Gene Summary

Gene:GLI2; GLI family zinc finger 2
Aliases: CJS, HPE9, PHS2, THP1, THP2
Summary:This gene encodes a protein which belongs to the C2H2-type zinc finger protein subclass of the Gli family. Members of this subclass are characterized as transcription factors which bind DNA through zinc finger motifs. These motifs contain conserved H-C links. Gli family zinc finger proteins are mediators of Sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling and they are implicated as potent oncogenes in the embryonal carcinoma cell. The protein encoded by this gene localizes to the cytoplasm and activates patched Drosophila homolog (PTCH) gene expression. It is also thought to play a role during embryogenesis. The encoded protein is associated with several phenotypes- Greig cephalopolysyndactyly syndrome, Pallister-Hall syndrome, preaxial polydactyly type IV, postaxial polydactyly types A1 and B. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:zinc finger protein GLI2
Source:NCBIAccessed: 01 September, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 01 September 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 01 September, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (2)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: GLI2 (cancer-related)

Wendling-Keim D, Vokuhl C, Walz C, et al.
Activation of Hedgehog Signaling in Aggressive Hepatic Hemangioma in Newborns and Infants.
Anticancer Res. 2019; 39(5):2351-2360 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Hepatic hemangiomas (HH) can show an aggressive course with significant complications. Prognostic markers that identify an aggressive course are entirely absent. Since we have showed that Hedgehog signaling is overexpressed in aggressive hemangiomas of the skin. Here, we hypothesize that it is also altered in aggressive HH.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Immunohistological staining for GLUT1 and quantitative PCR was performed in seven specimens with aggressive HH. For comparison, we included specimens of kaposiform hemangioendothelioma (KHE), skin hemangioma and normal liver tissue.
RESULTS: Overexpression of the Hedgehog signaling components SHH and GLI2 and its target gene FOXA2 in HH were similar to those found in aggressive skin hemangioma and KHE, their expression being significantly higher than in mild skin hemangioma. High expression levels of SHH and FOXA2 positively correlated with HH, but not with normal liver tissue.
CONCLUSION: Hedgehog signaling is up-regulated in aggressive HH. This finding may lead to a biomarker allowing early intervention.

Sun W, Li L, Du Z, et al.
Combination of phospholipase Cε knockdown with GANT61 sensitizes castration‑resistant prostate cancer cells to enzalutamide by suppressing the androgen receptor signaling pathway.
Oncol Rep. 2019; 41(5):2689-2702 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Castration‑resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) is a major challenge in the treatment of prostate cancer (PCa). Phospholipase Cε (PLCε), an oncogene, has been found to be involved in the carcinogenesis, tumor proliferation and migration of several types of cancer. The effects, however, of PLCε on CRPC remains unclear. In the present study, the expression of PLCε and glioma‑associated homolog (Gli)‑1/Gli‑2 in benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), PCa and CRPC tissues and cells was investigated, and the correlations between PLCε and Gli‑1/Gli‑2 in CRPC tissues and cell lines were further explored. In addition, the effect of PLCε on cell proliferation and invasion was assessed in CRPC cell lines, and the sensitivity of EN‑R and 22RV1 cells to enzalutamide following the downregulation of PLCε expression was determined using lentivirus‑mediated shPLCε and/or treatment with specific Gli inhibitor GANT61. It was found that the PLCε expression was excessively upregulated in the majority of CRPC tissues, and PLCε positivity was linked to poor progression‑free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) in patients with PCa. Furthermore, PLCε knockdown significantly suppressed CRPC cell proliferation and invasion. Of note, it was found that PLCε knockdown increased the sensitivity of CRPC cells to enzalutamide in vitro by suppressing androgen receptor (AR) activities via the non‑canonical Hedgehog/Gli‑2 and p‑STAT3 signaling pathways. PLCε knockdown was shown to increase the sensitivity of CRPC cell xenografts to enzalutamide in vivo. Finally, the combination of PLCε knockdown with GANT61 significantly sensitized CRPC cells to enzalutamide. Collectively, the results of the present study suggest that PLCε is a potential therapeutic target for CRPC.

Yin WC, Satkunendran T, Mo R, et al.
Dual Regulatory Functions of SUFU and Targetome of GLI2 in SHH Subgroup Medulloblastoma.
Dev Cell. 2019; 48(2):167-183.e5 [PubMed] Related Publications
SUFU alterations are common in human Sonic Hedgehog (SHH) subgroup medulloblastoma (MB). However, its tumorigenic mechanisms have remained elusive. Here, we report that loss of Sufu alone is unable to induce MB formation in mice, due to insufficient Gli2 activation. Simultaneous loss of Spop, an E3 ubiquitin ligase targeting Gli2, restores robust Gli2 activation and induces rapid MB formation in Sufu knockout background. We also demonstrated a tumor-promoting role of Sufu in Smo-activated MB (∼60% of human SHH MB) by maintaining robust Gli activity. Having established Gli2 activation as a key driver of SHH MB, we report a comprehensive analysis of its targetome. Furthermore, we identified Atoh1 as a target and molecular accomplice of Gli2 that activates core SHH MB signature genes in a synergistic manner. Overall, our work establishes the dual role of SUFU in SHH MB and provides mechanistic insights into transcriptional regulation underlying Gli2-mediated SHH MB tumorigenesis.

