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Cell. 1991 Oct 4;67(1):21-33.

Morphoregulatory activities of NCAM and N-cadherin can be accounted for by G protein-dependent activation of L- and N-type neuronal Ca2+ channels.

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Department of Experimental Pathology, UMDS, Guy's Hospital, London, England.


We present evidence that the morphoregulatory activities of neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) and N-cadherin involve activation of intracellular second messenger pathways. PC12 cells were cultured on monolayers of control 3T3 cells or 3T3 cells expressing transfected N-cadherin or NCAM. NCAM and N-cadherin directly induced a transcription-independent change in the morphology of PC12 cells from an adrenal to neuronal phenotype and also specifically increased Thy-1, but not L1/NILE or low affinity NGF receptor, immunoreactivity. The morphological response was more rapid and, in the case of N-cadherin, more substantial than that induced by NGF. It could be fully inhibited by pertussis toxin and a combination of L- and N-type Ca2+ channel antagonists, but not by broad-specificity kinase inhibitors. It was blocked, however, by the kinase inhibitor K-252b. These studies suggest that cell adhesion molecules directly alter cell phenotype and provide direct evidence for transmembrane signaling mediating both the morphological and biochemical responses induced by NCAM and N-cadherin.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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