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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2002 Apr 26;293(1):167-73.

Wnt-1 promotes neuronal differentiation and inhibits gliogenesis in P19 cells.

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Laboratory of Molecular Cell Biology, Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 320 Yue Yang Road, Shanghai 200031, China.


Wnt-1, the vertebrate counterpart of the Drosophila wingless gene, plays an important role in the early morphogenesis of neural tissues. In this report, we have shown that overexpression of Wnt-1 can direct embryonic carcinoma P19 cells to differentiate into neuron-like cells in the absence of retinoic acid. Immunocytochemistry showed that these cells expressed neuronal markers, such as the neurofilament (NF) and microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2), but failed to express the glial cell marker, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). RT-PCR revealed that two basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) genes, Mash-1 and Ngn-1, were up-regulated during the differentiation stage of Wnt-1-overexpressing P19 cells. These results suggest that the Wnt-1 gene promotes neuronal differentiation and inhibits gliogenesis during the neural differentiation of P19 cells, and that neural bHLH genes might be involved in this process.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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