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PLoS One. 2013 Sep 2;8(9):e73000. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0073000. eCollection 2013.

Neuron glia-related cell adhesion molecule (NrCAM) promotes topographic retinocollicular mapping.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States of America.

Abstract

NrCAM (Neuron-glial related cell adhesion molecule), a member of the L1 family of cell adhesion molecules, reversibly binds ankyrin and regulates axon growth, but it has not been studied for a role in retinotopic mapping. During development of retino-collicular topography, NrCAM was expressed uniformly in retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) along both mediolateral and anteroposterior retinal axes, and was localized on RGC axons within the optic tract and superior colliculus (SC). Anterograde tracing of RGC axons in NrCAM null mutant mice at P10, when the map resembles its mature form, revealed laterally displaced ectopic termination zones (eTZs) of axons from the temporal retina, indicating defective mediolateral topography, which is governed by ephrinB/EphBs. Axon tracing at P2 revealed that interstitial branch orientation of ventral-temporal RGC axons in NrCAM null mice was compromised in the medial direction, likely accounting for displacement of eTZs. A similar retinocollicular targeting defect in EphB mutant mice suggested that NrCAM and EphB interact to regulate mediolateral retino-collicular targeting. We found that EphB2 tyrosine kinase but not an EphB2 kinase dead mutant, phosphorylated NrCAM at a conserved tyrosine residue in the FIGQY ankyrin binding motif, perturbing ankyrin recruitment in NrCAM transfected HEK293 cells. Furthermore, the phosphorylation of NrCAM at FIGQY in SC was decreased in EphB1/3 and EphB1/2/3 null mice compared to WT, while phospho-FIGQY of NrCAM in SC was increased in EphB2 constitutively active (F620D/F620D) mice. These results demonstrate that NrCAM contributes to mediolateral retinocollicular axon targeting by regulating RGC branch orientation through a likely mechanism in which ephrinB/EphB phosphorylates NrCAM to modulate linkage to the actin cytoskeleton.

PMID:
24023801
PMCID:
PMC3759449
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0073000
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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