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Etude par ARN interférence de l’expression du gène ASPM dans les cellules souches tumorales des gliomes de haut grade

Abstract : Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most frequent and aggressive form of primary brain tumors in adults; it is characterized by its resistance to current treatments (surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy). The prognosis is grim with a median survival of only 15 months underlining the importance to develop new therapeutic strategies. The recent development of the “tumor stem cell” (TSC) concept in hemopathies has been secondarily applied to gliomas with the identification of subpopulations of GBM cells which express neural stem cell markers and fulfill the criteria for stemness. Some evidences also suggest that this subpopulation could play a primary role in resistance to radio- and chemotherapy.ASPM (Abnormal Spindle Like Microcephaly Associated) is a protein regulating the proliferation of neuroblasts, highly expressed in the embryonic stage but weakly expressed in the adult brain. Preliminary reports suggesting that it could be involved in the development of gliomas (Horvath et al., 2007, Hagemann et al., 2008) prompted us to analyze further the role of this protein, focusing on its potential as a relevant candidate therapeutic target. In a series of 175 gliomas samples of various grades, we found that ASPM mRNA expression was strongly correlated with increasing tumor grade. We also found that ASPM expression increased at recurrence when compared to the initial lesion. Subsequently, we could demonstrate in vitro and in vivo that ASPM expression also increased over serial passages in gliomaspheres and in a mouse glioma xenograft model. In a therapeutic perspective, the effect of lentivirus-mediated shRNA post-transcriptional silencing of ASPM was evaluated in two different gliomasphere models and a dramatic proliferation arrest and cell death was observed. Taken together, these data suggest that ASPM is involved in the malignant progression of gliomas, possibly through expansion of a cancer stem cell compartment, and could be an attractive therapeutic target in glioblastoma multiforme.Another potential candidate tumor stem cell target in glioma is the sonic hedgehog pathway (hedgehog-Gli) which is required for GBM growth and stem cell expansion. In a collaborative study, it was found that NANOG, a transcription factor critically involved with self-renewal of undifferentiated embryonic stem cells, modulates gliomasphere clonogenicity, CD133+ stem cell behavior and proliferation. NANOG was regulated by hedgehog-Gli signalling and was essential for GBM tumourigenicity in orthotopic xenografts suggesting that it could also be a useful potential therapeutic target.Conclusions: Accumulating evidences suggest that tumor stem cells play an important role in the oncogenesis of gliomas and in their resistance to treatment. Our data support this concept and suggest that specific stemness markers may become useful targets to improve treatment of this devastating disease.
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Sandra-Nadia Ngwabyt - Bikeye. Etude par ARN interférence de l’expression du gène ASPM dans les cellules souches tumorales des gliomes de haut grade. Médecine humaine et pathologie. Université Paris Sud - Paris XI, 2011. Français. ⟨NNT : 2011PA11T030⟩. ⟨tel-00633421⟩

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