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Oncogene. 2014 Apr 17;33(16):2019-26. doi: 10.1038/onc.2013.148. Epub 2013 Apr 29.

The molecular and cell biology of pediatric low-grade gliomas.

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Department of Neurology, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO, USA.


Pilocytic astrocytoma (PA) is the most common glial cell tumor arising in children. Sporadic cases are associated with KIAA1549:BRAF fusion rearrangements, while 15-20% of children develop PA in the context of the neurofibromatosis 1 (NF1) inherited tumor predisposition syndrome. The unique predilection of these tumors to form within the optic pathway and brainstem (NF1-PA) and cerebellum (sporadic PA) raises the possibility that gliomagenesis requires more than biallelic inactivation of the NF1 tumor suppressor gene or expression of the KIAA1549:BRAF transcript. Several etiologic explanations include differential susceptibilities of preneoplastic neuroglial cell types in different brain regions to these glioma-causing genetic changes, contributions from non-neoplastic cells and signals in the tumor microenvironment, and genomic modifiers that confer glioma risk. As clinically-faithful rodent models of sporadic PA are currently under development, Nf1 genetically-engineered mouse (GEM) models have served as tractable systems to study the role of the cell of origin, deregulated intracellular signaling, non-neoplastic cells in the tumor microenvironment and genomic modifiers in gliomagenesis. In this report, we highlight advances in Nf1-GEM modeling and review new experimental evidence that supports the emerging concept that Nf1- and KIAA1549:BRAF-induced gliomas arise from specific cell types in particular brain locations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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