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EMBO J. 1989 Oct;8(10):2879-88.

Neuraxin, a novel putative structural protein of the rat central nervous system that is immunologically related to microtubule-associated protein 5.

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ZMBH, Center for Molecular Biology, University of Heidelberg, FRG.


During screening of a rat spinal cord lambda gt11 cDNA library with poly- and monoclonal antibodies against the postsynaptic glycine receptor a cDNA was isolated which covers an open reading frame encoding a protein of calculated mol. wt 94 kd. Sequence analysis identified a novel type of neuron-specific protein (named neuraxin) which is characterized by an unusual amino acid composition, 12 central heptadecarepeats and putative protein and/or membrane interaction sites. The gene encoding neuraxin appears to be unique in the haploid rat genome and conserved in higher vertebrates. Northern blot and in situ hybridization revealed neuraxin mRNA to be expressed throughout the rodent central nervous system (CNS). In spinal cord, neuraxin transcripts were abundant in motoneurons which also expressed glycine receptor subunit mRNA. A bacterial fusion protein containing approximately 90% of the neuraxin sequence was found to specifically bind tubulin. Polyclonal neuraxin antibodies cross-reacted with microtubule-associated protein 5 (MAP5), and a monoclonal antibody against MAP5 recognized the neuraxin fusion construct. Based on these data we suggest that neuraxin is related to MAP5 and may be implicated in neuronal membrane-microtubule interactions.

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