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Semin Surg Oncol. 1998 Jan-Feb;14(1):3-12.

Molecular changes during the genesis of human gliomas.

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Deke Slayton Center for Brain Cancer Studies, Northwest Hospital, Seattle, Washington, USA.


Neoplastic transformation in the normal human brain occurs as a result of the accumulation of a series of genetic alterations. These genetic alterations include the loss, gain or amplification of different chromosomes which lead to altered expression of proteins that play important roles in the regulation of cell proliferation. Several common genetic alterations at the chromosomal level (loss of 17p, 13q, 9p, 19, 10, 22q, 18q and amplification of 7 and 12q) have been observed. These alterations lead to changes in the expression of several genes; protein 53 (p53), retinoblastoma (RB), interferon (INF) alpha/beta, cyclic AMP dependent kinase number 2 (CDKN2), mutated in multiple advanced cancers 1 (MMAC1), deleted-in-colon carcinoma (DCC), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), platelet derived growth factor (PDGF), platelet derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR), MDM2, GL1, CDK4 and SAS during the genesis and progression of human gliomas. Recent studies suggest that altered expression of several other genes [MET; MYC; transforming growth factor beta (TGF beta); CD44; vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF); human neurological-related cell adhesion molecule (hNr-CAM); neuroglial cell adhesion molecule (NCAM L1); p21waf1/Cip1; TRKA; mismatch repair genes (MMR); C4-2; D2-2] and proteins [e.g., cathepsins, tenascin, matrix metalloproteases, tissue inhibitors of metalloproteases, nitric oxide synthase, integrins, interleukin-13 receptor (IL-13R), Connexin43, urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptors (uPARs), extracellular matrix proteins and heat shock proteins] are associated with the genesis of human gliomas. Taken together, these findings point to the accumulation of multiple genetic mutations coupled with extensive changes in gene expression in the etiology of human gliomas.

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