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Brain Res. 2007 Apr 6;1140:84-95. Epub 2006 Mar 10.

Modulation of Reelin signaling by Cyclin-dependent kinase 5.

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  • 1Laboratory for Developmental Neurobiology, Brain Science Institute, RIKEN, Wako, Saitama, Japan.


The Reelin signaling and Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) both regulate neuronal positioning in the developing brain. Using double-transgenic mice, we have previously shown that these two signaling pathways lie in parallel fashion and have a genetic interaction. Disabled-1 (Dab1), an adapter protein, mediates Reelin signaling and becomes tyrosine-phosphorylated on the binding of Reelin to its receptors. Several isoforms of Dab1 are expressed in embryonic mouse brain, and p80 [Dab1(555)] is the major protein translated. In the present study, we investigated whether Cdk5-mediated phosphorylation of Dab1 modulates Reelin signaling. Cdk5 phosphorylates p80 Dab1 at multiple sites in its carboxyl-terminal region, and tyrosine phosphorylation of p80 Dab1 by Fyn tyrosine kinase is attenuated by this Cdk5-mediated phosphorylation in vitro. Tyrosine phosphorylation of p80 Dab1 induced by exogenous Reelin is enhanced in Cdk5-deficient neurons, corroborating the inhibitory effect of Cdk5-mediated Ser/Thr phosphorylation on tyrosine phosphorylation of p80 Dab1. Another isoform, p45 Dab1 [Dab1(271)], however, is phosphorylated by Cdk5 at one serine residue within a unique carboxyl-terminal region, and its serine phosphorylation enhances tyrosine phosphorylation by Fyn and results in progressive degradation of p45 Dab1. These results indicate that Cdk5 modulates Reelin signaling through the Ser/Thr phosphorylation of Dab1 differently in an isoform-specific manner.

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