavi Newman Integrative Genomics and Bioinformatics Core Facility, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA, USA.
Laboratory of Genetics, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA. Electronic address:


We have developed a cancer model of gliomas in human cerebral organoids that allows direct observation of tumor initiation as well as continuous microscopic observations. We used CRISPR/Cas9 technology to target an HRasG12V-IRES-tdTomato construct by homologous recombination into the TP53 locus. Results show that transformed cells rapidly become invasive and destroy surrounding organoid structures, overwhelming the entire organoid. Tumor cells in the organoids can be orthotopically xenografted into immunodeficient NOD/SCID IL2RG-/- animals, exhibiting an invasive phenotype. Organoid-generated putative tumor cells show gene expression profiles consistent with mesenchymal subtype human glioblastoma. We further demonstrate that human-organoid-derived tumor cell lines or primary human-patient-derived glioblastoma cell lines can be transplanted into human cerebral organoids to establish invasive tumor-like structures. Our results show potential for the use of organoids as a platform to test human cancer phenotypes that recapitulate key aspects of malignancy.


CRISPR/Cas9; cerebral organoid; glioblastoma; glioma

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