N-myc oncogene overexpression down-regulates leukemia inhibitory factor in neuroblastoma

Eur J Biochem. 2002 Aug;269(15):3732-41. doi: 10.1046/j.1432-1033.2002.03066.x.


Amplification of N-myc oncogene is a frequent event in advanced stages of human neuroblastoma and correlates with poor prognosis and enhanced neovascularization. Angiogenesis is an indispensable prerequisite for the progression and metastasis of solid malignancies, which is modulated by tumor suppressors and oncogenes. We have addressed the possibility that N-myc oncogene might regulate angiogenesis in neuroblastoma. Here, we report that experimental N-Myc overexpression results in down-regulation of leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF), a modulator of endothelial cell proliferation. Reporter assays using the LIF promoter and a series of N-Myc mutants clearly demonstrated that down-regulation of the LIF promoter was independent of Myc/Max interaction and required a contiguous N-terminal N-Myc domain. STAT3, a downstream signal transducer, was essential for LIF activity as infection with adenoviruses expressing a phosphorylation-deficient STAT3 mutant rendered endothelial cells insensitive to the antiproliferative action of LIF. LIF did not influence neuroblastoma cell proliferation suggesting that, at least in the context of neuroblastoma, LIF is involved in paracrine rather than autocrine interactions. Our data shed light on the mechanisms by which N-myc oncogene amplification enhances the malignant phenotype in neuroblastoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Down-Regulation
  • Endothelium / cytology
  • Endothelium / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Growth Inhibitors / genetics
  • Growth Inhibitors / metabolism*
  • Growth Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6*
  • Leukemia Inhibitory Factor
  • Lymphokines / genetics
  • Lymphokines / metabolism*
  • Lymphokines / pharmacology
  • Mutation
  • Neuroblastoma / drug therapy
  • Neuroblastoma / genetics*
  • Neuroblastoma / pathology
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / genetics*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / metabolism
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor
  • Trans-Activators / genetics
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism
  • Transfection
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Growth Inhibitors
  • Interleukin-6
  • LIF protein, human
  • Leukemia Inhibitory Factor
  • Lymphokines
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor
  • STAT3 protein, human
  • Trans-Activators