Clinical significance of Polycomb gene expression in brain tumors

Crea, Francesco; Hurt, Elaine M. and Farrar, William L. (2010). Clinical significance of Polycomb gene expression in brain tumors. Molecular Cancer, 9, article no. 265.



Polycomb group (PcG) proteins are crucial for neural cancer stem cell (NCSC) self-renewal. However, the relative expression levels of PcG genes in different subtypes of brain tumors, their prognostic role and their effects on cellular pathways have not been investigated. For this purpose, we queried the Oncomine database and found that 4 PcG genes (EZH2, RBBP7, SUZ12, YY1) are specifically expressed in brain tumors. EZH2 expression increases with tumor grade in adult and pediatric brain tumors, and is a poor prognostic factor. In glioblastoma, EZH2 inhibits differentiation, and activates cancer-, cell cycle- and cellular movement-related genes. In keeping with previously published data, our results suggest that EZH2 is both a prognostic factor and a promising therapy target in brain tumors.

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