Research Papers:

Hedgehog signaling sensitizes Glioma stem cells to endogenous nano-irradiation

Agnieszka Morgenroth _, Andreas T. J. Vogg, Katja Ermert, Boris Zlatopolskiy and Felix M. Mottaghy

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Oncotarget. 2014; 5:5483-5493. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.2123

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Agnieszka Morgenroth1, Andreas T. J. Vogg1, Katja Ermert1, Boris Zlatopolskiy1,2 and Felix M. Mottaghy1,3

1 Department of Nuclear Medicine, University Hospital Aachen, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany

2 Max Planck Institute for Neurological Research, Cologne, Germany

3 Department of Nuclear Medicine, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, the Netherlands


Agnieszka Morgenrothi, email:

Keywords: Hedgehog, glioma stem cells, Auger electron emitter, nano-irradiation, thymidine analogue

Received: May 8, 2014 Accepted: June 18, 2014 Published: June 20, 2014


The existence of therapy resistant glioma stem cells is responsible for the high recurrence rate and incurability of glioblastomas. The Hedgehog pathway activity plays an essential role for self-renewal capacity and survival of glioma stem cells. We examined the potential of the Sonic hedgehog ligand for sensitizing of glioma stem cells to endogenous nano-irradiation. We demonstrate that the Sonic hedgehog ligand preferentially and efficiently activats glioma stem cells to enter the radiation sensitive G2/M phase. Concomitant inhibition of de novo thymidine synthesis with fluorodeoxyuridine and treatment with the Auger electron emitting thymidine analogue 5-[I-125]-Iodo-4’-thio-2’-deoxyuridine ([I-125]ITdU) leads to a fatal nano-irradiation in sensitized glioma stem cells. Targeting of proliferating glioma stem cells with DNA-incorporated [I-125]ITdU efficiently invokes the intrinsic apoptotic pathway despite active DNA repair mechanisms. Further, [I-125]ITdU completely inhibits survival of glioma stem cells in vitro. Analysis of non-stem glioblastoma cells and normal human astrocytes reveals that glioma stem cells differentially respond to Sonic hedgehog ligand. These data demonstrate a highly efficient and controllable single-cell kill therapeutic model for targeting glioma stem cells.

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