DNA synthesis enzymes and proliferating cell nuclear antigen in normal and neoplastic nerve cells.

Abstract:

The activity of nuclear DNA polymerases alpha, beta and delta/epsilon, uracil-DNA glycosylase, thymidine kinase and the presence of Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen (PCNA) have been examined in developing rat glial cells, in rat and human glioma, in human neuroblastoma and in differentiated neuroblastoma cell lines in vitro. During glial development the activity of all enzymes tested, except DNA polymerase beta, markedly decreased, suggesting their coordinate regulation in respect to the proliferative state of the cells. Glioma and neuroblastoma cell lines restore the enzymatic activities that were no longer expressed in normal adult cells. Neuroblastoma cell lines induced to differentiate in vitro by retinoic acid showed a decline of the activities of DNA polymerase alpha, DNA polymerase delta/epsilon, uracil-DNA glycosylase and thymidine kinase similar to that observed during in vivo differentiation. We also demonstrate that PCNA is not detectable in glial and neuronal cells at all developmental stages, but can be found in tumor nerve cells. A possible use of enzymatic assays or anti-PCNA antibodies to detect brain tumors is discussed.

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