Newly-discovered neural features expand the pathobiological knowledge of blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm

Maria Rosaria Sapienza, Giuseppe Benvenuto, Manuela Ferracin, Saveria Mazzara, Fabio Fuligni, Claudio Tripodo, Beatrice Belmonte, Daniele Fanoni, Federica Melle, Giovanna Motta, Valentina Tabanelli, Jessica Consiglio, Vincenzo Mazzara, Marcello Del Corvo, Stefano Fiori, Alessandro Pileri, Gaetano Ivan Dellino, Lorenzo Cerroni, Fabio Facchetti, Emilio BertiElena Sabattini, Marco Paulli, Carlo Maria Croce, Stefano A. Pileri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN) is a rare and highly aggressive hematologic malignancy originating from plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs). The microRNA expression profile of BPDCN was compared to that of normal pDCs and the impact of miRNA dysregulation on the BPDCN transcriptional program was assessed. MiRNA and gene expression profiling data were integrated to obtain the BPDCN miRNA-regulatory network. The biological process mainly dysregulated by this network was predicted to be neurogenesis, a phenomenon raising growing interest in solid tumors. Neurogenesis was explored in BPDCN by querying different molecular sources (RNA sequencing, Chromatin immunoprecipitation-sequencing, and immunohis-tochemistry). It was shown that BPDCN cells upregulated neural mitogen genes possibly critical for tumor dissemination, expressed neuronal progenitor markers involved in cell migration, exchanged acetylcholine neurotransmitter, and overexpressed multiple neural receptors that may stimulate tumor proliferation, migration and cross-talk with the nervous system. Most neural genes upregulated in BPDCN are currently investigated as therapeutic targets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4680
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021


  • MiRNA
  • Network
  • Neurogenesis
  • Sequencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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