Research Papers:

FOXM1 and STAT3 interaction confers radioresistance in glioblastoma cells

Uday B. Maachani, Uma Shankavaram, Tamalee Kramp, Philip J. Tofilon, Kevin Camphausen and Anita T. Tandle _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:77365-77377. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.12670

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Uday B. Maachani1, Uma Shankavaram1, Tamalee Kramp1, Philip J. Tofilon1, Kevin Camphausen1, Anita T. Tandle1

1Radiation Oncology Branch, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA

Correspondence to:

Anita T. Tandle, email: [email protected]

Keywords: glioblastoma multiforme, FOXM1, STAT3, glioma stem cells, radio resistance

Received: June 30, 2016    Accepted: September 28, 2016    Published: October 14, 2016


Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) continues to be the most frequently diagnosed and lethal primary brain tumor. Adjuvant chemo-radiotherapy remains the standard of care following surgical resection. In this study, using reverse phase protein arrays (RPPAs), we assessed the biological effects of radiation on signaling pathways to identify potential radiosensitizing molecular targets. We identified subsets of proteins with clearly concordant/discordant behavior between irradiated and non-irradiated GBM cells in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, we observed high expression of Forkhead box protein M1 (FOXM1) in irradiated GBM cells both in vitro and in vivo. Recent evidence of FOXM1 as a master regulator of metastasis and its important role in maintaining neural, progenitor, and GBM stem cells, intrigued us to validate it as a radiosensitizing target. Here we show that FOXM1 inhibition radiosensitizes GBM cells by abrogating genes associated with cell cycle progression and DNA repair, suggesting its role in cellular response to radiation. Further, we demonstrate that radiation induced stimulation of FOXM1 expression is dependent on STAT3 activation. Co-immunoprecipitation and co-localization assays revealed physical interaction of FOXM1 with phosphorylated STAT3 under radiation treatment. In conclusion, we hypothesize that FOXM1 regulates radioresistance via STAT3 in GBM cells. We also, show GBM patients with high FOXM1 expression have poor prognosis. Collectively our observations might open novel opportunities for targeting FOXM1 for effective GBM therapy.

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