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

Identification of a novel neural cell adhesion molecule-related gene with a potential role in selective axonal projection.

We describe here the cloning of mouse complementary DNAs encoding a novel protein, Rb-8 neural cell adhesion molecule (RNCAM), with a predicted extracellular region of five immunoglobulin C2-type domains followed by two fibronectin type III domains. Alternative splicing is likely to generate two RNCAM isoforms, which are differently attached to the cell membrane. These structural features and overall sequence identity identify this protein as a novel member of a cell adhesion molecule subgroup together with vertebrate neural cell adhesion molecule, Aplysia cell adhesion molecule, and Drosophila fasciclin II. In insects, fasciclin II is present on a restricted subset of embryonic central nervous system axons where it controls selective axon fasciculation. Intriguingly, RNCAM likewise is expressed in subsets of olfactory and vomeronasal neurons with topographically defined axonal projections. The spatial expression RNCAM corresponds precisely to that of certain odorant receptor expression zones of the olfactory epithelium. These expression patterns thus render RNCAM the first described cell adhesion molecule with a potential regulatory role in formation of selective axonal projections important for olfactory sensory information coding.[1]


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