Strategies of Mesenchymal Invasion of Patient-derived Brain Tumors: Microenvironmental Adaptation

Junghwa Cha, Seok Gu Kang, Pilnam Kim

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51 Citations (Scopus)


The high mortality in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) patients is primarily caused by extensive infiltration into adjacent tissue and subsequent rapid recurrence. There are no clear therapeutic strategies that target the infiltrative subpopulation of GBM mass. Using mesenchymal mode of invasion, the GBM is known to widely infiltrate by interacting with various unique components within brain microenvironment such as hyaluronic acid (HA)-rich matrix and white matter tracts. However, it is unclear how these GBM microenvironments influence the strategies of mesenchymal invasion. We hypothesize that GBM has different strategies to facilitate such invasion through adaptation to their local microenvironment. Using our in vitro biomimetic microenvironment platform for three-dimensional GBM tumorspheres (TSs), we found that the strategies of GBM invasion were predominantly regulated by the HA-rich ECM microenvironment, showing marked phenotypic changes in the presence of HA, which were mainly mediated by HA synthase (HAS). Interestingly, after inhibition of the HAS gene, GBM switched their invasion strategies to a focal adhesion (FA)-mediated invasion. These results demonstrate that the microenvironmental adaptation allowed a flexible invasion strategy for GBM. Using our model, we suggest a new inhibitory pathway for targeting infiltrative GBM and propose an importance of multi-target therapy for GBM, which underwent microenvironmental adaptation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number24912
JournalScientific reports
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Apr 25

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We appreciate Dr. Frederick F. Lang (Department of Neurosurgery, The University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Texas, USA) for providing patient-derived, GBM tumorsphere-forming GSC11 cells. This research was supported from the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) (grant number: NRF-2015H1A2A1030560 and NRF-2014R1A1A1004985) and by a grant of the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (grant number: HI14C00420200, HI14C1324 and HI13C15090001). We also appreciate the financial support from the R&D Convergence Program of NST (National Research Council of Science & Technology) of Republic of Korea (grant number: CAP-14-3-KRISS).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Nature Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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