ILKAP, ILK and PINCH1 control cell survival of p53-wildtype glioblastoma cells after irradiation.

PMID 26460618


The prognosis is generally poor for patients suffering from glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) due to radiation and drug resistance. Prosurvival signaling originating from focal adhesion hubs essentially contributes to therapy resistance and tumor aggressiveness. As the underlying molecular mechanisms remain largely elusive, we addressed whether targeting of the focal adhesion proteins particularly interesting new cysteine-histidine-rich 1 (PINCH1), integrin-linked kinase (ILK) and ILK associated phosphatase (ILKAP) modulates GBM cell radioresistance. Intriguingly, PINCH1, ILK and ILKAP depletion sensitized p53-wildtype, but not p53-mutant, GBM cells to radiotherapy. Concomitantly, these cells showed inactivated Glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK3β) and reduced proliferation. For PINCH1 and ILKAP knockdown, elevated levels of radiation-induced γH2AX/53BP1-positive foci, as a marker for DNA double strand breaks, were observed. Mechanistically, we identified radiation-induced phosphorylation of DNA protein kinase (DNAPK), an important DNA repair protein, to be dependent on ILKAP. This interaction was fundamental to radiation survival of p53-wildtype GBM cells. Conclusively, our data suggest an essential role of PINCH1, ILK and ILKAP for the radioresistance of p53-wildtype GBM cells and provide evidence for DNAPK functioning as a central mediator of ILKAP signaling. Strategies for targeting focal adhesion proteins in combination with radiotherapy might be a promising approach for patients with GBM.