[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent studies have identified genes and core pathways that are altered in human glioblastoma. However, the mechanisms by which alterations of these glioblastoma genes singly and cooperatively transform brain cells remain poorly understood. Further, the cell of origin of glioblastoma is largely elusive. By targeting a p53 in-frame deletion mutation to the brain, we show that p53 deficiency provides no significant growth advantage to adult brain cells, but appears to induce pleiotropic accumulation of cooperative oncogenic alterations driving gliomagenesis. Our data show that accumulation of a detectable level of mutant p53 proteins occurs first in neural stem cells in the subventricular zone (SVZ) and that subsequent expansion of mutant p53-expressing Olig2(+) transit-amplifying progenitor-like cells in the SVZ-associated areas initiates glioma formation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent evidence suggests that alterations in the self-renewal program of stem/progenitor cells can cause tumorigenesis. By utilizing genetically engineered mouse models of neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), we demonstrated that plexiform neurofibroma, the only benign peripheral nerve sheath tumor with potential for malignant transformation, results from Nf1 deficiency in fetal stem/progenitor cells of peripheral nerves. Surprisingly, this did not cause hyperproliferation or tumorigenesis in early postnatal period. Instead, peripheral nerve development appeared largely normal in the absence of Nf1 except for abnormal Remak bundles, the nonmyelinated axon-Schwann cell unit, identified in postnatal mutant nerves. Subsequent degeneration of abnormal Remak bundles was accompanied by initial expansion of nonmyelinating Schwann cells. We suggest abnormally differentiated Remak bundles as a cell of origin for plexiform neurofibroma.