Proneural glioblastoma is defined by an expression pattern resembling that of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells and carries a distinctive set of genetic alterations. Whether there is a functional relationship between the proneural phenotype and the associated genetic alterations is unknown. To evaluate this possible relationship, we performed a longitudinal molecular characterization of tumor progression in a mouse model of proneural glioma. In this setting, the tumors acquired remarkably consistent genetic deletions at late stages of progression, similar to those deleted in human proneural glioblastoma. Further investigations revealed that p53 is a master regulator of the transcriptional network underlying the proneural phenotype. This p53-centric transcriptional network and its associated phenotype were observed at both the early and late stages of progression, and preceded the proneural-specific deletions. Remarkably, deletion of p53 at the time of tumor initiation obviated the acquisition of later deletions, establishing a link between the proneural transcriptional network and the subtype-specific deletions selected during glioma progression.