Antiproliferative activity of CD44 siRNA-PEI-PEG nanoparticles in glioblastoma: involvement of AKT signaling

Parvaneh Mahinfar , Ahad Mokhtarzadeh, Behzad Baradaran , Elham Siasi Torbati


Background and purpose: Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most invasive type of cancer which starts inside the brain. GBM cells were found to have similar properties to glioblastoma cancer stem cells. CD44 can be used as a marker of the cancer stem cells in a subset of glioblastoma tumor cells. Recent studies showed that CD44 is involved in developing cancer cells via the protein kinase B (PKB or AKT) signaling pathway. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the CD44 mRNA silencing effects on the glioblastoma cell cycle via AKT signaling pathway.

Experimental approach: To determine CD44 expression in the samples of the patients with GBM, we used the analysis of data extracted from TCGA database. qRT-PCR and western blotting were used to evaluate the expression level of genes and proteins. Different cell cycles were evaluated by DAPI staining and flow cytometry.

Findings/Results: Bioinformatics results showed that CD44 expression level in GBM tumor samples is higher than in normal samples. Effects of poly (ethylene imine)-polyethylene glycol (PEI-PEG)-loaded CD44 siRNA in cell cycle showed that CD44 silencing could inhibit cell cycle in G0-G1 phase by more than 20% compared to the negative control (P < 0.05). Furthermore, PEI-PEG-loaded CD44 siRNA reduces the expression of cyclin D1 and CKD-4. According to our findings, this structure also prevented AKT phosphorylation at                 Thr-308 and Ser-473.

Conclusion and implications: Our results suggest that PEI-PEG-loaded CD44 siRNA may attenuate the cell cycle by suppressing AKT signaling pathway.


Keywords: AKT; CD44; Cell cycle; Glioblastoma.

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