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Highlight | Scientific result | Brain | Cancer | Stem cells
Glioblastomas are highly aggressive brain tumors with a very poor prognosis. Even with aggressive treatment, recurrence is nearly systematic. In an article published in
Scientific Reports, researchers from IRCM (CEA-Jacob) have decrypted molecular mechanisms that enable treatment resistance and escape for a subpopulation of cells, and in so doing, identified a potential target to avoid recurrence. A patent application has been filed, giving hope for new therapeutic possibilities.
Ionizing radiation provokes an accumulation of the transcription factor HIF1α (white arrows, top image) in the nuclei of glioma stem-like cells (GSCs) (white arrows top-right image). The accumulation of the transcription factor leads to an increase in JMY expression, and that in turn to an increase in the polymerization of actin filaments (middle images). These molecular mechanisms enable the migration of GSCs when exposed to ionizing radiation, as observed in vitro (bottom-left image) and in vivo (bottom-right image). © L. Gauthier / F. Boussin
1 The term "primary tumor" describes the original tumor from which cancerous cells may escape and provoke metastases elsewhere in the body.
2 Stem cells are cells with some level of pluripotency, that is, an ability to differentiate into a range of cell types. They can be identified by their specific markers. Neural stem cell, for example, can differentiate into a range of cells present in the brain, such as nerve or glial cells.
3 A transcription factor is a protein that, within the cell nucleus, attaches to a specific DNA sequence to initiate or regulate gene expression, that is, the cellular process via which a genetic code is converted into an active molecule, usually a protein, in the cytoplasm of the cell.
4 p53 is a transcription factor involved in the regulation of a great number of cellular functions such as proliferation or apoptosis (programmed cell death). It is commonly considered to be a tumor suppressor gene. Indeed, p53 is found to be mutated in more than half of human cancers.
The HIF1α/JMY pathway promotes glioblastoma stem‑like cell invasiveness after irradiation I Scientific Reports
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.