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Mol Brain. 2008 Oct 15;1:10. doi: 10.1186/1756-6606-1-10.

beta1-integrin mediates myelin-associated glycoprotein signaling in neuronal growth cones.

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  • 1Institute for Cell Engineering, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, MD 21205, USA. egoh2@jhmi.edu


Several myelin-associated factors that inhibit axon growth of mature neurons, including Nogo66, myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG) and oligodendrocyte myelin glycoprotein (OMgp), can associate with a common GPI-linked protein Nogo-66 receptor (NgR). Accumulating evidence suggests that myelin inhibitors also signal through unknown NgR-independent mechanisms. Here we show that MAG, a RGD tri-peptide containing protein, forms a complex with β1-integrin to mediate axonal growth cone turning responses of several neuronal types. Mutations that alter the RGD motif in MAG or inhibition of β1-integrin function, but not removal of NgRs, abolish these MAG-dependent events. In contrast, OMgp-induced repulsion is not affected by inhibition of b1-integrin function. We further show that MAG stimulates tyrosine phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK), which in turn is required for MAG-induced growth cone turning. These studies identify β1-integrin as a specific mediator for MAG in growth cone turning responses, acting through FAK activation.

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