MEF promotes stemness in the pathogenesis of gliomas

Elena Bazzoli, Teodoro Pulvirenti, Moritz C. Oberstadt, Fabiana Perna, Boyoung Wee, Nikolaus Schultz, Jason T. Huse, Elena I. Fomchenko, Francesca Voza, Viviane Tabar, Cameron W. Brennan, Lisa M. Deangelis, Stephen D. Nimer, Eric C. Holland, Massimo Squatrito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


High-grade gliomas are aggressive and uniformly fatal tumors, composed of a heterogeneous population of cells that include many with stem-cell-like properties. The acquisition of stem-like traits might contribute to glioma initiation, growth, and recurrence. Here we investigated the role of the transcription factor myeloid Elf-1 like factor (MEF, also known as ELF4) in gliomas. We found that MEF is highly expressed in both human and mouse glioblastomas and its absence impairs gliomagenesis in a PDGF-driven glioma mouse model. We show that modulation of MEF levels in both mouse neural stem cells and human glioblastoma cells has a significant impact on neurosphere formation. Moreover, we identify Sox2 as a direct downstream target of MEF. Taken together, our studies implicate MEF as a previously unrecognized gatekeeper gene in gliomagenesis that promotes stem cell characteristics through Sox2 activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)836-844
Number of pages9
JournalCell Stem Cell
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 7 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Genetics


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