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Glia. 1996 Jun;17(2):169-74.

Expression of the APC tumor suppressor protein in oligodendroglia.

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Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.


Mutations of the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) tumor suppressor gene have been linked to familial polyposis, an inherited predisposition to colon cancer, and a high percentage of sporadic colon adenomas. Although this gene is best known for its role in development of bowel neoplasms, in recent studies we have found that APC mRNA levels are greatly enriched in brain compared with peripheral tissues. To help define its role in the nervous system, in this study we have determined its cellular localization immunohistochemically in adult rat brain sections and have detected intense APC immunoreactivity in oligodendrocytes. Since prominent APC immunostaining is detected in cell bodies of mature oligodendrocytes, these antibodies may provide a useful addition to available oligodendrocyte markers. Although the cellular function of APC remains undefined, previous biochemical studies have demonstrated that APC is associated with catenins, cytoplasmic proteins involved in regulating cell-cell adhesion. We propose that, in addition to its critical role in ensuring normal maturation of colonic epithelial cells, the APC tumor suppressor protein also regulates the adhesive properties of oligodendrocytes.

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