Research ArticleCancer

Feedback circuitry between miR-218 repression and RTK activation in glioblastoma

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Sci. Signal.  05 May 2015:
Vol. 8, Issue 375, pp. ra42
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2005978

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Abstract

Receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) signaling promotes the growth and progression of glioblastoma (GBM), a highly aggressive type of brain tumor. We previously reported that decreased miR-218 expression in GBM directly promotes RTK activity by increasing the expression of key RTKs and their signaling mediators, including the RTK epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), phospholipase C–γ1 (PLCγ1), and the kinases PIK3CA and ARAF. However, increased RTK signaling usually activates negative feedback mechanisms to maintain homeostasis. We found that decreased miR-218 expression in GBM cells also increased the expression of genes encoding additional upstream and downstream components of RTK signaling pathways, including the RTK platelet-derived growth factor receptor α (PDGFRα) and the kinases ribosomal S6 kinase 2 (RSK2) and S6 kinase 1 (S6K1), that collectively overrode the negative feedback mechanism. Furthermore, increased RTK signaling itself suppressed miR-218 expression. Mass spectrometry and DNA pull-down identified binding of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) along with the transcriptional repressor BCL2-associated transcription factor 1 (BCLAF1) directly to the miR-218 locus. These data identify previously unknown feedback loops by which miR-218 repression promotes increased RTK signaling in high-grade gliomas.

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