Neural agrin induces ectopic postsynaptic specializations in innervated muscle fibers

Meier, T. and Hauser, D. M. and Chiquet, M. and Landmann, L. and Ruegg, M. A. and Brenner, H. R.. (1997) Neural agrin induces ectopic postsynaptic specializations in innervated muscle fibers. Journal of neuroscience, 17 (17). pp. 6534-6544.

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Neural agrin, in the absence of a nerve terminal, can induce the activity-resistant expression of acetylcholine receptor (AChR) subunit genes and the clustering of synapse-specific adult-type AChR channels in nonsynaptic regions of adult skeletal muscle fibers. Here we show that, when expression plasmids for neural agrin are injected into the extrasynaptic region of innervated muscle fibers, the following components of the postsynaptic apparatus are aggregated and colocalized with ectopic agrin-induced AChR clusters: laminin-beta2, MuSK, phosphotyrosine-containing proteins, beta-dystroglycan, utrophin, and rapsyn. These components have been implicated to play a role in the differentiation of neuromuscular junctions. Furthermore, ErbB2 and ErbB3, which are thought to be involved in the regulation of neurally induced AChR subunit gene expression, were colocalized with agrin-induced AChR aggregates at ectopic nerve-free sites. The postsynaptic muscle membrane also contained a high concentration of voltage-gated Na+ channels as well as deep, basal lamina-containing invaginations comparable to the secondary synaptic folds of normal endplates. The ability to induce AChR aggregation in vivo was not observed in experiments with a muscle-specific agrin isoform. Thus, a motor neuron-specific agrin isoform is sufficient to induce a full ectopic postsynaptic apparatus in muscle fibers kept electrically active at their original endplate sites.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Biozentrum > Neurobiology > Pharmacology/Neurobiology (Rüegg)
UniBasel Contributors:Rüegg, Markus A.
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Society for Neuroscience
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:02 Jan 2020 14:19
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 13:20

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