Deltex-1 Activates Mitotic Signaling and Proliferation and Increases the Clonogenic and Invasive Potential of U373 and LN18 Glioblastoma Cells and Correlates with Patient Survival

Huber, Roland M.; Rajski, Michal; Sivasankaran, Balasubramanian; Moncayo, Gerald; Hemmings, Brian A.; Merlo, Adrian
February 2013
PLoS ONE;Feb2013, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p1
Academic Journal
Glioblastoma (GBM) is a highly malignant primary tumor of the central nervous system originating in glial cells. GBM results in more years of life lost than any other cancer type. Low levels of Notch receptor expression correlates with prolonged survival in various high grade gliomas independent of other markers. Different downstream pathways of Notch receptors have been identified. We tested if the Notch/Deltex pathway, which is distinct from the canonical, CSL-mediated pathway, has a role in GBM. We show that the alternative or non-canonical Notch pathway functioning through Deltex1 (DTX1) mediates key features of glioblastoma cell aggressiveness. For example, DTX1 activates the RTK/PI3K/PKB and the MAPK/ERK mitotic pathways and induces anti-apoptotic Mcl-1. The clonogenic and growth potential of established glioma cells correlated with DTX1 levels. Microarray gene expression analysis further identified a DTX1-specific, MAML1-independent transcriptional program - including microRNA-21- which is functionally linked to the changes in tumor cell aggressiveness. Over-expression of DTX1 increased cell migration and invasion correlating to ERK activation, miR-21 levels and endogenous Notch levels. In contrast to high and intermediate expressors, patients with low DTX1 levels have a more favorable prognosis. The alternative Notch pathway via DTX1 appears to be an oncogenic factor in glioblastoma and these findings offer new potential therapeutic targets.


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