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

Functional cooperation of beta1-integrins and members of the Ig superfamily in neurite outgrowth induction.

Neurite outgrowth is a central aspect of the ontogenetic formation of neural networks and is regulated by distinct groups of cell surface molecules. One protein involved in neurite elongation and fasciculation is the neural Ig superfamily member F11/contactin. We have shown previously that F11 promotes neurite extension of chick tectal neurons by interaction with the tectal receptor NrCAM, a member of the L1 subgroup of the Ig superfamily. By contrast, it does not induce outgrowth of retinal neurons despite the fact that these cells also express NrCAM, suggesting that in retinal cells the F11-NrCAM interaction alone is not sufficient to induce neurite extension. In this report we present a novel image analysis procedure to quantify neurite outgrowth and use it to demonstrate that F11 enhances the fibronectin-induced outgrowth response of embryonic retinal neurons. We reveal that NrCAM is the neuronal receptor mediating the enhanced outgrowth of retinal neurons, whereas the related F11- binding molecule NgCAM is not involved. Furthermore, we provide evidence that a beta1-integrin may represent the fibronectin-dependent receptor that cooperates indirectly with the F11-NrCAM pathway. Our results support the concept of a combinatorial labeling of cells in nervous system histogenesis by different classes of cell surface proteins, in particular by integrins and molecules of the Ig superfamily.[1]


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