The NB Transcriptome and Its Relationship to Neural Crest Development

The occurrence of NB in a wide anatomic distribution that parallels the sympathetic nervous system, and the spectrum of tumor phenotypes, including various degrees of differentiation, regression, and proliferation, are strong evidence that the origin of this tumor is closely linked to the development of neural crest-derived sympathogonia. These cells migrate from the neural tube to generate the primordia of the sympathetic chain along the abdominal aorta. A subpopulation migrates to the adrenal anlage to form the chromaffin cells of the medulla. There are many opportunities during this process for abnormalities to contribute to tumorigenesis including loss of controls on cell proliferation, differentiation, or apoptosis. A look at the transcriptome specific to NB reflects this developmental arrest and relationship to neural crest-derived tissues. In preliminary gene expression studies of a spectrum of NB,we have identified genes that are highly expressed in tumors rela

Table 9.1. Genes involved in neurogenesis that are specifically expressed at increased levels in high-risk neuroblastoma relative to normal tissues

Gene title

Gene symbol

Chromosomal location

Gene ontology biological process description (Harris et al.2004)

Embryonic lethal, abnormal vision, Drosophila-like 3 (Hu antigen C)

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