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P08.36 Radioresistance of glioblastoma stem-like cells is associated with DNA replication stress, which is a promising therapeutic target

Ahmed, Shafiq, Carruthers, R., Biasoli, D., Gomez-Roman, N., Gilmour, L., Strathdee, K., Hedley, A., Kalna, G., Hammond, E. and Chalmers, A. J. (2016) P08.36 Radioresistance of glioblastoma stem-like cells is associated with DNA replication stress, which is a promising therapeutic target. Neuro-Oncology, 18 (s4). iv49. ISSN 1522-8517

Item Type: Article


The inevitability of tumour recurrence in glioblastoma (GBM) patients despite multi-modality treatment consisting of surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, is reflected by a median survival of only 14 months. Tumour recurrence is thought to be driven by a small population of glioblastoma stem-like cells (GSCs) that are resistant to conventional therapies. DNA damage response (DDR) pathways have been shown to be up-regulated in GSCs and implicated in radioresistance and treatment failure. However the precise cause of enhanced DDR signalling in GSCs and the extent to which these signalling networks contribute to therapy resistance remains elusive. The objectives of this study were to investigate the underlying cause of DDR upregulation and treatment resistance in GSCs with a view to identifying novel and promising therapeutic targets.

Materials and Methods:
A panel of primary patient derived GBM cell lines cultured under conditions to enrich for or deplete the tumour stem cell population (GSC vs bulk respectively) were utilised in order to investigate enhanced GSC DDR under basal conditions and in response to ionising radiation. Confirmatory studies were also performed in cells sorted for the putative GSC marker CD133. The effects of a panel of small molecule DDR inhibitor agents on cell survival in GSC and bulk cells were quantified.

GSCs exhibited higher levels of total and activated DDR targets ATR, CHK1, ATM and PARP1 under basal conditions and were radioresistant compared to paired bulk populations. This was not due to increased levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Instead, we show that RPA is significantly higher in replicating GSCs and confirm by DNA fibre assays that GSCs and CD133+ cells have increased numbers of stalled replication forks, fewer new origins and slower DNA replication compared to bulk or CD133- populations, demonstrating for the first time that replication stress (RS) is a hallmark of GSCs. We identify increased expression of long neural genes as a likely mechanism for RS and DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) in GSCs and show that their radioresistance is reversed by dual inhibition of key RS and DDR proteins ATR and PARP.

This study demonstrates the novel finding that replication stress is a hallmark of GSCs and resonates with recently published studies in neural progenitor cells showing that RS preferentially induces DNA DSB in long neural genes. Taken together, we implicate RS as a driver of enhanced DDR in GSCs and identify novel therapeutics with potential to improve clinical outcomes by overcoming the radioresistance of GBM

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Depositing User: Barry Hall


Item ID: 7337
Identification Number:
ISSN: 1522-8517
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ORCID for Shafiq Ahmed: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2017 14:19
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2019 15:41


Author: Shafiq Ahmed ORCID iD
Author: R. Carruthers
Author: D. Biasoli
Author: N. Gomez-Roman
Author: L. Gilmour
Author: K. Strathdee
Author: A. Hedley
Author: G. Kalna
Author: E. Hammond
Author: A. J. Chalmers

University Divisions

Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing
Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing > School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences


Sciences > Pharmacy and Pharmacology

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