Retinoic acid-induced differentiation of human neuroblastoma: A cell variant system showing two distinct responses

N. Sidell, T. Sarafian, M. Kelly, T. Tsuchida, M. Haussler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

Retinoic acid (RA) has been shown to induce the differentiation of human neuroblastoma cells in vitro. In this study, we describe two variants of the SK-N-SH human neuroblastoma cell line that have dramatically different responses to RA. RA induces neuronal-like differentiation characterized by extensive neurite outgrowth, thick neurite bundles, and large cellular aggregates of SK-N-SH-N (SH-N) cells. In contrast, RA treatment of SK-N-SH-F (SH-F) cultures transforms the small neuroblast cells into large flattened, fibroblastic or epithelial-like cells. Karyotype analysis verified that the SH-N and SH-F cultures were derived from a common precursor cell. Confirmation of their markedly different responses to RA was obtained by metabolic labelling of glycoproteins and SDS-PAGE analysis. While both sublines showed very similar Coomassie-labelled protein bands and glycoprotein profiles in control cultures, dramatic differences between the lines were revealed following RA treatment. In contrast to their similar protein profiles, untreated SH-N and SH-F cells had quite different patterns of ganglioside biosynthesis in that GM3 was detected in SH-F cells but not in SH-N, while GM1 was only detected in SH-N. Cellular RA binding protein (CRABP) was detected in both SH-F and SH-N cells and their RA-transformed derivatives. These results demonstrate heterogeneity in the response to RA of neuroblastoma cells derived from a common origin that cannot be accounted for by differences in CRABP content. The SH-N and SH-F neuroblastoma sublines should provide a useful system for further studies of the molecular processes through which RA exerts its differentiation-inducing activity on this type of tumor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-300
Number of pages14
JournalExperimental Cell Biology
Volume54
Issue number5-6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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