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Gene Review

NRCAM  -  neuronal cell adhesion molecule

Gallus gallus

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Disease relevance of NRCAM

  • To check the specificity of this aggregation, a fusion protein (FGTNr) consisting of glutathione S-transferase linked to the six immunoglobulin domains and the first fibronectin type III repeat of Nr-CAM was expressed in Escherichia coli [1].
  • When tested as a substrate, Nr-Fc induced robust neurite outgrowth from dorsal root ganglion and sympathetic ganglion neurons, but it was not effective for tectal and forebrain neurons [2].

High impact information on NRCAM

  • However, despite this fact and despite their ubiquitous expression in the spinal cord, NgCAM and NrCAM are selective binding partners for axonin-1 and F11 in sensory axon guidance [3].
  • The present in vivo study demonstrates that interactions by two of these molecules, axonin-1 on commissural growth cones and Nr-CAM on floor plate cells, are required for accurate pathfinding at the midline [4].
  • Under the reverse experimental conditions where NrCAM induces neurite extension, F11, and not neurofascin, serves as axonal receptor [5].
  • Binding between the neural cell adhesion molecules axonin-1 and Nr-CAM/Bravo is involved in neuron-glia interaction [6].
  • Together, these results implicate a binding between axonin-1 of the neuritic and Nr-CAM of the glial cell membrane in the early phase of axon ensheathment in the peripheral nervous system [6].

Biological context of NRCAM

  • Bravo/Nr-CAM is closely related to the cell adhesion molecules L1 and Ng-CAM and has a similar heterodimer structure [7].
  • After transfection, L cells expressed Nr-CAM on their surface and aggregated [1].
  • The temporal expression of Nr-CAM was correlated with various neural morphoregulatory events, including cell proliferation and migration, axonal outgrowth and myelination [8].
  • These anomalous observations are apparently not the result of differential sensitivity of the 23A7 epitope to fixation, the use of suboptimal concentrations of the MAb, or selective MAb binding to a subset of Bravo/Nr-CAM molecules produced by alternative splicing of the transcript or by posttranslational modification [9].

Anatomical context of NRCAM

  • By antibody blockage experiments an axonin-1 receptor on the glial cells was identified as Nr-CAM [6].
  • The results indicate that Nr-CAM is a cell adhesion molecule of the nervous system that can bind by two distinct mechanisms, a homophilic mechanism that can mediate interactions between neurons and a heterophilic mechanism that can mediate binding between neurons and other cells such as fibroblasts [1].
  • To clarify the mode of action of Nr-CAM, a mouse fibroblast cell line L-M(TK-) (or L cells) was transfected with a DNA expression construct encoding an entire chicken Nr-CAM cDNA sequence [1].
  • Nr-CAM also serves as a neuronal receptor for several other cell surface molecules, but its role as a ligand in neurite outgrowth is poorly understood [2].
  • We studied this problem using a chimeric Fc-fusion protein of the extracellular region of Nr-CAM (Nr-Fc) and investigated potential neuronal receptors in the developing peripheral nervous system [2].

Associations of NRCAM with chemical compounds


Other interactions of NRCAM


Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of NRCAM


  1. Homophilic and heterophilic binding activities of Nr-CAM, a nervous system cell adhesion molecule. Mauro, V.P., Krushel, L.A., Cunningham, B.A., Edelman, G.M. J. Cell Biol. (1992) [Pubmed]
  2. Nr-CAM promotes neurite outgrowth from peripheral ganglia by a mechanism involving axonin-1 as a neuronal receptor. Lustig, M., Sakurai, T., Grumet, M. Dev. Biol. (1999) [Pubmed]
  3. Distinct subpopulations of sensory afferents require F11 or axonin-1 for growth to their target layers within the spinal cord of the chick. Perrin, F.E., Rathjen, F.G., Stoeckli, E.T. Neuron (2001) [Pubmed]
  4. Axonin-1, Nr-CAM, and Ng-CAM play different roles in the in vivo guidance of chick commissural neurons. Stoeckli, E.T., Landmesser, L.T. Neuron (1995) [Pubmed]
  5. Neurofascin induces neurites by heterophilic interactions with axonal NrCAM while NrCAM requires F11 on the axonal surface to extend neurites. Volkmer, H., Leuschner, R., Zacharias, U., Rathjen, F.G. J. Cell Biol. (1996) [Pubmed]
  6. Binding between the neural cell adhesion molecules axonin-1 and Nr-CAM/Bravo is involved in neuron-glia interaction. Suter, D.M., Pollerberg, G.E., Buchstaller, A., Giger, R.J., Dreyer, W.J., Sonderegger, P. J. Cell Biol. (1995) [Pubmed]
  7. Bravo/Nr-CAM is closely related to the cell adhesion molecules L1 and Ng-CAM and has a similar heterodimer structure. Kayyem, J.F., Roman, J.M., de la Rosa, E.J., Schwarz, U., Dreyer, W.J. J. Cell Biol. (1992) [Pubmed]
  8. Expression patterns of the cell adhesion molecule Nr-CAM during histogenesis of the chick nervous system. Krushel, L.A., Prieto, A.L., Cunningham, B.A., Edelman, G.M. Neuroscience (1993) [Pubmed]
  9. Developmental changes in epitope accessibility as an indicator of multiple states of an immunoglobulin-like neural cell adhesion molecule. Denburg, J.L., Caldwell, R.T., Marner, J.M. J. Comp. Neurol. (1995) [Pubmed]
  10. The contactin-related protein FAR-2 defines purkinje cell clusters and labels subpopulations of climbing fibers in the developing cerebellum. Plagge, A., Sendtner-Voelderndorff, L., Sirim, P., Freigang, J., Rader, C., Sonderegger, P., Brümmendorf, T. Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (2001) [Pubmed]
  11. Structure of a new nervous system glycoprotein, Nr-CAM, and its relationship to subgroups of neural cell adhesion molecules. Grumet, M., Mauro, V., Burgoon, M.P., Edelman, G.M., Cunningham, B.A. J. Cell Biol. (1991) [Pubmed]
  12. The cell adhesion molecule NrCAM is crucial for growth cone behaviour and pathfinding of retinal ganglion cell axons. Zelina, P., Avci, H.X., Thelen, K., Pollerberg, G.E. Development (2005) [Pubmed]
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