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Neuron. 1995 Mar;14(3):549-59.

A motoneuron-selective stop signal in the synaptic protein S-laminin.

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Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis, Missouri 63110.


Motor axons preferentially reinnervate original synaptic sites on denervated muscle fibers. We have shown that components of synaptic basal lamina direct this selectivity, and we identified a protein, s-laminin, that is concentrated in synaptic basal lamina. Here, we report that a recombinant s-laminin fragment inhibits neurite outgrowth promoted by laminin. A tripeptide sequence in this fragment, Leu-Arg-Glu (LRE), contributes to this inhibition and is itself sufficient to inhibit outgrowth. LRE-mediated inhibition is selective for motoneuron-like cells and is observed in mixtures with several, but not all, outgrowth-promoting substrates. Growth cones extending on laminin stop for up to several hours upon contacting deposits of the s-laminin fragment. Thus, LRE may serve as a cell type-selective and context-dependent target-derived signal that plays a role in synapse formation.

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