COX-2 overexpression increases malignant potential of human glioma cells through Id1
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Kaiming Xu1, Lanfang Wang1 and Hui-Kuo G. Shu1
1 Department of Radiation Oncology and the Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Hui-Kuo G. Shu, email:
Keywords: glioblastoma, glioma, brain tumor, tumorigenesis, cyclooxygenase-2, Id1
Received: September 4, 2013 Accepted: October 29, 2013 Published: October 31, 2013
Increased COX-2 expression directly correlates with glioma grade and is associated with shorter survival in glioblastoma (GBM) patients. COX-2 is also regulated by epidermal growth factor receptor signaling which is important in the pathogenesis of GBMs. However, COX-2 expression has not been previously shown to directly alter malignancy of GBMs. Id1 is a member of the helix-loop-helix (HLH) family of transcriptional repressors that act as dominant-negative inhibitors of basic-HLH factors. This factor has been shown to be regulated by COX-2 in breast carcinoma cells and recent studies suggest that Id1 may also be involved in the genesis/progression of gliomas. We now show that COX-2 increases the aggressiveness of GBM cells. GBM cells with COX-2 overexpression show increased growth of colonies in soft agar. Tumorigenesis in vivo is also increased in both subcutaneous flank and orthotopic intracranial tumor models. COX-2 overexpression induces Id1 expression in two GBM cell lines suggesting a role for Id1 in glioma transformation/tumorigenesis. Furthermore, we find direct evidence of a role for Id1 with significant suppression of in vitro transformation and in vivo tumorigenesis in COX-2-overexpressing GBM cells where Id1 has been knocked down. In fact, Id1 is even more efficient at enhancing transformation/tumorigenesis of GBM cells than COX-2. Finally, GBM cells with COX-2 or Id1 overexpression show greater migration/invasive potential and tumors that arise from these cells also display increased microvessel density, results in line with the increased malignant potential seen in these cells. Thus, COX-2 enhances the malignancy of GBM cells through induction of Id1.
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