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Gene Review

AGRN  -  agrin

Homo sapiens

Synonyms: AGRIN, Agrin
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Disease relevance of AGRN


Psychiatry related information on AGRN

  • Particularly, it has been shown that agrin is associated with the pathological lesions of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and may contribute to the formation of beta-amyloid (Abeta) plaques in AD [1].

High impact information on AGRN

  • Agrin, through its interaction with the receptor tyrosine kinase MuSK, mediates accumulation of acetylcholine receptors (AChR) at the developing neuromuscular junction [6].
  • Colocalization with agrin binding sites at synapses supports the hypothesis that the alpha3NKA is a neuronal agrin receptor [6].
  • An agrin fragment that acts as a competitive antagonist depresses action potential frequency, showing that endogenous agrin regulates native alpha3NKA function [6].
  • The LNS domains of neurexin and agrin undergo alternative splicing that modulates their affinity for protein ligands in a neuron-specific manner [7].
  • Here we characterize an agrin-binding site on the surface of muscle cells, show that this site corresponds to alpha-dystroglycan, and present evidence that alpha-dystroglycan is functionally related to agrin activity [8].

Chemical compound and disease context of AGRN


Biological context of AGRN


Anatomical context of AGRN


Associations of AGRN with chemical compounds


Physical interactions of AGRN


Co-localisations of AGRN

  • In the in vivo retina, more than 80% of the gephyrin clusters colocalized with extracellular agrin [20].

Regulatory relationships of AGRN


Other interactions of AGRN

  • We also show that agrin accelerates the formation of protofibrils by alpha-synuclein and decreases the half-time of fibril formation [1].
  • Antibodies against agrin and against an unidentified GBM HSPG produced a strong staining of the GBM and the NMJ, different from that observed with anti-perlecan antibodies [21].
  • We then review the development of the NMJ, focusing on the important roles of nerve-derived agrin and MuSK in clustering of AChRs and other essential components of the NMJ [22].
  • Restriction of axon growth to the developing NMJ and formation of active zones for ACh release in the presynaptic terminal may be induced by molecules in the synaptic basal lamina, such as S-laminin, heparin binding growth factors, and agrin [17].
  • Matrix metalloproteinase-3 removes agrin from synaptic basal lamina [23].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of AGRN


