Potential REST Targets in Neural Stem Cells and Glioblastoma-Derived Stem Cells

Date of Graduation


Document Type

Thesis (MS)

Program Affiliation

Biomedical Sciences

Degree Name

Masters of Science (MS)

Advisor/Committee Chair

Sadhan Majumder

Committee Member

Gregory Fuller

Committee Member

Gary Gallick

Committee Member

Vidya Gopalakrishnan

Committee Member

Suyun Huang


Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) tumors are the most common malignant primary brain tumors in adults. The current theory is that these tumors are caused by self-renewing glioblastoma-derived stem cells (GSCs). At the current time, the mechanisms that regulate self-renewal and other oncogenic properties of GSCs remain unknown. Recently, we found transcriptional repressor REST maintains self-renewal in neural stem cells (NSCs) and in GSCs. REST also regulates other oncogenic properties, such as apoptosis, invasion and proliferation. However, the mechanisms by which REST regulates these oncogenic properties are unknown. In an attempt to determine these mechanisms, we performed loss and gain-of-function experiments and genome-wide mRNA expression analysis in GSCs, and we were able to identify REST-regulated genes in GSCs. This was accomplished, after screening concordantly regulated genes in NSCs and GSCs, utilizing two RE1 databases, and setting two-fold expression as filters on the resulting genes. These results received further validation by qRT-PCR. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) analysis further revealed the top REST target genes in GSCs were downstream targets of REST and/or involved in other cancers in other cell lines. IPA also revealed that many of the differentially-regulated genes identified in this study are involved in oncogenic properties seen in GBM, and which we believe are related to REST expression.


REST, Neural Stem Cells, Glioblastoma Derived Stem Cells, Glioblastoma Multiforme, NSC, GSC, GBM

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