1. Developmental Biology
  2. Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine
Download icon

Tailless/TLX reverts intermediate neural progenitors to stem cells driving tumourigenesis via repression of asense/ASCL1

  1. Anna E Hakes
  2. Andrea H Brand  Is a corresponding author
  1. University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Research Article
  • Cited 0
  • Views 1,299
  • Annotations
Cite this article as: eLife 2020;9:e53377 doi: 10.7554/eLife.53377

Abstract

Understanding the sequence of events leading to cancer relies in large part upon identifying the tumour cell of origin. Glioblastoma is the most malignant brain cancer but the early stages of disease progression remain elusive. Neural lineages have been implicated as cells of origin, as have glia. Interestingly, high levels of the neural stem cell regulator TLX correlate with poor patient prognosis. Here we show that high levels of the Drosophila TLX homologue, Tailless, initiate tumourigenesis by reverting intermediate neural progenitors to a stem cell state. Strikingly, we could block tumour formation completely by re-expressing Asense (homologue of human ASCL1), which we show is a direct target of Tailless. Our results predict that expression of TLX and ASCL1 should be mutually exclusive in glioblastoma, which was verified in single-cell RNA-seq of human glioblastoma samples. Counteracting high TLX is a potential therapeutic strategy for suppressing tumours originating from intermediate progenitor cells.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Anna E Hakes

    The Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-8664-1014
  2. Andrea H Brand

    The Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
    For correspondence
    a.brand@gurdon.cam.ac.uk
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-2089-6954

Funding

Wellcome (103792)

  • Andrea H Brand

Royal Society

  • Andrea H Brand

Wellcome (102454)

  • Anna E Hakes

Wellcome (092096)

  • Andrea H Brand

Cancer Research UK (C6946/A14492)

  • Andrea H Brand

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Claude Desplan, New York University, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: November 6, 2019
  2. Accepted: February 19, 2020
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: February 19, 2020 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: March 5, 2020 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2020, Hakes & Brand

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

Metrics

  • 1,299
    Page views
  • 308
    Downloads
  • 0
    Citations

Article citation count generated by polling the highest count across the following sources: Crossref, PubMed Central, Scopus.

Download links

A two-part list of links to download the article, or parts of the article, in various formats.

Downloads (link to download the article as PDF)

Download citations (links to download the citations from this article in formats compatible with various reference manager tools)

Open citations (links to open the citations from this article in various online reference manager services)

Further reading

    1. Cell Biology
    2. Developmental Biology
    Yan Xiong et al.
    Research Article Updated

    Islet vascularization is essential for intact islet function and glucose homeostasis. We have previously shown that primary cilia directly regulate insulin secretion. However, it remains unclear whether they are also implicated in islet vascularization. At eight weeks, murine Bbs4-/-islets show significantly lower intra-islet capillary density with enlarged diameters. Transplanted Bbs4-/- islets exhibit delayed re-vascularization and reduced vascular fenestration after engraftment, partially impairing vascular permeability and glucose delivery to β-cells. We identified primary cilia on endothelial cells as the underlying cause of this regulation, via the vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A)/VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR2) pathway. In vitro silencing of ciliary genes in endothelial cells disrupts VEGF-A/VEGFR2 internalization and downstream signaling. Consequently, key features of angiogenesis including proliferation and migration are attenuated in human BBS4 silenced endothelial cells. We conclude that endothelial cell primary cilia regulate islet vascularization and vascular barrier function via the VEGF-A/VEGFR2 signaling pathway.

    1. Developmental Biology
    2. Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine
    David Melamed, Daniel Kalderon
    Research Article Updated

    Many adult stem cell communities are maintained by population asymmetry, where stochastic behaviors of multiple individual cells collectively result in a balance between stem cell division and differentiation. We investigated how this is achieved for Drosophila Follicle Stem Cells (FSCs) by spatially-restricted niche signals. FSCs produce transit-amplifying Follicle Cells (FCs) from their posterior face and quiescent Escort Cells (ECs) to their anterior. We show that JAK-STAT pathway activity, which declines from posterior to anterior, dictates the pattern of divisions over the FSC domain, promotes more posterior FSC locations and conversion to FCs, while opposing EC production. Wnt pathway activity declines from the anterior, promotes anterior FSC locations and EC production, and opposes FC production. The pathways combine to define a stem cell domain through concerted effects on FSC differentiation to ECs and FCs at either end of opposing signaling gradients, and impose a pattern of proliferation that matches derivative production.