  1. Agrin binds alpha-synuclein and modulates alpha-synuclein fibrillation. Liu, I.H., Uversky, V.N., Munishkina, L.A., Fink, A.L., Halfter, W., Cole, G.J. Glycobiology (2005) [Pubmed]
  2. Extracellular matrix and the blood-brain barrier in glioblastoma multiforme: spatial segregation of tenascin and agrin. Rascher, G., Fischmann, A., Kröger, S., Duffner, F., Grote, E.H., Wolburg, H. Acta Neuropathol. (2002) [Pubmed]
  3. Evidence that agrin directly influences presynaptic differentiation at neuromuscular junctions in vitro. Campagna, J.A., Ruegg, M.A., Bixby, J.L. Eur. J. Neurosci. (1997) [Pubmed]
  4. Delayed synapsing muscles are more severely affected in an experimental model of MuSK-induced myasthenia gravis. Xu, K., Jha, S., Hoch, W., Dryer, S.E. Neuroscience (2006) [Pubmed]
  5. HIV-1-infected blood mononuclear cells form an integrin- and agrin-dependent viral synapse to induce efficient HIV-1 transcytosis across epithelial cell monolayer. Alfsen, A., Yu, H., Magérus-Chatinet, A., Schmitt, A., Bomsel, M. Mol. Biol. Cell (2005) [Pubmed]
  6. Alpha3Na+/K+-ATPase is a neuronal receptor for agrin. Hilgenberg, L.G., Su, H., Gu, H., O'Dowd, D.K., Smith, M.A. Cell (2006) [Pubmed]
  7. The structure of the ligand-binding domain of neurexin Ibeta: regulation of LNS domain function by alternative splicing. Rudenko, G., Nguyen, T., Chelliah, Y., Südhof, T.C., Deisenhofer, J. Cell (1999) [Pubmed]
  8. A role for dystrophin-associated glycoproteins and utrophin in agrin-induced AChR clustering. Campanelli, J.T., Roberds, S.L., Campbell, K.P., Scheller, R.H. Cell (1994) [Pubmed]
  9. Agrin is a major heparan sulfate proteoglycan accumulating in Alzheimer's disease brain. Verbeek, M.M., Otte-Höller, I., van den Born, J., van den Heuvel, L.P., David, G., Wesseling, P., de Waal, R.M. Am. J. Pathol. (1999) [Pubmed]
  10. Primary structure and high expression of human agrin in basement membranes of adult lung and kidney. Groffen, A.J., Buskens, C.A., van Kuppevelt, T.H., Veerkamp, J.H., Monnens, L.A., van den Heuvel, L.P. Eur. J. Biochem. (1998) [Pubmed]
  11. The juxtamembrane region of MuSK has a critical role in agrin-mediated signaling. Herbst, R., Burden, S.J. EMBO J. (2000) [Pubmed]
  12. MuSK glycosylation restrains MuSK activation and acetylcholine receptor clustering. Watty, A., Burden, S.J. J. Biol. Chem. (2002) [Pubmed]
  13. Structure and laminin-binding specificity of the NtA domain expressed in eukaryotic cells. Mascarenhas, J.B., Rüegg, M.A., Sasaki, T., Eble, J.A., Engel, J., Stetefeld, J. Matrix Biol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  14. Agrin in the developing CNS: new roles for a synapse organizer. Kröger, S., Schröder, J.E. News Physiol. Sci. (2002) [Pubmed]
  15. Casein kinase 2-dependent serine phosphorylation of MuSK regulates acetylcholine receptor aggregation at the neuromuscular junction. Cheusova, T., Khan, M.A., Schubert, S.W., Gavin, A.C., Buchou, T., Jacob, G., Sticht, H., Allende, J., Boldyreff, B., Brenner, H.R., Hashemolhosseini, S. Genes Dev. (2006) [Pubmed]
  16. N-acetyllactosamine and the CT carbohydrate antigen mediate agrin-dependent activation of MuSK and acetylcholine receptor clustering in skeletal muscle. Parkhomovskiy, N., Kammesheidt, A., Martin, P.T. Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (2000) [Pubmed]
  17. Intercellular communication that mediates formation of the neuromuscular junction. Daniels, M.P. Mol. Neurobiol. (1997) [Pubmed]
  18. Agrin binds to beta-amyloid (Abeta), accelerates abeta fibril formation, and is localized to Abeta deposits in Alzheimer's disease brain. Cotman, S.L., Halfter, W., Cole, G.J. Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (2000) [Pubmed]
  19. Formation of the neuromuscular junction. Agrin and its unusual receptors. Hoch, W. Eur. J. Biochem. (1999) [Pubmed]
  20. Agrin is synthesized by retinal cells and colocalizes with gephyrin [corrected]. Mann, S., Kröger, S. Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (1996) [Pubmed]
  21. Agrin is a major heparan sulfate proteoglycan in the human glomerular basement membrane. Groffen, A.J., Ruegg, M.A., Dijkman, H., van de Velden, T.J., Buskens, C.A., van den Born, J., Assmann, K.J., Monnens, L.A., Veerkamp, J.H., van den Heuvel, L.P. J. Histochem. Cytochem. (1998) [Pubmed]
  22. The agrin/muscle-specific kinase pathway: new targets for autoimmune and genetic disorders at the neuromuscular junction. Liyanage, Y., Hoch, W., Beeson, D., Vincent, A. Muscle Nerve (2002) [Pubmed]
  23. Matrix metalloproteinase-3 removes agrin from synaptic basal lamina. VanSaun, M., Werle, M.J. J. Neurobiol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  24. Activation of Muscle-specific Receptor Tyrosine Kinase and Binding to Dystroglycan Are Regulated by Alternative mRNA Splicing of Agrin. Scotton, P., Bleckmann, D., Stebler, M., Sciandra, F., Brancaccio, A., Meier, T., Stetefeld, J., Ruegg, M.A. J. Biol. Chem. (2006) [Pubmed]
  25. The putative agrin receptor binds ligand in a calcium-dependent manner and aggregates during agrin-induced acetylcholine receptor clustering. Nastuk, M.A., Lieth, E., Ma, J.Y., Cardasis, C.A., Moynihan, E.B., McKechnie, B.A., Fallon, J.R. Neuron (1991) [Pubmed]
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