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EMBO J. 2008 Jan 9;27(1):188-200. Epub 2007 Nov 29.

Neural recognition molecules CHL1 and NB-3 regulate apical dendrite orientation in the neocortex via PTP alpha.

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  • 1Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Singapore, Singapore.


Apical dendrites of pyramidal neurons in the neocortex have a stereotypic orientation that is important for neuronal function. Neural recognition molecule Close Homolog of L1 (CHL1) has been shown to regulate oriented growth of apical dendrites in the mouse caudal cortex. Here we show that CHL1 directly associates with NB-3, a member of the F3/contactin family of neural recognition molecules, and enhances its cell surface expression. Similar to CHL1, NB-3 exhibits high-caudal to low-rostral expression in the deep layer neurons of the neocortex. NB-3-deficient mice show abnormal apical dendrite projections of deep layer pyramidal neurons in the visual cortex. Both CHL1 and NB-3 interact with protein tyrosine phosphatase alpha (PTPalpha) and regulate its activity. Moreover, deep layer pyramidal neurons of PTPalpha-deficient mice develop misoriented, even inverted, apical dendrites. We propose a signaling complex in which PTPalpha mediates CHL1 and NB-3-regulated apical dendrite projection in the developing caudal cortex.

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