Biochemical and biophysical research communications

A cell-autonomous positive-signaling circuit associated with the PDGF-NO-ID4-regulatory axis in glioblastoma cells.

PMID 28327358


Most cancer-related signaling pathways sustain their active or inactive status via genetic mutations or various regulatory mechanisms. Previously, we demonstrated that platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) activates Notch signaling through nitric oxide (NO)-signaling-driven activation of inhibitor of differentiation 4 (ID4) in glioblastoma (GBM) stem cells (GSCs) and endothelial cells in the vascular niche of GBM, leading to maintenance of GSC traits and GBM progression. Here, we determined that the PDGF-NO-ID4-signaling axis is constantly activated through a positive regulatory circuit. ID4 expression significantly increased PDGF subunit B expression in both in vitro cultures and in vivo tumor xenografts and regulated NO synthase 2 (NOS2) expression and NO production by activating PDGF signaling, as well as that of its receptor (PDGFR). Additionally, ectopic expression of PDGFRα, NOS2, or ID4 activated the PDGF-NO-ID4-signaling circuit and enhanced the self-renewal of GBM cell lines. These results suggested that the positive regulatory circuit associated with PDGF-NO-ID4 signaling plays a pivotal role in regulating the self-renewal and tumor-initiating capacity of GSCs and might provide a promising therapeutic target for GBM.