Monoamine oxidases A and B (MAOA and MAOB) are highly expressed in many cancers. Here we investigated the level of MAOB in gliomas and confirmed its high expression. We found that MAOB levels correlated with tumor grade and hypoxiainducible factor 1-alpha (HiF-1α) expression. HiF-1α was localized to the nuclei in high-grade gliomas, but it was primarily cytosolic in low-grade gliomas and normal human astrocytes. Expression of both glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and MAOB are correlated to HiF-1α expression levels. Levels of MAOB are correlated by the levels of transcription factor Sp3 in the majority of GBM examined, but this control of MAOB expression by Sp3 in low grade astrocytic gliomas is significantly different from control in the in the majority of glioblastomas. The current findings support previous suggestions that MAOB can be exploited for the killing of cancer cells. Selective cell toxicity can be achieved by designing non-toxic prodrugs that require MAOB for their catalytic conversion into mature cytotoxic chemotherapeutics.
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