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Mol Cancer Res. 2019 Feb;17(2):384-397. doi: 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-18-0386. Epub 2018 Sep 28.

Inhibiting Integrin β8 to Differentiate and Radiosensitize Glioblastoma-Initiating Cells.

Author information

1
INSERM UMR 1037, Center for Cancer Research of Toulouse, Toulouse, France.
2
Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Toulouse III Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France.
3
Faculty of Medicine of Rangueil, University of Toulouse III Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France.
4
INSERM UMR 1214 - ToNIC, Toulouse, France.
5
IUCT-Oncopole, Toulouse, France.
6
INSERM UMR 1037, Center for Cancer Research of Toulouse, Toulouse, France. lemarie.anthony@iuct-oncopole.fr.
#
Contributed equally

Abstract

Glioblastomas (GB) are malignant brain tumors with poor prognosis despite treatment with surgery and radio/chemotherapy. These tumors are defined by an important cellular heterogeneity and notably contain a subpopulation of GB-initiating cells (GIC), which contribute to tumor aggressiveness, resistance, and recurrence. Some integrins are specifically expressed by GICs and could be actionable targets to improve GB treatment. Here, integrin β8 (ITGB8) was identified as a potential selective target in this highly tumorigenic GIC subpopulation. Using several patient-derived primocultures, it was demonstrated that ITGB8 is overexpressed in GICs compared with their differentiated progeny. Furthermore, ITGB8 is also overexpressed in GB, and its overexpression is correlated with poor prognosis and with the expression of several other classic stem cell markers. Moreover, inhibiting ITGB8 diminished several main GIC characteristics and features, including self-renewal ability, stemness, migration potential, and tumor formation capacity. Blockade of ITGB8 significantly impaired GIC cell viability via apoptosis induction. Finally, the combination of radiotherapy and ITGB8 targeting radiosensitized GICs through postmitotic cell death. IMPLICATIONS: This study identifies ITGB8 as a new selective marker for GICs and as a promising therapeutic target in combination with chemo/radiotherapy for the treatment of highly aggressive brain tumors.

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