Proliferins (also termed mitogen-regulated proteins; MRP/PLFs) belong to the prolactin gene family. Mrp/Plfs are involved in angiogenesis of the uterus and placenta and maximally expressed during midgestation and decline through the remainder of the gestation period in mouse placenta. The tissue expressions of Mrp/Plfs are mainly documented in placenta, hair follicles of skin and in wound healing. In this report, we demonstrate that Plf1, Plf1 minus exon3, Plf2 and Mrp3 but not Mrp4 are expressed in mouse whole brain by diagnostic RT-PCR and Western blotting. The expression levels of Mrp/Plf mRNAs in mouse brains were low during the neonatal period, but higher in embryonic and adult stages, indicating Mrp/Plfs expression profiles are different in mouse brain and placenta. Interestingly, endogenous Mrp/Plfs were detected using immunostaining both in mouse brain sections and the neuroblastoma cell line, Neuro-2a cells. The function of PLF1 was explored by expressing exogenous PLF1 in Neuro-2a cells. This resulted in increased microvilli. Neuro-2a cells with stable expression of PLF1 had increased proliferation compared with normal and stable expressing EGFP cells when cell reached saturation density. Together these data, strongly suggest that MRP/PLFs mediate microvilli formation and contribute to cell proliferation of neuroblastoma cells.
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