We report the isolation and characterization of human contactin 4 (CNTN4), a brain-derived, immunoglobulin superfamily molecule-2 (alias BIG-2) as a candidate gene responsible for the differentiation potential of human neuroblastoma cells. Northern blot analysis showed highest CNTN4 expression in testes, thyroid, small intestine, uterus and brain. Induction of CNTN4 mRNA expression in human neuroblastoma tumor cells treated with retinoic acid correlated with a block in retinoid-induced neuritogenesis. Our findings suggest a role for human contactin 4 protein in the response of neuroblastoma cells to differentiating agents.
Copyright 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel