Wnt-1 promotes neuronal differentiation and inhibits gliogenesis in P19 cells

K. Tang, J. Yang, X. Gao, C. Wang, L. Liu, H. Kitani, T. Atsumi, N. Jing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Wnt-1, the vertebrate counterpart of the Drosophila wingless gene, plays an important role in the early morphogenesis of neural tissues. In this report, we have shown that overexpression of Wnt-1 can direct embryonic carcinoma P19 cells to differentiate into neuron-like cells in the absence of retinoic acid. Immunocytochemistry showed that these cells expressed neuronal markers, such as the neurofilament (NF) and microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2), but failed to express the glial cell marker, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). RT-PCR revealed that two basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) genes, Mash-1 and Ngn-1, were up-regulated during the differentiation stage of Wnt-1-overexpressing P19 cells. These results suggest that the Wnt-1 gene promotes neuronal differentiation and inhibits gliogenesis during the neural differentiation of P19 cells, and that neural bHLH genes might be involved in this process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-173
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Glial
  • Mash-1
  • Neural differentiation
  • Neuronal
  • Ngn-1
  • P19 embryonic carcinoma cell
  • Wnt-1
  • bHLH genes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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