BCAS1 Defines a Heterogeneous Cell Population in Diffuse Glioma Patients

“[…] this is the first study describing a BCAS1+ cell population in a large cohort of diffuse glioma patients.”

BUFFALO, NY- January 31, 2024 – A new research paper was published in Oncotarget’s Volume 15 on January 24, 2024, entitled, “BCAS1 defines a heterogeneous cell population in diffuse gliomas.”

Oligodendrocyte precursor markers have become of great interest to identify new diagnostic and therapeutic targets for diffuse gliomas, since state-of-the-art studies point towards immature oligodendrocytes as a possible source of gliomagenesis. Brain enriched myelin associated protein 1 (BCAS1) is a novel marker of immature oligodendrocytes and was proposed to contribute to tumorigenesis in non-central nervous system tumors. However, the role of BCAS1 in diffuse glioma is still underexplored. 

In this new study, researchers Raquel Morales-Gallel, María José Ulloa-Navas, Patricia García-Tárraga, Ricardo Prat-Acín, Gaspar Reynés, Pedro Pérez-Borredá, Luis Rubio, Vivian Capilla-González, Jaime Ferrer-Lozano, and José Manuel García-Verdugo from the University of Valencia-CIBERNED, Mayo Clinic, Hospital Universitari i Politècnic La Fe, University of Pablo de Olavide, and University of Seville-CSIC analyzed the expression of BCAS1 in different tumor samples from patients with diffuse gliomas (17 oligodendrogliomas; 8 astrocytomas; 60 glioblastomas) and uncovered the molecular and ultrastructural features of BCAS1+ cells by immunostaining and electron microscopy. 

“Our results show that BCAS1+ cells exhibit stellate or spherical morphology with similar ultrastructural features.”

Stellate and spherical cells were detected as isolated cells in all studied gliomas. Nevertheless, only stellate cells were found to be proliferative and formed tightly packed nodules with a highly proliferative rate in oligodendrogliomas. Their findings provide a comprehensive characterization of the BCAS1+ cell population within diffuse gliomas. The observed proliferative capacity and distribution of BCAS1+ stellate cells, particularly in oligodendrogliomas, highlight BCAS1 as an interesting marker, warranting further investigation into its role in tumor malignancy.

“In conclusion, this insight will shed light on the establishment of BCAS1 as a clinically relevant molecule, serving not only as a diagnostic or prognostic marker but also as a novel therapeutic target for the development of cutting-edge treatments.”

Read the full paper: DOI: 

Correspondence to: José Manuel García-Verdugo


Keywords: brain tumor, diffuse glioma, oligodendroglioma, glioblastoma, BCAS1

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