Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is one of the most lethal forms of cancer, with a survival rate of only 13% to 27% within 2 years of diagnosis despite optimal medical treatment. We hypothesize that the presence of a unique IL-13Rα2 decoy receptor prevents GBM apoptosis. This receptor has a high affinity for interleukin-13 (IL-13), binds the cytokine, and competitively inhibits the intracellular signaling cascade initiated by IL-13. In cells lacking the IL-13Rα2 decoy receptor, IL-13 initiates the production of 15-lipoxygenase-1 (15-LOX-1), which has been implicated in cellular apoptosis. Our group and others have shown that induction of 15-LOX-1 correlates with tumor cell death in colorectal, pancreatic, and prostate cancer. How 15-LOX-1 induces apoptosis remains unclear. Preliminary evidence in GBM cells implicates an apoptotic process mediated by PPARγ. 15-LOX-1 metabolites can modulate PPARγ and activation of PPARγ can suppress tumor growth. We hypothesize that in GBM, IL-13 can induce 15-LOX-1, which regulates cell apoptosis via signaling through PPARγ and that expression of IL-13Rα2 prevents apoptosis and contributes to tumor growth. Our in vitro and in vivo data support this. Knocking down IL-13Rα2 with short interfering RNA dramatically induces 15-LOX-1 expression, promotes apoptosis, and reduces GBM tumor growth in vivo. These findings identify a mechanism for eliminating the blockade of endogenous IL-13 signaling and for promotion of apoptosis, and characterize a role for 15-LOX-1 in GBM apoptosis. Identifying a mechanistic pathway that can be targeted for pharmacologic intervention will have applied implications to developing novel and effective treatments of GBM. Mol Cancer Ther; 10(7); 1–12. ©2011 AACR.
- Received November 23, 2010.
- Revision received March 11, 2011.
- Accepted May 13, 2011.
- ©2011 American Association for Cancer Research.