Early ependymal tumor with MN1-BEND2 fusion: a mostly cerebral tumor of female children with a good prognosis that is distinct from classical astroblastoma

J Neurooncol. 2023 Feb;161(3):425-439. doi: 10.1007/s11060-022-04222-1. Epub 2023 Jan 6.


Purpose: Review of the clinicopathologic and genetic features of early ependymal tumor with MN1-BEND2 fusion (EET MN1-BEND2), classical astroblastomas, and recently described related pediatric CNS tumors. I also briefly review general mechanisms of gene expression silencing by DNA methylation and chromatin remodeling, and genomic DNA methylation profiling as a powerful new tool for CNS tumor classification.

Methods: Literature review and illustration of tumor histopathologic features and prenatal gene expression timelines.

Results: Astroblastoma, originally descried by Bailey and Cushing in 1926, has been an enigmatic tumor. Whether they are of ependymal or astrocytic derivation was argued for decades. Recent genetic evidence supports existence of both ependymal and astrocytic astroblastoma-like tumors. Studies have shown that tumors exhibiting astroblastoma-like histology can be classified into discrete entities based on their genomic DNA methylation profiles, gene expression, and in some cases, the presence of unique gene fusions. One such tumor, EET MN1-BEND2 occurs mostly in female children, and has an overall very good prognosis with surgical management. It contains a gene fusion comprised of portions of the MN1 gene at chromosomal location 22q12.1 and the BEND2 gene at Xp22.13. Other emerging pediatric CNS tumor entities demonstrating ependymal or astroblastoma-like histological features also harbor gene fusions involving chromosome X, 11q22 and 22q12 breakpoint regions.

Conclusions: Genomic DNA profiling has facilitated discovery of several new CNS tumor entities, however, traditional methods, such as immunohistochemistry, DNA or RNA sequencing, and cytogenetic studies, including fluorescence in situ hybridization, remain necessary for their accurate biological classification and diagnosis.

Keywords: Astroblastoma; Cerebral tumor; Chromatin remodeling; EWSR1-BEND2; Early ependymal tumor with MN1-BEND2 fusion; Female; Genomic DNA methylation; Good prognosis; HGNET BCOR ex15 ITD; MN1-CXXC5; NET-MN1; NET-PATZ1; Pediatric; Supratentorial ependymoma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Central Nervous System Neoplasms*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Glioma*
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Neoplasms, Neuroepithelial* / genetics
  • Neoplasms, Neuroepithelial* / metabolism
  • Neoplasms, Neuroepithelial* / surgery
  • Prognosis
  • Supratentorial Neoplasms*
  • Trans-Activators / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / genetics


  • MN1 protein, human
  • Trans-Activators
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • MN1-BEND2 fusion protein, human