Relationship between gene expression and enhancement in glioblastoma multiforme: exploratory DNA microarray analysis

Radiology. 2008 Oct;249(1):268-77. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2491072000.


Purpose: To determine the difference in gene expression between completely versus incompletely enhancing glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).

Materials and methods: Gene expression was determined for 52 newly diagnosed GBMs by using DNA microarrays, and the relationship to enhancement pattern and survival was analyzed. This study was approved by the institutional review board and was HIPAA compliant; informed consent was obtained.

Results: Thirty-eight percent (20 of 52) of GBMs were incompletely enhancing (IE). The expression of eight genes was increased more than twofold in IE GBM when compared with completely enhancing (CE) GBM. Among these were tight junction protein-2 (2.2-fold increase, P = .019), and the oligodendroglioma markers oligodendrocyte lineage transcription factor 2 (2.4-fold increase, P = .029) and Achaete-scute complex-like 1 (ASCL1; 2.7-fold increase, P = .023). The expression of 71 genes showed relative overexpression in CE when compared with IE GBM. These included several proangiogenic and edema-related genes, including vascular endothelial growth factor (2.1-fold, P = .005) and neuronal pentraxin-2 (3.0-fold, P = .029). Several genes associated with primary GBM were overexpressed in CE tumors, whereas ASCL1, which is associated with secondary GBM, was overexpressed in IE tumors. Many genes overexpressed in IE GBM were associated with longer survival, whereas several genes overexpressed in CE GBM correlated with shortened survival.

Conclusion: The enhancement pattern divides GBM in two groups with differing prognoses. By comparing gene expression between IE and CE GBMs, it was possible to identify genes that may affect magnetic resonance imaging features of edema and enhancement, and genes whose expression levels are predictive of both improved and shortened survival.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Brain Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Brain Neoplasms / mortality
  • C-Reactive Protein / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Glioblastoma / genetics*
  • Glioblastoma / mortality
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Oligodendrocyte Transcription Factor 2
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis*
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / genetics
  • Zonula Occludens-2 Protein


  • ASCL1 protein, human
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • OLIG2 protein, human
  • Oligodendrocyte Transcription Factor 2
  • TJP2 protein, human
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Zonula Occludens-2 Protein
  • neuronal pentraxin
  • C-Reactive Protein