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Evaluation of antineoplastic effects of Zebularine in medulloblastoma

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Augusto Faria Andrade
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: Ribeirão Preto.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto (PCARP/BC)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Luiz Gonzaga Tone; Vitor Marcel Faça; Elvis Terci Valera
Advisor: Luiz Gonzaga Tone

Medulloblastoma (MB) is an embryonal cerebellum tumor. It is the most common brain malignancy in children and accounts for approximately 20% of all pediatric intracranial tumors. Currently, treatment consists of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation and is associated to medium- and long-term side effects. Several factors contribute to the development and progression of MB, for instance, alterations in signaling pathways, such as Sonic Hedgehog (SHH) and Wingless. Epigenetic changes in DNA methylation patterns also play a central role in the biology of this tumor. Such changes are able to alter basic cell functions, controlling cell proliferation, survival and apoptosis. Epigenetic drugs as DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) inhibitors have shown anticancer effects and promising results for cancer therapy. Zebularine is a low toxicity DNMTs inhibitor that induces DNA demethylation and has been reported as an important antitumor drug with adjuvant activity to chemotherapy in chemoresistant tumors. Studies have described its effects on different types of cancer, however, there are not data concerning its action in MB. Therefore, this study aimed to analyze the potential anticancer effects of Zebularine in four pediatric MB lines (UW402, UW473, ONS- 76 and DAOY). It was observed that treatment with Zebularine promoted inhibition of cell proliferation and clonogenic capacity, increased the number of apoptosis rate and cells in S phase of the cycle (p <0.05). In addition, the treatment induced an increasing in the protein expression of p53, p21 and Bax and a decreasing in cyclin A, Survivin and Bcl-2. Also, when combined with the chemotherapeutic agent vincristine acted synergistically but resulted in antagonism when combined with cisplatin. Through large-scale gene expression analysis (Agilent microarray platform), it was found different pathways modulated by Zebularine, including the Toll-Like Receptors pathway and the overexpression of SUFU and BATF2 genes. Zebularine was able to modulate SHH pathway activation, by reducing levels of SMO, GLI1 and one of its targets, PTCH1, whereas there were no changes in SUFU levels. It was confirmed that the gene BATF2 is induced by Zebularine and contains regions richly methylated. In addition, BATF2 low expression is associated with a worse prognosis in MB. All these data suggest that Zebularine may be a potential drug for the adjuvant treatment of MB (AU)

FAPESP's process: 11/22440-7 - Evaluation of antineoplastic effects of Zebularina on medulloblastoma cell lines
Grantee:Augusto Faria Andrade
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate