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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)
 
 
 
 
 

Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor/neurturin-induced differentiation and its enhancement by retinoic acid in primary human neuroblastomas expressing c-Ret, GFR alpha-1, and GFR alpha-2.

Neuroblastomas often undergo spontaneous differentiation and/or regression in vivo, which is at least partly regulated by the signals through neurotrophins and their receptors. Recently, glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and a second family member, neurturin ( NTN), have been found to mediate their signals by binding to a heterotetrameric complex of c-Ret tyrosine kinase receptors and glycosylphosphatidylinositol-linked proteins, GFR alpha-1 (GDNFR-alpha) or GFR alpha-2 (TrnR2/GDNFR-beta/NTNR-alpha/RETL2). Here, we studied the effect of GDNF and NTN on human neuroblastomas in the short-term primary culture system, as well as the expression of c-Ret, GFR alpha-1, GFR alpha-2, GDNF, and NTN. GDNF (1-100 ng/ml) induced morphological differentiation in 34 of 38 primary neuroblastomas and an accompanying increase in c-Fos induction. These effects were markedly enhanced by treatment with 5 microM all-trans-retinoic acid. Although GDNF alone induced a rather weak differentiation independent of the disease stages, the enhancement of neurite outgrowth induced by treatment with both GDNF and all-trans-retinoic acid was significantly correlated with younger age (less than 1 year; P = 0.0039), non-stage 4 diseases (P = 0.0023), a single copy of N-myc (P = 0.027), and high levels of TRK-A expression (P = 0.0062). To examine the expression levels of GFR alpha-1, we cloned a short form of the human GFR alpha-1 gene with a 15-bp deletion by screening a human adult substantia nigra cDNA library. Many primary neuroblastomas expressed c-Ret, GFR alpha-1, and GFR alpha-2 as well as their ligands, GDNF and NTN, suggesting the presence of a paracrine or autocrine signaling system within the tumor tissue. The effect of NTN on primary culture cells of neuroblastoma was similar to that of GDNF. These imply that the GDNF(NTN)/c-Ret/GFR alpha-1(GFR alpha-2) signaling may have an important role in regulating the growth, differentiation, and cell death of neuroblastomas.[1]

References

  1. Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor/neurturin-induced differentiation and its enhancement by retinoic acid in primary human neuroblastomas expressing c-Ret, GFR alpha-1, and GFR alpha-2. Hishiki, T., Nimura, Y., Isogai, E., Kondo, K., Ichimiya, S., Nakamura, Y., Ozaki, T., Sakiyama, S., Hirose, M., Seki, N., Takahashi, H., Ohnuma, N., Tanabe, M., Nakagawara, A. Cancer Res. (1998) [Pubmed]
 
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