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      Vascular endothelial growth factor in astroglioma stem cell biology and response to therapy

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          Malignant astrogliomas are among the most aggressive, highly vascular and infiltrating tumours bearing a dismal prognosis, mainly due to their resistance to current radiation treatment and chemotherapy. Efforts to identify and target the mechanisms that underlie astroglioma resistance have recently focused on candidate cancer stem cells, their biological properties, interplay with their local microenvironment or ‘niche’ and their role in tumour progression and recurrence. Both paracrine and autocrine regulation of astroglioma cell behaviour by locally produced cytokines such as the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) are emerging as key factors that determine astroglioma cell fate. Here, we review these recent rapid advances in astroglioma research, with emphasis on the significance of VEGF in astroglioma stem-like cell biology. Furthermore, we highlight the unique DNA damage checkpoint properties of the CD133-marker-positive astroglioma stem-like cells, discuss their potential involvement in astroglioma radioresistance and consider the implications of this new knowledge for designing combinatorial, more efficient therapeutic strategies.

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          Most cited references 102

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          Activation of the DNA damage checkpoint and genomic instability in human precancerous lesions.

          DNA damage checkpoint genes, such as p53, are frequently mutated in human cancer, but the selective pressure for their inactivation remains elusive. We analysed a panel of human lung hyperplasias, all of which retained wild-type p53 genes and had no signs of gross chromosomal instability, and found signs of a DNA damage response, including histone H2AX and Chk2 phosphorylation, p53 accumulation, focal staining of p53 binding protein 1 (53BP1) and apoptosis. Progression to carcinoma was associated with p53 or 53BP1 inactivation and decreased apoptosis. A DNA damage response was also observed in dysplastic nevi and in human skin xenografts, in which hyperplasia was induced by overexpression of growth factors. Both lung and experimentally-induced skin hyperplasias showed allelic imbalance at loci that are prone to DNA double-strand break formation when DNA replication is compromised (common fragile sites). We propose that, from its earliest stages, cancer development is associated with DNA replication stress, which leads to DNA double-strand breaks, genomic instability and selective pressure for p53 mutations.
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            ATM and related protein kinases: safeguarding genome integrity.

             Yosef Shiloh (2003)
            Maintenance of genome stability is essential for avoiding the passage to neoplasia. The DNA-damage response--a cornerstone of genome stability--occurs by a swift transduction of the DNA-damage signal to many cellular pathways. A prime example is the cellular response to DNA double-strand breaks, which activate the ATM protein kinase that, in turn, modulates numerous signalling pathways. ATM mutations lead to the cancer-predisposing genetic disorder ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T). Understanding ATM's mode of action provides new insights into the association between defective responses to DNA damage and cancer, and brings us closer to resolving the issue of cancer predisposition in some A-T carriers.
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              Is Open Access

              Analysis of gene expression and chemoresistance of CD133+ cancer stem cells in glioblastoma

              Background Recently, a small population of cancer stem cells in adult and pediatric brain tumors has been identified. Some evidence has suggested that CD133 is a marker for a subset of leukemia and glioblastoma cancer stem cells. Especially, CD133 positive cells isolated from human glioblastoma may initiate tumors and represent novel targets for therapeutics. The gene expression and the drug resistance property of CD133 positive cancer stem cells, however, are still unknown. Results In this study, by FACS analysis we determined the percentage of CD133 positive cells in three primary cultured cell lines established from glioblastoma patients 10.2%, 69.7% and 27.5%, respectively. We also determined the average mRNA levels of markers associated with neural precursors. For example, CD90, CD44, CXCR4, Nestin, Msi1 and MELK mRNA on CD133 positive cells increased to 15.6, 5.7, 337.8, 21.4, 84 and 1351 times, respectively, compared to autologous CD133 negative cells derived from cell line No. 66. Additionally, CD133 positive cells express higher levels of BCRP1 and MGMT mRNA, as well as higher mRNA levels of genes that inhibit apoptosis. Furthermore, CD133 positive cells were significantly resistant to chemotherapeutic agents including temozolomide, carboplatin, paclitaxel (Taxol) and etoposide (VP16) compared to autologous CD133 negative cells. Finally, CD133 expression was significantly higher in recurrent GBM tissue obtained from five patients as compared to their respective newly diagnosed tumors. Conclusion Our study for the first time provided evidence that CD133 positive cancer stem cells display strong capability on tumor's resistance to chemotherapy. This resistance is probably contributed by the CD133 positive cell with higher expression of on BCRP1 and MGMT, as well as the anti-apoptosis protein and inhibitors of apoptosis protein families. Future treatment should target this small population of CD133 positive cancer stem cells in tumors to improve the survival of brain tumor patients.

                Author and article information

                J Cell Mol Med
                J. Cell. Mol. Med
                Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
                Blackwell Publishing Ltd (Oxford, UK )
                January 2008
                20 November 2007
                : 12
                : 1
                : 111-125
                [a ]Laboratory of Molecular Pathology, Institute of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Palacky University, Olomouc, Czech Republic
                [b ]Research Institute in Healthcare Science, School of Applied Sciences, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK
                [c ]Institute of Cancer Biology and Centre for Genotoxic Stress Research, Danish Cancer Society, Copenhagen, Denmark
                Author notes
                Correspondence to: P. KNIZETOVA, Laboratory of Molecular Pathology, Institute of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Palacky University, Hnevotinska 3, 775 15 Olomouc, Czech Republic. Tel.: +420 585 639 561 Fax: +420 585 632 966 E-mail: knizetko@ 123456yahoo.com
                2008 The Authors Journal compilation © 2008 Foundation for Cellular and Molecular Medicine/Blackwell Publishing Ltd

                Molecular medicine

                astroglioma, cancer stem-like cells, ‘vascular niche’, radioresistance


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