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Mol Cell Proteomics. 2004 May;3(5):510-20. Epub 2004 Feb 18.

Differential proteomics reveals multiple components in retrogradely transported axoplasm after nerve injury.

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  • 1Molecular Neurobiology Group, Department of Biological Chemistry, Weizmann Institute of Science, 76100 Rehovot, Israel.


Information on axonal damage is conveyed to neuronal cell bodies by a number of signaling modalities, including the post-translational modification of axoplasmic proteins. Retrograde transport of a subset of such proteins is thought to induce or enhance a regenerative response in the cell body. Here we report the use of a differential 2D-PAGE approach to identify injury-correlated retrogradely transported proteins in nerves of the mollusk Lymnaea. A comprehensive series of gels at different pI ranges allowed resolution of approximately 4000 spots by silver staining, and 172 of these were found to differ between lesioned versus control nerves. Mass spectrometric sequencing of 134 differential spots allowed their assignment to over 40 different proteins, some belonging to a vesicular ensemble blocked by the lesion and others comprising an up-regulated ensemble highly enriched in calpain cleavage products of an intermediate filament termed RGP51 (retrograde protein of 51 kDa). Inhibition of RGP51 expression by RNA interference inhibits regenerative outgrowth of adult Lymnaea neurons in culture. These results implicate regulated proteolysis in the formation of retrograde injury signaling complexes after nerve lesion and suggest that this signaling modality utilizes a wide range of protein components.

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