Bcl-6 translocation is a genetic alteration that is commonly detected in Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma. The role of this protein in cerebral tumors is unclear. In this study we investigated Bcl-6 translocation and its transcriptional and translational levels in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded cerebral tissue sections from glioblastoma (GBM), low-grade glioma (Astrocytoma grade II and III), and meningioma patients, and correlated them with apoptotic processes and p53 and caspase-3 expression. The results showed a frequency of 36.6% of Bcl-6 translocation in GBM patients and a decreased expression in low-grade glioma patients, correlated with the severity of the disease. Bcl-6 translocation induced an overexpression of both Bcl-6 protein and messenger in GBM, inhibiting apoptotic processes and caspases 3 expression. On the contrary, in low-grade gliomas and meningiomas Bcl-6 expression was reduced, resulting in an increase of apoptotic processes. Finally, p53 expression levels in brain tumors were comparable to Bcl-6 levels. Overall, these data demonstrate, for the first time, that the Bcl-6 gene translocates in GBM patients and that its translocation and expression are correlated with apoptosis inhibition, indicating a key role for this gene in the control of cellular proliferation. This study offers further insights into glioblastoma biology, and supports Bcl-6 as a new diagnostic marker to evaluate the disease severity.
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