Identification of new therapeutic targets and natural compounds against diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG)

Jungang Chen, Zhen Lin, Lindsey Barrett, Lu Dai, Zhiqiang Qin
Bioorganic Chemistry 2020 April 13, 99: 103847
Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) is a highly aggressive pediatric brainstem tumor which accounts for about 10-20% of childhood brain tumors. The survival rate for DIPG remains very poor, with a median survival of less than 1 year. The dismal prognosis associated with DIPG has been exacerbated by the failure of a large number of clinical trials to meaningfully improve survival compared with radiotherapy, the current standard of care for DIPG. In the current study, we screened a natural product library and for the first time identified 6 natural compounds displaying inhibitory effects on DIPG proliferation and anchorage-independent growth through inducing tumor cell apoptosis and cell cycle arrest. Subsequent RNA-Sequencing and functional validation revealed the molecular mechanisms of these compounds with anti-DIPG activities, and identified new cellular factors such as Fibronectin 1 (FN1) and Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 3 subunit C-like (EIF3CL), required for DIPG survival as potential therapeutic targets. Our study provides promising directions to fight against this deadly pediatric cancer.

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