Impact of Bmi1 silencing in glioblastoma brain tumor initiating cells


  • B cell-specific Moloney murine leukemia virus insertion site-1 (BMI1) is involved in cell metabolism of CD133-positive (CD133+) cells; integrin alpha 2 (ITGA2) is a pivotal downstream target of BMI1 and may be involved in the regulation of glioblastoma (GBM) stem cell properties.

Why this matters

  • GBM is the most aggressive adult brain cancer with low overall survival (median: 15 months), because of brain tumor initiating cells (BTICs) that are refractory to treatment.

  • BMI1 is an oncoprotein that impinges on many different signaling pathways involved in BTIC self-renewal and treatment resistance.

  • CD133+ neural stem cells (NSCs) have high levels of self-renewal and proliferation, which is enhanced by the presence of BMI1.

  • This work identifies three genes downstream of the CD133-BMI1 signaling pathway; these genes could be potential drug targets for treatment-resistant GBM cell populations.