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Exp Neurol. 1999 Mar;156(1):214-7.

Reelin, the extracellular matrix protein deficient in reeler mutant mice, is processed by a metalloproteinase.

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Neurobiology Unit, University of Namur Medical School, 61 rue de Bruxelles, B-5000 Namur, Belgium.


Reelin is the extracellular protein defective in reeler mice. It is believed that reelin acts via the extracellular matrix to influence the development of nearby neurons, but the mechanism remains thus far unknown. In the present work, we present in vivo and in vitro evidence that reelin is cleaved. This processing did not occur in Relnrl-Orl mutant mice in which reelin is not secreted and was prevented in explant cultures by brefeldin treatment, suggesting that it takes place extracellularly or in a postendoplasmic reticulum compartment. Reelin cleavage was inhibited by zinc chelators known to inhibit metalloproteinases but was unaffected by inhibitors of serine, cysteine, or aspartate proteinases. Furthermore, reelin cleavage was insensitive to inhibitors of matrixins, neprilysin, meprin, and peptidyl dipeptidase A, suggesting that the processing enzyme belongs to a different enzyme family. This enzyme and the physiological meaning of reelin processing remain to be characterized further.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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