Glioblastoma (GBM), a highly malignant and lethal brain tumor, is characterized by diffuse invasion into the brain and chemo-radiotherapy resistance resulting in poor prognosis. In this study, we examined the involvement of the cell adhesion molecule CD146/MCAM in regulating GBM aggressiveness. Analyses of GBM transcript expression databases revealed correlations of elevated CD146 levels with higher glioma grades, IDH-wildtype and unmethylated MGMT phenotypes, poor response to chemo-radiotherapy and worse overall survival. In a panel of GBM stem cells (GSCs) variable expression levels of CD146 were detected, which strongly increased upon adherent growth. CD146 was linked with mesenchymal transition since expression increased in TGF-ss-treated U-87MG cells. Ectopic overexpression of CD146/GFP in GG16 cells enhanced the mesenchymal phenotype and resulted in increased cell invasion. Conversely, GSC23-CD146 knockouts had decreased mesenchymal marker expression and reduced cell invasion in transwell and GBM-cortical assembloid assays. Moreover, using GSC23 xenografted zebrafish, we found that CD146 depletion resulted in more compact delineated tumor formation and reduced tumor cell dissemination. Stem cell marker expression and neurosphere formation assays showed that CD146 increased the stem cell potential of GSCs. Furthermore, CD146 mediated radioresistance by stimulating cell survival signaling through suppression of p53 expression and activation of NF-kappa B. Interestingly, CD146 was also identified as an inducer of the oncogenic Yes-associated protein (YAP). In conclusion, CD146 carries out various pro-tumorigenic roles in GBM involving its cell surface receptor function, which include the stimulation of mesenchymal and invasive properties, stemness, and radiotherapy resistance, thus providing an interesting target for therapy.

Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's19
TijdschriftCellular and molecular life sciences
Nummer van het tijdschrift8
StatusPublished - 5-jul.-2022

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