Cyclin D1 regulates G1 cell cycle progression by controlling the phosphorylation of the retinoblastoma protein. This pathway is frequently deregulated in many malignancies. In neuroblastoma, however, no consistent G1 cell cycle checkpoint aberrations have been found. We examined the possible deregulation of cyclin D1 (CCND1) in this tumor. mRNA expression profiles of neuroblastoma generated by SAGE (Serial Analysis of Gene Expression) revealed a high expression of CCND1 in a subset of neuroblastoma cell lines and tumors. The CCND1 expression level can be 0.3% of the total cellular mRNA. Northern blot analysis of CCND1 expression showed a relative overexpression in 16 of 23 neuroblastoma cell lines and 10 of 15 tumor samples. In the majority of cases, the high CCND1 mRNA levels also led to high CCND1 protein levels. In the search for mechanisms causing this relative overexpression, we screened for amplifications and rearrangements of CCND1. Five amplifications were found in 202 neuroblastoma tumors and cell lines. Analysis of the 3'-UTR of CCND1 showed a rearrangement in 1 of 96 tumors. These clonal aberrations of CCND1 together with the high expression suggest a role for deregulated CCND1 activity in neuroblastoma tumorigenesis.
Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.