Genomic organization, chromosomal localization and regulation of expression of the neuronal nuclear matrix protein NRP/B in human brain tumors

Gene. 2000 Sep 5;255(1):105-16. doi: 10.1016/s0378-1119(00)00297-3.


The nuclear matrix and its role in cell physiology are largely unknown, and the discovery of any matrix constituent whose expression is tissue- and/or cell-specific offers a new avenue of exploration. Studies of the novel neuronal nuclear matrix protein, NRP/B, reveal that it is an early and highly specific marker of neuronal induction and development in vertebrates, since its expression is restricted mainly to the developing and mature nervous system. These studies also show that NRP/B is involved in neuronal differentiation. To further examine the structure-function of NRP/B, we have cloned and characterized the murine Nrp/b gene. The murine gene consists of four exons interrupted by three introns that span 7.6kb of DNA. The complete open reading frame is localized in exon 3, suggesting that NRP/B is highly conserved during evolution. Chromosomal analysis shows that NRP/B is localized to chromosome 13 in mouse and chromosome 5q12-13 in human. Since our previous studies demonstrated that NRP/B is expressed in primary hippocampal neurons but not in primary astrocytes, we have characterized NRP/B mRNA and protein expression in various brain cell lines and in human brain tumors. Abundant expression of NRP/B mRNA and protein was observed in human neuroblastoma cell lines (IMR32, SKN-MC, SKN-SH), in glioblastoma cell lines (A172, T98G, U87-MG, U118-MG, U138-MG, and U373-MG), in neuroglioma (H4) and astrocytoma cell lines (CCF-STTG1 and SW1088). Confocal analysis of NRP/B in U87-MG glioblastoma cells indicated nuclear localization of NRP/B. NRP/B expression was also observed in human primary brain tumors including glioblastoma multiformae and astrocytomas (total of five cases). These results suggest that NRP/B expression is upregulated in human brain tumors including glioblastomas and astrocytomas, while under normal conditions NRP/B expression is restricted to neurons. This study implicates a role for NRP/B in brain tumor development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cell Line
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 5 / genetics
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Cricetinae
  • DNA / chemistry
  • DNA / genetics
  • Exons
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Genes / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Hybrid Cells
  • Introns
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microfilament Proteins / genetics*
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Muridae
  • Neurons / chemistry
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neuropeptides / genetics*
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics*
  • RNA / genetics
  • RNA / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Microfilament Proteins
  • Neuropeptides
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • ectodermal-neural cortex 1 protein
  • RNA
  • DNA