Glioblastoma (GBM) cells express large-conductance, calcium-activated potassium (BK) channels, whose activity is important for several critical aspects of the tumor, such as migration/invasion and cell death. GBMs are also characterized by a heavy hypoxic microenvironment that exacerbates tumor aggressiveness. Since hypoxia modulates the activity of BK channels in many tissues, we hypothesized that a hypoxia-induced modulation of these channels may contribute to the hypoxia-induced GBM aggressiveness. In U87-MG cells, hypoxia induced a functional upregulation of BK channel activity, without interfering with their plasma membrane expression. Wound healing and transwell migration assays showed that hypoxia increased the migratory ability of U87-MG cells, an effect that could be prevented by BK channel inhibition. Toxicological experiments showed that hypoxia was able to induce chemoresistance to cisplatin in U87-MG cells and that the inhibition of BK channels prevented the hypoxia-induced chemoresistance. Clonogenic assays showed that BK channels are also used to increase the clonogenic ability of U87-MG GBM cells in presence, but not in absence, of cisplatin. BK channels were also found to be essential for the hypoxia-induced de-differentiation of GBM cells. Finally, using immunohistochemical analysis, we highlighted the presence of BK channels in hypoxic areas of human GBM tissues, suggesting that our findings may have physiopathological relevance in vivo. In conclusion, our data show that BK channels promote several aspects of the aggressive potential of GBM cells induced by hypoxia, such as migration and chemoresistance to cisplatin, suggesting it as a potential therapeutic target in the treatment of GBM.

BK channels blockage inhibits hypoxia-induced migration and chemoresistance to cisplatin in human glioblastoma cells

Gabriella Mincione;
2018-01-01

Abstract

Glioblastoma (GBM) cells express large-conductance, calcium-activated potassium (BK) channels, whose activity is important for several critical aspects of the tumor, such as migration/invasion and cell death. GBMs are also characterized by a heavy hypoxic microenvironment that exacerbates tumor aggressiveness. Since hypoxia modulates the activity of BK channels in many tissues, we hypothesized that a hypoxia-induced modulation of these channels may contribute to the hypoxia-induced GBM aggressiveness. In U87-MG cells, hypoxia induced a functional upregulation of BK channel activity, without interfering with their plasma membrane expression. Wound healing and transwell migration assays showed that hypoxia increased the migratory ability of U87-MG cells, an effect that could be prevented by BK channel inhibition. Toxicological experiments showed that hypoxia was able to induce chemoresistance to cisplatin in U87-MG cells and that the inhibition of BK channels prevented the hypoxia-induced chemoresistance. Clonogenic assays showed that BK channels are also used to increase the clonogenic ability of U87-MG GBM cells in presence, but not in absence, of cisplatin. BK channels were also found to be essential for the hypoxia-induced de-differentiation of GBM cells. Finally, using immunohistochemical analysis, we highlighted the presence of BK channels in hypoxic areas of human GBM tissues, suggesting that our findings may have physiopathological relevance in vivo. In conclusion, our data show that BK channels promote several aspects of the aggressive potential of GBM cells induced by hypoxia, such as migration and chemoresistance to cisplatin, suggesting it as a potential therapeutic target in the treatment of GBM.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/686034
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