Yang Y, Bhosle SR, Yu YH, et al.
Tumidulin, a Lichen Secondary Metabolite, Decreases the Stemness Potential of Colorectal Cancer Cells.
Molecules. 2018; 23(11) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Lichens produce various unique chemicals that are used in the pharmaceutical industry. To screen for novel lichen secondary metabolites that inhibit the stemness potential of colorectal cancer cells, we tested acetone extracts of 11 lichen samples collected in Chile. Tumidulin, isolated from

Jia Y, Gu D, Wan J, et al.
The role of GLI-SOX2 signaling axis for gemcitabine resistance in pancreatic cancer.
Oncogene. 2019; 38(10):1764-1777 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Pancreatic cancer, mostly pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDAC), is one of the most lethal cancers, with a dismal median survival around 8 months. PDAC is notoriously resistant to chemotherapy. Thus far, numerous attempts using novel targeted therapies and immunotherapies yielded limited clinical benefits for pancreatic cancer patients. It is hoped that delineating the molecular mechanisms underlying drug resistance in pancreatic cancer may provide novel therapeutic options. Using acquired gemcitabine resistant pancreatic cell lines, we revealed an important role of the GLI-SOX2 signaling axis for regulation of gemcitabine sensitivity in vitro and in animal models. Down-regulation of GLI transcriptional factors (GLI1 or GLI2), but not SMO signaling inhibition, reduces tumor sphere formation, a characteristics of tumor initiating cell (TIC). Down-regulation of GLI transcription factors also decreased expression of TIC marker CD24. Similarly, high SOX2 expression is associated with gemcitabine resistance whereas down-regulation of SOX2 sensitizes pancreatic cancer cells to gemcitabine treatment. We further revealed that elevated SOX2 expression is associated with an increase in GLI1 or GLI2 expression. Our ChIP assay revealed that GLI proteins are associated with a putative Gli binding site within the SOX2 promoter, suggesting a more direct regulation of SOX2 by GLI transcription factors. The relevance of our findings to human disease was revealed in human cancer specimens. We found that high SOX2 protein expression is associated with frequent tumor relapse and poor survival in stage II PDAC patients (all of them underwent gemcitabine treatment), indicating that reduced SOX2 expression or down-regulation of GLI transcription factors may be effective in sensitizing pancreatic cancer cells to gemcitabine treatment.

Huang D, Wang Y, Xu L, et al.
GLI2 promotes cell proliferation and migration through transcriptional activation of ARHGEF16 in human glioma cells.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2018; 37(1):247 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway plays critical roles in modulating embryogenesis and maintaining tissue homeostasis, with glioma-associated oncogene (GLI) transcription factors being the main mediators. Aberrant activation of this pathway is associated with various human malignancies including glioblastoma, although the mechanistic details are not well understood.
METHODS: We performed a microarray analysis of genes that are differentially expressed in glioblastoma U87 cells overexpressing GLI2A, the active form of GLI2, relative to the control cells. Chromatin immunoprecipitation and dual-luciferase assays were used to determine whether Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor 16 (ARHGEF16) is a downstream target of GLI2. Then, transwell migration, EdU and soft-agar colony formation assays were employed to test effects of ARHGEF16 on glioma cancer cell migration and proliferation, and the effects of GLI2/ARHGEF16 signaling on tumor growth were examined in vivo. Finally, we performed yeast two-hybrid assay, Co-IP and GST-pull down to identify factors that mediate effects of ARHGEF16.
RESULTS: We found that ARHGEF16 mRNA level was upregulated in U87 cells overexpressing GLI2A relative to control cells. GLI2 binds to the ARHGEF16 promoter and activates gene transcription. Glioma cells U87 and U118 overexpressing ARHGEF16 showed enhanced migration and proliferation relative to the control cells, while knockdown of ARHGEF16 in H4 cells led to decreased cell proliferation compared to the control H4 cells. In contrast to the promoting effect of GLI2A overexpression on glioma xenograft growth, both GLI2 inhibition and ARHGEF16 knockdown retarded tumor growth. Cytoskeleton-associated protein 5 (CKAP5) was identified as an interaction protein of ARHGEF16, which is important for the stimulatory effects of ARHGEF16 on glioma cell migration and proliferation.
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that therapeutic strategies targeting the GLI2/ARHGEF16/CKAP5 signaling axis could inhibit glioma progression and recurrence.

Réda J, Vachtenheim J, Vlčková K, et al.
Widespread Expression of Hedgehog Pathway Components in a Large Panel of Human Tumor Cells and Inhibition of Tumor Growth by GANT61: Implications for Cancer Therapy.
Int J Mol Sci. 2018; 19(9) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The sonic Hedgehog/GLI signaling pathway (HH) is critical for maintaining tissue polarity in development and contributes to tumor stemness. Transcription factors GLI1⁻3 are the downstream effectors of HH and activate oncogenic targets. To explore the completeness of the expression of HH components in tumor cells, we performed a screen for all HH proteins in a wide spectrum of 56 tumor cell lines of various origin using Western blot analysis. Generally, all HH proteins were expressed. Important factors GLI1 and GLI2 were always expressed, only exceptionally one of them was lowered, suggesting the functionality of HH in all tumors tested. We determined the effect of a GLI inhibitor GANT61 on proliferation in 16 chosen cell lines. More than half of tumor cells were sensitive to GANT61 to various extents. GANT61 killed the sensitive cells through apoptosis. The inhibition of reporter activity containing 12xGLI consensus sites by GANT61 and cyclopamine roughly correlated with cell proliferation influenced by GANT61. Our results recognize the sensitivity of tumor cell types to GANT61 in cell culture and support a critical role for GLI factors in tumor progression through restraining apoptosis. The use of GANT61 in combined targeted therapy of sensitive tumors, such as melanomas, seems to be immensely helpful.

Zhu H, Xia L, Shen Q, et al.
Differential effects of GLI2 and GLI3 in regulating cervical cancer malignancy in vitro and in vivo.
Lab Invest. 2018; 98(11):1384-1396 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Advanced, recurrent, or persistent cervical cancer is often incurable. Therefore, in-depth insights into the molecular mechanisms are needed for the development of novel therapeutic targets and the improvement of current therapeutic strategies. In this study, we investigated the role of GLI2 and GLI3 in the regulation of the malignant properties of cervical cancer. We showed that down-regulation of GLI2, but not GLI3, with an inducible GLI2 shRNA inhibited the growth and migration of cervical cancer cell lines, which could be rescued by ectopic expression of GLI2. GLI2 appeared to support cell growth by regulating the mitosis, but not the apoptosis, of the cervical cancer cells. Mechanistically, these functions of GLI2 were in part mediated by the activation of AKT pathway. Knockdown of GLI2, but not GLI3, also inhibited xenograft growth of cervical cancer cells in vivo. Finally, analysis of TCGA data showed that high levels of GLI2, but not GLI3, conferred a poor prognosis in cervical cancer patients. These observations for the first time suggest that GLI2, but not GLI3, exerts a tumor-promoting role in cervical cancer and may be targeted as a novel therapeutic strategy.

