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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2000 Dec 20;279(2):685-91.

APC protein is required for initiation of neuronal differentiation in rat pheochromocytoma PC12 cells.

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Department of Pathology, Kitasato University School of Medicine, 1-15-1, Kitasato, Kanagawa, 228-8555, Japan.


The adenomatous polyposis (APC) gene product is highly expressed in the central nervous system. To elucidate the contribution of the APC protein to neuronal differentiation, we used an inducible antisense mRNA vector to suppress APC protein expression and examined neuronal differentiation of PC12 cells induced by nerve growth factor (NGF). When antisense mRNA was induced, APC protein expression was suppressed to 20% of the noninduced level. In those cells, neurite extension induced by NGF and expression of microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2) was completely inhibited. However, once cells had differentiated, antisense APC mRNA expression and subsequent suppression of APC protein expression had no effect on either cell morphology or MAP2 protein expression. These results suggest that the wild type APC is critically involved only in the initiation of neuronal differentiation, but not in the maintenance of the differentiated phenotype, or that the neuronal phenotype could be maintained at lower level of APC protein.

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