Identification of a novel zinc finger gene, zf5-3, as a potential mediator of neuroblastoma differentiation

Int J Cancer. 1999 Jun 11;81(6):970-8. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-0215(19990611)81:6<970::aid-ijc21>;2-9.


We established a unique parental neuroblastoma cell line, NUB-7, which mimics the bipotentiality of neuroblastoma in vivo along neuronal and Schwann cell lineages following dibutyryl cAMP and retinoic acid treatments, respectively. Differential display identified a putative novel zinc finger gene as a potential differentiation-responsive gene coincident with retinoic acid treatment of NUB-7. This cDNA clone, now designated zf5-3, was mapped to chromosome 19 using somatic cell hybrids, and a larger cDNA clone further localized this gene to band 13.1-13.2 by fluorescent in situ hybridization. zf5-3 possesses 4 characteristic zinc finger DNA-binding motifs as determined by its nucleic acid and proposed amino acid sequence. Expression of zf5-3 is restricted to fetal neuronal, hepatic and renal tissues and their tumor-derived cell lines, including 8/9 neuroblastomas and 2/2 malignant rhabdoid tumors of kidney. The restricted expression in the kidney of zf5-3 to collecting tubules and ureter epithelium is suggestive of an ectodermal histogenesis of malignant rhabdoid tumors of kidney. During development of the fetal human brain, high levels of zf5-3 mRNA are restricted to the mitotically active, undifferentiated neuroblasts. Morphological evidence of overt differentiation was generally accompanied by a marked loss in zf5-3 expression. Therefore, the neuronal tissue expression profile and the down-regulation coincident with retinoic acid-induced neuroblastoma maturation implicate zf5-3 as a potential mediator of their differentiation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Brain / embryology
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Bucladesine / pharmacology
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 19*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Fetus
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Gene Library
  • Humans
  • Kidney / embryology
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Kidney Neoplasms
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neuroblastoma / genetics*
  • Neuroblastoma / pathology*
  • Neurons
  • Organ Specificity
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Tretinoin / pharmacology
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Zinc Fingers


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • ZF5-3 protein, human
  • Tretinoin
  • Bucladesine