J Cancer 2022; 13(6):1745-1757. doi:10.7150/jca.63609 This issue


Cholesterol metabolism and its implication in glioblastoma therapy

Xuyang Guo1, Shaolong Zhou1,2, Zhuo Yang1, Zi-An Li1, Weihua Hu2, Lirui Dai1, Wulong Liang1, Xinjun Wang1,2✉

1. Department of Neurosurgery, The Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan, 450052, China.
2. International Joint Laboratory of Glioma Metabolism and Microenvironment Research, Zhengzhou, Henan, China.

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Guo X, Zhou S, Yang Z, Li ZA, Hu W, Dai L, Liang W, Wang X. Cholesterol metabolism and its implication in glioblastoma therapy. J Cancer 2022; 13(6):1745-1757. doi:10.7150/jca.63609. Available from https://www.jcancer.org/v13p1745.htm

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Graphic abstract

Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most lethal malignant tumor in the central nervous system, with a median survival of only 14 months. Cholesterol, which is the main component of cell membrane and the precursor of many hormones, is one of the most important lipid components in human body. Since reprogramming of the cholesterol metabolic profile has been discovered in many cancers including GBM, cholesterol metabolism becomes a promising potential target for therapy. Since GBM cells rely on external cholesterol to survive and accumulate lipid droplets to meet their rapid growth needs, targeting the metabolism of cholesterol by different strategies including inhibition of cholesterol uptake and promotion of cholesterol efflux by activating LXRs and disruption of cellular cholesterol trafficking, inhibition of SREBP signaling, inhibition of cholesterol esterification, could potentially oppose the growth of glial tumors. In this review, we discussed the above findings and describe cholesterol synthesis and homeostatic feedback pathways in normal brain tissues and brain tumors, statin use in GBM and the role of lipid rafts and cholesterol precursors and oxysterols in the treatment and pathogenesis of GBM are also summarized.