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EMBO J. 2004 Apr 21;23(8):1878-88. Epub 2004 Apr 1.

Alternative splicing modulates Disabled-1 (Dab1) function in the developing chick retina.

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1
Department of Oncology, Cross Cancer Institute, University of Alberta, Alberta, Canada.

Abstract

The Reelin-Disabled 1 (Dab1)-signaling pathway plays a critical role in neuronal cell positioning in the brain. We have isolated two alternatively spliced variants of Dab1 from chick retina, an early form (chDab1-E) expressed in undifferentiated cells and a late form (chDab1-L) expressed in amacrine and ganglion cells. A key difference between the two forms is the exclusion in chDab1-E of two Src-related tyrosine kinase recognition sites implicated in Reelin-mediated Dab1 tyrosine phosphorylation. Retinal cultures transfected with a chDab1-L expression construct undergo a dramatic change in morphology, accompanied by the formation of numerous thin elongated processes, increased tyrosine phosphorylation, activation of Src family kinase(s) and increased levels of the axonal outgrowth protein growth-associated protein-43. In contrast, chDab1-E transfectants retain an undifferentiated morphology. Mutational analysis implicates a specific tyrosine (tyr-198) in the morphological and biochemical alterations associated with chDab1-L expression. We propose that alternative splicing of chDab1 represents an effective and flexible way of regulating the Reelin-Dab1-signaling pathway in a mixed cell population, by ensuring that secreted Reelin activates the signaling cascade only in target neuronal cells.

PMID:
15057276
PMCID:
PMC394239
DOI:
10.1038/sj.emboj.7600185
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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