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11q deletion or ALK activity curbs DLG2 expression to maintain an undifferentiated state in neuroblastoma
Journal Contribution - Journal Article
High-risk neuroblastomas typically display an undifferentiated or poorly differentiated morphology. It is therefore vital to understand molecular mechanisms that block the differentiation process. We identify an important role for oncogenic ALK-ERK1/2-SP1 signaling in the maintenance of undifferentiated neural crest-derived progenitors through the repression of DLG2, a candidate tumor suppressor gene in neuroblastoma. DLG2 is expressed in the murine "bridge signature'' that represents the transcriptional transition state when neural crest cells or Schwann cell precursors differentiate to chromaffin cells of the adrenal gland. We show that the restoration of DLG2 expression spontaneously drives neuroblastoma cell differentiation, high-lighting the importance of DLG2 in this process. These findings are supported by genetic analyses of high-risk 11q deletion neuroblastomas, which identified genetic lesions in the DLG2 gene. Our data also suggest that further exploration of other bridge genes may help elucidate the mechanisms underlying the differentiation of NC-derived progenitors and their contribution to neuroblastomas.
Journal: Cell Reports
Number of pages: 1