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Inhibiton of the GABPB1L-containing GABP tetramer is sufficient to reverse replicative immortality in TERT promoter mutant glioblastoma cells.

Over 50 types of cancer acquire TERT promoter mutations. These single point mutations reactivate telomerase, allowing for indefinite maintenance of telomere length and enabling cellular immortalization. The transcription factor binding site created by the point mutations specifically recruit the ETS factor GABP, a multimeric transcription factor composed of the GABPα and GABPβ subunits. GABP can form two functionally independent transcription factor species – a dimer or a tetramer – depending on which of the structurally distinct GABPβ isoforms is incorporated into the complex. In this study, we show that genetic disruption of GABPβ1L, a tetramer forming isoform of GABPβ that is dispensable in normal development, results in TERT silencing in a TERT promoter mutation dependent manner. Failure to activate TERT expression by GABPβ1L culminates in telomere dysfunction, DNA damage, and mitotic cell death exclusively in TERT promoter mutant cells. Furthermore, exogenous expression of TERT is sufficient to prevent telomere degradation and loss of cell viability in GABPβ1L-reduced lines bearing the mutant TERT promoter. Orthotopic injection of tetramer-deficient mutant TERT promoter GBM cells rendered lower tumor burden and prolonged the overall survival of the tumor-bearing mice. These results highlight the potentially widespread role of GABPB1L in enabling replicative immortality of TERT promoter cancers.

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Dataset ID Description Technology Samples
EGAD00001005435 9
Publications Citations
Disruption of the β1L Isoform of GABP Reverses Glioblastoma Replicative Immortality in a TERT Promoter Mutation-Dependent Manner.
Cancer Cell 34: 2018 513-528.e8