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FEBS J. 2008 Feb;275(4):618-24. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-4658.2007.06237.x. Epub 2008 Jan 17.

Acetylcholinesterase in cell adhesion, neurite growth and network formation.

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1
Darmstadt University of Technology, Germany. paraoanu@bio.tu-darmstadt.de

Abstract

The expression of acetylcholinesterase is not restricted to cholinergically innervated tissues and relates to both neurotransmission and multiple biological aspects, including neural development, stress response and neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore, the classical function of acetylcholinesterase has to be distinguished from its non-classical, e.g. enzymatic from non-enzymatic, functions. Here, the roles of acetylcholinesterase in cell adhesion, promoting neurite outgrowth and neural network formation are reviewed briefly, together with potential mechanisms to support these functions. Part of these functions may depend on the structural properties of acetylcholinesterase, for example, protein-protein interactions. Recent findings have revealed that laminin-1 is an interaction partner for acetylcholinesterase. The binding of acetylcholinesterase to this extracellular matrix component may allow cell-to-cell recognition, and also cell signalling via membrane receptors. Studies using monolayer and 3D spheroid retinal cultures, as well as the acetylcholinesterase-knockout mouse, have been instrumental in elaborating the non-classical functions of acetylcholinesterase.

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