Molecular mechanisms of OLIG2 transcription factor in brain cancer
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Igor F. Tsigelny1,2,5,*, Valentina L. Kouznetsova2,5,*, Nathan Lian4, Santosh Kesari3,6
1Department of Neurosciences, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, 92093-0752, CA, USA
2San Diego Supercomputer Center, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, 92093-0505, CA, USA
3John Wayne Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center, Santa Monica, 90404, CA, USA
4REHS, San Diego Supercomputer Center, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, 92093-0505, CA, USA
5Moores Cancer Center, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, 92093, CA, USA
6Pacific Neuroscience Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center, Santa Monica, 90404, CA, USA
*These authors contributed equally to this work
Igor F. Tsigelny, email: email@example.com
Santosh Kesari, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Keywords: glioblastoma, OLIG2, gene networks, transcription factor, cancer
Received: March 21, 2016 Accepted: June 03, 2016 Published: July 16, 2016
Oligodendrocyte lineage transcription factor 2 (OLIG2) plays a pivotal role in glioma development. Here we conducted a comprehensive study of the critical gene regulatory networks involving OLIG2. These include the networks responsible for OLIG2 expression, its translocation to nucleus, cell cycle, epigenetic regulation, and Rho-pathway interactions. We described positive feedback loops including OLIG2: loops of epigenetic regulation and loops involving receptor tyrosine kinases. These loops may be responsible for the prolonged oncogenic activity of OLIG2. The proposed schemes for epigenetic regulation of the gene networks involving OLIG2 are confirmed by patient survival (Kaplan–Meier) curves based on the cancer genome atlas (TCGA) datasets. Finally, we elucidate the Coherent-Gene Modules (CGMs) networks—framework of OLIG2 involvement in cancer. We showed that genes interacting with OLIG2 formed eight CGMs having a set of intermodular connections. We showed also that among the genes involved in these modules the most connected hub is EGFR, then, on lower level, HSP90 and CALM1, followed by three lower levels including epigenetic genes KDM1A and NCOR1. The genes on the six upper levels of the hierarchy are involved in interconnections of all eight CGMs and organize functionally defined gene-signaling subnetworks having specific functions. For example, CGM1 is involved in epigenetic control. CGM2 is significantly related to cell proliferation and differentiation. CGM3 includes a number of interconnected helix–loop–helix transcription factors (bHLH) including OLIG2. Many of these TFs are partially controlled by OLIG2. The CGM4 is involved in PDGF-related: angiogenesis, tumor cell proliferation and differentiation. These analyses provide testable hypotheses and approaches to inhibit OLIG2 pathway and relevant feed-forward and feedback loops to be interrogated. This broad approach can be applied to other TFs.
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