Brain tumors are thought to originate from stem/progenitor cell populations that acquire specific genetic mutations. Although current preclinical models have relevance to human pathogenesis, most do not recapitulate the histogenesis of the human disease. Recently, a large series of human gliomas and medulloblastomas were analyzed for genetic signatures of prognosis and therapeutic response. Using a mouse model system that generates three distinct types of intrinsic brain tumors, we correlated RNA and protein expression levels with human brain tumors. A combination of genetic mutations and cellular environment during tumor propagation defined the incidence and phenotype of intrinsic murine tumors. Importantly, in vitro passage of cancer stem cells uniformly promoted a glial expression profile in culture and in brain tumors. Gene expression profiling revealed that experimental gliomas corresponded to distinct subclasses of human glioblastoma, whereas experimental supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumors (sPNET) correspond to atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor (AT/RT), a rare childhood tumor.