Author(s): Dahan P, Martinez Gala J, Delmas C, Monferran S, Malric L,
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Abstract Glioblastomas (GBM) are some bad prognosis brain tumors despite a conventional treatment associating surgical resection and subsequent radio-chemotherapy. Among these heterogeneous tumors, a subpopulation of chemo- and radioresistant GBM stem-like cells appears to be involved in the systematic GBM recurrence. Moreover, recent studies showed that differentiated tumor cells may have the ability to dedifferentiate and acquire a stem-like phenotype, a phenomenon also called plasticity, in response to microenvironment stresses such as hypoxia. We hypothesized that GBM cells could be subjected to a similar dedifferentiation process after ionizing radiations (IRs), then supporting the GBM rapid recurrence after radiotherapy. In the present study we demonstrated that subtoxic IR exposure of differentiated GBM cells isolated from patient resections potentiated the long-term reacquisition of stem-associated properties such as the ability to generate primary and secondary neurospheres, the expression of stemness markers and an increased tumorigenicity. We also identified during this process an upregulation of the anti-apoptotic protein survivin and we showed that its specific downregulation led to the blockade of the IR-induced plasticity. Altogether, these results demonstrated that irradiation could regulate GBM cell dedifferentiation via a survivin-dependent pathway. Targeting the mechanisms associated with IR-induced plasticity will likely contribute to the development of some innovating pharmacological strategies for an improved radiosensitization of these aggressive brain cancers.
This article was published in Cell Death Dis
and referenced in Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy