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J Cell Sci. 1999 Sep;112 Pt 18:3015-27.

NrCAM, cerebellar granule cell receptor for the neuronal adhesion molecule F3, displays an actin-dependent mobility in growth cones.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Génétique et de Physiologie du Développement, UMR 6545 CNRS, IBDM, Parc Scientifique de Luminy, Marseille, France.


The neuronal adhesion glycoprotein F3 is a multifunctional molecule of the immunoglobulin superfamily that displays heterophilic binding activities. In the present study, NrCAM was identified as the functional receptor mediating the inhibitory effect of F3 on axonal elongation from cerebellar granule cells. F3Fc-conjugated microspheres binding to neuronal growth cones resulted from heterophilic interaction with NrCAM but not with L1. Time-lapse video-microscopy indicated that F3Fc beads bind at the leading edge and move retrogradely to reach the base of the growth cone within a lapse of 30-60 seconds. Such velocity (5.7 microm/minute) is consistent with a coupling between F3 receptors and the retrograde flow of actin filaments. When actin filaments were disrupted by cytochalasin B, the F3Fc beads remained immobile at the leading edge. The retrograde mobility appeared to be dependent on NrCAM clustering since it was induced upon binding with cross-linked but not dimeric F3Fc chimera. These data indicate that F3 may control growth cone motility by modulating the linkage of its receptor, NrCAM, to the cytoskeleton. They provide further insights into the mechanisms by which GPI-anchored adhesion molecules may exert an inhibitory effect on axonal elongation.

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