Pilocytic astrocytoma (PA) is the most common glioma in pediatric patients and occurs in different locations. Chromosomal alterations are mostly located at chromosome 7q34 comprising the BRAF oncogene with consequent activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway. Although genetic and epigenetic alterations characterizing PA from different localizations have been reported, the role of epigenetic alterations in PA development is still not clear. The aim of this study was to investigate whether distinctive methylation patterns may define biologically relevant groups of PAs. Integrated DNA methylation analysis was performed on 20 PAs and 4 normal brain samples by Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation27 BeadChips. We identified distinct methylation profiles characterizing PAs from different locations (infratentorial vs supratentorial) and tumors with onset before and after 3 years of age. These results suggest that PA may be related to the specific brain site where the tumor arises from region-specific cells of origin. We identified and validated in silico the methylation alterations of some CpG islands. Furthermore, we evaluated the expression levels of selected differentially methylated genes and identified two biomarkers, one, IRX2, related to the tumor localization and the other, TOX2, as tumoral biomarker.
|Number of pages||15|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2 2018|