Tang YA, Chen YF, Bao Y, et al.
Hypoxic tumor microenvironment activates GLI2 via HIF-1α and TGF-β2 to promote chemoresistance in colorectal cancer.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018; 115(26):E5990-E5999 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Colorectal cancer patients often relapse after chemotherapy, owing to the survival of stem or progenitor cells referred to as cancer stem cells (CSCs). Although tumor stromal factors are known to contribute to chemoresistance, it remains not fully understood how CSCs in the hypoxic tumor microenvironment escape the chemotherapy. Here, we report that hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF-1α) and cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs)-secreted TGF-β2 converge to activate the expression of hedgehog transcription factor GLI2 in CSCs, resulting in increased stemness/dedifferentiation and intrinsic resistance to chemotherapy. Genetic or small-molecule inhibitor-based ablation of HIF-1α/TGF-β2-mediated GLI2 signaling effectively reversed the chemoresistance caused by the tumor microenvironment. Importantly, high expression levels of HIF-1α/TGF-β2/GLI2 correlated robustly with the patient relapse following chemotherapy, highlighting a potential biomarker and therapeutic target for chemoresistance in colorectal cancer. Our study thus uncovers a molecular mechanism by which hypoxic colorectal tumor microenvironment promotes cancer cell stemness and resistance to chemotherapy and suggests a potentially targeted treatment approach to mitigating chemoresistance.

Lewin J, Soltan Ghoraie L, Bedard PL, et al.
Gene expression signatures prognostic for relapse in stage I testicular germ cell tumours.
BJU Int. 2018; 122(5):814-822 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: To identify differentially expressed genes between relapsed and non-relapsed clinical stage I testicular germ cell tumours (TGCTs).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We reviewed patients with clinical stage I non-seminoma and seminoma from an institutional database (2000-2012) who were managed by active surveillance. Patients with non-relapsed non-seminoma and non-relapsed seminoma were defined as being relapse-free after 2 and 3 years of surveillance, respectively. RNA extraction and gene expression analysis was performed on archival primary tumour samples and gene-set enrichment analysis (GSEA) was conducted in order to identify differentiating biological pathways.
RESULTS: A total of 57 patients (relapsed non-seminoma, n = 12; relapsed seminoma, n =15; non-relapsed non-seminoma, n = 15; non-relapsed seminoma, n = 15) were identified, with a median (range) relapse time of 5.6 (2.5-18.1) and 19.3 (4.7-65.3) months in the relapsed non-seminoma and relapsed seminoma cohorts, respectively. A total of 1 039 differentially expressed genes were identified that separated relapsed and non-relapsed groups. In patients with relapse, GSEA revealed enrichment in pathways associated with differentiation, such as skeletal development (i.e. FGFR1, BMP4, GLI2, SPARC, COL2A1), tissue (i.e. BMP4, SPARC, COL13A1) and bone remodelling (i.e. CARTPT, GLI2, MGP). A discriminative gene expression profile between relapsed and non-relapsed cases was discovered when combining non-seminoma and seminoma samples using 10- and 30-probe signatures; however, this profile was not observed in the seminoma and non-seminoma cohorts individually.
CONCLUSION: A discriminating signature for relapsed disease was identified for clinical stage I TGCT that we were not able to identify by histology alone. Further validation is required to determine if this signature provides independent prognostic information to standard pathological risk factors.

Yang H, Yan L, Sun K, et al.
lncRNA BCAR4 Increases Viability, Invasion, and Migration of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Cells by Targeting Glioma-Associated Oncogene 2 (
Oncol Res. 2019; 27(3):359-369 [PubMed] Related Publications
This study aimed to explore the effects of lncRNA BCAR4 on the viability and aggressiveness of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells. qRT-PCR was used to determine the expression of BCAR4 and

Li N, Truong S, Nouri M, et al.
Non-canonical activation of hedgehog in prostate cancer cells mediated by the interaction of transcriptionally active androgen receptor proteins with Gli3.
Oncogene. 2018; 37(17):2313-2325 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Hedgehog (Hh) is an oncogenic signaling pathway that regulates the activity of Gli transcription factors. Canonical Hh is a Smoothened- (Smo-) driven process that alters the post-translational processing of Gli2/Gli3 proteins. Though evidence supports a role for Gli action in prostate cancer (PCa) cell growth and progression, there is little indication that Smo is involved. Here we describe a non-canonical means for activation of Gli transcription in PCa cells mediated by the binding of transcriptionally-active androgen receptors (ARs) to Gli3. Androgens stimulated reporter expression from a Gli-dependent promoter in a variety of AR + PCa cells and this activity was suppressed by an anti-androgen, Enz, or by AR knockdown. Androgens also upregulated expression of endogenous Gli-dependent genes. This activity was associated with increased intranuclear binding of Gli3 to AR that was antagonized by Enz. Fine mapping of the AR binding domain on Gli2 showed that AR recognizes the Gli protein processing domain (PPD) in the C-terminus. Mutations in the arginine-/serine repeat elements of the Gli2 PPD involved in phosphorylation and ubiquitinylation blocked the binding to AR. β-TrCP, a ubiquitin ligase that recognizes the Gli PPD, competed with AR for binding to this site. AR binding to Gli3 suppressed its proteolytic processing to the Gli3 repressor form (Gli3R) whereas AR knockdown increased Gli3R. Both full-length and truncated ARs were able to activate Gli transcription. Finally, we found that an ARbinding decoy polypeptide derived from the Gli2 C-terminus can compete with Gli3 for binding to AR. Exogenous overexpression of this decoy suppressed Gli transcriptional activity in PCa cells. Collectively, this work identifies a novel pathway for non-canonical activation of Hh signaling in PCa cells and identifies a means for interference that may have clinical relevance for PCa patients.

