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

Bipartite interaction between neurofibromatosis type I protein (neurofibromin) and syndecan transmembrane heparan sulfate proteoglycans.

The neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) gene encodes a large tumor suppressor protein (neurofibromin). Although it is known to possess Ras GTPase-activating protein (GAP) activity, the cellular role of neurofibromin remains unclear. Here we used yeast two-hybrid screening to identify neurofibromin-interacting proteins. Syndecan-2, a transmembrane heparan sulfate proteoglycan ( HSPG), was isolated as a binding partner for two distinct regions of the neurofibromin protein. We subsequently found that neurofibromin can bind all four mammalian syndecans. NF1 interaction requires the transmembrane domain and a membrane-proximal region of the cytoplasmic tail of syndecan, but not the C terminus of syndecan known to bind to CASK, a membrane-associated guanylate kinase (MAGUK). Neurofibromin, syndecans, and CASK have overlapping subcellular distributions in axons and synapses of neurons, as shown by biochemical fractionation and immunostaining. Moreover, neurofibromin exists in a complex with syndecan and CASK in vivo, as evidenced by their coimmunoprecipitation from rat brain. Our findings suggest that interaction with different members of the syndecan family may be a mechanism for localizing neurofibromin to specialized domains of the plasma membrane.[1]


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