Down-modulation of SEL1L, an unfolded protein response and endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation protein, sensitizes glioma stem cells to the cytotoxic effect of valproic acid

Monica Cattaneo, Simona Baronchelli, Davide Schiffer, Marta Mellai, Valentina Caldera, Gloria Jotti Saccani, Leda Dalpra, Antonio Daga, Rosaria Orlandi, Pasquale Deblasio, Ida Biunno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Valproic acid (VPA), an histone deacetylase inhibitor, is emerging as a promising therapeutic agent for the treatments of gliomas by virtue of its ability to reactivate the expression of epigenetically silenced genes. VPA induces the unfolded protein response (UPR), an adaptive pathway displaying a dichotomic yin yang characteristic; it initially contributes in safeguarding the malignant cell survival, whereas long-lasting activation favors a proapoptotic response. By triggering UPR, VPA might tip the balance between cellular adaptation and programmed cell death via the deregulation of protein homeostasis and induction of proteotoxicity. Here we aimed to investigate the impact of proteostasis on glioma stem cells (GSC) using VPA treatment combined with subversion of SEL1L, a crucial protein involved in homeostatic pathways, cancer aggressiveness, and stem cell state maintenance. We investigated the global expression of GSC lines untreated and treated with VPA, SEL1L interference, and GSC line response to VPA treatment by analyzing cell viability via MTT assay, neurosphere formation, and endoplasmic reticulum stress/UPR-responsive proteins. Moreover, SEL1L immunohistochemistry was performed on primary glial tumors. The results show that (i) VPA affects GSC lines viability and anchorage-dependent growth by inducing differentiative programs and cell cycle progression, (ii) SEL1L down-modulation synergy enhances VPA cytotoxic effects by influencing GSCs proliferation and self-renewal properties, and (iii) SEL1L expression is indicative of glioma proliferation rate, malignancy, and endoplasmic reticulum stress statuses. Targeting the proteostasis network in association to VPA treatment may provideanalternative approachtodeplete GSC and improve glioma treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2826-2838
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume289
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 31 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology

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