PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles

Molecular Biology - Oncology - Pathology - Surgery

Down-Regulation of Neogenin Accelerated Glioma Progression through Promoter Methylation and Its Overexpression in SHG-44 Induced Apoptosis
Published: Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Author: Xinmin Wu et al.

by Xinmin Wu, Yunqian Li, Xilin Wan, Tabitha Mlowoka Kayira, Rangjuan Cao, Xingda Ju, Xiaojuan Zhu, Gang Zhao


Dependence receptors have been proved to act as tumor suppressors in tumorigenesis. Neogenin, a DCC homologue, well known for its fundamental role in axon guidance and cellular differentiation, is also a dependence receptor functioning to control apoptosis. However, loss of neogenin has been reported in several kinds of cancers, but its role in glioma remains to be further investigated.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Western blot analysis showed that neogenin level was lower in glioma tissues than in their matching surrounding non-neoplastic tissues (n?=?13, p<0.01). By immunohistochemical analysis of 69 primary and 16 paired initial and recurrent glioma sections, we found that the loss of neogenin did not only correlate negatively with glioma malignancy (n?=?69, p<0.01), but also glioma recurrence (n?=?16, p<0.05). Kaplan-Meier plot and Cox proportional hazards modelling showed that over-expressive neogenin could prolong the tumor latency (n?=?69, p<0.001, 1187.6±162.6 days versus 687.4±254.2 days) and restrain high-grade glioma development (n?=?69, p<0.01, HR: 0.264, 95% CI: 0.102 to 0.687). By Methylation specific polymerase chain reaction (MSP), we reported that neogenin promoter was methylated in 31.0% (9/29) gliomas, but absent in 3 kinds of glioma cell lines. Interestingly, the prevalence of methylation in high-grade gliomas was higher than low-grade gliomas and non-neoplastic brain tissues (n?=?33, p<0.05) and overall methylation rate increased as glioma malignancy advanced. Furthermore, when cells were over-expressed by neogenin, the apoptotic rate in SHG-44 was increased to 39.7% compared with 8.1% in the blank control (p<0.01) and 9.3% in the negative control (p<0.01).


These observations recapitulated the proposed role of neogenin as a tumor suppressor in gliomas and we suggest its down-regulation owing to promoter methylation is a selective advantage for glioma genesis, progression and recurrence. Furthermore, the induction of apoptosis in SHG-44 cells after overexpression of neogenin, indicated that neogenin could be a novel target for glioma therapy.