Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumor in children. To approach the problem of effective therapy, the progression of human medulloblastoma must first be understood. We hypothesize that )latelet-derived growth factor (PDGFR)-mediated signal transduction enhances tumor cell responses that promote the growth and metastatic spread of medulloblastoma, and have shown that (i) PDGFR is significantly overexpressed by metastatic medulloblastomas, (ii)inhibitors of medulloblastoma cell PDGFR activity decrease phosphorylation of the downstream signaling target, MAPK, alter gene expression, and decrease cell migration and survival and (iii) in silico analysis of 135 known pro-metastatic genes within ndependent datasets of microarraygene expression of medulloblastomas, only three genes, including DDGFR, demonstrated detectable mRNA expression in at least one third of all tumors analyzed and significant overexpression by metastatic tumors in each dataset. These data, combined with the preliminary data showing that both alpha (PDGFRA) and beta (PDGFRB) subtypes of the receptor are 1) expressed on the RNA and protein level by medulloblastoma tumors and cells, 2) sparsely expressed by normal brain, 3) activated in an autocrine and paracrine fashion in medulloblastoma cells, and 4) capable of inducing apoptosis of medulloblastoma cells in a dose-dependent manner following treatment with a selective inhibitor of PDGFR tyrosine kinase activity, suggest a mechanism by which PDGFR may be vital for medulloblastoma growth and progression. Thus, PDGFR is a potential novel target for therapeutic intervention. To test this hypothesis we will employ human medulloblastoma cell lines. We will (i) conduct comprehensive in vitro studies to determine the PDGFR signaling cascade and its effects on survival, proliferation, adhesion, migration and invasion, (ii) determine the key gene expression changes induced by PDGFR signaling in these cells, (iii) develop medulloblastoma cells with deficient PDGFR expression by inducible siRNA transfection specific for each PDGFR and determine the effect of inhibited expression and activity on survival, proliferation and migration in vitro and growth and metastasis in vivo, and (iv) determine the expression pattern of phbsphorylated PDGFR protein and its correlation with metastasis and outcome in human medulloblastomas as a way to assessthe potential clinical utility of PDGFR inhibitors for this disease

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Research Project (R01)
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Tumor Cell Biology Study Section (TCB)
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Jhappan, Chamelli
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Children's Research Institute
United States
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