Radiation-induced G2/M arrest rarely occurred in glioblastoma stem-like cells

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to systematically study the cell-cycle alterations of glioblastoma stem-like cells (GSLCs) after irradiation, possibly enriching the mechanisms of radioresistance of GSLCs.

Materials and methods: GSLCs were enriched and identified, and then the radioresistance of GSLCs was validated by analyzing cell survival, cell proliferation, and radiation-induced apoptosis. The discrepancy of the cell-cycle distribution and expression of cell-cycle-related proteins between GSLCs and glioblastoma differentiated cells (GDCs) after irradiation was completely analyzed.

Results: The survival fractions and the cell viabilities of GSLCs were significantly higher than those of GDCs after irradiation. Radiation-induced apoptosis was less prominent in GSLCs than in GDCs. After irradiation with high-dose X-rays, the percentages of GDCs in G2/M phase was evidently increased. However, radiation-induced G2/M arrest occurred less frequently in GSLCs, but S-phase arrest occurred in GSLCs after irradiation with 8 Gy. Further mechanistic studies showed that the expressions levels of Cdc25c, Cdc2, and CyclinB1 in GSLCs were not apparently changed after irradiation, while those of p-ATM and p-Chk1 were sharply increased after irradiation in GSLCs. The basal level of Cdc25c expression in GSLCs was much higher than that in GDCs.

Conclusions: We explored the cell-cycle alterations and cell-cycle-related proteins expression levels in GSLCs after irradiation, providing a novel mechanism of radioresistance of GSLCs.