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Dysregulated growth factor receptor pathways, RNA modifications, and metabolism each promote tumor heterogeneity. Here, we demonstrate that platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) signaling induces N6-methyladenosine (m6A) accumulation in glioblastoma (GBM) stem cells (GSCs) to regulate mitophagy. PDGF ligands stimulate early growth response 1 (EGR1) transcription to induce methyltransferase-like 3 (METTL3) to promote GSC proliferation and self-renewal. Targeting the PDGF-METTL3 axis inhibits mitophagy by regulating m6A modification of optineurin (OPTN). Forced OPTN expression phenocopies PDGF inhibition, and OPTN levels portend longer survival of GBM patients; these results suggest a tumor-suppressive role for OPTN. Pharmacologic targeting of METTL3 augments anti-tumor efficacy of PDGF receptor (PDGFR) and mitophagy inhibitors in vitro and in vivo. Collectively, we define PDGF signaling as an upstream regulator of oncogenic m6A regulation, driving tumor metabolism to promote cancer stem cell maintenance, highlighting PDGF-METTL3-OPTN signaling as a GBM therapeutic target. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Deguan Lv, Ryan C Gimple, Cuiqing Zhong, Qiulian Wu, Kailin Yang, Briana C Prager, Bhaskar Godugu, Zhixin Qiu, Linjie Zhao, Guoxin Zhang, Deobrat Dixit, Derrick Lee, Jia Z Shen, Xiqing Li, Qi Xie, Xiuxing Wang, Sameer Agnihotri, Jeremy N Rich. PDGF signaling inhibits mitophagy in glioblastoma stem cells through N6-methyladenosine. Developmental cell. 2022 Jun 20;57(12):1466-1481.e6

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PMID: 35659339

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