Glycopeptides from the surgace of human neuroblastoma cells.
Glycopeptides suggesting a complex oligosaccharide composition are present on the surface of cells from human neuroblastoma tumors and several cell lines derived from the tumors. The glycopeptides, labeled with radioactive L-fucose, were removed from the cell surface with trypsin, digested with Pronase, and examined by chromatography on Sephadex G-50. Human skin fibroblasts, brain cells, and a fibroblast line derived from neuroblastoma tumor tissue show less complex glycopeptides. Although some differences exist between the cell lines and the primary tumor cells, the similarities between these human tumors and animal tumors examined previously are striking. (+info
Expression of the naturally occurring truncated trkB neurotrophin receptor induces outgrowth of filopodia and processes in neuroblastoma cells.
We have investigated the effects of the truncated trkB receptor isoform T1 (trkB.T1) by transient transfection into mouse N2a neuroblastoma cells. We observed that expression of trkB.T1 leads to a striking change in cell morphology characterized by outgrowth of filopodia and processes. A similar morphological response was also observed in SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells and NIH3T3 fibroblasts transfected with trkB.T1. N2a cells lack endogenous expression of trkB isoforms, but express barely detectable amounts of its ligands, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-4 (NT-4). The morphological change was ligand-independent, since addition of exogenous BDNF or NT-4 or blockade of endogenous trkB ligands did not influence this response. Filopodia and process outgrowth was significantly suppressed when full-length trkB.TK+ was cotransfected together with trkB.T1 and this inhibitory effect was blocked by tyrosine kinase inhibitor K252a. Transfection of trkB.T1 deletion mutants showed that the morphological response is dependent on the extracellular, but not the intracellular domain of the receptor. Our results suggest a novel ligand-independent role for truncated trkB in the regulation of cellular morphology. (+info
p73 at chromosome 1p36.3 is lost in advanced stage neuroblastoma but its mutation is infrequent.
p73, a novel p53 family member, is a recently identified candidate neuroblastoma (NBL) suppressor gene mapped at chromosome 1p36.33 and was found to inhibit growth and induce apoptosis in cell lines. To test the hypothesis that p73 is a NBL suppressor gene, we analysed the p73 gene in primary human NBLs. Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) for p73 was observed in 19% (28/151) of informative cases which included 92 mass-screening (MS) tumors. The high frequency of p73 LOH was significantly associated with sporadic NBLs (9% vs 34%, P<0.001), N-myc amplification (10% vs 71%, P<0.001), and advanced stage (14% vs 28%, P<0.05). Both p73alpha and p73beta transcripts were detectable in only 46 of 134 (34%) NBLs at low levels by RT-PCR methods, while they were easily detectable in most breast cancers and colorectal cancers under the same conditions. They found no correlation between p73 LOH and its expression levels (P>0.1). We found two mutations out of 140 NBLs, one somatic and one germline, which result in amino acid substitutions in the C-terminal region of p73 which may affect transactivation functions, though, in the same tumor samples, no mutation of the p53 gene was observed as reported previously. These results suggest that allelic loss of the p73 gene may be a later event in NBL tumorigenesis. However, p73 is infrequently mutated in primary NBLs and may hardly function as a tumor suppressor in a classic Knudson's manner. (+info
Cadmium-mediated activation of the metal response element in human neuroblastoma cells lacking functional metal response element-binding transcription factor-1.
Metal response element-binding transcription factor-1 (MTF-1) binds specifically to metal response elements (MREs) and transactivates metallothionein (MT) gene expression in response to zinc and cadmium. This investigation contrasts the mechanism of mouse MT gene (mMT-I) promoter activation by cadmium and zinc in IMR-32 human neuroblastoma cells to determine whether MTF-1 binding to the MRE is necessary for activation by these metals. Cadmium activated a mMT-1 promoter (-150 base pairs) luciferase reporter 20-25-fold through a MRE-dependent mechanism. In contrast, zinc had little effect on the mMT-1 luciferase reporter. IMR-32 cells lacked MRE binding activity, and treatment with zinc in vitro or in vivo did not generate a MTF-1. MRE complex, suggesting that IMR-32 cells lack functional MTF-1. Overexpression of mMTF-1 regenerated a zinc-mediated induction of the MRE without affecting cadmium activation. Because no other transition metals tested activated the MRE, this effect appeared to be cadmium-specific. These data demonstrate that in IMR-32 human neuroblastoma cells, zinc and cadmium can use independent mechanisms for activation of the mMT-I promoter and cadmium-mediated MRE activation is independent of MTF-1 and zinc. (+info
Inhibition of angiogenesis induces chromaffin differentiation and apoptosis in neuroblastoma.
