Characterization of PMP22 expression in osteosarcoma

Cancer Genet Cytogenet. 2004 Jul 15;152(2):113-8. doi: 10.1016/j.cancergencyto.2003.11.003.


The peripheral myelin protein (PMP22) gene is highly expressed in peripheral Schwann cells and encodes an important constituent of the myelin sheath. It is also expressed at lower levels in other normal tissues in which the protein is supposed to be involved in cell growth regulation. We recently reported frequent amplification and overexpression of PMP22 in high-grade osteosarcoma. Here, we analyzed PMP22 expression in five osteosarcoma tumors and three osteosarcoma cell lines. In normal Schwann cells, transcription of PMP22 starts at three promoters, P1A, P1B, and P2, which results in the synthesis of three alternatively spliced transcripts that all code for the same protein. We found a comparable expression pattern in normal osteoblasts. However, promoter P1A-driven transcripts were absent in all investigated tumors and cell lines and, compared to normal osteoblasts, the P1B/P2 transcript ratio was found to be increased in two of three cases with PMP22 overexpression and decreased in all five cases without overexpression. In normal Schwann cells and in NIH3T3 cells, PMP22 expression increases upon serum starvation-induced growth arrest. In contrast to this, serum withdrawal caused a considerable decrease of PMP22 expression in the osteosarcoma cell lines. We conclude that the different PMP22 expression in osteosarcoma may result in alternative availability of the PMP22 protein during the cell cycle and aberrant regulation of cell growth control in osteosarcoma tumorigenesis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Bone Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Cell Cycle
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Myelin Proteins / genetics*
  • NIH 3T3 Cells / cytology
  • NIH 3T3 Cells / metabolism
  • Osteoblasts / cytology
  • Osteoblasts / metabolism
  • Osteosarcoma / genetics*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Schwann Cells / cytology
  • Schwann Cells / metabolism
  • Serum / metabolism
  • Starvation
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Myelin Proteins
  • PMP22 protein, human
  • Pmp22 protein, mouse
  • RNA, Messenger