Expression of the neurogenic basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor NEUROG1 identifies a subgroup of medulloblastomas not expressing ATOH1

Ettore Salsano, Laura Croci, Emanuela Maderna, Linda Lupo, Bianca Pollo, Maria Teresa Giordana, G. Giacomo Consalez, Gaetano Finocchiaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

To gain insight into the lineage of origin of medulloblastomas, the mRNA expression of NEUROG1, a gene encoding a proneural transcription factor transiently detected during nervous system development, was investigated in 27 human medulloblastomas characterized for mRNA expression of ATOH1, a marker of cerebellar granule precursors and corresponding medulloblastomas. Expression of Ngn1, the mouse homolog of NEUROG1, was also analyzed in the mouse cerebellar primordium. In addition, we studied mRNA expression of GLI1 as a marker of the SHH pathway activation, and nuclear β-catenin staining, β-catenin mutations, and mRNA expression of MYC as indicators of the WNT pathway status. In 15 cases, we also examined expression of OTX2, a transcription factor recently indicated as a positive marker of medulloblastomas originating from cerebellar granule precursors. The mRNA expression of NEUROG1 and Ngn1 was selectively found in medulloblastomas not expressing ATOH1 and in progenitors of the cerebellar ventricular zone, respectively. GLI1 transcript was expressed in medulloblastomas with ATOH1 transcript, whereas high levels of MYC transcript were unrelated to NEUROG1 or ATOH1 expression. No clear association between MYC overexpression and nuclear β-catenin staining was found. Finally, OTX2 mRNA was expressed in all medulloblastomas with NEUROG1 transcript, but also in a subset of these malignancies with ATOH1 transcript. These observations may help to define the lineage of origin of medulloblastomas, and support a role for ATOH1 and NEUROG1 in the classification of these malignancies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-307
Number of pages10
JournalNeuro-Oncology
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007

Keywords

  • ATOH1 (MATH-1)
  • Cerebellum
  • GLI1
  • Medulloblastoma
  • MYC
  • NEUROG1 (neurogenin-1)
  • OTX2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Clinical Neurology

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