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Pharmaceuticals 2019, 12(1), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph12010045

APELA Expression in Glioma, and Its Association with Patient Survival and Tumor Grade

1
Department of Pathology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN 38163, USA
2
Department of Pathology and the Center for Cancer Research, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN 38163, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 February 2019 / Revised: 13 March 2019 / Accepted: 19 March 2019 / Published: 26 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Choices of the Journal)
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Abstract

Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common and deadliest primary adult brain tumor. Invasion, resistance to therapy, and tumor recurrence in GBM can be attributed in part to brain tumor-initiating cells (BTICs). BTICs isolated from various patient-derived xenografts showed high expression of the poorly characterized Apelin early ligand A (APELA) gene. Although originally considered to be a non-coding gene, the APELA gene encodes a protein that binds to the Apelin receptor and promotes the growth of human embryonic stem cells and the formation of the embryonic vasculature. We found that both APELA mRNA and protein are expressed at high levels in a subset of brain tumor patients, and that APELA is also expressed in putative stem cell niche in GBM tumor tissue. Analysis of APELA and the Apelin receptor gene expression in brain tumor datasets showed that high APELA expression was associated with poor patient survival in both glioma and glioblastoma, and APELA expression correlated with glioma grade. In contrast, gene expression of the Apelin receptor or Apelin was not found to be associated with patient survival, or glioma grade. Consequently, APELA may play an important role in glioblastoma tumorigenesis and may be a future therapeutic target. View Full-Text
Keywords: APELA; RNA-ISH; glioma; glioblastoma; cancer stem cells APELA; RNA-ISH; glioma; glioblastoma; cancer stem cells
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Ganguly, D.; Cai, C.; Sims, M.M.; Yang, C.H.; Thomas, M.; Cheng, J.; Saad, A.G.; Pfeffer, L.M. APELA Expression in Glioma, and Its Association with Patient Survival and Tumor Grade. Pharmaceuticals 2019, 12, 45.

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