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FEBS Lett. 1991 Mar 25;280(2):221-4.

Expression of protein kinase C-alpha (PKC-alpha) and MYCN mRNAs in human neuroblastoma cells and modulation during morphological differentiation induced by retinoic acid.

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Department of Hematology and Oncology, G. Gaslini Children's Hospital, Genova, Italy.

Erratum in

  • FEBS Lett 1991 Jul 29;286(1-2):237.


It is known that PKC is differently expressed in brain and the peripheral nervous system and is involved in cellular differentiation. We have analyzed 9 human neuronal-derived crest-cell lines for PKC-alpha mRNA. Seven out of nine expressed 9.0 kb and 4.0 kb PKC-alpha mRNAs, but three had high level of 9.0 kb transcription. The different expression of the two messenger RNAs may result from alternative splicing and a different degree of cell maturation. The same cell lines were studied for MYCN gene expression. A possible relation between the two genes is discussed. One cell line expressing high levels of both PKC-alpha mRNA was treated with 10(-5) M retinoic acid (RA). The expression of both messenger RNAs was suppressed when the cells achieved a morphological differentiation and showed neurite-like processes. A decrease of PKC-alpha gene expression was associated to down regulation of MYCN mRNA. These preliminary results suggest that PKC suppression of PKC-alpha mRNA is associated with reversion of the malignant phenotype.

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