Role of SOX9 in Glioblastoma
Ander Matheu, Neurooncology group, Biodonostia Research Institute. Paseo Dr. Beguiristain s/n, San Sebastian, Spain
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most frequent, aggressive and lethal primary brain cancer, which exhibits an extremely poor prognosis characterized by an average survival of 15 months. GBM, like other types of cancer, contains a subpopulation of cancer stem cells (CSC) with neural stem cells characteristics (unlimited proliferation, self-renewal potential and multipotency to differentiate) that are crucial drivers of tumor initiation, progression, recurrence and resistance to therapies.
The disregulation of genes that control the role of neural stem cells seems to be a critical feature in GBM development and malignancy. Therefore, these genes could become potential therapeutic targets in the treatment of GBM. In this sense, our interest is focused on SOX9 (sex-determining region Y (SRY)-box 9 protein) a member of the SOX gene family of transcription factors.
SOX9 plays a pivotal role in a number of developmental processes (key factor in sex determination, chondrogenesis and neural crest development) and it has been linked to stem cell biology during embryogenesis and also in adult stage.
Our aim is to study the involvement of SOX9 in the initiation, progression and resistance of GBM. Our results show that SOX9 is overexpressed in GBM human samples comparing to normal brain tissue and how SOX9 acts as an oncogene in this type of tumor through the promotion of proliferation, cells migration and tumor formation.