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Overexpression of murine Pax3 increases NCAM polysialylation in a human medulloblastoma cell line.

Mayanil C.S., George D., Mania-Farnell B., Bremer C.L., McLone D.G., Bremer E.G.

Polysialic acid (PSA) is a developmentally regulated carbohydrate found primarily on neural cell adhesion molecules (NCAM) in embryonic tissues. The majority of NCAM in adult tissues lacks this unique carbohydrate, but polysialylated NCAM (PSA-NCAM) is present in adult brain regions where neural regeneration persists and in some pediatric brain tumors such as medulloblastoma, which show greater propensity for leptomeningeal spread. Pax3, a developmentally regulated paired homeodomain transcription factor, is thought to be involved in the regulation of neural cell adhesion molecules. Overexpression of murine Pax3 into a human medulloblastoma cell line (DAOY) resulted in an increase in NCAM polysialylation and a 2-4-fold increase in alpha2, 8-polysialyltransferase type II mRNA levels. No difference was observed in alpha2,8-polysialyltransferase type IV message. The addition of PSA to NCAM changed the adhesive behavior of these Pax3 transfectants. Transfectants expressing high PSA-NCAM show much less NCAM-dependent aggregation than those with less PSA-NCAM. In addition, Pax3 transfectants having high PSA-NCAM show heterophilic adhesion involving polysialic acid to heparan sulfate proteoglycan and agrin. These observations suggest that a developmentally regulated transcription factor, Pax3, could affect NCAM polysialylation and subsequently cell-cell and cell-substratum interaction.

J. Biol. Chem. 275:23259-23266(2000) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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