Cancer stem cells exert enormous influence on neoplastic behavior, in part by governing asymmetric cell division and the balance between self-renewal and multipotent differentiation. Growth is favored by deregulated stem cell division, which enhances the self-renewing population and diminishes the differentiation program. Mutation of a single gene in Drosophila, Brain Tumor (Brat), leads to disrupted asymmetric cell division resulting in dramatic neoplastic proliferation of neuroblasts and massive larval brain overgrowth. To uncover the mechanisms relevant to deregulated cell division in human glioma stem cells, we first developed a novel adult Drosophila brain tumor model using brat-RNAi driven by the neuroblast-specific promoter inscuteable. Suppressing Brat in this population led to the accumulation of actively proliferating neuroblasts and a lethal brain tumor phenotype. brat-RNAi caused upregulation of Notch signaling, a node critical for self-renewal, by increasing protein expression and enhancing nuclear transport of Notch intracellular domain (NICD). In human glioblastoma, we demonstrated that the human ortholog of Drosophila Brat, tripartite motif-containing protein 3 (TRIM3), similarly suppressed NOTCH1 signaling and markedly attenuated the stem cell component. We also found that TRIM3 suppressed nuclear transport of active NOTCH1 (NICD) in glioblastoma and demonstrated that these effects are mediated by direct binding of TRIM3 to the Importin complex. Together, our results support a novel role for Brat/TRIM3 in maintaining stem cell equilibrium and suppressing tumor growth by regulating NICD nuclear transport.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research