A team of scientists directed by Prof. A. Bellahcène and Prof. V. Castronovo, researchers at ULg’s GIGA research centre, has reported for the first time the impact of osteopontin (OPN) silencing on the radiosensitivity of glioblastoma (GBM) cells through interference with DNA double-strand repair machinery (Data published in Oncotarget).

GBM represents the most aggressive and common solid human brain tumor. ULg researchers have recently demonstrated the importance of osteopontin in the acquisition/maintenance of stemness characters and tumorigenicity of glioma initiating cells.

Based on the poor survival observed in OPN-high GBM patients, ULg’s researchers explored the consequence of OPN depletion on the survival of GBM cells after irradiation. They demonstrated that the inhibition of OPN in GBM cells impaired the activation of early signal transducers of DNA double-strand damage following ionizing radiation thus resulting in an enhanced radiosensitivity of GBM cells.

This discovery identifies OPN inhibition as a therapeutic target to counteract GBM radioresistance.