Ishiwata T, Iwasawa S, Ebata T, et al.
Inhibition of Gli leads to antitumor growth and enhancement of cisplatin-induced cytotoxicity in large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma of the lung.
Oncol Rep. 2018; 39(3):1148-1154 [PubMed] Related Publications
Large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma (LCNEC) of the lung is a highly aggressive tumor without established standard treatment. The Hedgehog (Hh) signal, which is critical in embryogenesis, is known to play important roles in maintaining a malignant phenotype in various cancers. The present study explored the possibility of targeting the Hh signal in the treatment of LCNEC by suppressing Hh downstream molecules, Smoothened (Smo) and GLI family zinc finger 1/2 (Gli1/2), in 3 human LCNEC cell lines. Smo inhibitor, BMS-833923, and Gli inhibitor, GANT61, downregulated Gli1 and 2, resulting in the suppression of the cell viability of the 3 cell lines as assessed using an MTT assay. The downregulation of Gli1 and/or Gli2 using siRNA for each gene also led to cell growth inhibition in the 3 cell lines. The downregulation of Gli1/2 made the cells more sensitive to cisplatin, resulting in increased apoptosis. These findings suggest that the Hh signaling pathway may be a candidate target for the treatment of LCNEC of the lung.

Niida Y, Inoue M, Ozaki M, Takase E
Human Malformation Syndromes of Defective GLI: Opposite Phenotypes of 2q14.2 (GLI2) and 7p14.2 (GLI3) Microdeletions and a GLIA/R Balance Model.
Cytogenet Genome Res. 2017; 153(2):56-65 [PubMed] Related Publications
GLI family zinc finger proteins are transcriptional effectors of the sonic hedgehog signaling pathway. GLI regulates gene expression and repression at various phases of embryonic morphogenesis. In humans, 4 GLI genes are known, and GLI2 (2q14.2) and GLI3 (7p14.1) mutations cause different syndromes. Here, we present 2 distinctive cases with a chromosomal microdeletion in one of these genes. Patient 1 is a 14-year-old girl with Culler-Jones syndrome. She manifested short stature, cleft palate, and mild intellectual/social disability caused by a 6.6-Mb deletion of 2q14.1q14.3. Patient 2 is a 2-year-old girl with Greig cephalopolysyndactyly contiguous gene deletion syndrome. She manifested macrocephaly, preaxial polysyndactyly, psychomotor developmental delay, cerebral cavernous malformations, and glucose intolerance due to a 6.2-Mb deletion of 7p14.1p12.3 which included GLI3, GCK, and CCM2. Each patient manifests a different phenotype which is associated with different functions of each GLI gene and different effects of the chromosomal contiguous gene deletion. We summarize the phenotypic extent of GLI2/3 syndromes in the literature and determine that these 2 syndromes manifest opposite features to a certain extent, such as midface hypoplasia or macrocephaly, and anterior or posterior side of polydactyly. We propose a GLIA/R balance model that may explain these findings.

Wang N, Li P, Liu W, et al.
miR-141-3p suppresses proliferation and promotes apoptosis by targeting GLI2 in osteosarcoma cells.
Oncol Rep. 2018; 39(2):747-754 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been reported as key regulators in numerous diseases including osteosarcoma. The function of microRNA-141-3p (miR-141-3p) and whether this function is achieved by regulation of GLI family zinc finger 2 (GLI2) in osteosarcoma remain unclear. In the present study, we found decreased expression of miR-141-3p, but increased expression of GLI2 in osteosarcoma tissues and cell lines. In addition, we demonstrated a negative correlation between miR-141-3p and GLI2. Furthermore, we revealed that elevation of miR-141-3p resulted in a marked inhibition of proliferation and promotion of apoptosis as well as an obviously decrease in GLI2 in osteosarcoma cell lines. Furthermore, we determined that GLI2 is a target of miR-141-3p by a constructed luciferase assay. In addition, we showed that miR-141-3p could negatively regulate GLI2 and its downstream parathyroid hormone-related protein 1 (PTHRP1). Finally, through a series of antisense experiments we confirmed that the effect of miR-141-3p on proliferation and apoptosis was achieved through the GLI2 pathway in osteosarcoma cells. The findings of the present study may provide a new target for treating osteosarcoma.

Tong W, Qiu L, Qi M, et al.
GANT-61 and GDC-0449 induce apoptosis of prostate cancer stem cells through a GLI-dependent mechanism.
J Cell Biochem. 2018; 119(4):3641-3652 [PubMed] Related Publications
Aberrant reactivation of the Sonic Hedgehog (SHH) signaling pathway promotes prostate cancer (PC) growth and progression by regulating cancer-related genes through its downstream effectors GLI1 and GLI2. Therefore, targeting the SHH-GLI pathway provides an alternative approach to avoid cancer progression. The aim of this study was to delineate the underlying molecular mechanisms by which GDC-0449 (a SMO receptor inhibitor) and GANT-61 (a GLI transcription factor inhibitor) regulate cellular proliferation and self-renewal in human PC stem cells (ProCSCs). Inhibition of the SHH signaling pathway by GANT-61 induced apoptosis with more efficacy than by GDC-0449 in ProCSCs and PC cell lines. GLI1 and GLI2 expression, promoter-binding activity and GLI-responsive luciferase reporter activity were all decreased with either GDC-0449 or GANT-61 treatment. Expression of Fas, DR4, DR5, and cleavage of caspase-3 and PARP were increased, whereas levels of PDGFR-α and Bcl-2 were reduced. Double knockout of GLI1 and GLI2 using shRNA abolished the effects observed with either GDC-0449 or GANT-61 treatment. Collectively, our results showed that GANT-61 and GDC-0449 induced ProCSC apoptosis by directly or indirectly inhibiting the activities of the GLI family transcription factors, may enhance the efficacy of PC treatment.

