All-trans-retinoic acid inhibits collapsin response mediator protein-2 transcriptional activity during SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cell differentiation

FEBS J. 2007 Jan;274(2):498-511. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-4658.2006.05597.x.


Neurons are highly polarized cells composed of two structurally and functionally distinct parts, the axon and the dendrite. The establishment of this asymmetric structure is a tightly regulated process. In fact, alterations in the proteins involved in the configuration of the microtubule lattice are frequent in neuro-oncologic diseases. One of these cytoplasmic mediators is the protein known as collapsin response mediator protein-2, which interacts with and promotes tubulin polymerization. In this study, we investigated collapsin response mediator protein-2 transcriptional regulation during all-trans-retinoic acid-induced differentiation of SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells. All-trans-retinoic acid is considered to be a potential preventive and therapeutic agent, and has been extensively used to differentiate neuroblastoma cells in vitro. Therefore, we first demonstrated that collapsin response mediator protein-2 mRNA levels are downregulated during the differentiation process. After completion of deletion construct analysis and mutagenesis and mobility shift assays, we concluded that collapsin response mediator protein-2 basal promoter activity is regulated by the transcription factors AP-2 and Pax-3, whereas E2F, Sp1 and NeuroD1 seem not to participate in its regulation. Furthermore, we finally established that reduced expression of collapsin response mediator protein-2 after all-trans-retinoic acid exposure is associated with impaired Pax-3 and AP-2 binding to their consensus sequences in the collapsin response mediator protein-2 promoter. Decreased attachment of AP-2 is a consequence of its accumulation in the cytoplasm. On the other hand, Pax-3 shows lower binding due to all-trans-retinoic acid-mediated transcriptional repression. Unraveling the molecular mechanisms behind the action of all-trans-retinoic acid on neuroblastoma cells may well offer new perspectives for its clinical application.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neuroblastoma / metabolism
  • PAX3 Transcription Factor
  • Paired Box Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Transcription Factor AP-2 / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic*
  • Tretinoin / metabolism*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • PAX3 Transcription Factor
  • PAX3 protein, human
  • Paired Box Transcription Factors
  • Transcription Factor AP-2
  • collapsin response mediator protein-2
  • Tretinoin