Glioblastoma multiform (GBM) is the most common brain tumor characterized by a dismal prognosis. GBM cancer stem cells (gCSC) or tumor-initiating cells are the cell population within the tumor-driving therapy resistance and recurrence. While temozolomide (TMZ), an alkylating agent, constitutes the first-line chemotherapeutic significantly improving survival in GBM patients, resistance against this compound commonly leads to GBM recurrence and treatment failure. Although the roles of protein-coding transcripts, proteins and microRNA in gCSC, and therapy resistance have been comprehensively investigated, very little is known about the role of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) in this context. Using nonoverlapping, independent RNA sequencing and gene expression profiling datasets, we reveal that TP73-AS1 constitutes a clinically relevant lncRNA in GBM. Specifically, we demonstrate significant overexpression of TP73-AS1 in primary GBM samples, which is particularly increased in the gCSC. More importantly, we demonstrate that TP73-AS1 comprises a prognostic biomarker in glioma and in GBM with high expression identifying patients with particularly poor prognosis. Using CRISPRi to downregulate our candidate lncRNA in gCSC, we demonstrate that TP73-AS1 promotes TMZ resistance in gCSC and is linked to regulation of the expression of metabolism- related genes and ALDH1A1, a protein known to be expressed in cancer stem cell markers and protects gCSC from TMZ treatment. Taken together, our results reveal that high TP73-AS1 predicts poor prognosis in primary GBM cohorts and that this lncRNA promotes tumor aggressiveness and TMZ resistance in gCSC.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology
- Cancer Research