Study uncovers unexpected connection between gliomas, neurodegenerative diseases

brain
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

A protein typically associated with neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's might help scientists explore how gliomas, a type of cancerous brain tumor, become so aggressive.

The new study, in mouse models and human brain tissues, was published in Science Translational Medicine and found a significant expression of the protein TAU in glioma cells, especially in those patients with better prognoses.

Patients with glioma are given a better prognosis when their tumor expresses a mutation in a gene called isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1). In this international collaborative study led by the Instituto de Salud Carlos III-UFIEC in Madrid, Spain, those IDHI mutations stimulated the expression of TAU. Then, the presence of TAU acted as a brake for the formation of new blood vessels, which are necessary for the aggressive behavior of the tumors.

"We report that the levels of microtubule-associated protein TAU, which have been associated with , are epigenetically controlled by the balance between normal and mutant IDH1/2 in mouse and human gliomas," says co-author Maria G. Castro, Ph.D., a professor of neurosurgery and cell and at Michigan Medicine. "In IDH1/2 mutant tumors, we found that expression levels of TAU decreased with tumor progression."

That means levels of TAU could be used as a biomarker for tumor progression in mutant IDH1/2 gliomas, Castro says.


Explore further

New research findings could be key to improving outcomes for some brain cancers

More information: Ricardo Gargini et al. The IDH-TAU-EGFR triad defines the neovascular landscape of diffuse gliomas, Science Translational Medicine (2020). DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aax1501
Journal information: Science Translational Medicine

Citation: Study uncovers unexpected connection between gliomas, neurodegenerative diseases (2020, January 23) retrieved 24 October 2020 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-01-uncovers-unexpected-gliomas-neurodegenerative-diseases.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
79 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments