Low-grade brain tumors (pilocytic astrocytomas) that result from a genomic rearrangement in which the BRAF kinase domain is fused to the amino terminal of the KIAA1549 gene (KIAA1549:BRAF fusion; f-BRAF) commonly arise in the cerebellum of young children. To model this temporal and spatial specificity in mice, we generated conditional KIAA1549:BRAF strains that coexpresses green fluorescent protein (GFP). Although both primary astrocytes and neural stem cells (NSCs) from these mice express f-BRAF and GFP as well as exhibit increased MEK activity, only f-BRAF-expressing NSCs exhibit increased proliferation in vitro. Using Cre driver lines in which KIAA1549:BRAF expression was directed to NSCs (f-BRAF; BLBP-Cre mice), astrocytes (f-BRAF; GFAP-Cre mice), and NG2 progenitor cells (f-BRAF; NG2-Cre mice), increased glial cell numbers were observed only in the cerebellum of f-BRAF; BLBP-Cre mice in vivo. The availability of this unique KIAA1549:BRAF conditional transgenic mouse strain will enable future mechanistic studies aimed at defining the developmentally-regulated temporal and spatial determinants that underlie low-grade astrocytoma formation in children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)708-716
Number of pages9
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • Astrocyte
  • Brain tumor
  • Genetically-engineered mice
  • Glioma
  • Neural stem cell
  • Pilocytic astrocytoma


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