KIAA1549-BRAF is the most frequently identified genetic mutation in sporadic pilocytic astrocytoma (PA), creating a fusion BRAF (f-BRAF) protein with increased BRAF activity. Fusion-BRAF-expressing neural stem cells (NSCs) exhibit increased cell growth and can generate glioma-like lesions following injection into the cerebella of naïve mice. Increased Iba1+ monocyte (microglia) infiltration is associated with murine f-BRAF-expressing NSC-induced glioma-like lesion formation, suggesting that f-BRAF-expressing NSCs attract microglia to establish a microenvironment supportive of tumorigenesis. Herein, we identify Ccl2 as the chemokine produced by f-BRAF-expressing NSCs, which is critical for creating a permissive stroma for gliomagenesis. In addition, f-BRAF regulation of Ccl2 production operates in an ERK- and NFκB-dependent manner in cerebellar NSCs. Finally, Ccr2-mediated microglia recruitment is required for glioma-like lesion formation in vivo, as tumor do not form in Ccr2-deficient mice following f-BRAF-expressing NSC injection. Collectively, these results demonstrate that f-BRAF expression creates a supportive tumor microenvironment through NFκB-mediated Ccl2 production and microglia recruitment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-60
Number of pages9
JournalNeoplasia (United States)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019


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