Role of Myosin VI in Pediatric Glioma Proliferation and Invasion
Pediatric brain tumors are one of the most common malignancies among children and have been one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in the recent times. More than 4000 children in the U.S are diagnosed with some form of pediatric brain tumor everyday ranging from the low grade to the high grade tumors and about 7% of the reported brain tumors occur in children with ages between 0-19 years. High grade tumors like glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) are especially difficult to treat since they grow and spread very rapidly within the brain tissue. Thus, in spite of improvements in surgery and radiation techniques, the prognosis for these tumors remains extremely poor. Moreover, since pediatric GBMs are distinct from their adult counterparts, identification of unique targets is necessary which will be effective in pediatric cases. In this study, we propose to evaluate the role of a new target protein, Myosin VI, in the growth and spread of pediatric GBMs. Myosin VI has been found to be upregulated in other types of cancers and our preliminary studies show that it is also highly expressed in human GBMs. Using pediatric GBM cells, we will examine how Myosin VI is involved in tumor progression and if loss of this protein can inhibit tumor growth. We anticipate that the results obtained from the proposed studies will allow us to evaluate Myosin VI as a potential oncogene and help considerably in developing a new anti-tumor drug which can be used to treat pediatric GBMs in future.