Molecular analysis of pediatric brain tumors identifies microRNAs in pilocytic astrocytomas that target the MAPK and NF-κB pathways.
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Acta Neuropathol Commun
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INTRODUCTION: Pilocytic astrocytomas are slow-growing tumors that usually occur in the cerebellum or in the midline along the hypothalamic/optic pathways. The most common genetic alterations in pilocytic astrocytomas activate the ERK/MAPK signal transduction pathway, which is a major driver of proliferation but is also believed to induce senescence in these tumors. Here, we have conducted a detailed investigation of microRNA and gene expression, together with pathway analysis, to improve our understanding of the regulatory mechanisms in pilocytic astrocytomas. RESULTS: Pilocytic astrocytomas were found to have distinctive microRNA and gene expression profiles compared to normal brain tissue and a selection of other pediatric brain tumors. Several microRNAs found to be up-regulated in pilocytic astrocytomas are predicted to target the ERK/MAPK and NF-κB signaling pathways as well as genes involved in senescence-associated inflammation and cell cycle control. Furthermore, IGFBP7 and CEBPB, which are transcriptional inducers of the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP), were also up-regulated together with the markers of senescence and inflammation, CDKN1A (p21), CDKN2A (p16) and IL1B. CONCLUSION: These findings provide further evidence of a senescent phenotype in pilocytic astrocytomas. In addition, they suggest that the ERK/MAPK pathway, which is considered the major driver of these tumors, is regulated not only by genetic aberrations but also by microRNAs.
AuthorsJones, TA; Jeyapalan, JN; Forshew, T; Tatevossian, RG; Lawson, ARJ; Patel, SN; Doctor, GT; Mumin, MA; Picker, SR; Phipps, KP; Michalski, A; Jacques, TS; Sheer, D
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