Activated N-ras gene induces neuronal differentiation of PC12 rat pheochromocytoma cells

J Cell Physiol. 1986 Oct;129(1):71-6. doi: 10.1002/jcp.1041290111.


Activated mouse N-ras gene transfected into PC12 rat pheochromocytoma cells suppressed proliferation and promoted neuronal differentiation. Normal mouse N-ras in a LTR-containing vector caused differentiation with a reduced efficiency, but normal N-ras in a vector lacking LTR sequences failed to alter the PC12 phenotype. Cultures of NGF-resistant PC12 variant subline U7 also showed outgrowth of neurites and cessation of cell division following transfection with the mutated ras gene. The present findings suggest that ras genes can, in certain cells, play a role in promoting differentiation and suppressing proliferation, in contrast to their established oncogenic neoplasia-promoting activity in other cells.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms / ultrastructure
  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Line
  • Neurons / pathology*
  • Neurons / ultrastructure
  • Oncogenes*
  • Pheochromocytoma / pathology*
  • Pheochromocytoma / ultrastructure
  • Rats
  • Transformation, Genetic