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Stem Cells International
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 2683042, 10 pages
Research Article

MicroRNAs-Proteomic Networks Characterizing Human Medulloblastoma-SLCs

1Department of Molecular Medicine and Experimental Medicine, Sapienza University, 00161 Rome, Italy
2Department of Molecular Medicine, Sapienza University, 00161 Rome, Italy
3Santa Lucia IRCCS Foundation, 00143 Rome, Italy
4Department of Medical, Oral and Biotechnological Sciences, University G. d’Annunzio of Chieti-Pescara, 66013 Chieti, Italy
5Mawson Institute, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes, SA 5095, Australia
6Department of Experimental Medicine and Surgery, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, 00133 Rome, Italy
7Center for Life NanoScience at Sapienza, Italian Institute of Technology, Viale Regina Elena 291, 00161 Rome, Italy
8Department of Hematology/Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation, Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital, IRCCS, 00165 Rome, Italy
9Department of Neuroscience and Neurorehabilitation, Neurosurgery Unit, Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital, IRCCS, 00165 Rome, Italy
10Department of Pediatric Science, University of Pavia, 27100 Pavia, Italy

Received 24 July 2015; Accepted 2 December 2015

Academic Editor: Maria C. Rangel

Copyright © 2016 Giuseppina Catanzaro et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common malignant brain tumor of pediatric age and is characterized by cells expressing stem, astroglial, and neuronal markers. Among them, stem-like cells (hMB-SLCs) represent a fraction of the tumor cell population with the potential of self-renewal and proliferation and have been associated with tumor poor prognosis. In this context, microRNAs have been described as playing a pivotal role in stem cells differentiation. In our paper, we analyze microRNAs profile and genes expression of hMB-SLCs before and after Retinoic Acid- (RA-) induced differentiation. We aimed to identify pivotal players of specific pathways sustaining stemness and/or tumor development and progression and integrate the results of our recent proteomic study. Our results uncovered 22 differentially expressed microRNAs that were used as input together with deregulated genes and proteins in the Genomatix Pathway System (GePS) analysis revealing 3 subnetworks that could be interestingly involved in the maintenance of hMB-SLCs proliferation. Taken together, our findings highlight microRNAs, genes, and proteins that are significantly modulated in hMB-SLCs with respect to their RA-differentiated counterparts and could open new perspectives for prognostic and therapeutic intervention on MB.