Splicing Dysregulation as Oncogenic Driver and Passenger Factor in Brain Tumors

Pamela Bielli, Vittoria Pagliarini, Marco Pieraccioli, Cinzia Caggiano, Claudio Sette

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Brain tumors are a heterogeneous group of neoplasms ranging from almost benign to highly aggressive phenotypes. The malignancy of these tumors mostly relies on gene expression reprogramming, which is frequently accompanied by the aberrant regulation of RNA processing mechanisms. In brain tumors, defects in alternative splicing result either from the dysregulation of expression and activity of splicing factors, or from mutations in the genes encoding splicing machinery components. Aberrant splicing regulation can generate dysfunctional proteins that lead to modification of fundamental physiological cellular processes, thus contributing to the development or progression of brain tumors. Herein, we summarize the current knowledge on splicing abnormalities in brain tumors and how these alterations contribute to the disease by sustaining proliferative signaling, escaping growth suppressors, or establishing a tumor microenvironment that fosters angiogenesis and intercellular communications. Lastly, we review recent efforts aimed at developing novel splicing-targeted cancer therapies, which employ oligonucleotide-based approaches or chemical modulators of alternative splicing that elicit an impact on brain tumor biology.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 18 2019


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