Inhibition of angiogenesis has been shown to reduce tumor growth, metastasis, and tumor microvascular density in experimental models. To these effects we would now like to add induction of differentiation, based on biological analysis of xenografted human neuroblastoma (SH-SY5Y, WAG rnu/rnu) treated with the angiogenesis inhibitor TNP-470. Treatment with TNP-470 (10 mg/kg s.c., n = 15) reduced the tumor growth by 66% and stereological vascular parameters (Lv, Vv, Sv) by 36-45%. The tumor cell apoptotic fraction increased more than threefold, resulting in a decrease in viable tumor cells by 33%. In contrast, the mean vascular diameter (29 microm) and the mean tumor cell proliferative index (49%) were unaffected. TNP-470-treated tumors exhibited striking chromaffin differentiation of neuroblastoma cells, observed as increased expression of insulin-like growth factor II gene (+88%), tyrosine hydroxylase (+96%), chromogranin A, and cellular processes. Statistical analysis revealed an inverse correlation between differentiation and angiogenesis. It is suggested that by inhibiting angiogenesis, TNP-470 induces metabolic stress, resulting in chromaffin differentiation and apoptosis in neuroblastoma. Such agonal differentiation may be the link between angiostatic therapy and tumor cell apoptosis. (+info
Binding partners for the myelin-associated glycoprotein of N2A neuroblastoma cells.
The myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG) has been proposed to be important for the integrity of myelinated axons. For a better understanding of the interactions involved in the binding of MAG to neuronal axons, we performed this study to identify the binding partners for MAG on neuronal cells. Experiments with glycosylation inhibitors revealed that sialylated N-glycans of glycoproteins represent the major binding sites for MAG on the neuroblastoma cell line N2A. From extracts of [3H]glucosamine-labelled N2A cells several glycoproteins with molecular weights between 20 and 230 kDa were affinity-precipitated using immobilised MAG. The interactions of these proteins with MAG were sialic acid-dependent and specific for MAG. (+info
Comparison of two in vitro activation systems for protoxicant organophosphorous esterase inhibitors.
In order to perform in vitro testing of esterase inhibition caused by organophosphorous (OP) protoxicants, simple, reliable methods are needed to convert protoxicants to their esterase-inhibiting forms. Incubation of parathion or chlorpyrifos with 0.05% bromine solution or uninduced rat liver microsomes (RLM) resulted in production of the corresponding oxygen analogs of these OP compounds and markedly increased esterase inhibition in SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells. Neither activation system affected cell viability or the activity of AChE or NTE in the absence of OP compounds. Although parathion and chlorpyrifos were activated by RLM, bromine activation required fewer steps and produced more esterase inhibition for a given concentration of chlorpyrifos. However, RLM activation of OP protoxicants produced metabolites other than oxygen analogs and may, therefore, be more relevant as a surrogate for OP biotransformation in vivo. This methodology makes the use of intact cells for in vitro testing of esterase inhibition caused by protoxicant organophosphate compounds a viable alternative to in vivo tests. (+info
MycN sensitizes neuroblastoma cells for drug-induced apoptosis.
Amplification of the MYCN gene is found in a large proportion of neuroblastoma and considered as an adverse prognostic factor. To investigate the effect of ectopic MycN expression on the susceptibility of neuroblastoma cells to cytotoxic drugs we used a human neuroblastoma cell line harboring tetracycline-controlled expression of MycN. Neither conditional expression of MycN alone nor low drug concentrations triggered apoptosis. However, when acting in concert, MycN and cytotoxic drugs efficiently induced cell death. Apoptosis depended on mitochondrial permeability transition and activation of caspases, since the mitochondrion-specific inhibitor bongkrekic acid and the caspase inhibitor zVAD-fmk almost completely abrogated apoptosis. Loss of mitochondrial transmembrane potential and release of cytochrome c from mitochondria preceded activation of caspase-8 and caspase-3 and cleavage of PARP. CD95 expression was upregulated by treatment with cytotoxic drugs, while MycN cooperated with cytotoxic drugs to increase sensitivity to CD95-induced apoptosis and enhancing CD95-L expression. MycN overexpression and cytotoxic drugs also synergized to induce p53 and Bax protein expression, while Bcl-2 and Bcl-X(L) protein levels remained unchanged. Since amplification of MYCN is usually associated with a poor prognosis, these findings suggest that dysfunctions in apoptosis pathways may be a mechanism by which MycN-induced apoptosis of neuroblastoma cells is inhibited. (+info