The transcription factor FOXP3 plays an essential role in regulatory T cell development and function. In addition, it has recently been identified as a tumor suppressor in different cancers. Here, we report that FOXP3 is expressed in normal brain but stronglydown-regulated in glioblastoma (GB) and in corresponding GB stem-like cells growing in culture as neurospheres (GB-NS), as evaluatedby real time-PCR and confirmed by immunohistochemistry on an independent set of GB. FOXP3 expression was higher in low-grade gliomasthan in GB. Interestingly, we also found that neurosphere generation, a feature present in 58% of the GB that we examined, correlated with lower expression of FOXP3 and shorter patient survival. FOXP3 silencing in one GB-NS expressing measurable levels of the genecaused a significant increase in proliferation and migration as well as highly aggressive growth in xenografts. Conversely, FOXP3 over-expression impaired GB-NS migration and proliferation in vitro. We also demonstrated using ChiP that FOXP3 is a transcriptional regulator of p21 and c-MYC supporting the idea that dysregulated expression of these factors is a major mechanism of tumorigenesis driven by the loss of FOXP3 expression in gliomas. These findings support the assertion that FOXP3 exhibits tumor suppressor activity in glioblastomas.
|Number of pages||12|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|
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