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Neurosci Lett. 2001 Mar 30;301(2):119-22.

Expression of the extra-large G protein alpha-subunit XLalphas in neuroepithelial cells and young neurons during development of the rat nervous system.

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Department of Neurobiology, Interdisciplinary Center of Neuroscience, University of Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 364, D-69120, Heidelberg, Germany.


XLalphas ('extra large' alpha) is a 78 kDa splice variant of the alpha-subunit of the heterotrimeric G protein, Gs (Nature 372 (1994) 804). Prompted by its neuroendocrine-specific tissue distribution in the adult (J. Biol. Chem. 275 (2000) 33622) and its ability to activate adenylyl cyclase (J. Biol. Chem. 275 (2000) 33633), we investigated the expression of XLalphas in the developing rat nervous system using immunofluorescence. Remarkably, XLalphas expression in the neural tube was found to begin at the onset of neurogenesis, being observed in a subset of mitotic neuroepithelial cells as well as in young neurons. At later developmental stages, XLalphas was associated with a subset of neurons in certain regions of the nervous system such as diencephalon, midbrain, hindbrain, spinal cord and sympathetic trunk. These results suggest a role of XLalphas in neuronal differentiation.

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