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Curr Biol. 1998 May 7;8(10):603-6.

The lissencephaly gene product Lis1, a protein involved in neuronal migration, interacts with a nuclear movement protein, NudC.

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Department of Cell Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


Important clues to how the mammalian cerebral cortex develops are provided by the analysis of genetic diseases that cause cortical malformations [1-5]. People with Miller-Dieker syndrome (MDS) or isolated lissencephaly sequence (ILS) have a hemizygous deletion or mutation in the LIS1 gene [3,6]; both conditions are characterized by a smooth cerebral surface, a thickened cortex with four abnormal layers, and misplaced neurons [7,8]. LIS1 is highly expressed in the ventricular zone and the cortical plate [9,10], and its product, Lis1, has seven WD repeats [3]; several proteins with such repeats have been shown to interact with other polypeptides, giving rise to multiprotein complexes [11]. Lis1 copurifies with platelet-activating factor acetylhydrolase subunits alpha 1 and alpha 2 [12], and with tubulin; it also reduces microtubule catastrophe events in vitro [13]. We used a yeast two-hybrid screen to isolate new Lis1-interacting proteins and found a mammalian ortholog of NudC, a protein required for nuclear movement in Aspergillus nidulans [14]. The specificity of the mammalian NudC-Lis1 interaction was demonstrated by protein-protein interaction assays in vitro and by co-immunoprecipitation from mouse brain extracts. In addition, the murine mNudC and mLis1 genes are coexpressed in the ventricular zone of the forebrain and in the cortical plate. The interaction of Lis1 with NudC, in conjunction with the MDS and ILS phenotypes, raises the possibility that nuclear movement in the ventricular zone is tied to the specification of neuronal fates and thus to cortical architecture.

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