The developmental stage of the medulloblastoma cell-of-origin restricts Hedgehog pathway usage and drug sensitivity

Marlinde J Smit, Tosca E I Martini, Inna Armandari, Irena Bočkaj, Walderik W Zomerman, Eduardo S de Camargo Magalhães, Zillah Siragna, Tiny G J Meeuwsen, Frank J G Scherpen, Mirthe H Schoots, Martha Ritsema, Wilfred F A den Dunnen, Eelco W Hoving, Judith T M L Paridaen, Gerald de Haan, Victor Guryev, Sophia W M Bruggeman

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Abstract

Sonic Hedgehog (SHH) medulloblastoma originates from the cerebellar granule neuron progenitor (CGNP) lineage that depends on Hedgehog signaling for its perinatal expansion. While SHH tumors exhibit overall deregulation of this pathway, they also show patient age-specific aberrations. To investigate if the developmental stage of the CGNP can account for these age-specific lesions, we analyzed developing murine CGNP transcriptomes and observed highly dynamic gene expression as function of age. Cross-species comparison with human SHH medulloblastoma showed partial maintenance of these expression patterns, and highlighted low primary cilium expression as hallmark of infant medulloblastoma and early embryonic CGNPs. This coincided with reduced responsiveness to upstream Shh pathway component Smoothened, while sensitivity to downstream components Sufu and Gli was retained. Together, these findings can explain the preference for SUFU mutations in infant medulloblastoma and suggest that drugs targeting the downstream SHH pathway will be most appropriate for infant patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cell Science
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10-May-2022

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