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J Neurosci. 2005 Jan 12;25(2):395-403.

L1-mediated branching is regulated by two ezrin-radixin-moesin (ERM)-binding sites, the RSLE region and a novel juxtamembrane ERM-binding region.

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  • 1Department of Neurosciences, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44106, USA.


We investigated how the neural cell adhesion molecule L1 mediates neurite outgrowth through L1-L1 homophilic interactions. Wild-type L1 and L1 with mutations in the cytoplasmic domain (CD) were introduced into L1 knock-out neurons, and transfected neurons were grown on an L1 substrate. Neurite length and branching were compared between wild-type L1 and L1CD mutations. Surprisingly, the L1CD is not required for L1-mediated neurite outgrowth but plays a critical role in neurite branching, through both the juxtamembrane region and the RSLE region. We demonstrate that both regions serve as ezrin-moesin-radixin-binding sites. A truncation mutant that deletes 110 of 114 amino acids of the L1CD still supports neurite outgrowth on an L1 substrate, suggesting that a coreceptor binds to L1 in cis and mediates neurite outgrowth and that L1-ankyrin interactions are not essential for neurite initiation or outgrowth. These data are consistent with a model in which L1 can influence L1-mediated neurite outgrowth and branching through both the L1CD and a coreceptor.

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