Hyperdiploid tumor cells increase phenotypic heterogeneity within Glioblastoma tumors
Here we report the identification of a proliferative, viable, and hyperdiploid tumor cell subpopulation present within Glioblastoma (GB) patient tumors. Using xenograft tumor models, we demonstrate that hyperdiploid cell populations are maintained in xenograft tumors and that clonally expanded hyperdiploid cells support tumor formation and progression in vivo. In some patient tumorsphere lines, hyperdiploidy is maintained during long-term culture and in vivo within xenograft tumor models, suggesting that hyperdiploidy can be a stable cell state. In other patient lines hyperdiploid cells display genetic drift in vitro and in vivo, suggesting that in these patients hyperdiploidy is a transient cell state that generates novel phenotypes, potentially facilitating rapid tumor evolution. We show that the hyperdiploid cells are resistant to conventional therapy, in part due to infrequent cell division due to a delay in the G(0)/G(1) phase of the cell cycle. Hyperdiploid tumor cells are significantly larger and more metabolically active than euploid cancer cells, and this correlates to an increased sensitivity to the effects of glycolysis inhibition. Together these data identify GB hyperdiploid tumor cells as a potentially important subpopulation of cells that are well positioned to contribute to tumor evolution and disease recurrence in adult brain cancer patients, and suggest tumor metabolism as a promising point of therapeutic intervention against this subpopulation.