Gao Y, Fang X, Vincent DF, et al.
Disruption of postnatal folliculogenesis and development of ovarian tumor in a mouse model with aberrant transforming growth factor beta signaling.
Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2017; 15(1):94 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Transforming growth factor beta (TGFB) superfamily signaling is implicated in the development of sex cord-stromal tumors, a category of poorly defined gonadal tumors. The aim of this study was to determine potential effects of dysregulated TGFB signaling in the ovary using Cre recombinase driven by growth differentiation factor 9 (Gdf9) promoter known to be expressed in oocytes.
METHODS: A mouse model containing constitutively active TGFBR1 (TGFBR1
CONCLUSIONS: These results reinforce the role of constitutively active TGFBR1 in promoting ovarian tumorigenesis in mice. The mouse model created in this study may be further exploited to define the cellular and molecular mechanisms of TGFB/activin downstream signaling in granulosa cell tumor development. Future studies are needed to test whether activation of TGFB/activin signaling contributes to the development of human granulosa cell tumors.

Guen VJ, Chavarria TE, Kröger C, et al.
EMT programs promote basal mammary stem cell and tumor-initiating cell stemness by inducing primary ciliogenesis and Hedgehog signaling.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017; 114(49):E10532-E10539 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Tissue regeneration relies on adult stem cells (SCs) that possess the ability to self-renew and produce differentiating progeny. In an analogous manner, the development of certain carcinomas depends on a small subset of tumor cells, called "tumor-initiating cells" (TICs), with SC-like properties. Mammary SCs (MaSCs) reside in the basal compartment of the mammary epithelium, and their neoplastic counterparts, mammary TICs (MaTICs), are thought to serve as the TICs for the claudin-low subtype of breast cancer. MaSCs and MaTICs both use epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) programs to acquire SC properties, but the mechanism(s) connecting EMT programs to stemness remain unclear. Here we show that this depends on primary cilia, which are nonmotile, cell-surface structures that serve as platforms for receiving cues and enable activation of various signaling pathways. We show that MaSC and MaTIC EMT programs induce primary cilia formation and Hedgehog (Hh) signaling, which has previously been implicated in both MaSC and MaTIC function. Moreover, ablation of these primary cilia is sufficient to repress Hh signaling, the stemness of MaSCs, and the tumor-forming potential of MaTICs. Together, our findings establish primary ciliogenesis and consequent Hh signaling as a key mechanism by which MaSC and MaTIC EMT programs promote stemness and thereby support mammary tissue outgrowth and tumors of basal origin.

Chitsazan A, Ferguson B, Villani R, et al.
Keratinocyte Sonic Hedgehog Upregulation Drives the Development of Giant Congenital Nevi via Paracrine Endothelin-1 Secretion.
J Invest Dermatol. 2018; 138(4):893-902 [PubMed] Related Publications
Giant congenital nevi are associated with clinical complications such as neurocutaneous melanosis and melanoma. Virtually nothing is known about why some individuals develop these lesions. We previously identified the sonic hedgehog (Shh) pathway regulator Cdon as a candidate nevus modifier gene. Here we validate this by studying Cdon knockout mice, and go on to establishing the mechanism by which Shh exacerbates nevogenesis. Cdon knockout mice develop blue nevi without the need for somatic melanocyte oncogenic mutation. In a mouse model carrying melanocyte NRAS

Hasegawa D, Ochiai-Shino H, Onodera S, et al.
Gorlin syndrome-derived induced pluripotent stem cells are hypersensitive to hedgehog-mediated osteogenic induction.
PLoS One. 2017; 12(10):e0186879 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Gorlin syndrome is an autosomal dominant inherited syndrome that predisposes a patient to the formation of basal cell carcinomas, odontogenic keratocysts, and skeletal anomalies. Causative mutations in several genes associated with the sonic hedgehog (SHH) signaling pathway, including PTCH1, have been identified in Gorlin syndrome patients. However, no definitive genotype-phenotype correlations are evident in these patients, and their clinical presentation varies greatly, often leading to delayed diagnosis and treatment. We generated iPSCs from four unrelated Gorlin syndrome patients with loss-of-function mutations in PTCH1 using the Sendai virus vector (SeVdp(KOSM)302). The patient-derived iPSCs exhibited basic iPSC features, including stem cell marker expression, totipotency, and the ability to form teratomas. GLI1 expression levels were greater in fibroblasts and patient-derived iPSCs than in the corresponding control cells. Patient-derived iPSCs expressed lower basal levels than control iPSCs of the genes encoding the Hh ligands Indian Hedgehog (IHH) and SHH, the Hh acetyltransferase HHAT, Wnt proteins, BMP4, and BMP6. Most of these genes were upregulated in patient-derived iPSCs grown in osteoblast differentiation medium (OBM) and downregulated in control iPSCs cultured in OBM. The expression of GLI1 and GLI2 substantially decreased in both control and patient-derived iPSCs cultured in OBM, whereas GLI3, SHH, and IHH were upregulated in patient-derived iPSCs and downregulated in control iPSCs grown in OBM. Activation of Smoothened by SAG in cells grown in OBM significantly enhanced alkaline phosphatase activity in patient-derived iPSCs compared with control iPSC lines. In summary, patient-derived iPSCs expressed lower basal levels than the control iPSCs of the genes encoding Hh, Wnt, and bone morphogenetic proteins, but their expression of these genes strongly increased under osteogenic conditions. These findings indicate that patient-derived iPSCs are hypersensitive to osteogenic induction. We propose that Hh signaling is constituently active in iPSCs from Gorlin syndrome patients, enhancing their response to osteogenic induction and contributing to disease-associated abnormalities.

