Synthesis of ferritin by neuroblastoma

Cancer Biochem Biophys. 1990 Apr;11(2):169-76.


Ferritin is an iron-containing protein which is a normal component of serum. The levels of ferritin are increased in the sera of some children with neuroblastoma, and this increase appears to be a potent indicator of prognosis. To determine whether synthesis of ferritin by the tumor cells contributes to these increased serum levels, we examined incorporation of radiolabeled leucine by CHP 126, a neuroblastoma derived cell line, into ferritin. Using sequential immunoprecipitation and gel electrophoresis of sonicates from cells maintained in medium containing iron in amounts standard for tissue culture, incorporation of label into ferritin was 0.04% of that into total protein synthesized over the same time period. Addition of up to 40 micrograms of iron as ferric ammonium citrate increased ferritin synthesis to a maximum of 0.16% without altering synthesis of total protein. The pattern of iron-induced enhancement in the neuroblastoma cells was similar to that which was seen using Chang liver cells, a cell line well known to be capable of ferritin synthesis. These results confirm that neuroblastoma cells can synthesize ferritin and that synthesis is regulated by exogenous iron.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Ferritins / biosynthesis*
  • Humans
  • Iron / metabolism
  • Leucine / metabolism
  • Liver / cytology
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Neuroblastoma / metabolism*
  • Precipitin Tests
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Ferritins
  • Iron
  • Leucine