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J Cell Sci. 1996 Jul;109 ( Pt 7):1749-57.

Initial characterization of anosmin-1, a putative extracellular matrix protein synthesized by definite neuronal cell populations in the central nervous system.

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  • 1Unité de Génétique Moléculaire Humaine (CNRS URA 1968), Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.


The KAL gene is responsible for the X-chromosome linked form of Kallmann's syndrome in humans. Upon transfection of CHO cells with a human KAL cDNA, the corresponding encoded protein, KALc, was produced. This protein is N-glycosylated, secreted in the cell culture medium, and is localized at the cell surface. Several lines of evidence indicate that heparan-sulfate chains of proteoglycan(s) are involved in the binding of KALc to the cell membrane. Polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies to the purified KALc were generated. They allowed us to detect and characterize the protein encoded by the KAL gene in the chicken central nervous system at late stages of embryonic development. This protein is synthesized by definite neuronal cell populations including Purkinje cells in the cerebellum, mitral cells in the olfactory bulbs and several subpopulations in the optic tectum and the striatum. The protein, with an approximate molecular mass of 100 kDa, was named anosmin-1 in reference to the deficiency of the sense of smell which characterizes the human disease. Anosmin-1 is likely to be an extracellular matrix component. Since heparin treatment of cell membrane fractions from cerebellum and tectum resulted in the release of the protein, we suggest that one or several heparan-sulfate proteoglycans are involved in the binding of anosmin-1 to the membranes in vivo.

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