Fibulin-3 promotes glioma growth and resistance through a novel paracrine regulation of notch signaling

Bin Hu, Mohan S. Nandhu, Hosung Sim, Paula A. Agudelo-Garcia, Joshua C. Saldivar, Claire E. Dolan, Maria E. Mora, Gerard J. Nuovo, Susan E. Cole, Mariano S. Viapiano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations

Abstract

Malignant gliomas are highly invasive and chemoresistant brain tumors with extremely poor prognosis. Targeting of the soluble factors that trigger invasion and resistance, therefore, could have a significant impact against the infiltrative glioma cells that are a major source of recurrence. Fibulin-3 is a matrix protein that is absent in normal brain but upregulated in gliomas and promotes tumor invasion by unknown mechanisms. Here, we show that fibulin-3 is a novel soluble activator of Notch signaling that antagonizes DLL3, an autocrine inhibitor or Notch, and promotes tumor cell survival and invasion in a Notch-dependent manner. Using a strategy for inducible knockdown, we found that controlled downregulation of fibulin-3 reduced Notch signaling and led to increased apoptosis, reduced self-renewal of glioblastoma-initiating cells, and impaired growth and dispersion of intracranial tumors. In addition, fibulin-3 expression correlated with expression levels of Notch-dependent genes and was a marker of Notch activation in patient-derived glioma samples. These findings underscore a major role for the tumor extracellular matrix in regulating glioma invasion and resistance to apoptosis via activation of the key Notch pathway. More importantly, this work describes a noncanonical, soluble activator of Notch in a cancer model and shows how Notch signaling can be reduced by targeting tumor-specific accessible molecules in the tumor microenvironment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3873-3885
Number of pages13
JournalCancer Research
Volume72
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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