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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Extracellular adenosine triphosphate affects neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM)-mediated cell adhesion and neurite outgrowth.

The neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) plays an important role in synaptic plasticity in embryonic and adult brain. Recently, it has been demonstrated that NCAM is capable of binding and hydrolyzing extracellular ATP. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the role of extracellular ATP in NCAM-mediated cellular adhesion and neurite outgrowth. We here show that extracellularly added adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and its structural analogues, adenosine-5'-O-(3-thiothiophosphate), beta, gamma-methylenadenosine-5'-triphosphate, beta, gamma-imidoadenosine-5-triphosphate, and UTP, in varying degrees inhibited aggregation of hippocampal neurons. Rat glial BT4Cn cells are unable to aggregate when grown on agar but acquire this capacity when transfected with NCAM. However, addition of extracellular ATP to NCAM-transfected BT4Cn cells inhibited aggregation. Furthermore, neurite outgrowth from hippocampal neurons in cultures allowing NCAM-homophilic interactions was inhibited by addition of extracellular nucleotides. These findings indicate that NCAM-mediated adhesion may be modulated by extracellular ATP. Moreover, extracellularly added ATP stimulated neurite outgrowth from hippocampal neurons under conditions non-permissive for NCAM-homophilic interactions, and neurite outgrowth stimulated by extracellular ATP could be inhibited by a synthetic peptide corresponding to the so-called cell adhesion molecule homology domain (CHD) of the fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) and by FGFR antibodies binding to this domain. Antibodies against the fibronectin type-III homology modules of NCAM, in which a putative site for ATP binding and hydrolysis is located, also abolished the neurite outgrowth-promoting effect of ATP. The non-hydrolyzable analogues of ATP all strongly inhibited neurite outgrowth. Our results indicate that extracellular ATP may be involved in synaptic plasticity through a modulation of NCAM-mediated adhesion and neurite outgrowth.[1]


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