Biphasic Dependence of Glioma Survival and Cell Migration on CD44 Expression Level

Rebecca L. Klank, Stacy A. Decker Grunke, Benjamin L. Bangasser, Colleen L. Forster, Matthew A. Price, Thomas J. Odde, Karen S. SantaCruz, Steven S. Rosenfeld, Peter Canoll, Eva A. Turley, James B. McCarthy, John R. Ohlfest, David J. Odde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


While several studies link the cell-surface marker CD44 to cancer progression, conflicting results show both positive and negative correlations with increased CD44 levels. Here, we demonstrate that the survival outcomes of genetically induced glioma-bearing mice and of high-grade human glioma patients are biphasically correlated with CD44 level, with the poorest outcomes occurring at intermediate levels. Furthermore, the high-CD44-expressing mesenchymal subtype exhibited a positive trend of survival with increased CD44 level. Mouse cell migration rates in ex vivo brain slice cultures were also biphasically associated with CD44 level, with maximal migration corresponding to minimal survival. Cell simulations suggest that cell-substrate adhesiveness is sufficient to explain this biphasic migration. More generally, these results highlight the potential importance of non-monotonic relationships between survival and biomarkers associated with cancer progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-31
Number of pages9
JournalCell reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 3 2017


  • CD44
  • biphasic migration
  • biphasic survival
  • glioma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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