Evaluation of the bivalent Smac mimetic BV6 and Interferon α as a combination treatment in Glioblastoma multiforme

  • Glioblastoma multiforme accounts for more than 80% of all malignant gliomas in adults and a minor fraction of new annual cases occurs in children. In the last decades, research shed light onto the molecular patterns underlying human malignancies which resulted in a better understanding of the disease and finally an improved long term survival for cancer patients. However, malignancies of the central nervous system and especially glioblastomas are still related to poor outcomes with median survivals of less than 6 months despite extensive surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Hence, a better understanding of the molecular mechanism driving and sustaining cancerous mutations in glioblastomas is crucial for the development of targeted therapies. Apoptosis, a form of programmed cell death, is an important feature of eukaryotic cells and crucial for the maintenance of multicellular homeostasis. Because apoptosis is a highly complex and tightly regulated signaling pathway, resisting apoptotic stimuli and avoiding cell death is a hallmark of the cancerous transformation of cells. Hence, targeting molecular structures to reestablish apoptotic signaling in tumor cells is a promising approach for the treatment of malignancies. Smac mimetics are a group of small molecular protein inhibitors that structurally derive from an intracellular protein termed Smac and selectively block Inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) proteins, which are often aberrantly expressed in cancer. Several studies confirmed the antitumoral effects of Smac mimetics in different human malignancies, including glioblastoma, and give rationales for the development of potent Smac mimetics and Smac mimetic-based combination protocols. This study investigates the antitumoral activity of the bivalent Smac mimetic BV6 in combination with Interferon α. Latter is a well characterized cytokine with an essential role in immunity, cell differentiation and apoptosis. This study further aims to address the molecular mechanisms underlying the antitumoral activity of the combination treatment by using well established molecular cell death assays, flow cytometry, western blot analysis, genetic approaches and selective pharmacological inhibition. Since different Smac mimetics and Smac mimetic-based combination therapies are currently under clinical evaluations, findings of this study may have broad implications for the application of Smac mimetics as clinical cancer therapeutics.

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Author:Sebastian Wolf
Place of publication:Frankfurt am Main
Referee:Simone FuldaORCiDGND, Karlheinz Plate
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Date of Publication (online):2018/09/27
Year of first Publication:2017
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Granting Institution:Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität
Date of final exam:2018/08/29
Release Date:2018/10/19
Page Number:141
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht