Background: Glioblastoma is one of the most aggressive tumors. The etiology and the factors determining its onset are not yet entirely known. This study investigates the origins of GBM and for this purpose it focuses primarily on developmental gliogenic processes. It also focuses on impact of the related neurogenic developmental processes in glioblastoma oncogenesis. It also addresses why glial cells are at more risk of tumor development compared to neurons.

Methods:Databases including PubMed, MEDLINE and Google Scholar were searched for published articles without any date restrictions, involving glioblastoma, gliogenesis, neurogenesis, stemness, neural stem cells, gliogenic signaling and pathways, neurogenic signaling and pathways, astrocytogenic genes.

Results:The origin of GBM is dependent on dysregulation in multiple genes and pathways that accumulatively converge the cells towards oncogenesis. There are multiple layers of steps in glioblastoma oncogenesis including the failure of cell fate specific genes to keep the cells differentiated in their specific cell type such as p300, BMP, HOPX, NRSF/REST and others. There are genes and signaling pathways that are involved in differentiation and also contribute to GBM such as FGFR3, JAK-STAT, hey1 and others. The genes that contribute to differentiation processes but also contribute to stemness in GBM include notch, Sox9, Sox4, c-myc gene overrides p300 and then GFAP, leading to upregulation of nestin, SHH, NF-κB and others. GBM mutations pathologically impact the cell circuitry such as the interaction between Sox2 and JAK-STAT pathway, resulting in GBM development and progression.

Conclusion: Glioblastoma originates when the gene expression of key gliogenic genes and signaling pathways become dysregulated. This study identifies key gliogenic genes having the ability to control oncogenesis in glioblastoma cells, includingp300, BMP, PAX6, HOPX, NRSF/REST, LIF, TGF beta. It also identifies key neurogenic genes having the ability to control oncogenesis including PAX6, neurogenins including Ngn1, NeuroD1, NeuroD4, Numb, NKX6-1 Ebf, Myt1, ASCL1 and others. This study also postulates how aging contributes to the onset of glioblastoma by dysregulating the gene expression of NF-κB, REST/NRSF, ERK, AKT, EGFR and others.