American Association for Cancer Research
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TABLE 1 from Activation of the Mevalonate Pathway in Response to Anti-cancer Treatments Drives Glioblastoma Recurrences Through Activation of Rac-1

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posted on 2024-06-25, 14:20 authored by Ling He, Angeliki Ioannidis, Carter J. Hoffman, Evelyn Arambula, Purva Joshi, Julian Whitelegge, Linda M. Liau, Harley I. Kornblum, Frank Pajonk

Patient demographics and TCGA-classification of GBM subtypes

Funding

HHS | NIH | National Cancer Institute (NCI)

California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM)

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ARTICLE ABSTRACT

Glioblastoma (GBM) is the deadliest adult brain cancer. Under the current standard of care, almost all patients succumb to the disease and novel treatments are urgently needed. Recognizing that GBMs are addicted to cholesterol, past clinical trials have repurposed statins against GBM but failed. The purpose of this study was to test whether treatments that upregulate the cholesterol biosynthesis pathway in GBM would generate a metabolic vulnerability that can be exploited using statins and to determine the underlying mechanisms.Effects of radiotherapy and temozolomide or dopamine receptor antagonists on the mevalonate pathway in GBM were assessed in vitro and in vivo. The impact of statins on self-renewal of glioma stem cells and median survival was studied. Branches of the mevalonate pathway were probed to identify relevant effector proteins.Cells surviving combination treatments that converge in activating the immediate early response, universally upregulated the mevalonate pathway and increased stemness of GBM cells through activation of the Rho-GTPase Rac-1. Activation of the mevalonate pathway and Rac-1 was inhibited by statins, which led to improved survival in mouse models of glioblastoma when combined with radiation and drugs that target the glioma stem cell pool and plasticity of glioma cells.We conclude that a combination of dopamine receptor antagonists and statins could potentially improve radiotherapy outcome and warrants further investigation. Combination therapies that activate the mevalonate pathway in GBM cells after sublethal treatment enhance self-renewal and migratory capacity through Rac-1 activation, which creates a metabolic vulnerability that can be further potentially exploited using statins.