The role of inflammation in brain cancer

James L. Sowers, Kenneth M. Johnson, Charles Conrad, Joel Patterson, Lawrence Sowers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Malignant brain tumors are among the most lethal of human tumors, with limited treatment options currently available. A complex array of recurrent genetic and epigenetic changes has been observed in gliomas that collectively result in derangements of common cell signaling pathways controlling cell survival, proliferation, and invasion. One important determinant of gene expression is DNA methylation status, and emerging studies have revealed the importance of a recently identified demethylation pathway involving 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC). Diminished levels of the modified base 5hmC is a uniform finding in glioma cell lines and patient samples, suggesting a common defect in epigenetic reprogramming. Within the tumor microenvironment, infiltrating immune cells increase oxidative DNA damage, likely promoting both genetic and epigenetic changes that occur during glioma evolution. In this environment, glioma cells are selected that utilize multiple metabolic changes, including changes in the metabolism of the amino acids glutamate, tryptophan, and arginine. Whereas altered metabolism can promote the destruction of normal tissues, glioma cells exploit these changes to promote tumor cell survival and to suppress adaptive immune Abstract Malignant brain tumors are among the most lethal of human tumors, with limited treatment options currently available. A complex array of recurrent genetic and epigenetic changes has been observed in gliomas that collectively result in derangements of common cell signaling pathways controlling cell survival, proliferation, and invasion. One important determinant of gene expression is DNA methylation status, and emerging studies have revealed the importance of a recently identified demethylation pathway involving 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC). Diminished levels of the modified base 5hmC is a uniform finding in glioma cell lines and patient samples, suggesting a common defect in epigenetic reprogramming. Within the tumor microenvironment, infiltrating immune cells increase oxidative DNA damage, likely promoting both genetic and epigenetic changes that occur during glioma evolution. In this environment, glioma cells are selected that utilize multiple metabolic changes, including changes in the metabolism of the amino acids glutamate, tryptophan, and arginine. Whereas altered metabolism can promote the destruction of normal tissues, glioma cells exploit these changes to promote tumor cell survival and to suppress adaptive immune.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInflammation and Cancer
PublisherSpringer New York LLC
Pages75-105
Number of pages31
Volume816
ISBN (Print)9783034808361
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
Volume816
ISSN (Print)00652598
ISSN (Electronic)22148019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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  • Cite this

    Sowers, J. L., Johnson, K. M., Conrad, C., Patterson, J., & Sowers, L. (2014). The role of inflammation in brain cancer. In Inflammation and Cancer (Vol. 816, pp. 75-105). (Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology; Vol. 816). Springer New York LLC. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-0348-0837-8_4