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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2774; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18122774

Molecular Determinants of Malignant Brain Cancers: From Intracellular Alterations to Invasion Mediated by Extracellular Vesicles

1
Department of Biological Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technologies (STEBICEF), University of Palermo (UNIPA), I-90128 Palermo, Italy
2
Department of Experimental Biomedicine and Clinical Neurosciences (BIONEC), University of Palermo, I-90127 Palermo, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 October 2017 / Revised: 29 November 2017 / Accepted: 19 December 2017 / Published: 20 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glioma Cell Invasion)
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Abstract

Malignant glioma cells invade the surrounding brain parenchyma, by migrating along the blood vessels, thus promoting cancer growth. The biological bases of these activities are grounded in profound alterations of the metabolism and the structural organization of the cells, which consequently acquire the ability to modify the surrounding microenvironment, by altering the extracellular matrix and affecting the properties of the other cells present in the brain, such as normal glial-, endothelial- and immune-cells. Most of the effects on the surrounding environment are probably exerted through the release of a variety of extracellular vesicles (EVs), which contain many different classes of molecules, from genetic material to defined species of lipids and enzymes. EV-associated molecules can be either released into the extracellular matrix (ECM) and/or transferred to neighboring cells: as a consequence, both deep modifications of the recipient cell phenotype and digestion of ECM components are obtained, thus causing cancer propagation, as well as a general brain dysfunction. In this review, we first analyze the main intracellular and extracellular transformations required for glioma cell invasion into the brain parenchyma; then we discuss how these events may be attributed, at least in part, to EVs that, like the pawns of a dramatic chess game with cancer, open the way to the tumor cells themselves. View Full-Text
Keywords: glioma cells; brain cancer invasion; extracellular vesicles (EVs); ECM; extracellular RNAs glioma cells; brain cancer invasion; extracellular vesicles (EVs); ECM; extracellular RNAs
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Schiera, G.; Di Liegro, C.M.; Di Liegro, I. Molecular Determinants of Malignant Brain Cancers: From Intracellular Alterations to Invasion Mediated by Extracellular Vesicles. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 2774.

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