February 4, 2013

Brain tumor TIP reveals new target

The protein TIP-1 appears to be a novel prognostic marker for glioblastoma and may be a good therapeutic target for disrupting tumor-driven blood vessel development.


Glioblastoma, the most common and fatal type of primary brain tumor in humans, is highly invasive and rich in blood vessels. Zhaozhong Han, Ph.D., assistant professor of Radiation Oncology, and colleagues explored the role of TIP-1 – a protein they previously demonstrated contributes to breast cancer invasion and metastasis – in glioblastoma.

In an analysis of published studies, the investigators found a correlation between high TIP-1 expression levels and poor prognosis of glioblastoma patients. Using cultured glioblastoma cells and mouse models, they demonstrated that TIP-1 promotes glioblastoma tumor formation and contributes to tumor-driven angiogenesis (new blood vessel formation). They showed that TIP-1 engages multiple pathways, including modulation of fibronectin gene expression and urokinase-type plasminogen activator secretion, to establish and maintain a tumor microenvironment that supports blood vessel formation.

The studies, reported in the Jan. 1 issue of Cancer Letters, suggest that TIP-1 is a novel prognostic biomarker for glioblastoma and that it may be a useful therapeutic target for disrupting the tumor’s blood vessel supply lines.

This research was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (CA127482, CA128323).