Mouse low-grade gliomas contain cancer stem cells with unique molecular and functional properties

Abstract

The availability of adult malignant glioma stem cells (GSCs) has provided unprecedented opportunities to identify the mechanisms underlying treatment resistance. Unfortunately, there is a lack of comparable reagents for the study of pediatric low-grade glioma (LGG). Leveraging a neurofibromatosis-1 (Nf1) genetically-engineered mouse LGG model, we report the isolation of CD133+ multi-potent low-grade glioma stem cells (LG-GSCs), which generate glioma-like lesions histologically similar to the parent tumor following injection into immunocompetent hosts. In addition, we demonstrate that these LG-GSCs harbor selective resistance to currently-employed conventional and biologically-targeted anti-cancer agents, which reflect the acquisition of new targetable signaling pathway abnormalities. Using transcriptomal analysis to identify additional molecular properties, we discovered that mouse and human LG-GSCs harbor high levels of Abcg1 expression critical for protecting against endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-induced mouse LG-GSC apoptosis. Collectively, these findings establish that LGG cancer stem cells have unique molecular and functional properties relevant to brain cancer treatment.

Publication
In Cell reports
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