PAF promotes stemness and radioresistance of glioma stem cells.

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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2017 Oct 24; 114(43):E9086-E9095.






An integrated genomic and functional analysis to elucidate DNA damage signaling factors promoting self-renewal of glioma stem cells (GSCs) identified proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA)-associated factor (PAF) up-regulation in glioblastoma. PAF is preferentially overexpressed in GSCs. Its depletion impairs maintenance of self-renewal without promoting differentiation and reduces tumor-initiating cell frequency. Combined transcriptomic and metabolomic analyses revealed that PAF supports GSC maintenance, in part, by influencing DNA replication and pyrimidine metabolism pathways. PAF interacts with PCNA and regulates PCNA-associated DNA translesion synthesis (TLS); consequently, PAF depletion in combination with radiation generated fewer tumorspheres compared with radiation alone. Correspondingly, pharmacological impairment of DNA replication and TLS phenocopied the effect of PAF depletion in compromising GSC self-renewal and radioresistance, providing preclinical proof of principle that combined TLS inhibition and radiation therapy may be a viable therapeutic option in the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2017 Oct 24; 114(43):E9086-E9095.