Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common primary brain tumor with about 8500 cases diagnosed each year in the United States. Within a time frame of 15 month virtually all patients succumb to this detrimental disease despite treatment efforts. Therefore, novel, ideally tumor specific approaches are necessary to combat these tumors. While single reagents may efficiently target other tumors, such as hematological malignancies, Glioblastoma is strikingly different since it is a tumor that is characterized by extensive heterogeneity, demanding the simultaneous inhibition of ideally several deregulated pathways. Our previous research has shown that targeting tumor mitochondria for cancer therapy causes significant anti-glioma effects, especially when used in combination therapies. In this proposal, an accomplished team of investigators will be characterizing a novel treatment concept for glioblastoma by causing tumor-cell specific cell death through induction of synthetic lethality in IDH1 mutated GBMs. In the first aim, we will dissect the most proximal effect of mutant IDH1 and 2-HG, involving tumor cell metabolism that finally renders tumors susceptible to Bcl-xL inhibition mediated apoptosis. In the second aim, we will test as to whether interference with anti- apoptotic Bcl-2 family members along with 2-HG results in an integrated stress response with an Activating Transcription Factor 4 (ATF4) mediated increase of Noxa, which in turn antagonizes Mcl-1 and primes tumor cells to apoptosis. In the third aim, we will assess as to whether the IDH1 mutations are synthetically lethal with tumor mitochondria targeting drugs and extend animal survival in disease-relevant animal models of glioma. Overall, our research may help to provide more specific and efficient treatments for patients suffering from GBM. Overall, this research may enhance our understanding about the treatment of brain tumors and may potentially allow us to formulate a novel treatment strategy for secondary glioblastoma and other gliomas.

Public Health Relevance

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and high-grade gliomas are the most common primary malignant brain tumor in adults with a grim prognosis after diagnosis. Therefore, novel treatment concepts need to be identified. The current proposal explores an innovative, unique therapeutic approach that causes tumor cell death by targeting aspecific metabolic alterations found in tumor cells with a distinct mutation. In certain gliomas, this mutation is present in up to 90% of cases. This treatment approach displays anti-tumor effects on GBM and glioma cells in vitro and in vivo without causing significant side effects. If successful this proposal may set the stage for a novel tumor specific treatment concept that ultimately may allow helping patients suffering from this detrimental disease.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Basic Mechanisms of Cancer Therapeutics Study Section (BMCT)
Program Officer
Fountain, Jane W
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Columbia University (N.Y.)
Schools of Medicine
New York
United States
Zip Code
Zhang, Yiru; Ishida, Chiaki Tsuge; Shu, Chang et al. (2018) Inhibition of Bcl-2/Bcl-xL and c-MET causes synthetic lethality in model systems of glioblastoma. Sci Rep 8:7373
Zhang, Yiru; Ishida, Chiaki Tsuge; Ishida, Wataru et al. (2018) Combined HDAC and Bromodomain Protein Inhibition Reprograms Tumor Cell Metabolism and Elicits Synthetic Lethality in Glioblastoma. Clin Cancer Res 24:3941-3954
Bianchetti, E; Bates, S J; Carroll, S L et al. (2018) Usp9X Regulates Cell Death in Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumors. Sci Rep 8:17390
Ishida, Chiaki T; Zhang, Yiru; Bianchetti, Elena et al. (2018) Metabolic Reprogramming by Dual AKT/ERK Inhibition through Imipridones Elicits Unique Vulnerabilities in Glioblastoma. Clin Cancer Res 24:5392-5406
Shang, Enyuan; Zhang, Yiru; Shu, Chang et al. (2018) Dual Inhibition of Bcl-2/Bcl-xL and XPO1 is synthetically lethal in glioblastoma model systems. Sci Rep 8:15383
Karpel-Massler, Georg; Siegelin, Markus D (2017) TIC10/ONC201-a potential therapeutic in glioblastoma. Transl Cancer Res 6:S1439-S1440
Karpel-Massler, Georg; Ishida, Chiaki Tsuge; Bianchetti, Elena et al. (2017) Induction of synthetic lethality in IDH1-mutated gliomas through inhibition of Bcl-xL. Nat Commun 8:1067
Karpel-Massler, Georg; Ishida, Chiaki Tsuge; Zhang, Yiru et al. (2017) Targeting intrinsic apoptosis and other forms of cell death by BH3-mimetics in glioblastoma. Expert Opin Drug Discov 12:1031-1040