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Brain Res. 1999 Jan 23;816(2):646-61.

Gas6, a ligand for the receptor protein-tyrosine kinase Tyro-3, is widely expressed in the central nervous system.

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  • 1Department of Neuropharmacology CVN12, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA. aprieto@scripps.edu


Gas6 (growth arrest specific gene-6) is a ligand for members of the Axl subfamily of receptor protein-tyrosine kinases. One of these receptors, Tyro-3, is widely expressed in the central nervous system. We have used biochemical and histological techniques, including in situ hybridization, to determine the expression patterns of Gas6 mRNA and protein during development. Gas6 is widely expressed in the rat central nervous system (CNS) beginning at late embryonic stages and its levels remain high in the adult. Gas6 is detected as a single 85 kDa protein, which is encoded by a single 2.5 kb mRNA species. At embryonic day 14 it is detected in the heart, blood vessels, testes, choroid plexus, and in the ventral spinal cord. In the adult, Gas6 is expressed in the cerebral cortex, (predominantly in layer V), the piriform cortex, and the hippocampus (areas CA1, CA3 and the dentate gyrus). It is also expressed in thalamic and hypothalamic structures, the midbrain, and in a subset of motor and trigeminal nuclei. In the cerebellum, it is expressed in Purkinje neurons and deep cerebellar nuclei. Protein S, a protein related to Gas6, is only detected at low levels in the CNS. The spatial and temporal profiles of Gas6 expression suggest that it could potentially serve as the physiologically relevant ligand for Tyro-3 in the postnatal rat nervous system.

Copyright 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.

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