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PURPOSE Cancer recurrence is one of the major setbacks in oncology. Maintaining telomeres is essential for sustaining the limitless replicative potential of such cancers. Because telomerase is thought to be active in all tumor cells and normal stem cells, telomerase inhibition may be nonspecific and have detrimental effects on tissue maintenance and(More)
Point mutations, deletions, and recombinations of the RET proto-oncogene are associated with several inherited human diseases of neural crest-derived cells: Hirschsprung's disease, familial medullary thyroid carcinoma, and the multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) syndromes, types 2A and 2B. RET expression is restricted to normal and malignant cells of neural(More)
The mechanisms causing persistence of embryonal cells that later give rise to tumors is unknown. One tumorigenic factor in the embryonal childhood tumor neuroblastoma is the MYCN protooncogene. Here we show that normal mice developed neuroblast hyperplasia in paravertebral ganglia at birth that completely regressed by 2 weeks of age. In contrast, ganglia(More)
Neuroblastoma is a heterogeneous pediatric tumor thought to arise from the embryonic neural crest. Identification of the cell responsible for propagating neuroblastomas is essential to understanding this often recurrent, rapidly progressing disease. We have isolated and characterized putative tumor-initiating cells from 16 tumors and bone marrow metastases(More)
PURPOSE Neuroblastoma (NB) is an aggressive tumor of the developing peripheral nervous system that remains difficult to cure in the advanced stages. The poor prognosis for high-risk NB patients is associated with common disease recurrences that fail to respond to available therapies. NB tumor-initiating cells (TICs), isolated from metastases and primary(More)
High hypoxia-inducible factor-2alpha (HIF-2alpha) protein levels predict poor outcome in neuroblastoma, and hypoxia dedifferentiates cultured neuroblastoma cells toward a neural crest-like phenotype. Here, we identify HIF-2alpha as a marker of normoxic neural crest-like neuroblastoma tumor-initiating/stem cells (TICs) isolated from patient bone marrows.(More)
p73 encodes multiple functionally distinct isoforms. Proapoptotic TAp73 isoforms contain a transactivation (TA) domain, and like p53, have tumor suppressor properties and are activated by chemotherapies to induce cell death. In contrast, antiapoptotic DeltaNp73 isoforms lack the TA domain and are dominant-negative inhibitors of p53 and TAp73. DeltaNp73(More)
Nuclear orphan receptor TLX (Drosophila tailless homolog) is essential for the maintenance of neural stem/progenitor cell self-renewal, but its role in neuroblastoma (NB) is not well understood. Here, we show that TLX is essential for the formation of tumor spheres in three different NB cell lines, when grown in neural stem cell media. We demonstrate that(More)
Metastatic neuroblastoma is an aggressive childhood cancer of neural crest origin. Stathmin, a microtubule destabilizing protein, is highly expressed in neuroblastoma although its functional role in this malignancy has not been addressed. Herein, we investigate stathmin's contribution to neuroblastoma tumor growth and metastasis. Small interfering RNA(More)
We report the isolation and characterization of human contactin 4 (CNTN4), a brain-derived, immunoglobulin superfamily molecule-2 (alias BIG-2) as a candidate gene responsible for the differentiation potential of human neuroblastoma cells. Northern blot analysis showed highest CNTN4 expression in testes, thyroid, small intestine, uterus and brain. Induction(More)