Author(s): Jones TA, Jeyapalan JN, Forshew T, , Tatevossian RG, , Jones TA, Jeyapalan JN, Forshew T, , Tatevossian RG,
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Abstract 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.
This article was published in Acta Neuropathol Commun
and referenced in Journal of Neuroinfectious Diseases