Bmi1 is a MYCN target gene that regulates tumorigenesis through repression of KIF1Bbeta and TSLC1 in neuroblastoma

Oncogene. 2010 May 6;29(18):2681-90. doi: 10.1038/onc.2010.22. Epub 2010 Mar 1.


Recent advances in neuroblastoma (NB) research addressed that epigenetic alterations such as hypermethylation of promoter sequences, with consequent silencing of tumor-suppressor genes, can have significant roles in the tumorigenesis of NB. However, the exact role of epigenetic alterations, except for DNA hypermethylation, remains to be elucidated in NB research. In this paper, we clarified the direct binding of MYCN to Bmi1 promoter and upregulation of Bmi1 transcription by MYCN. Mutation introduction into an MYCN binding site in the Bmi1 promoter suggests that MYCN has more important roles in the transcription of Bmi1 than E2F-related Bmi1 regulation. A correlation between MYCN and polycomb protein Bmi1 expression was observed in primary NB tumors. Expression of Bmi1 resulted in the acceleration of proliferation and colony formation in NB cells. Bmi1-related inhibition of NB cell differentiation was confirmed by neurite extension assay and analysis of differentiation marker molecules. Intriguingly, the above-mentioned Bmi1-related regulation of the NB cell phenotype seems not to be mediated only by p14ARF/p16INK4a in NB cells. Expression profiling analysis using a tumor-specific cDNA microarray addressed the Bmi1-dependent repression of KIF1Bbeta and TSLC1, which have important roles in predicting the prognosis of NB. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assay showed that KIF1Bbeta and TSLC1 are direct targets of Bmi1 in NB cells. These findings suggest that MYCN induces Bmi1 expression, resulting in the repression of tumor suppressors through Polycomb group gene-mediated epigenetic chromosome modification. NB cell proliferation and differentiation seem to be partially dependent on the MYCN/Bmi1/tumor-suppressor pathways.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins / genetics*
  • Kinesins / genetics*
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics*
  • N-Myc Proto-Oncogene Protein
  • Neuroblastoma / etiology*
  • Neuroblastoma / pathology
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics*
  • Nuclear Proteins / physiology*
  • Oncogene Proteins / physiology*
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 1
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics*
  • Repressor Proteins / genetics*
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / genetics*


  • BMI1 protein, human
  • CADM1 protein, human
  • Cell Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Immunoglobulins
  • KIF1B protein, human
  • MYCN protein, human
  • Membrane Proteins
  • N-Myc Proto-Oncogene Protein
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Oncogene Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 1
  • Kinesins