Kessler T, Sahm F, Sadik A, et al.
Molecular differences in IDH wildtype glioblastoma according to MGMT promoter methylation.
Neuro Oncol. 2018; 20(3):367-379 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Background: O6-methylguanine-DNA-methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter methylation status is a predictive biomarker in glioblastoma. We investigated whether this marker furthermore defines a molecularly distinct tumor subtype with clinically different outcome.
Methods: We analyzed copy number variation (CNV) and methylation profiles of 1095 primary and 92 progressive isocitrate dehydrogenase wildtype glioblastomas, including paired samples from 49 patients. DNA mutation data from 182 glioblastoma samples of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and RNA expression from 107 TCGA and 55 Chinese Glioma Genome Atlas samples were analyzed.
Results: Among untreated glioblastomas, MGMT promoter methylated (mMGMT) and unmethylated (uMGMT) tumors did not show different CNV or specific gene mutations, but a higher mutation count in mMGMT tumors. We identified 3 methylation clusters. Cluster 1 showed the highest average methylation and was enriched for mMGMT tumors. Seventeen genes including gastrulation brain homeobox 2 (GBX2) were found to be hypermethylated and downregulated on the mRNA level in mMGMT tumors. In progressive glioblastomas, platelet derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFRA) and GLI2 amplifications were enriched in mMGMT tumors. Methylated MGMT tumors gain PDGFRA amplification of PDGFRA, whereas uMGMT tumors with amplified PDGFRA frequently lose this amplification upon progression. Glioblastoma patients surviving <6 months and with mMGMT harbored less frequent epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) amplifications, more frequent TP53 mutations, and a higher tumor necrosis factor-nuclear factor-kappaB (TNF-NFκB) pathway activation compared with patients surviving >12 months.
Conclusions: MGMT promoter methylation status does not define a molecularly distinct glioblastoma subpopulation among untreated tumors. Progressive mMGMT glioblastomas and mMGMT tumors of patients with short survival tend to have more unfavorable molecular profiles.

Wang JX, Zhou JF, Huang FK, et al.
GLI2 induces PDGFRB expression and modulates cancer stem cell properties of gastric cancer.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2017; 21(17):3857-3865 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: In this study, we aimed to investigate the downstream effector of GLI2 in gastric cancer (GC) and their regulative effect on cancer stem cell (CSC) properties of GC.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Bioinformatic data mining was performed in TCGA-Stomach Adenocarcinoma (STAD), as well as in Kaplan-Meier plotter. Moderate-differentiated GC cell line SGC-7901 and poor-differentiated GC cell line MKN-45 were used as in-vitro model to investigate the regulative effect of GLI2 on PDGFRB expression. MKN-45 cells were further used to explore the effect of GLI2 shRNA or PDGFRB shRNA on CSC properties of the cells.
RESULTS: Bioinformatic results showed that GLI2 is usually upregulated in GC tissues than in normal tissues, and high GLI2 expression is associated with unfavorable first progression free survival (PFS) and also worse overall survival (OS) in patients with GC. PDGFRB is co-upregulated with GLI2 in GC and its promoter region contains a putative GLI2 binding site. The results of dual luciferase assay confirmed this binding site. Enforced GLI2 expression elevated PDGFRB expression at both mRNA and protein level. GLI2 or PDGFRB knockdown showed similar effect on reducing spheroid colony formation and on reducing the expression of CSC related genes, including CD44, Nanog, and Oct4 in MKN-45 cells.
CONCLUSIONS: High GLI2 or PDGFRB expression is associated with unfavorable survival in GC patients. GLI2 can induce PDGFRB expression in GC cells via directly binding to its promoter. In addition, the GLI2-PDGFRB axis might be an important signaling pathway modulating CSC properties of GC cells.

Vastrad B, Vastrad C, Godavarthi A, Chandrashekar R
Molecular mechanisms underlying gliomas and glioblastoma pathogenesis revealed by bioinformatics analysis of microarray data.
Med Oncol. 2017; 34(11):182 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of this study was to identify key genes associated with gliomas and glioblastoma and to explore the related signaling pathways. Gene expression profiles of three glioma stem cell line samples, three normal astrocyte samples, three astrocyte overexpressing 4 iPSC-inducing and oncogenic factors (myc(T58A), OCT-4, p53DD, and H-Ras(G12V)) samples, three astrocyte overexpressing 7 iPSC-inducing and oncogenic factors (OCT4, H-Ras(G12V), myc(T58A), p53DD, cyclin D1, CDK4(RC24) and hTERT) samples and three glioblastoma cell line samples were downloaded from the ArrayExpress database (accession: E-MTAB-4771). The differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in gliomas and glioblastoma were identified using FDR and t tests, and protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks for these DEGs were constructed using the protein interaction network analysis. The GeneTrail2 1.5 tool was used to identify potentially enriched biological processes among the DEGs using gene ontology (GO) terms and to identify the related pathways using the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes, Reactome and WikiPathways pathway database. In addition, crucial modules of the constructed PPI networks were identified using the PEWCC1 plug-in, and their topological properties were analyzed using NetworkAnalyzer, both available from Cytoscape. We also constructed microRNA-target gene regulatory network and transcription factor-target gene regulatory network for these DEGs were constructed using the miRNet and binding and expression target analysis. We identified 200 genes that could potentially be involved in the gliomas and glioblastoma. Among them, bioinformatics analysis identified 137 up-regulated and 63 down-regulated DEGs in gliomas and glioblastoma. The significant enriched pathway (PI3K-Akt) for up-regulated genes such as COL4A1, COL4A2, EGFR, FGFR1, LAPR6, MYC, PDGFA, SPP1 were selected as well as significant GO term (ear development) for up-regulated genes such as CELSR1, CHRNA9, DDR1, FGFR1, GLI2, LGR5, SOX2, TSHR were selected, while the significant enriched pathway (amebiasis) for down-regulated gene such as COL3A1, COL5A2, LAMA2 were selected as well as significant GO term (RNA polymerase II core promoter proximal region sequence-specific binding (5) such as MEIS2, MEOX2, NR2E1, PITX2, TFAP2B, ZFPM2 were selected. Importantly, MYC and SOX2 were hub proteins in the up-regulated PPI network, while MET and CDKN2A were hub proteins in the down-regulated PPI network. After network module analysis, MYC, FGFR1 and HOXA10 were selected as the up-regulated coexpressed genes in the gliomas and glioblastoma, while SH3GL3 and SNRPN were selected as the down-regulated coexpressed genes in the gliomas and glioblastoma. MicroRNA hsa-mir-22-3p had a regulatory effect on the most up DEGs, including VSNL1, while hsa-mir-103a-3p had a regulatory effect on the most down DEGs, including DAPK1. Transcription factor EZH2 had a regulatory effect on the both up and down DEGs, including CD9, CHI3L1, MEIS2 and NR2E1. The DEGs, such as MYC, FGFR1, CDKN2A, HOXA10 and MET, may be used for targeted diagnosis and treatment of gliomas and glioblastoma.

