Inhibitor of apoptosis protein expression in glioblastomas and their in vitro and in vivo targeting by SMAC mimetic GDC-0152


  • Tchoghandjian A
  • Soubéran A
  • Tabouret E
  • Colin Carole
  • Denicolaï E
  • Jiguet-Jiglaire C
  • El-Battari A
  • Villard C
  • Baeza-Kallee N
  • Figarella-Branger D


Glioblastomas (GBMs) are the most aggressive primary brain tumors in adult and remain a therapeutic challenge. Targeting key apoptosis regulators with the ultimate aim to restore apoptosis in tumor cells could be an interesting therapeutic strategy. The inhibitors of apoptosis proteins (IAPs) are regulators of cell death and represent attractive targets, especially because they can be antagonized by SMAC mimetics. In this study, we first investigated the expression of cIAP1, cIAP2, XIAP and ML-IAP in human GBM samples and in four different cell lines. We showed that all GBM samples and GBM cell lines expressed all these IAPs, although the expression of each IAP varied from one case to another. We then showed that high level of ML-IAP predicted worse progression-free survival and overall survival in both univariate and multivariate analyses in two independent cohorts of 58 and 43 primary human GBMs. We then used GDC-0152, a SMAC mimetic that antagonizes these IAPs and confirmed that GDC-0152 treatment in vitro decreased IAPs in all the cell lines studied. It affected cell line viability and triggered apoptosis, although the effect was higher in U87MG and GL261 than in GBM6 and GBM9 cell lines. In vivo, GDC-0152 effect on U87MG orthotopic xenografts was dose dependent; it postponed tumor formation and slowed down tumor growth, significantly improving survival of GBM-bearing mice. This study revealed for the first time that ML-IAP protein expression correlates with GBM patient survival and that its antagonist GDC-0152 improves outcome in xenografted mouse.

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