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Cellular Oncology
Volume 32, Issue 5-6, Pages 313-329

NFAT and AP1 are Essential for the Expression of a Glioblastoma Multiforme Related IL-13Ra2 Transcript

Anhua Wu,1,2 Katya Ericson,2 Wang Chao,1 and Walter C. Low2

1Department of Neurosurgery, First Hospital of China Medical University, Liaoning, China
2Department of Neurosurgery, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN, USA

Copyright © 2010 Hindawi Publishing Corporation and the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background: IL-13Ra2 is overexpressed by gliomas but not by normal tissue. However, the molecular basis for IL-13Ra2 overexpression in gliomas is unknown.

Methods: In the present study we have investigated the regulatory mechanisms that are responsible for the expression of IL-13Ra2 with mutation analysis, quantitative RT-PCR, Flow cytometry analysis, transcription factor binding assay and Elisa.

Results: Our results reveal a complex mechanism for regulating IL-13Ra2 expression that involves at least 2 promoters and 4 transcripts of human IL-13Ra2. Transcription factors NFAT and AP1 are necessary and essential for the expression of this GBM related transcript, and are responsible for the high level of expression of IL-13Ra2 in GBM. Most interestingly, we found that expression of this transcript results in the production of a secreted form of IL-13Ra2 and thus may have the potential to be used as a diagnostic biomarker for GBM patients and other cancer patients that express the soluble form of this receptor.

Conclusions: This study is the first to characterize the role of NFAT and AP1 in the regulation of IL-13Ra2 expression, and provides insight into understanding the high levels of IL-13Ra2 expressed by GBM cells.