Yu B, Gu D, Zhang X, et al.
The role of GLI2-ABCG2 signaling axis for 5Fu resistance in gastric cancer.
J Genet Genomics. 2017; 44(8):375-383 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Gastric cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide, and options to treat gastric cancer are limited. Fluorouracil (5Fu)-based chemotherapy is frequently used as a neoadjuvant or an adjuvant agent for gastric cancer therapy. Most patients with advanced gastric cancer eventually succumb to the disease despite the fact that some patients respond initially to chemotherapy. Thus, identifying molecular mechanisms responsible for chemotherapy resistance will help design novel strategies to treat gastric cancer. In this study, we discovered that residual cancer cells following 5Fu treatment have elevated expression of hedgehog (Hg) target genes GLI1 and GLI2, suggestive of Hh signaling activation. Hh signaling, a pathway essential for embryonic development, is an important regulator for putative cancer stem cells/residual cancer cells. We found that high GLI1/GLI2 expression is associated with some features of putative cancer stem cells, such as increased side population. We demonstrated that GLI2 knockdown sensitized gastric cancer cells to 5Fu treatment, decreased ABCG2 expression, and reduced side population. Elevated GLI2 expression is also associated with an increase in tumor sphere size, another marker for putative cancer stem cells. We believe that GLI2 regulates putative cancer stem cells through direct regulation of ABCG2. ABCG2 can rescue the GLI2 shRNA effects in 5Fu response, tumor sphere formation and side population changes, suggesting that ABCG2 is an important mediator for GLI2-associated 5Fu resistance. The relevance of our studies to gastric cancer patient care is reflected by our discovery that high GLI1/GLI2/ABCG2 expression is associated with a high incidence of cancer relapse in two cohorts of gastric cancer patients who underwent chemotherapy (containing 5Fu). Taken together, we have identified a molecular mechanism by which gastric cancer cells gain 5Fu resistance.

Ye J, Li TS, Xu G, et al.
JCAD Promotes Progression of Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis to Liver Cancer by Inhibiting LATS2 Kinase Activity.
Cancer Res. 2017; 77(19):5287-5300 [PubMed] Related Publications
Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis-associated hepatocellular carcinoma (NASH-HCC) is a malignancy whose incidents are rapidly increasing. However, the mechanisms that drive development of HCC in a steatotic microenvironment remain unknown. Here we report that the obesity-associated protein JCAD is expressed at significantly higher levels in human NASH-HCC specimens compared with pericarcinoma specimens. High JCAD expression was verified in multiple hepatoma cell lines. Forced overexpression of JCAD in hepatoma cells promoted tumor growth and proliferation, whereas JCAD silencing yielded opposite effects. JCAD interacted with the kinase domain of the tumor suppressor kinase LATS2, a core component of the Hippo signaling pathway. JCAD overexpression inhibited the ability of LATS2 to phosphorylate YAP in this pathway, in turn upregulating CCND1 and GLI2 to promote hepatoma cell proliferation. JCAD was induced by fatty acid overload in hepatic cells and was highly expressed in a mouse model of NASH-precarcinoma lesions, where the ratio of phospho-YAP to YAP was decreased. In human NASH-HCC specimens, JCAD expression and YAP phosphorylation patterns paralleled with the mouse model. Our findings illuminate a new role for JCAD and its critical interplay in the Hippo signaling cascade during the transition of NASH to HCC, with potential implications for therapeutic development in this setting.

Miele E, Po A, Begalli F, et al.
β-arrestin1-mediated acetylation of Gli1 regulates Hedgehog/Gli signaling and modulates self-renewal of SHH medulloblastoma cancer stem cells.
BMC Cancer. 2017; 17(1):488 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Aberrant Sonic Hedgehog/Gli (Hh/Gli) signaling pathway is a critical regulator of Sonic hedgehog medulloblastoma (SHH-MB). Cancer stem cells (CSCs), thought to be largely responsible for tumor initiation, maintenance, dissemination and relapse, have been identified in SHH-MB. Since we previously demonstrated that Hh/Gli signaling controls CSCs features in SHH-MB and that in these tumors miR-326 is down regulated, here we investigated whether there is a functional link between Hh/Gli signaling and miR-326.
METHODS: We evaluated β-arrestin1 (Arrb1) and its intragenic miR-326 levels in CSCs derived from SHH-MB. Subsequently, we modulated the expression of Arrb1 and miR-326 in CSCs in order to gain insight into their biological role. We also analyzed the mechanism by which Arrb1 and miR-326 control Hh/Gli signaling and self-renewal, using luciferase and protein immunoprecipitation assays.
RESULTS: Low levels of Arrb1 and miR-326 represent a feature of CSCs derived from SHH-MB. We observed that re-expression of Arrb1 and miR-326 inhibits Hh/Gli signaling pathway at multiple levels, which cause impaired proliferation and self-renewal, accompanied by down regulation of Nanog levels. In detail, miR-326 negatively regulates two components of the Hh/Gli pathway the receptor Smoothened (Smo) and the transcription factor Gli2, whereas Arrb1 suppresses the transcriptional activity of Gli1, by potentiating its p300-mediated acetylation.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results identify a new molecular mechanism involving miR-326 and Arrb1 as regulators of SHH-MB CSCs. Specifically, low levels of Arrb1 and miR-326 trigger and maintain Hh/Gli signaling and self-renewal.

