Meningiomas are the second most common brain tumor, and 20-30% of these tumors are aggressive. The aggressive subtypes are characterized by a capacity for invasion of normal brain with frequent and destructive recurrence patterns. Effective local therapies include surgery and radiation, but there is a need for novel molecular targets to improve survival and reduce morbidity for this group or cancer patients. We have recently identified the N-Myc downstream regulated gene 4, NDRG4, protein as being overexpressed in aggressive meningioma, and in this report, demonstrate its role in cell survival, invasion/migration and angiogenesis. Downregulation of NDRG4 mRNA and protein expression in two high-grade meningioma cancer cell lines, IOMM-Lee and CH-157 MN resulted in reduction in cell survival, DNA fragmentation and G2-M cell cycle arrest. NDRG4 downregulation also decreased cellular invasion and migration, as determined by spheroid migration, linear and radial wound healing, Boyden chamber matrigel invasion, and 3D invasion assays. To determine the effect of NDRG4 depletion on angiogenesis, we studied the immortalized brain endothelial cell line, bEnd.3. We treated bEnd.3 cells with conditioned media from NDRG4-depleted IOMM-Lee and CH-157 MN cells and abrogated their ability to elicit bEnd.3 capillary-like tubes, to proliferate, and to invade. NDRG4 is not overexpressed in bEnd.3 cells and direct NDRG4 depletion had no effect on the cells. This study is significant as it is the first to demonstrate the functional role of NDRG4 in various aspects of meningioma tumor biology. NDRG4 is involved in modulating cell proliferation, invasion, migration and angiogenesis in meningioma, and may play a valuable role as a molecular target in its treatment.
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