YB-1 Bridges Neural Stem Cells and Brain Tumor–Initiating Cells via Its Roles in Differentiation and Cell Growth Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Abstract The Y-box binding protein 1 (YB-1) is upregulated in many human malignancies including glioblastoma (GBM). It is also essential for normal brain development, suggesting that YB-1 is part of a neural stem cell (NSC) network. Here, we show that YB-1 was highly expressed in the subventricular zone (SVZ) of mouse fetal brain tissues but not in terminally differentiated primary astrocytes. Conversely, YB-1 knockout mice had reduced Sox-2, nestin, and musashi-1 expression in the SVZ. Although primary murine neurospheres were rich in YB-1, its expression was lost during glial differentiation. Glial tumors often express NSC markers and tend to loose the cellular control that governs differentiation; therefore, we addressed whether YB-1 served a similar role in cancer cells. YB-1, Sox-2, musashi-1, Bmi-1, and nestin are coordinately expressed in SF188 cells and 9/9 GBM patient-derived primary brain tumor–initiating cells (BTIC). Silencing YB-1 with siRNA attenuated the expression of these NSC markers, reduced neurosphere growth, and triggered differentiation via coordinate loss of GSK3-β. Furthermore, differentiation of BTIC with 1% serum or bone morphogenetic protein-4 suppressed YB-1 protein expression. Likewise, YB-1 expression was lost during differentiation of normal human NSCs. Consistent with these observations, YB-1 expression increased with tumor grade (n = 49 cases). YB-1 was also coexpressed with Bmi-1 (Spearmans 0.80, P > 0.001) and Sox-2 (Spearmans 0.66, P > 0.001) based on the analysis of 282 cases of high-grade gliomas. These proteins were highly expressed in 10/15 (67%) of GBM patients that subsequently relapsed. In conclusion, YB-1 correlatively expresses with NSC markers where it functions to promote cell growth and inhibit differentiation. Cancer Res; 71(16); 5569–78. ©2011 AACR.


  • Fotovati, Abbas
  • Abu-Ali, Samah
  • Wang, Pei-Shan
  • Deleyrolle, Loic P
  • Lee, Cathy
  • Triscott, Joanna
  • Chen, James Y
  • Franciosi, Sonia
  • Nakamura, Yasuhiro
  • Sugita, Yasuo
  • Uchiumi, Takeshi
  • Kuwano, Michihiko
  • Leavitt, Blair R
  • Singh, Sheila
  • Jury, Alexa
  • Jones, Chris
  • Wakimoto, Hiroaki
  • Reynolds, Brent A
  • Pallen, Catherine J
  • Dunn, Sandra E

publication date

  • August 15, 2011