The genetic landscape of the childhood cancer medulloblastoma.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common malignant brain tumor of children. To identify the genetic alterations in this tumor type, we searched for copy number alterations using high-density microarrays and sequenced all known protein-coding genes and microRNA genes using Sanger sequencing in a set of 22 MBs. We found that, on average, each tumor had 11 gene alterations, fewer by a factor of 5 to 10 than in the adult solid tumors that have been sequenced to date. In addition to alterations in the Hedgehog and Wnt pathways, our analysis led to the discovery of genes not previously known to be altered in MBs. Most notably, inactivating mutations of the histone-lysine N-methyltransferase genes MLL2 or MLL3 were identified in 16% of MB patients. These results demonstrate key differences between the genetic landscapes of adult and childhood cancers, highlight dysregulation of developmental pathways as an important mechanism underlying MBs, and identify a role for a specific type of histone methylation in human tumorigenesis.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Parsons, DW; Li, M; Zhang, X; Jones, S; Leary, RJ; Lin, JC-H; Boca, SM; Carter, H; Samayoa, J; Bettegowda, C; Gallia, GL; Jallo, GI; Binder, ZA; Nikolsky, Y; Hartigan, J; Smith, DR; Gerhard, DS; Fults, DW; VandenBerg, S; Berger, MS; Marie, SKN; Shinjo, SMO; Clara, C; Phillips, PC; Minturn, JE; Biegel, JA; Judkins, AR; Resnick, AC; Storm, PB; Curran, T; He, Y; Rasheed, BA; Friedman, HS; Keir, ST; McLendon, R; Northcott, PA; Taylor, MD; Burger, PC; Riggins, GJ; Karchin, R; Parmigiani, G; Bigner, DD; Yan, H; Papadopoulos, N; Vogelstein, B; Kinzler, KW; Velculescu, VE

Published Date

  • January 28, 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 331 / 6016

Start / End Page

  • 435 - 439

PubMed ID

  • 21163964

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3110744

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1095-9203

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1126/science.1198056


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States