Sox2-dependent maintenance of mouse oligodendroglioma involves the Sox2-mediated downregulation of Cdkn2b, Ebf1, Zfp423, and Hey2

Cristiana Barone, Mariachiara Buccarelli, Francesco Alessandrini, Miriam Pagin, Laura Rigoldi, Irene Sambruni, Rebecca Favaro, Sergio Ottolenghi, Roberto Pallini, Lucia Ricci-Vitiani, Paolo Malatesta, Silvia K Nicolis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Cancer stem cells (CSC) are essential for tumorigenesis. The transcription factor Sox2 is overexpressed in brain gliomas, and is essential to maintain CSC. In mouse high-grade glioma pHGG cells in culture, Sox2 deletion causes cell proliferation arrest and inability to reform tumors after transplantation in vivo; in Sox2-deleted cells, 134 genes are derepressed. To identify genes mediating Sox2 deletion effects, we overexpressed into pHGG cells nine among the most derepressed genes, and identified four genes, Ebf1, Hey2, Zfp423, and Cdkn2b, that strongly reduced cell proliferation in vitro and brain tumorigenesis in vivo. CRISPR/Cas9 mutagenesis of each gene, individually or in combination (Ebf1 + Cdkn2b), significantly antagonized the proliferation arrest caused by Sox2 deletion. The same genes also repressed clonogenicity in primary human glioblastoma-derived CSC-like lines. These experiments identify a network of critical tumor suppressive Sox2-targets whose inhibition by Sox2 is involved in glioma CSC maintenance, defining new potential therapeutic targets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)579-593
Number of pages15
JournalGLIA
Volume69
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

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