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J Neurosci Res. 2001 Nov 1;66(3):337-46.

Dscam is associated with axonal and dendritic features of neuronal cells.

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Laboratory for Neurogenetics, RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Wako-shi, Saitama, Japan.


Dscam, a novel cell-adhesion molecule belonging to the Ig-superfamily mediates homophilic intercellular adhesion and is expressed abundantly in the nervous system during development. To gain better understanding on the role of Dscam in neuronal differentiation, we raised an antibody and characterized its protein product. Anti-Dscam antibody detected an approximately 200-kDa protein band in human and mouse brain lysates. Immunohistochemical studies showed that during embryonic development of mice, mouse Dscam is expressed throughout the neuronal tissues and also in nonneuronal tissues such as lung, liver, and limb buds. In adult brain Dscam expression is predominant in the cerebellum, hippocampus, and olfactory bulb. Immunofluorescence double labeling of hippocampal and cerebellar primary cultures revealed that Dscam is associated with axonal and dendritic processes. In view of its cellular localization and spatiotemporal expression pattern, we suggest that Dscam is involved in cell-cell interactions during axonal-dendritic development, and maintenance of functional neuronal networks.

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