Low-Grade Astrocytoma Mutations in IDH1, P53, and ATRX Cooperate to Block Differentiation of Human Neural Stem Cells via Repression of SOX2

Cell Rep. 2017 Oct 31;21(5):1267-1280. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.10.009.


Low-grade astrocytomas (LGAs) carry neomorphic mutations in isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) concurrently with P53 and ATRX loss. To model LGA formation, we introduced R132H IDH1, P53 shRNA, and ATRX shRNA into human neural stem cells (NSCs). These oncogenic hits blocked NSC differentiation, increased invasiveness in vivo, and led to a DNA methylation and transcriptional profile resembling IDH1 mutant human LGAs. The differentiation block was caused by transcriptional silencing of the transcription factor SOX2 secondary to disassociation of its promoter from a putative enhancer. This occurred because of reduced binding of the chromatin organizer CTCF to its DNA motifs and disrupted chromatin looping. Our human model of IDH mutant LGA formation implicates impaired NSC differentiation because of repression of SOX2 as an early driver of gliomagenesis.

Keywords: ATRX; CTCF; DNA methylation; IDH; P53; SOX2; astrocytoma; chromatin looping; low-grade glioma; neural stem cells.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Astrocytoma / metabolism
  • Astrocytoma / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • CCCTC-Binding Factor / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • DNA Methylation
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Humans
  • Isocitrate Dehydrogenase / genetics*
  • Isocitrate Dehydrogenase / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, SCID
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neural Stem Cells / cytology
  • Neural Stem Cells / metabolism
  • RNA Interference
  • SOXB1 Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics*
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism
  • X-linked Nuclear Protein / antagonists & inhibitors
  • X-linked Nuclear Protein / genetics*
  • X-linked Nuclear Protein / metabolism


  • CCCTC-Binding Factor
  • SOXB1 Transcription Factors
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Isocitrate Dehydrogenase
  • X-linked Nuclear Protein