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GFAP-Cre-mediated activation of oncogenic K-ras results in expansion of the subventricular zone and infiltrating glioma.

Abel TW, Clark C, Bierie B, Chytil A, Aakre M, Gorska A, Moses HL
Mol Cancer Res. 2009 7 (5): 645-53

PMID: 19435821 · PMCID: PMC3406747 · DOI:10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-08-0477

A subset of neoplastic cells within human high-grade gliomas has features associated with stem cells. These cells may sustain glioma growth, and their stem-like properties may confer resistance to standard glioma treatments. Whether glioma stem cells derive from indigenous neural stem cells (NSC), or from tumor cells that have reacquired stem cell-like properties, is unknown. However, signaling pathways that are tightly regulated and central to NSC biology, including the Ras/Raf/Erk pathway, are hyperactive and pathogenic in gliomagenesis. Furthermore, data in animal models suggests that, in some cases, tumors are initiated in the subventricular zone (SVZ), a stem/progenitor cell niche in the mature brain. We activated oncogenic K-ras in mouse glioneuronal precursor cells and adult SVZ cells using GFAP-Cre. GFAP-Cre+/K-ras(G12D) mice showed a marked expansion of glial fibriallary acidic protein (GFAP)- and TUJ1-expressing cell populations in the SVZ. In addition, mice developed intermediate grade, infiltrating glioma with 100% penetrance. Tumors were consistently located in the amygdalohippocampal region and nearby cortex, often in association with the lateral ventricle and expanded SVZ. Tumor cells expressed markers associated with neural progenitor cells, including Olig2, Bmi-1, and PDGFR-alpha. These data suggest that infiltrating tumor cells may arise from NSC transformed by activation of oncogenic K-ras in vivo.

MeSH Terms (15)

Animals Cerebral Ventricles Female Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein Glioma Immunohistochemistry Integrases Male Mice Mice, Inbred C57BL Mice, Inbred Strains Mice, Transgenic Neoplastic Stem Cells Neurons ras Proteins

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