Overexpression of murine Pax3 increases NCAM polysialylation in a human medulloblastoma cell line

C. S.K. Mayanil, David George, Barbara Mania-Farnell, Christopher L. Bremer, David G. McLone, Eric G. Bremer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Polysialic acid (PSA) is a developmentally regulated carbohydrate found primarily on neural cell adhesion molecules (NCAM) in embryonic tissues. The majority of NCAM in adult tissues lacks this unique carbohydrate, but polysialylated NCAM (PSA-NCAM) is present in adult brain regions where neural regeneration persists and in some pediatric brain tumors such as medulloblastoma, which show greater propensity for leptomeningeal spread. Pax3, a developmentally regulated paired homeodomain transcription factor, is thought to be involved in the regulation of neural cell adhesion molecules. Overexpression of murine Pax3 into a human medulloblastoma cell line (DAOY) resulted in an increase in NCAM polysialylation and a 2-4-fold increase in α2,8-polysialyltransferase type II mRNA levels. No difference was observed in α2,8-polysialyltransferase type IV message. The addition of PSA to NCAM changed the adhesive behavior of these Pax3 transfectants. Transfectants expressing high PSA-NCAM show much less NCAM-dependent aggregation than those with less PSA-NCAM. In addition, Pax3 transfectants having high PSA-NCAM show heterophilic adhesion involving polysialic acid to heparan sulfate proteoglycan and agrin. These observations suggest that a developmentally regulated transcription factor, Pax3, could affect NCAM polysialylation and subsequently cell-cell and cell-substratum interaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23259-23266
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number30
StatePublished - Jul 28 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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