Okayama University


Elucidated Mechanism of Malignant Tumors Expansion Leads to a New Therapeutic Strategy for Brain Tumors

January 16, 2014

The research group of Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences has shown that cyclin G2 protein plays a pivotal role in the mechanism of malignant brain tumor expansion.

The findings were published on Nov. 15, 2014 in the journal Neoplasia.

Aggressive invasion is one characteristic of malignant brain tumors. Naturally, this characteristic makes the therapy for the tumors difficult. Microenvironmental conditions such as hypoxia are thought to potentiate the local invasion of malignant tumors, yet the mechanism by which hypoxia controls cytoskeletal dynamics to promote the local invasion is not yet clear.

Prof. Hideki Matsui and his colleagues have found that cyclin G2 is a hypoxia-induced and cytoskeleton-associated protein and is required for brain tumor expansion. Cyclin G2 is abundantly expressed in severely hypoxic regions and interacts with filamentous actin to facilitate the formation of membrane ruffles in the tumor cells. These cyclin G2 behaviors promote the invasion and expansion of the tumor cells in the brain. Furthermore, they have shown the effectiveness of dasatinib against hypoxia-driven, cyclin G2-involved invasion in vitro and in vivo.

The elucidated mechanism of cytoskeletal regulation by which severe hypoxia promotes the local invasion could lead to a new therapeutic target in brain tumors.
The research was supported by a Grant-in-aid for Scientific Research from the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture of Japan and by a Grant-in-aid for Scientific Research from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare of Japan.

Contact Information:
Mototaka Senda, Ph.D.
US Representative
Intellectual Property Office, Organization for Research Promotion and Collaboration, Okayama University
Fremont, California USA
TEL: 1-510-797-0907
Email: takasenda@okayama-u.ac.jp

Hideki Matsui, M.D., Ph.D.
Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Okayama University, Okayama, Japan