Research Papers:

Activation of TRPM7 by naltriben enhances migration and invasion of glioblastoma cells

Raymond Wong, Ekaterina Turlova, Zhong-Ping Feng, James T. Rutka and Hong-Shuo Sun _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:11239-11248. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.14496

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Raymond Wong1,2, Ekaterina Turlova1,2, Zhong-Ping Feng2, James T. Rutka1, Hong-Shuo Sun1,2,3,4

1Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

2Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

3Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

4Institute of Medical Science, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Correspondence to:

Hong-Shuo Sun, email: [email protected]

Keywords: glioblastoma, U87, TRPM7, naltriben, migration

Received: August 31, 2016     Accepted: December 26, 2016     Published: January 04, 2017


Glioblastoma (GBM), the most common and aggressive brain tumor in the central nervous system, remains a lethal diagnosis with a median survival of < 15 months. Aberrant expression of the TRPM7 channel has been linked to GBM functions. In this study, using the human GBM cell line U87, we evaluated the TRPM7 activator naltriben on GBM viability, migration, and invasiveness. First, using the whole-cell patch-clamp technique, we showed that naltriben enhanced the endogenous TRPM7-like current in U87 cells. In addition, with Fura-2 Ca2+ imaging, we observed robust Ca2+ influx following naltriben application. Naltriben significantly enhanced U87 cell migration and invasion (assessed with scratch wound assays, Matrigel invasion experiments, and MMP-2 protein expression), but not viability and proliferation (evaluated with MTT assays). Using Western immunoblots, we also detected the protein levels of p-Akt/t-Akt, and p-ERK1|2/t-ERK1|2. We found that naltriben enhanced the MAPK/ERK signaling pathway, but not the PI3k/Akt pathway. Therefore, potentiated TRPM7 activity contributes to the devastating migratory and invasive characteristics of GBM.

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