Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common and fatal malignant adult primary brain tumor. Currently, the overall prognosis for GBM patients remains poor despite advances in neurosurgery and adjuvant treatments. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) contribute to the pathogenesis of various types of tumor, including GBM. In this study we analyzed the expression of a panel of miRNAs, which are known to be differentially expressed by the brain and GBM tumor, in a collection of patient-derived GBM stem- like cells (GSCs). Notably, the average expression level of miR-135b, was the most downregulated compared to its normal counterpart, suggesting a potential role as anti-oncogene.
Restoration of miR-135b in GSCs signi cantly decreased proliferation, migration and clonogenic abilities. More importantly, miR-135b restoration was able to signi cantly reduce brain in ltration in mouse models of GBM obtained by intracerebral injection of GSC lines. We identi ed ADAM12 and con rmed SMAD5 and GSK3β as miR-135b targets and potential mediators of its effects. The whole transcriptome analysis ascertained that the expression of miR-135b downmodulated additional genes driving key pathways in GBM survival and in ltration capabilities.
Our results identify a critical role of miR-135b in the regulation of GBM development, suggesting that miR-135b might act as a tumor-suppressor factor and thus providing a potential candidate for the treatment of GBM patients.