Glycomic and transcriptomic response of GSC11 glioblastoma stem cells to STAT3 phosphorylation inhibition and serum-induced differentiation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A glioblastoma stem cell (GSC) line, GSC11, grows as neurospheres in serum-free media supplemented with EGF (epidermal growth factor) and bFGF (basic fibroblast growth factor), and, if implanted in nude mice brains, will recapitulate high-grade glial tumors. Treatment with a STAT3 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 3) phosphorylation inhibitor (WP1193) or 10% FBS (fetal bovine serum) both led to a decrease in expression of the stem cell marker CD133 in GSC11 cells, but differed in phenotype changes. Altered glycolipid profiles were associated with some differentially expressed glycogenes. In serum treated cells, an overall increase in glycosphingolipids may be due to increased expression of ST6GALNAC2, a sialyltransferase. Serum treated cells express more phosphatidylcholine (PC), short chain sphingomyelin (SM) and unsaturated long chain phosphatidylinositol (PI). Decrease of a few glycosphingolipids in the STAT3 phosphorylation inhibited cells may be linked to decreased transcripts of ST6GALNAC2 and UGCGL2, a glucosylceramide synthase. A rare 3-sulfoglucuronylparagloboside carrying HNK1 (human natural killer-1) epitope was found expressed in the GSC11 and the phenotypically differentiated cells. Its up-regulation correlates with increased transcripts of a HNK1 biosynthesis gene, B3GAT2 after serum treatment. Taken together with a quantitative phosphoproteomic study of the same GSC line (C. L. Nilsson, et al. J. Proteome Res. 2010, 9, 430-443), this report represents the most complete systems biology study of cancer stem cell (CSC) differentiation to date. The synergies derived by the combination of glycomic, transcriptomic and phosphoproteomic data may aid our understanding of intracellular and cell-surface events associated with CSC differentiation.


  • Huan He
  • Carol L Nilsson
  • Mark R Emmett
  • Alan G Marshall
  • Roger A Kroes
  • Joseph R Moskal
  • Yongjie Ji
  • Howard Colman
  • Waldemar Priebe
  • Frederick Lang
  • Charles A. Conrad
External organisations
  • Florida State University
Research areas and keywords


  • AC133 Antigen, Animals, Antigens, CD, Cattle, Culture Media, Gene Expression Profiling, Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic, Glioblastoma, Globosides, Glycolipids, Glycoproteins, Humans, Molecular Sequence Data, Neoplastic Stem Cells, Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis, Peptides, Phenotype, Phospholipids, Phosphorylation, Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction, STAT3 Transcription Factor, Serum, Tandem Mass Spectrometry, Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2098-2108
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Proteome Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2010 May 7
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes