Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumor Research Center

Toronto, Canada

Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumor Research Center

Toronto, Canada
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Manoranjan B.,McMaster Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute | Manoranjan B.,McMaster University | Wang X.,Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumor Research Center | Hallett R.M.,McMaster University | And 18 more authors.
Stem Cells | Year: 2013

Brain tumors represent the leading cause of childhood cancer mortality, of which medulloblastoma (MB) is the most frequent malignant tumor. Recent studies have demonstrated the presence of several MB molecular subgroups, each distinct in terms of prognosis and predicted therapeutic response. Groups 1 and 2 are characterized by relatively good clinical outcomes and activation of the Wnt and Shh pathways, respectively. In contrast, groups 3 and 4 (''non-Shh/Wnt MBs'') are distinguished by metastatic disease, poor patient outcome, and lack a molecular pathway phenotype. Current gene expression platforms have not detected brain tumor-initiating cell (BTIC) selfrenewal genes in groups 3 and 4 MBs as BTICs typically comprise a minority of tumor cells and may therefore go undetected on bulk tumor analyses. Since increasing BTIC frequency has been associated with increasing tumor aggressiveness and poor patient outcome, we investigated the subgroup-specific gene expression profile of candidate stem cell genes within 251 primary human MBs from four nonoverlapping MB transcriptional databases (Amsterdam, Memphis, Toronto, Boston) and 74 NanoString-subgrouped MBs (Vancouver). We assessed the functional relevance of two genes, FoxG1 and Bmi1, which were significantly enriched in non-Shh/Wnt MBs and showed these genes to mediate MB stem cell self-renewal and tumor initiation in mice. We also identified their transcriptional regulation through reciprocal promoter occupancy in CD151 MB stem cells. Our work demonstrates the application of stem cell data gathered from genomic platforms to guide functional BTIC assays, which may then be used to develop novel BTIC self-renewal mechanisms amenable to therapeutic targeting. © AlphaMed Press.


Kongkham P.N.,Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumor Research Center | Kongkham P.N.,University of Toronto | Northcott P.A.,Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumor Research Center | Northcott P.A.,University of Toronto | And 7 more authors.
Oncogene | Year: 2010

Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common malignant pediatric brain tumor. Dysregulation of WNT signaling occurs in up to 20% of cases. Using a genome-wide approach, we identified the secreted frizzled-related protein 1, 2 and 3 (SFRP1, SFRP2 and SFRP3) family of WNT inhibitors as putative tumor suppressor genes silenced by promoter region methylation in MB. SFRP1, SFRP2 and SFRP3 expression increased after 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine treatment. SFRP1, SFRP2 and SFRP3 methylation was identified in 23.5, 3.9 and 15.7% of primary MB specimens, respectively, by methylation-specific PCR. Stable SFRP1, SFRP2 and SFRP3 expression reduced phospho-DVL2 levels and hindered MB cell proliferation and colony formation in soft agar in vitro. In 60% of primary tumors, SFRP1 was expressed at levels twofold lower than that in normal cerebellum. SFRP1 expression impaired tumor formation in vivo in flank and orthotopic intracerebellar xenograft models and conferred a significant survival advantage (P<0.0001). We identify for the first time tumor suppressor gene function of SFRP genes in MB, and suggest that loss of WNT pathway inhibition due to SFRP gene silencing is an additional mechanism that may contribute to excessive WNT signaling in this disease. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.


Kongkham P.N.,Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumor Research Center | Onvani S.,University of Toronto | Smith C.A.,Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumor Research Center | Rutka J.T.,Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumor Research Center
Translational Oncology | Year: 2010

Medulloblastoma is the most common pediatric posterior fossa malignancy, with a 5-year overall survival of only 60% and many survivors experiencing treatment-related morbidity secondary to current therapeutic regimens. With an improved understanding of the molecular basis for this disease, the opportunity to develop novel treatments with more tolerable toxicity profiles that target key molecular pathways, now exists. Recently, the hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)/MET signaling pathway has been implicated in medulloblastoma pathogenesis. Several therapeutic strategies targeting this pathway exist, including small molecule inhibitor therapy against the MET receptor tyrosine kinase. We examined the in vitro efficacy of targeting the MET receptor using the highly specific small molecule inhibitor PHA665752 as a novel treatment strategy in medulloblastoma. MET inhibition using PHA665752 was effective at reducing the proliferative capacity of the D283, ONS76, and MED8A medulloblastoma cell lines as assessed by MTS assay. Furthermore, PHA665752 treatment reduced D283 and ONS76 cell motility and impaired the growth of D283 cells in soft agar. Pretreatment of D283, ONS76, and MED8A cells with PHA665752 blocked exogenous recombinant human HGF-induced up-regulation of the downstream RAS/mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway in D283, ONS76 and MED8A cell lines. Similarly, PHA665752 prevented HGF-induced phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/AKT signaling in ONS76 and MED8A cells. These results highlight the efficacy of targeting the MET receptor tyrosine kinase therapeutically in medulloblastoma and provide support for further preclinical testing of small molecule inhibitors targeting the MET receptor in medulloblastoma.© Neoplasia Press, Inc.


PubMed | Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumor Research Center
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Translational oncology | Year: 2010

Medulloblastoma is the most common pediatric posterior fossa malignancy, with a 5-year overall survival of only 60% and many survivors experiencing treatment-related morbidity secondary to current therapeutic regimens. With an improved understanding of the molecular basis for this disease, the opportunity to develop novel treatments with more tolerable toxicity profiles that target key molecular pathways, now exists. Recently, the hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)/MET signaling pathway has been implicated in medulloblastoma pathogenesis. Several therapeutic strategies targeting this pathway exist, including small molecule inhibitor therapy against the MET receptor tyrosine kinase. We examined the in vitro efficacy of targeting the MET receptor using the highly specific small molecule inhibitor PHA665752 as a novel treatment strategy in medulloblastoma. MET inhibition using PHA665752 was effective at reducing the proliferative capacity of the D283, ONS76, and MED8A medulloblastoma cell lines as assessed by MTS assay. Furthermore, PHA665752 treatment reduced D283 and ONS76 cell motility and impaired the growth of D283 cells in soft agar. Pretreatment of D283, ONS76, and MED8A cells with PHA665752 blocked exogenous recombinant human HGF-induced up-regulation of the downstream RAS/mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway in D283, ONS76 and MED8A cell lines. Similarly, PHA665752 prevented HGF-induced phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/AKT signaling in ONS76 and MED8A cells. These results highlight the efficacy of targeting the MET receptor tyrosine kinase therapeutically in medulloblastoma and provide support for further preclinical testing of small molecule inhibitors targeting the MET receptor in medulloblastoma.

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