Differential expression patterns of NDRG family proteins in the central nervous system

J Histochem Cytochem. 2008 Feb;56(2):175-82. doi: 10.1369/jhc.7A7323.2007. Epub 2007 Nov 12.


The N-myc downstream-regulated gene (NDRG) family consists of four proteins: NDRG1, NDRG2, NDRG3, and NDRG4 in mammals. NDRG1 has been thoroughly studied as an intracellular protein associated with stress response, cell growth, and differentiation. A nonsense mutation in the NDRG1 gene causes hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 4D. We previously generated Ndrg1-deficient mice and found that they exhibited peripheral nerve degeneration caused by severe demyelination, but that the complicated motor abilities were retained. These results implied that other NDRG family proteins may compensate for the NDRG1 deficiency in the central nervous system. In this study we raised specific antibodies against each member of the NDRG protein family and examined their cellular expression patterns in the mouse brain. In the cerebrum, NDRG1 and NDRG2 were localized in oligodendrocytes and astrocytes, respectively, whereas NDRG3 and NDRG4 were ubiquitous. In the cerebellum, NDRG1 and NDRG4 were localized in Purkinje cells and NDRG2 in Bergmann glial cells. NDRG3 was detected in the nuclei in most cells. These expression patterns demonstrated the cell type-specific and ubiquitous localization of the NDRG family proteins. Each NDRG may play a partially redundant role in specific cells in the brain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Animals
  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Brain / cytology
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / genetics
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism
  • Proteins / metabolism


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • N-myc downstream-regulated gene 1 protein
  • Ndr2 protein, mouse
  • Ndrg3 protein, mouse
  • Ndrg4 protein, mouse
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Proteins