Maiti S, Mondal S, Satyavarapu EM, Mandal C
mTORC2 regulates hedgehog pathway activity by promoting stability to Gli2 protein and its nuclear translocation.
Cell Death Dis. 2017; 8(7):e2926 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
mTORC2 is aberrantly activated in cancer and therefore is considered to be an important therapeutic target. The hedgehog pathway, which is also often hyperactivated, regulates transcription of several genes associated with angiogenesis, metastasis, cellular proliferation and cancer stem cell (CSC) regeneration. However, the contribution of mTORC2 toward hedgehog pathway activity has not been explored yet. Here we have addressed the molecular cross talk between mTORC2 and hedgehog pathway activities in the context of glioblastoma multiforme, a malignant brain tumor using as a model system. We observed that higher mTORC2 activity enhanced the expression of a few hedgehog pathway molecules (Gli1, Gli2 and Ptch1) and amplified its target genes (Cyclin D1, Cyclin D2, Cyclin E, Snail, Slug and VEGF) both in mRNA and protein levels as corroborated by increased metastasis, angiogenesis, cellular proliferation and stem cell regeneration. Inhibition of mTORC2 formation decreased hedgehog pathway activity and attenuated all these above-mentioned events, suggesting their cross talk with each other. Further investigations revealed that mTORC2 inhibited ubiquitination of Gli2 by inactivating GSK3β, and thus it promotes stability to Gli2 and its nuclear translocation. Moreover, enhanced mTORC2 activity led to the increased clonogenic properties and CD133

Li JF, Song YZ
Circular RNA GLI2 promotes osteosarcoma cell proliferation, migration, and invasion by targeting miR-125b-5p.
Tumour Biol. 2017; 39(7):1010428317709991 [PubMed] Related Publications
Circular RNAs are novel identified type of endogenous non-coding RNAs, which exert vital functions in human and animals. However, the in-depth role of circular RNAs in the progression of tumorigenesis, especially osteosarcoma, is still undefined. Our preliminary study had found that cir-GLI2 was significantly upregulated in osteosarcoma tissues compared to adjacent non-tumor tissue. Moreover, cir-GLI2 silencing could effectively suppress the proliferation, migration, and invasion capacity of osteosarcoma cells, indicating the tumor-promoting role. Besides, bioinformatics analysis and luciferase reporter assay predicted the direct binding to miR-125b-5p, which has been reported to function as a tumor suppressor in osteosarcoma. Furthermore, functional experiments validated that cir-GLI2 exerted the tumor-promoting effects on osteosarcoma cells via negatively targeting miR-125b-5p. In conclusion, our study demonstrated that cir-GLI2 acts as an oncogenic circular RNA in osteosarcoma genesis, providing a novel diagnostic and therapeutic target for osteosarcoma.

Kuromi T, Matsushita M, Iwasaki T, et al.
Association of expression of the hedgehog signal with Merkel cell polyomavirus infection and prognosis of Merkel cell carcinoma.
Hum Pathol. 2017; 69:8-14 [PubMed] Related Publications
Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is an aggressive neuroendocrine skin cancer that mostly occurs in the elderly. Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) is detected in approximately 80% of MCCs and is associated with carcinogenesis. Hedgehog signaling pathway plays a role in human embryogenesis and organogenesis. In addition, reactivation of this pathway later in life can cause tumors. Twenty-nineMCPyV-positive and 21 MCPyV-negative MCCs were immunohistochemically stained with primary antibodies for hedgehog signaling (SHH, IHH, PTCH1, SMO, GLI1, GLI2, and GLI3) and evaluated using H-score. Polymerase chain reaction and sequence analysis for SHH and GLI1 exons were also performed. Expression of SHH was higher in MCPyV-positive MCCs than in MCPyV-negative MCCs (P<.001). Higher expression of GLI1, MCPyV infection, male sex, and Japanese ethnicity were associated with better overall survival (P=.034, P=.001, P=.042, and P=.036, respectively). Higher expression of SHH and MCPyV infection were associated with improved MCC-specific survival (P=.037 and P=.002, respectively). The mutation analysis of prognosis-related GLI1 and SHH genes in our study revealed a low frequency of mutations in the 10 exons examined, except GLI1 exon 5 (18/22 cases), all having the same silent mutation of c.576G>A. Only 2 mutations with amino acid changes were detected in MCPyV-negative MCCs only: 1 missense mutation in GLI1 exon 4 and 1 nonsense mutation in SHH-3B. Expression of SHH and GLI1 may be useful prognostic markers of MCC because increased expression was associated with better prognosis. The high rate of c.576G>A silent mutation in GLI1 exon 5 was a feature of MCC.

Schwalbe EC, Lindsey JC, Nakjang S, et al.
Novel molecular subgroups for clinical classification and outcome prediction in childhood medulloblastoma: a cohort study.
Lancet Oncol. 2017; 18(7):958-971 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: International consensus recognises four medulloblastoma molecular subgroups: WNT (MB
METHODS: In this retrospective cohort study, we assessed 428 primary medulloblastoma samples collected from UK Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG) treatment centres (UK), collaborating European institutions, and the UKCCSG-SIOP-PNET3 European clinical trial. An independent validation cohort (n=276) of archival tumour samples was also analysed. We analysed samples from patients with childhood medulloblastoma who were aged 0-16 years at diagnosis, and had central review of pathology and comprehensive clinical data. We did comprehensive molecular profiling, including DNA methylation microarray analysis, and did unsupervised class discovery of test and validation cohorts to identify consensus primary molecular subgroups and characterise their clinical and biological significance. We modelled survival of patients aged 3-16 years in patients (n=215) who had craniospinal irradiation and had been treated with a curative intent.
FINDINGS: Seven robust and reproducible primary molecular subgroups of childhood medulloblastoma were identified. MB
INTERPRETATION: The discovery of seven novel, clinically significant subgroups improves disease risk-stratification and could inform treatment decisions. These data provide a new foundation for future research and clinical investigations.
FUNDING: Cancer Research UK, The Tom Grahame Trust, Star for Harris, Action Medical Research, SPARKS, The JGW Patterson Foundation, The INSTINCT network (co-funded by The Brain Tumour Charity, Great Ormond Street Children's Charity, and Children with Cancer UK).

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