The RNAse III endonuclease DICER is a key regulator of microRNA (miRNA) biogenesis and is frequently decreased in a variety of malignancies.
Mansouri et al characterized the role of DICER in glioblastoma(GB), specifically demonstrating its effects on the ability of glioma stem cells (GSCs) to form tumors in a mouse model of GB. DICER silencing in GSCs reduced their stem cell characteristics, while tumors arising from these cells were more aggressive, larger in volume, and displayed a higher proliferation index and lineage differentiation. The resulting tumors, however, were more sensitive to radiation treatment.
The results demonstrate that DICER silencing enhances the tumorigenic potential of GSCs, providing a platform for analysis of specific relevant miRNAs and development of potentially novel therapies against GB 1).