The N-myc downstream regulated gene (NDRG) family: diverse functions, multiple applications

Veerle Melotte, Xianghu Qu, Mate Ongenaert, Wim Van Criekinge, Adriaan P. de Bruine, H. Scott Baldwin, Manon van Engeland*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The N-myc downstream regulated gene (NDRG) family of proteins consists of 4 members, NDRG1-4, which are well conserved through evolution. The first member to be discovered and responsible for the family name was NDRG1, because its expression is repressed by the proto-oncogenes MYCN and MYC. All family members are characterized by an alpha/beta hydrolase-fold motif; however, the precise molecular and cellular function of these family members has not been fully elucidated. Although the exact function of NDRG family members has not been clearly elucidated, emerging evidence suggests that mutations in these genes are associated with diverse neurological and electrophysiological syndromes. In addition, aberrant expression as well as tumor suppressor and oncogenic functions affecting key hallmarks of carcinogenesis such as cell proliferation, differentiation, migration, invasion, and stress response have been reported for several of the NDRG proteins. In this review, we summarize the current literature on the NDRG family members concerning their structure, origin, and tissue distribution. In addition, we review the current knowledge regarding the regulation and signaling of the NDRG family members in development and normal physiology. Finally, their role in disease and potential clinical applications (their role as detection or prognostic markers) are discussed.-Melotte, V., Qu, X., Ongenaert, M., van Criekinge, W., de Bruine, A. P., Baldwin, H. S., van Engeland, M. The N-myc downstream regulated gene (NDRG) family: diverse functions, multiple applications. FASEB J. 24, 4153-4166 (2010).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4153-4166
JournalFaseb Journal
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010


  • proliferation
  • differentiation
  • stress response
  • cancer
  • biomarker

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