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Cell Death Differ. 2002 Apr;9(4):405-13.

Bag1 is a regulator and marker of neuronal differentiation.

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The Burnham Institute, Program on Apoptosis and Cell Death Research, 10901 N. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, California, CA 92037, USA.


Bag 1 acts as a co-chaperone for Hsp70/Hsc70. We report here that stable over-expression of Bag1 in immortalized neuronal CSM14.1 cells prevents death following serum deprivation. Bag1 over-expression slowed the proliferative rate of CSM14.1 cells, resulted in increased levels of phospo-MAP kinases and accelerated neuronal differentiation. Immunocytochemistry revealed mostly nuclear localization of Bag1 protein in these cells. However, during differentiation in vitro, Bag1 protein shifted from predominantly nuclear to mostly cytosolic in CSM14.1 cells. To explore in vivo parallels of these findings, we investigated Bag1 expression in the developing mouse nervous system using immunohistochemical methods. Early in brain development, Bag1 was found in nuclei of neuronal precursor cells, whereas cytosolic Bag1 staining was observed mainly after completion of neuronal precursor migration and differentiation. Taken together, these findings raise the possibility that the Bag1 protein is expressed early in neurogenesis in vivo and is capable of modulating neuronal cell survival and differentiation at least in part from a nuclear location.

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