Data_Sheet_1_Deletion of Btg1 Induces Prmt1-Dependent Apoptosis and Increased Stemness in Shh-Type Medulloblastoma Cells Without Affecting Tumor Frequency.pdf

About 30% of medulloblastomas (MBs), a tumor of the cerebellum, arise from cerebellar granule cell precursors (GCPs) undergoing transformation following activation of the Sonic hedgehog (Shh) pathway. To study this process, we generated a new MB model by crossing Patched1 heterozygous (Ptch1+/−) mice, which develop spontaneous Shh-type MBs, with mice lacking B-cell translocation gene 1 (Btg1), a regulator of cerebellar development. In MBs developing in Ptch1+/− mice, deletion of Btg1 does not alter tumor and lesion frequencies, nor affect the proliferation of neoplastic precursor cells. However, in both tumors and lesions arising in Ptch1+/− mice, ablation of Btg1 increases by about 25% the apoptotic neoplastic precursor cells, as judged by positivity to activated caspase-3. Moreover, although Btg1 ablation in early postnatal GCPs, developing in the external granule cell layer, leads to a significant increase of proliferation, and decrease of differentiation, relative to wild-type, no synergy occurs with the Ptch1+/− mutation. However, Btg1 deletion greatly increases apoptosis in postnatal GCPs, with strong synergy between Btg1-null and Ptch1+/− mutations. That pronounced increase of apoptosis observed in Ptch1+/−/Btg1 knockout young or neoplastic GCPs may be responsible for the lack of effect of Btg1 ablation on tumorigenesis. This increased apoptosis may be a consequence of increased expression of protein arginine methyltransferase 1 (Prmt1) protein that we observe in Btg1 knockout/Ptch1+/− MBs. In fact, apoptotic genes, such as BAD, are targets of Prmt1. Moreover, in Btg1-null MBs, we observed a two-fold increase of cells positive to CD15, which labels tumor stem cells, raising the possibility of activation of quiescent tumor cells, known for their role in long-term resistance to treatment and relapses. Thus, Btg1 appears to play a role in cerebellar tumorigenesis by regulating the balance between apoptosis and proliferation during MB development, also influencing the number of tumor stem cells.