Cytogenetic landscape of paired neurospheres and traditional monolayer cultures in pediatric malignant brain tumors

Xiumei Zhao, Yi Jue Zhao, Qi Lin, Litian Yu, Zhigang Liu, Holly Lindsay, Mari Kogiso, Pulivarthi Rao, Xiao Nan Li, Xinyan Lu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background New therapeutic targets are needed to eliminate cancer stem cells (CSCs). We hypothesize that direct comparison of paired CSCs and nonstem tumor cells (NSTCs) will facilitate identification of primary "driver" chromosomal aberrations that can serve as diagnostic markers and/or therapeutic targets. Methods We applied spectral karyotyping and G-banding to matched pairs of neurospheres (CSC-enriched cultures) and fetal bovine serum-based monolayer cultures (enriched with NSTCs) from 16 patient-derived orthotopic xenograft mouse models, including 9 medulloblastomas (MBs) and 7 high-grade gliomas (HGGs), followed by direct comparison of their numerical and structural abnormalities. Results Chromosomal aberrations were detected in neurospheres of all 16 models, and 82.0% numerical and 82.4% structural abnormalities were maintained in their matching monolayer cultures. Among the shared abnormalities, recurrent clonal changes were identified including gain of chromosomes 18 and 7 and loss of chromosome 10/10q (5/16 models), isochromosome 17q in 2 MBs, and a new breakpoint of 13q14 in 3 HGGs. Chromothripsis-like evidence was also observed in 3 HGG pairs. Additionally, we noted 20 numerical and 15 structural aberrations that were lost from the neurospheres and found 26 numerical and 23 structural aberrations that were only present in the NSTCs. Compared with MBs, the neurosphere karyotypes of HGG were more complex, with fewer chromosomal aberrations preserved in their matching NSTCs. Conclusion Self-renewing CSCs in MBs and pediatric HGGs harbor recurrent numerical and structural aberrations that were maintained in the matching monolayer cultures. These primary chromosomal changes may represent new markers for anti-CSC therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)965-977
Number of pages13
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • Chromosomal aberration
  • cancer stem cell
  • neurosphere
  • orthotopic xenograft model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cancer Research

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