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

Identification of neurite outgrowth active sites on the laminin alpha4 chain G domain.

The laminin alpha4 chain is widely distributed in various mesodermal tissues, including the perineurium of peripheral nerves, dorsal root ganglion (DRG), skeletal muscle, and capillaries, and plays important roles in synaptic specialization at the neuromuscular junction and in microvascular formation. The C-terminal globular domain (G domain) of the laminin alpha4 chain was previously found to be critical for heparin binding and cell attachment activity. Here, we focused on neurite outgrowth activity of the laminin alpha4 chain G domain. We found that the recombinant alpha4 chain G domain protein (rec-alpha4G) promoted neurite outgrowth of rat pheochromocytoma PC12 cells. When 114 overlapping synthetic peptides that covered the entire G domain were tested for neurite outgrowth activity, nine peptides were active, but the 105 remaining peptides did not exhibit activity. Three of the nine active peptides, A4G6 (LAIKNDNLVYVY), A4G20 (DVISLYNFKHIY), and A4G107 (VIRDSNVVQLDV), strongly promoted neurite outgrowth of PC12 cells. A4G107 was found to form amyloid-like fibrils in Congo red, X-ray, and electron microscopy analyses. We also synthesized cyclic peptides to evaluate their conformational requirements. Cyclic peptide A4G82X (cyc-A4G82X;TLFLAHGRLVFX, where X is norleucine) significantly enhanced neurite outgrowth activity, but the rest of the cyclic peptides eliminated the activity. The A4G82 sequence is located on the loop region, suggesting that the activity of A4G82 is required for a loop conformation. These peptides also exhibited neurite outgrowth activity with dorsal root ganglion (DRG) explants and with DRG cells from E14.5 mouse embryos, indicating that they are active in both neuronal cell lines and native neuronal cells. Taken together, the data suggest that the peptides from the laminin alpha4 chain G domain promote neurite outgrowth activity via a specific conformation.[1]


  1. Identification of neurite outgrowth active sites on the laminin alpha4 chain G domain. Ichikawa, N., Kasai, S., Suzuki, N., Nishi, N., Oishi, S., Fujii, N., Kadoya, Y., Hatori, K., Mizuno, Y., Nomizu, M., Arikawa-Hirasawa, E. Biochemistry (2005) [Pubmed]
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