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      Elevated Expression of Galanin Receptors in Childhood Neuroblastic Tumors

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          Abstract

          The neuropeptide galanin (GAL) has been shown to be present in certain brain tumors. In order to learn more about GAL and its receptors in human tumors of the peripheral nervous system, we investigated the expression of the GAL peptide and the GAL receptors in tumor tissue from childhood neuroblastic tumors. GAL peptide concentrations up to 674 ± 166 fmol/mg of tissue were detected by radioimmunoassay, but no significant correlation with standard tumor markers or the prognosis of the 14 patients investigated was observed. Ligand binding experiments showed different levels of GAL binding in all 28 primary neuroblastomas and 7 ganglioneuromas investigated. All three human GAL receptor subtypes cloned to date could be detected, with the GALR1 receptor subtype being expressed most prominently. GAL binding did not significantly correlate with genetic markers such as unfavorable DNA ploidy, amplification of the oncogene MYCN and allelic loss of chromosome 1p. However, low galanin binding was significantly correlated with survival (p = 0.021) in this limited analysis of neuroblastic tumor samples. These results raise the possibility that the expression of GAL binding sites may play a role in neuroblastic tumor biology and behavior.

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          Most cited references 8

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          Efficient catalytic addition of aromatic carbon-hydrogen bonds to olefins

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            Galanin - a novel biologically active peptide from porcine intestine.

            The isolation of a novel biologically active peptide, designated galanin, is described. The peptide was discovered by the detection of its C-terminal amide structure in porcine intestinal extract using a chemical method. It was found that galanin consists of 29 amino acids and the complete amino acid sequence is: Gly-Trp-Thr-Leu-Asn-Ser-Ala-Gly-Tyr-Leu-Leu-Gly-Pro-His-Ala-Ile-Asp-Asn-His -Arg-Ser -Phe-His-Asp-Lys-Tyr-Gly-Leu-Ala-NH2. Galanin was found to contract smooth muscle preparations from the rat and to cause a mild and sustained hyperglycemia in dog.
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              Association between high levels of expression of the TRK gene and favorable outcome in human neuroblastoma.

              The nerve growth factor receptor is expressed in some neuroblastomas, in which its primary component is encoded by the TRK protooncogene. To determine the relation of the expression of TRK messenger RNA in neuroblastomas to other clinical and laboratory variables, we studied frozen tumor samples from 77 patients. In addition, we tested two primary neuroblastomas that expressed TRK for responsiveness to nerve growth factor. TRK expression strongly correlated with favorable tumor stage (I, II, and IVS vs. III and IV), younger age ( or = 1 year), normal N-myc copy number, and low level of N-myc expression. N-myc amplification (indicated by a high copy number) correlated with advanced tumor stage, older age, an adrenal site of the primary tumor, low level of expression of TRK, and high level of expression of N-myc. Analysis of five-year cumulative-survival rates demonstrated an association of a very favorable outcome with a high level of TRK expression (86 percent vs. 14 percent) and with normal N-myc copy number (84 percent vs. 0 percent). Univariate analysis showed that these two variables were the most powerful predictors of outcome (chi-square = 51.30, P < 0.001; and chi-square = 93.61, P < 0.001, respectively). TRK expression still had significant prognostic value when the analysis was restricted to tumors without N-myc amplification. In primary cultures of neuroblastoma cells expressing TRK, exposure to nerve growth factor induced early gene expression and neurite outgrowth, but deprivation of nerve growth factor led to neuronal cell death. A high level of expression of the TRK proto-oncogene in a neuroblastoma is strongly predictive of a favorable outcome. A tumor with a functional nerve growth factor receptor may be dependent on the neurotrophin nerve growth factor for survival and may regress in its absence, allowing a new approach to the treatment of certain patients with neuroblastoma.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                NEN
                Neuroendocrinology
                10.1159/issn.0028-3835
                Neuroendocrinology
                S. Karger AG
                0028-3835
                1423-0194
                2002
                February 2002
                22 February 2002
                : 75
                : 2
                : 130-138
                Affiliations
                aDepartment of Pediatrics, General Hospital Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria; bChildhood Cancer Research Unit, Astrid Lindgren Children’s Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden; Institutes of cPathology and dPediatrics, University of Graz, Austria; eGarvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, N.S.W., Australia
                Article
                48229 Neuroendocrinology 2002;75:130–138
                10.1159/000048229
                11867941
                © 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Figures: 6, Tables: 1, References: 44, Pages: 9
                Categories
                Clinical Neuroendocrinology

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