K-RAS acts as a critical regulator of CD44 to promote the invasiveness and stemness of GBM in response to ionizing radiation

Yi Zhao, Jae Hyeok Kang, Ki Chun Yoo, Seok Gu Kang, Hae June Lee, Su Jae Lee

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Radiation therapy is a current standard-of-care treatment and is used widely for GBM patients. However, radiation therapy still remains a significant barrier to getting a successful outcome due to the therapeutic resistance and tumor recurrence. Understanding the underlying mechanisms of this resistance and recurrence would provide an efficient approach for improving the therapy for GBM treatment. Here, we identified a regulatory mechanism of CD44 which induces infiltration and mesenchymal shift of GBM. Ionizing radiation (IR)-induced K-RAS/ERK signaling activation elevates CD44 expression through downregulation of miR-202 and miR-185 expression. High expression of CD44 promotes SRC activation to induce cancer stemness and EMT features of GBM cells. In this study, we demonstrate that the K-RAS/ERK/CD44 axis is a key mechanism in regulating mesenchymal shift of GBM cells after irradiation. These findings suggest that blocking the K-RAS activation or CD44 expression could provide an efficient way for GBM treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10923
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Oct 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (No. 2019R1A2C2087551) (No. 2020M2C8A2069347).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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