The Pivotal Role of Tumor Stem Cells in Glioblastoma

A special issue of Cells (ISSN 2073-4409). This special issue belongs to the section "Stem Cells".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2024 | Viewed by 2524

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Guest Editor
Department of Life, Health & Environmental Sciences, University of L’Aquila, Via Pompeo Spennati, Building Rita Levi Montalcini, Coppito, 67100 L’Aquila, Italy
Interests: inflammation; glioma; cancer stem cells; tumor biology; cyclooxygenase-2; nitric oxide synthase 2
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Guest Editor
Department of Life, Health & Environmental Sciences, University of L’Aquila, Via Pompeo Spennati, Building “Rita Levi Montalcini”, Coppito, 67100 L’Aquila, Italy
Interests: dicarbonyl stress; oxidative stress; mitochondrial metabolism

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are delighted to announce the launch of a Special Issue of Cells on all aspects related to the theme of “The Pivotal Role of Tumor Stem Cells in Glioblastoma”. We invite you to contribute original research articles or reviews to share your cutting-edge research, insights, and innovation on new mechanistic, functional, cellular, biochemical, or general evidence of cancer stem cells in glioblastoma.

Glioblastoma is one of the most complex, fast-growing, aggressive, and treatment-resistant cancers with an extremely poor prognosis. The latest therapeutic approaches are rarely effective due to the presence of tumor stem cells (TSC) that play a crucial role in resistance and recurrence.

TSCs can also strongly affect the tumor microenvironment, influencing all neighboring resident cell fate by genetic reprogramming and inducing some key stemness features. The precise molecular mechanisms underlying the intricate scenario of TSC are not yet fully understood. A deeper understanding of the TSCs' molecular and biological features could certainly allow us to define new, targeted, and more effective therapeutic approaches to overcome cancer resistance to improve survival rate and treatment response.

We look forward to your contributions.

Dr. Paola Palumbo
Dr. Silvano J. Santini
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • glioblastoma stem cells
  • resistance
  • cancer therapy
  • signaling pathways
  • tumor microenvironment

Published Papers (2 papers)

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17 pages, 5825 KiB  
Article
Involvement of Cyclooxygenase-2 in Establishing an Immunosuppressive Microenvironment in Tumorspheres Derived from TMZ-Resistant Glioblastoma Cell Lines and Primary Cultures
by Francesca Lombardi, Francesca Rosaria Augello, Serena Artone, Alessia Ciafarone, Skender Topi, Maria Grazia Cifone, Benedetta Cinque and Paola Palumbo
Cells 2024, 13(3), 258; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13030258 - 30 Jan 2024
Viewed by 909
Abstract
Glioblastoma (GBM) is characterized by an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment (TME) strictly associated with therapy resistance. Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) fuels GBM proliferation, stemness, and chemoresistance. We previously reported that COX-2 upregulation induced by temozolomide (TMZ) supported chemoresistance. Also, COX-2 transfer by extracellular vesicles released by [...] Read more.
Glioblastoma (GBM) is characterized by an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment (TME) strictly associated with therapy resistance. Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) fuels GBM proliferation, stemness, and chemoresistance. We previously reported that COX-2 upregulation induced by temozolomide (TMZ) supported chemoresistance. Also, COX-2 transfer by extracellular vesicles released by T98G promoted M2 polarization in macrophages, whereas COX-2 inhibition counteracted these effects. Here, we investigated the COX-2 role in the stemness potential and modulation of the GBM immunosuppressive microenvironment. The presence of macrophages U937 within tumorspheres derived from GBM cell lines and primary cultures exposed to celecoxib (COX-2 inhibitor) with or without TMZ was studied by confocal microscopy. M2 polarization was analyzed by TGFβ-1 and CD206 levels. Osteopontin (OPN), a crucial player within the TME by driving the macrophages’ infiltration, and CD44 expression was assessed by Western blot. TMZ strongly enhanced tumorsphere size and induced the M2 polarization of infiltrating macrophages. In macrophage-infiltrated tumorspheres, TMZ upregulated OPN and CD44 expression. These TMZ effects were counteracted by the concurrent addition of CXB. Remarkably, exogenous prostaglandin-E2 restored OPN and CD44, highlighting the COX-2 pivotal role in the protumor macrophages’ state promotion. COX-2 inhibition interfered with TMZ’s ability to induce M2-polarization and counteracted the development of an immunosuppressive TME. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Pivotal Role of Tumor Stem Cells in Glioblastoma)
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16 pages, 3027 KiB  
Article
Prospective Approach to Deciphering the Impact of Intercellular Mitochondrial Transfer from Human Neural Stem Cells and Brain Tumor-Initiating Cells to Neighboring Astrocytes
by Jerusha Boyineni, Jason Michael Wood, Aditya Ravindra, Ethan Boley, Sarah E. Donohue, Marcelo Bento Soares and Sergey Malchenko
Cells 2024, 13(3), 204; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13030204 - 23 Jan 2024
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Abstract
The communication between neural stem cells (NSCs) and surrounding astrocytes is essential for the homeostasis of the NSC niche. Intercellular mitochondrial transfer, a unique communication system that utilizes the formation of tunneling nanotubes for targeted mitochondrial transfer between donor and recipient cells, has [...] Read more.
The communication between neural stem cells (NSCs) and surrounding astrocytes is essential for the homeostasis of the NSC niche. Intercellular mitochondrial transfer, a unique communication system that utilizes the formation of tunneling nanotubes for targeted mitochondrial transfer between donor and recipient cells, has recently been identified in a wide range of cell types. Intercellular mitochondrial transfer has also been observed between different types of cancer stem cells (CSCs) and their neighboring cells, including brain CSCs and astrocytes. CSC mitochondrial transfer significantly enhances overall tumor progression by reprogramming neighboring cells. Despite the urgent need to investigate this newly identified phenomenon, mitochondrial transfer in the central nervous system remains largely uncharacterized. In this study, we found evidence of intercellular mitochondrial transfer from human NSCs and from brain CSCs, also known as brain tumor-initiating cells (BTICs), to astrocytes in co-culture experiments. Both NSC and BTIC mitochondria triggered similar transcriptome changes upon transplantation into the recipient astrocytes. In contrast to NSCs, the transplanted mitochondria from BTICs had a significant proliferative effect on the recipient astrocytes. This study forms the basis for mechanistically deciphering the impact of intercellular mitochondrial transfer on recipient astrocytes, which will potentially provide us with new insights into the mechanisms of mitochondrial retrograde signaling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Pivotal Role of Tumor Stem Cells in Glioblastoma)
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