Altering biomolecular condensates as a potential mechanism that mediates cannabidiol effect on glioblastoma

Lei P. Wang, Pablo Shimaoka Chagas, Évila Lopes Salles, Sahar Emami Naeini, Jules Gouron, Hannah M. Rogers, Hesam Khodadadi, Bidhan Bhandari, Ahmet Alptekin, Xu Qin, Kumar Vaibhav, Vincenzo Costigliola, David C. Hess, Krishnan M. Dhandapani, Ali S. Arbab, Martin J. Rutkowski, Jack C. Yu, Babak Baban

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Glioblastoma (GBM) is an extremely aggressive primary brain tumor with poor prognosis, short survival time post-diagnosis and high recurrence. Currently, no cure for GBM exists. The identification of an effective therapeutic modality for GBM remains a high priority amongst medical professionals and researches. In recent studies, inhalant cannabidiol (CBD) has demonstrated promise in effectively inhibiting GBM tumor growth. However, exactly how CBD treatment affects the physiology of these tumor cells remains unclear. Stress granules (SG) (a sub-class of biomolecular condensates (BMC)) are dynamic, membrane-less intracellular microstructures which contain proteins and nucleic acids. The formation and signaling of SGs and BMCs plays a significant role in regulating malignancies. This study investigates whether inhaled CBD may play an intervening role towards SGs in GBM tumor cells. Integrated bioinformatics approaches were preformed to gain further insights. This includes use of Immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry to measure SGs, as well as expression and phosphorylation of eukaryotic initiation factor-2α (eIF2α). The findings of this study reveal that CBD receptors (and co-regulated genes) have the potential to play an important biological role in the formation of BMCs within GBM. In this experiment, CBD treatment significantly increased the volume of TIAR-1. This increase directly correlated with elevation in both eIF2α expression and p-eIF2α in CBD treated tissues in comparison to the placebo group (p < 0.05). These results suggest that inhalant CBD significantly up-regulated SGs in GBM, and thus support a theory of targeting BMCs as a potential therapeutic substrate for treating GBM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number140
JournalMedical Oncology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2024


  • Biomolecular condensates
  • CBD
  • Cannabidiol
  • Glioblastoma
  • Integrated bioinformatics
  • Stress granules

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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