WW domain-containing oxidoreductase WOX1, also known as WWOX or FOR, is a proapoptotic protein and a putative tumor suppressor. Hyaluronidases such as PH-20, Hyal-1 and Hyal-2 induce the expression of WOX1, and hyaluronidases and hyaluronan are involved in the embryonic development. In the present study, we document the expression of WOX1 in the developing murine nervous system. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that WOX1 was differentially expressed in early dividing cells from all three germ layers from embryonic to perinatal stages. In murine fetuses, WOX1 was present prevalently in the brainstem, spinal cord and peripheral nerve bundles, but its expression decreased after birth. In parallel, the expression of WOX1, as determined by Western blotting, was significantly reduced in the brain stem and spinal cord of adult mice. Notably, high levels of WOX1 immunoreactivity was observed in the neural crest-derived structures such as cranial and spinal ganglia and cranial mesenchyme during the late fetal stage. In the adult brain, WOX1 is abundant in the epithelial cells of the choroids plexus and ependymal cells, while a low to moderate level of WOX1 is observed within white matter tracts, such as axonal profiles of the corpus callosum, striatum, optic tract, and cerebral peduncle. WOX1 is shown to mediate apoptosis synergistically with p53 in vitro. Nonetheless, the expression profiles of WOX1 were found to be similar in both p53 wild type and knockout mice, suggesting that WOX1 expression is not controlled by p53-mediated gene transcription. Taken together, in this study we have shown the expression and distribution of WOX1 in developing and adult murine nervous system. The potential role of WOX1 in the neuronal differentiation is discussed.
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 2004|
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