Invasive spread of glioblastoma (GBM) is linked to changes in chondroitin sulfate (CS) proteoglycan (CSPG)-associated sulfated glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) that are selectively up-regulated in the tumor microenvironment (TME). We hypothesized that inhibiting CS-GAG signaling in the TME would stem GBM invasion. Rat F98 GBM cells demonstrated enhanced preferential cell invasion into oversulfated 3-dimensional composite of CS-A and CS-E [4- and 4,6-sulfated CS-GAG (COMP)] matrices compared with monosulfated (4-sulfated) and unsulfated hyaluronic acid matrices in microfluidics-based choice assays, which is likely influenced by differential GAG receptor binding specificities. Both F98 and human patient-derived glioma stem cells (GSCs) demonstrated a high degree of colocalization of the GSC marker CD133 and CSPGs. The small molecule sulfated GAG antagonist bis-2-methyl-4-amino-quinolyl-6-carbamide (surfen) reduced invasion and focal adhesions in F98 cells encapsulated in COMP matrices and blocked CD133 and antichondroitin sulfate antibody (CS-56) detection of respective antigens in F98 cells and human GSCs. Surfen-treated F98 cells down-regulated CSPG-binding receptor transcripts and protein, as well as total and activated ERK and protein kinase B. Lastly, rats induced with frontal lobe tumors and treated with a single intratumoral dose of surfen demonstrated reduced tumor burden and spread compared with untreated controls. These results present a first demonstration of surfen as an inhibitor of sulfated GAG signaling to stem GBM invasion.-Logun, M. T., Wynens, K. E., Simchick, G., Zhao, W., Mao, L., Zhao, Q., Mukherjee, S., Brat, D. J., Karumbaiah, L. Surfen-mediated blockade of extratumoral chondroitin sulfate glycosaminoglycans inhibits glioblastoma invasion.
Keywords: extracellular matrix; glioma; tumor microenvironment.