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PLoS One. 2012;7(9):e43669. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0043669. Epub 2012 Sep 11.

Site specific cleavage mediated by MMPs regulates function of agrin.

Author information

1
Department of Chemistry, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Agrin is the key inducer of postsynaptic differentiations at the neuromuscular junction. The multidomain heparan sulfate proteoglycan is mediating via its N-terminal segment the interaction with laminin, whereas the C-terminal portion is responsible for Dystroglycan binding and clustering of the Acetylcholine receptor. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) are known to play essential roles in matrix remodeling, degradation and regulation of extracellular signaling networks.

PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

Site-specific processing of Agrin provides key insight into regulatory effects of Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). Here, we present a detailed study of agrin processing by different MMPs together with a molecular understanding of binding and cleavage at both terminal fragments. The data suggest for a regulatory effect of MMP cleavage at particularly important functional sites of agrin. Cleave of agrin abolishes the agrin-laminin complex formation and the Acetylcholine receptor clustering at the neuromuscular junction.

CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE:

Agrin is a target of specific MMP processing resulting in agrin subfragments with different regulatory activities. MMP processing is a powerful tool to regulate extracellular signaling networks.

PMID:
22984437
PMCID:
PMC3439447
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0043669
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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