B-cell-specific Moloney murine leukemia virus integration site 1 (BMI1) appears to be essential for promoting certain types of cancer, and its inhibition effectively reduced the stemness of cancer cells. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the potential role of BMI1 in glioma. To this end, we first investigated BMI1 expression in brain tumors using microarray datasets in ONCOMINE, which indicated that BMI1 levels were not commonly increased in clinical brain tumors. Moreover, survival plots in PROGgeneV2 also showed that BMI1 expression was not significantly associated with reduced survival in glioma patients. Interestingly, stressful serum deprivation and anchorage independence growth conditions led to an increased BMI1 expression in glioma cells. A stress-responsive pathway, HDAC/Sp1, was further identified to regulate BMI1 expression. The HDAC inhibitor vorinostat (SAHA) prevented Sp1 binding to the BMI1 promoter, leading to a decreased expression of BMI1 and attenuating tumor growth of TMZ-resistant glioma xenografts. Importantly, we further performed survival analysis using PROGgeneV2 and found that an elevated expression of HDAC1,3/Sp1/BMI1 but not BMI1 alone showed an increased risk of death in both high- and low-grade glioma patients. Thus, HDAC-mediated Sp1 deacetylation is critical for BMI1 regulation to attenuate stress- and therapy-induced death in glioma cells, and the HDAC/Sp1 axis is more important than BMI1 and appears as a therapeutic target to prevent recurrence of malignant glioma cells persisting after primary therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-119
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • BMI1
  • Glioma
  • HDAC
  • Sp1
  • Temozolomide
  • Vorinostat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Correlation between the expression of cancer stem cell marker BMI1 and glioma prognosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this