HGG-43_Joshua Breunig


Contact Presenter

Hannah Park, Naomi Kobritz, Shaunt Mehdikhani, Joshua Breunig;

Cedars-Sinai, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Pediatric high-grade gliomas (HGGs) are an aggressive form of pediatric brain tumors which pose a grim five-year survival with little advancement in therapeutic efficacy, often requiring a multimodal therapeutic combination of chemotherapy, resection, and radiation. We have previously shown that proper function of ETS transcription factors is necessary for gliomagenesis in Ras/MAPK-driven pediatric gliomas. It is our hypothesis that ETS transcription factors are necessary for tumor initiation in HGGs by promoting the necessary glial cell fates in glioma. Further, we hypothesize that functional inhibition of ETS proteins following tumor formation will improve survival and outcome in HGG. Functional inhibition of ETS proteins using a competitive dominant-negative mutant was shown to completely rescue neural stem cell depletion, tumor formation and tumor-free survival in two rodent models of HGGs. Mechanistically, we show evidence that Pea3 factors may induce glial-cell fate by promoting Olig2 expression and activation of glial transcriptional programs. Indeed, transcriptomic analysis of ETS-perturbed HGG tumors revealed that Sox9 and Olig2 transcription factor networks were dependent on proper ETS function. Further, we show evidence that Etv5 can directly interact with promoter regions of glial fate master regulators in human primary glioma cell lines. To empirically determine the effect of Pea3 proteins on tumorigenesis, we have created a novel methodology for inducible gain- and loss-of-function genetic interrogation of these factors in vivo. Our survival results and combined single-cell RNA-sequencing of individual groups show that inhibition of the Pea3 family leads to a marked increase in survival in K27M glioma by regulating key features of glioblasts. All in all, our group provides evidence that the ETS family of transcription factors is necessary for glial specification of tumor cells and induce pro-glial transcriptional programs by activating OPC- and astrocyte-specific genes in K27M-driven tumors.

Duration: 05:43

Posted: Sunday, June 6, 2021

Video tags: 2021 SNO Pediatric Meeting