, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 291-296,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 21 Jun 2011

Expression of stem cell marker and receptor kinase genes in glioblastoma tissue quantified by real-time RT-PCR

Abstract

Glioblastoma is dependent on a specific signaling pathway to maintain its tumor phenotype. The receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) family mediates the multiple oncogenic growth factor receptor signaling and contributes to the pathogenesis of glioblastoma. Recently, many studies have shown that the expression of stem cell marker in glioblastoma tissue has prognostic significance, which indicates that the quantification of stem cell markers and RTK genes yields biological information about glioblastoma. In this study, we quantified RNA expression levels of stem cell markers [CD133, Nestin, BMI-1, maternal embryonic leucine zipper kinase (MELK), and Notch1–4] as well as RTKs (EGFR, ErbB4, VEGFR1-3, FGFR1, -2, PDGFRΑ, and PDGFRΒ) in 42 clinical samples of glioblastoma by the real-time RT-PCR method. We demonstrated that the expression of MELK is exclusively upregulated in glioblastoma tissue. Notch receptor expression is moderately upregulated and is correlated with that of VEGFR2, VEGFR3, and PDGFRβ. Unsupervised clustering identified one unique sample group that showed high expression of most of the genes analyzed. Our results suggest that quantification of these stem cell markers and RTK genes can stratify patients based on the expression profile, which might provide insight into the glioma biology in each cluster.