Drug Resistance in Glioma Cells Induced by a Mesenchymal–Amoeboid Migratory Switch

Sophie E. Ketchen, Filomena O. Gamboa-Esteves, Sean E. Lawler, Michal O. Nowicki, Arndt Rohwedder, Sabine Knipp, Sally Prior, Susan C. Short, John E. Ladbury, Anke Brüning-Richardson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Cancer cell invasion is a precondition for tumour metastasis and represents one of the most devastating characteristics of cancer. The development of drugs targeting cell migration, known as migrastatics, may improve the treatment of highly invasive tumours such as glioblastoma (GBM). In this study, investigations into the role of the cell adhesion protein Cellular communication network factor 1 (CCN1, also known as CYR61) in GBM cell migration uncovered a drug resistance mechanism adopted by cells when treated with the small molecule inhibitor CCG-1423. This inhibitor binds to importin α/β inhibiting the nuclear translocation of the transcriptional co-activator MKL1, thus preventing downstream effects including migration. Despite this reported role as an inhibitor of cell migration, we found that CCG-1423 treatment did not inhibit GBM cell migration. However, we could observe cells now migrating by mesenchymal–amoeboid transition (MAT). Furthermore, we present evidence that CCN1 plays a critical role in the progression of GBM with increased expression in higher-grade tumours and matched blood samples. These findings support a potential role for CCN1 as a biomarker for the monitoring and potentially early prediction of GBM recurrence, therefore as such could help to improve treatment of and increase survival rates of this devastating disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9
Number of pages16
Issue number1
Early online date22 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


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