|Paper title||Regulation of glioma cell invasion by 3q26 gene products PIK3CA, SOX2 and OPA1|
|Form of presentation||Poster|
Aims: Diffuse gliomas progress by invading neighboring brain tissue to promote post-operative relapse. Transcription factor gene SOX2 is highly expressed in invasive gliomas and maps to 3q26 together with the genes for the PI3K/AKT signaling activator PIK3CA, and those encoding effectors of mitochondria fusion and cell invasion inhibitors MFN1 and OPA1.
Methods: We aimed at investigating their respective roles in glioma cell invasion in vitro and by exploiting retrospective patient neuro-imaging data.
Results: Gene copy number analysis at 3q26 from 129 glioma patient biopsies revealed mutually exclusive SOX2 amplifications (26%) and OPA1 losses (19%). Both forced SOX2 expression and OPA1 inactivation increased LN319 glioma cell invasion. Conversely, pharmacological PI3K/AKT pathway inhibition decreased invasion and resulted in SOX2 nucleus-to-cytoplasm translocation in a mTORC1-independent manner, showing that PI3K/AKT signaling sustains SOX2 activity. Chromatin immuno-precipitation and luciferase reporter gene assays together demonstrated that SOX2 trans-activates PIK3CA and OPA1. Thus, SOX2 activates PI3K/AKT signaling in a positive feedback loop, while OPA1 deletion is interpreted to counter-act OPA1 trans-activation. Remarkably, neuro-imaging of human gliomas with high SOX2 or low OPA1 genomic imbalances revealed significantly larger necrotic tumor zone volumes, corresponding to higher invasive capacities of tumors.
Conclusions: Whereas glioma invasion is activated by an oncogenic PI3K/AKT-SOX2 loop, it is reduced by a cryptic tumor suppressor SOX2-OPA1 pathway. Thus, RTK/PI3K/AKT-SOX2 and mitochondria fission represent potential signaling networks to be targeted to control glioma invasion. In addition, our results indicate that necrosis volume is a potential surrogate marker for evaluation of invasion.