Neural epidermal growth factor-like like protein 2 (NELL2) promotes aggregation of embryonic carcinoma P19 cells by inducing N-cadherin expression

Dong Hee Kim, Han Rae Kim, Eun Jung Choi, Dong Yeol Kim, Kwang Kon Kim, Byung Sam Kim, Jeong Woo Park, Byung Ju Lee
PloS One 2014, 9 (1): e85898
NELL2 was first identified as a mammalian homolog of chick NEL (Neural EGF-like) protein. It is almost exclusively expressed in neurons of the rat brain and has been suggested to play a role in neural differentiation. However, there is still no clear evidence for the detailed function of NELL2 in the differentiation of neurons. In this study, we identified NELL2 function during neural differentiation of mouse embryonic carcinoma P19 cells. Endogenous expression of NELL2 in the P19 cells increased in parallel with the neuronal differentiation induced by retinoic acid (RA). We found that the mouse NELL2 promoter contains RA response elements (RAREs) and that treatment with RA increased NELL2 promoter activity. Transfection of P19 cells with NELL2 expression vectors induced a dramatic increase in cell aggregation, resulting in the facilitation of neural differentiation. Moreover, NELL2 significantly increased N-cadherin expression in the P19 cell. These data suggest that NELL2 plays an important role in the regulation of neuronal differentiation via control of N-cadherin expression and cell aggregation.

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