The Role of Non-Coding RNAs in Epigenetic Dysregulation in Glioblastoma Development

Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Nov 14;24(22):16320. doi: 10.3390/ijms242216320.


Glioblastoma (GBM) is a primary brain tumor arising from glial cells. The tumor is highly aggressive, the reason for which it has become the deadliest brain tumor type with the poorest prognosis. Like other cancers, it compromises molecular alteration on genetic and epigenetic levels. Epigenetics refers to changes in gene expression or cellular phenotype without the occurrence of any genetic mutations or DNA sequence alterations in the driver tumor-related genes. These epigenetic changes are reversible, making them convenient targets in cancer therapy. Therefore, we aim to review critical epigenetic dysregulation processes in glioblastoma. We will highlight the significant affected tumor-related pathways and their outcomes, such as regulation of cell cycle progression, cell growth, apoptosis, angiogenesis, cell invasiveness, immune evasion, or acquirement of drug resistance. Examples of molecular changes induced by epigenetic modifications, such as DNA epigenetic alterations, histone post-translational modifications (PTMs), and non-coding RNA (ncRNA) regulation, are highlighted. As understanding the role of epigenetic regulators and underlying molecular mechanisms in the overall pro-tumorigenic landscape of glioblastoma is essential, this literature study will provide valuable insights for establishing the prognostic or diagnostic value of various non-coding transcripts, including miRNAs.

Keywords: epigenetics; glioblastoma; miRNAs; ncRNAs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • DNA Methylation
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Glioblastoma* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs* / genetics
  • MicroRNAs* / metabolism


  • MicroRNAs

Grants and funding

This paper was supported by the following projects: SEE 21-COP-0049: Strategic inter-university cooperation to improve research abilities for PhD students for higher educational quality; Development of Cancer RNA, cONCReTE H2020-MSCA-RISE-2019; GA No. 872391.