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A Unique Family of Neuronal Signaling Proteins Implicated in Oncogenesis and Tumor Suppression.


ABSTRACT: The neuronal proteins GAP43 (neuromodulin), MARCKS, and BASP1 are highly expressed in the growth cones of nerve cells where they are involved in signal transmission and cytoskeleton organization. Although their primary structures are unrelated, these signaling proteins share several structural properties like fatty acid modification, and the presence of cationic effector domains. GAP43, MARCKS, and BASP1 bind to cell membrane phospholipids, a process reversibly regulated by protein kinase C-phosphorylation or by binding to the calcium sensor calmodulin (CaM). GAP43, MARCKS, and BASP1 are also expressed in non-neuronal cells, where they may have important functions to manage cytoskeleton architecture, and in case of MARCKS and BASP1 to act as cofactors in transcriptional regulation. During neoplastic cell transformation, the proteins reveal differential expression in normal vs. tumor cells, and display intrinsic tumor promoting or tumor suppressive activities. Whereas GAP43 and MARCKS are oncogenic, tumor suppressive functions have been ascribed to BASP1 and in part to MARCKS depending on the cell type. Like MARCKS, the myristoylated BASP1 protein is localized both in the cytoplasm and in the cell nucleus. Nuclear BASP1 participates in gene regulation converting the Wilms tumor transcription factor WT1 from an oncoprotein into a tumor suppressor. The BASP1 gene is downregulated in many human tumor cell lines particularly in those derived from leukemias, which display elevated levels of WT1 and of the major cancer driver MYC. BASP1 specifically inhibits MYC-induced cell transformation in cultured cells. The tumor suppressive functions of BASP1 and MARCKS could be exploited to expand the spectrum of future innovative therapeutic approaches to inhibit growth and viability of susceptible human tumors.

SUBMITTER: Hartl M 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6478813 | BioStudies | 2019-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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