Biochemical and biophysical research communications

DRR1 is expressed in the developing nervous system and downregulated during neuroblastoma carcinogenesis.

PMID 20298674


Down-regulated in renal cell carcinoma 1 (DRR1) is mapped at 3p21.1, and is a candidate tumor suppressor gene. However, its biological roles have yet to be elucidated. Here, we developed polyclonal antibodies against DRR1 protein, and examined its expression during embryogenesis and carcinogenesis. The DRR1 protein was preferentially expressed in axonal projections of the central and peripheral nervous system of mice during embryonic days 10.5-16.5. Consistent with this expression pattern, the protein was detected in the neurites of primary cultured cortical neurons of rats at embryonic day 18.5. Survival of these cells was significantly inhibited by RNAi-induced downregulation of DRR1 expression. DRR1 was poorly expressed in established cancer cell lines, including neuroblastoma cells, whereas strong expression was observed in normal cells. A neuroblastoma model, MYCN transgenic mice, revealed that DRR1 protein was expressed in the celiac ganglion 2 weeks after birth when neuroblast hyperplasia was also observed; however, there was no longer any expression of DRR1 protein in tumors originating from the ganglion 8 weeks after birth. Together, our data indicate that DRR1 protein is expressed in normal cells, particularly in the nervous system during embryogenesis, is involved in neuronal cell survival, and is downregulated during neuroblastoma carcinogenesis.