The response of patients with gliomas to alkylating chemotherapy is heterogeneous. However, there are currently no universally accepted predictors of patient response to these agents. We identify the nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) co-regulator B cell CLL/lymphoma 3 (BCL-3) as an independent predictor of response to temozolomide (TMZ) treatment. In glioma patients with tumors that have a methylated O6-methylguanine DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter, high BCL-3 expression was associated with a poor response to TMZ. Mechanistically, BCL-3 promoted a more malignant phenotype by inducing an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in glioblastomas through promoter-specific NF-κB dimer exchange. Carbonic anhydrase II (CAII) was identified as a downstream factor promoting BCL-3-mediated resistance to chemotherapy. Experiments in glioma xenograft mouse models demonstrated that the CAII inhibitor acetazolamide enhanced survival of TMZ-treated animals. Our data suggest that BCL-3 might be a useful indicator of glioma response to alkylating chemotherapy and that acetazolamide might be repurposed as a chemosensitizer for treating TMZ-resistant gliomas.
Copyright © 2018 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.