Estrogen-dependent transcription of the NEL-like 2 (NELL2) gene and its role in protection from cell death

Eun Jung Choi, Dong Hee Kim, Jae Geun Kim, Dong Yeol Kim, Jung Dae Kim, Ok Ju Seol, Choon Soo Jeong, Jeong Woo Park, Min Young Choi, Sung Goo Kang, Maria E. Costa, Sergio R. Ojeda, Byung Ju Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


NELL2 (neural tissue-specific epidermal growth factor-like repeat domain-containing protein) is a secreted glycoprotein that is predominantly expressed in neural tissues. We reported previously that NELL2 mRNA abundance in brain is increased by estrogen (E2) treatment and that NELL2 is involved in the E2-dependent organization of a sexually dimorphic nucleus in the preoptic area. In this study we cloned the mouse NELL2 promoter and found it to contain two half-E2 response elements. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays and promoter assays showed that E2 and its receptors (ERα and ERβ) stimulated NELL2 transcription by binding to the two half-E2 response elements. Hippocampal neuroprogenitor HiB5 cells expressing recombinant NELL2 showed increased cell survival under cell death-inducing conditions. Blockade of endogenous synthesis of NELL2 in HiB5 cells abolished the cell survival effect of E2 and resulted in a decrease in phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2 (ERK1/2). These data suggest that the NELL2 gene is trans-activated by E2 and contributes to mediating the survival promoting effects of E2 via intracellular signaling pathway of ERK.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25074-25084
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number32
StatePublished - Aug 6 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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