JNK contributes to temozolomide resistance of stem-like glioblastoma cells via regulation of MGMT expression
International Journal of Oncology
While elimination of the cancer stem cell population is increasingly recognized as a key to successful treatment of cancer, the high resistance of cancer stem cells to conventional chemoradiotherapy remains a therapeutic challenge. O 6 -methylguanine DNA methyltransferase (MGMT), which is frequently expressed in cancer stem cells of glioblastoma, has been implicated in their resistance to temozolomide, the first-line chemotherapeutic agent against newly diagnosed glioblastoma. However, much
... . However, much remains unknown about the molecular regulation that underlies MGMT expression and temozolomide resistance of glioblastoma cancer stem cells. Here, we identified JNK as a novel player in the control of MGMT expression and temozolomide resistance of glioblastoma cancer stem cells. We showed that inhibition of JNK, either pharmacologically or by RNA interference, in stem-like glioblastoma cells derived directly from glioblastoma tissues reduces their MGMT expression and temozolomide resistance. Importantly, sensitization of stem-like glioblastoma cells to temozolomide by JNK inhibition was dependent on MGMT expression, implying that JNK controls temozolomide resistance of stem-like glioblastoma cells through MGMT expression. Our findings suggest that concurrent use of JNK inhibitors with temozolomide may be a rational therapeutic approach to effectively target the cancer stem cell population in the treatment of glioblastoma.