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Nat Neurosci. 2003 Jun;6(6):572-8.

A new phospholipid phosphatase, PRG-1, is involved in axon growth and regenerative sprouting.

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Institute of Anatomy, Department of Cell Biology and Neurobiology, Philippstr. 12, Humboldt University Medical School Charité, D-10115 Berlin, Germany.


Outgrowth of axons in the central nervous system is governed by specific molecular cues. Molecules detected so far act as ligands that bind to specific receptors. Here, we report a new membrane-associated lipid phosphate phosphatase that we have named plasticity-related gene 1 (PRG-1), which facilitates axonal outgrowth during development and regenerative sprouting. PRG-1 is specifically expressed in neurons and is located in the membranes of outgrowing axons. There, it acts as an ecto-enzyme and attenuates phospholipid-induced axon collapse in neurons and facilitates outgrowth in the hippocampus. Thus, we propose a novel mechanism by which axons are able to control phospholipid-mediated signaling and overcome the growth-inhibiting, phospholipid-rich environment of the extracellular space.

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