Glioblastoma cells feature mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) up-regulation which relates to a variety of effects such as: lower survival, higher infiltration, high stemness and radio- and chemo-resistance. Recently, it was demonstrated that mTOR may produce a gene shift leading to altered protein expression. Therefore, in the present study we administered different doses of the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin to explore whether the transcription of specific genes are modified. By using a variety of methods we demonstrate that rapamycin stimulates gene transcription related to neuronal differentiation while inhibiting stemness related genes such as nestin. In these experimental conditions, cell phenotype shifts towards a pyramidal neuron-like shape owing long branches. Rapamycin suppressed cell migration when exposed to fetal bovine serum (FBS) while increasing the cell adhesion protein phospho-FAK (pFAK). The present study improves our awareness of basic mechanisms which relate mTOR activity to the biology of glioblastoma cells. These findings apply to a variety of effects which can be induced by mTOR regulation in the brain. In fact, the ability to promote neuronal differentiation might be viewed as a novel therapeutic pathway to approach neuronal regeneration.
- Mammalian target of rapamycin
- Neuronal differentiation
- Stem cells
- Transmission electron microscopy
ASJC Scopus subject areas