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Agrin regulates rapsyn interaction with surface acetylcholine receptors, and this underlies cytoskeletal anchoring and clustering


Moransard, M; Borges, L S; Willmann, R; Marangi, P A; Brenner, H R; Ferns, M J; Fuhrer, C (2003). Agrin regulates rapsyn interaction with surface acetylcholine receptors, and this underlies cytoskeletal anchoring and clustering. Journal of Biological Chemistry:7350-7359.

Abstract

The acetylcholine receptor (AChR)-associated protein rapsyn is essential for neuromuscular synapse formation and clustering of AChRs, but its mode of action remains unclear. We have investigated whether agrin, a key nerve-derived synaptogenic factor, influences rapsyn-AChR interactions and how this affects clustering and cytoskeletal linkage of AChRs. By precipitating AChRs and probing for associated rapsyn, we found that in denervated diaphragm rapsyn associates with synaptic as well as with extrasynaptic AChRs showing that rapsyn interacts with unclustered AChRs in vivo. Interestingly, synaptic AChRs are associated with more rapsyn suggesting that clustering of AChRs may require increased interaction with rapsyn. In similar experiments in cultured myotubes, rapsyn interacted with intracellular AChRs and with unclustered AChRs at the cell surface, although surface interactions are much more prominent. Remarkably, agrin induces recruitment of additional rapsyn to surface AChRs and clustering of AChRs independently of the secretory pathway. This agrin-induced increase in rapsyn-AChR interaction strongly correlates with clustering, because staurosporine and herbimycin blocked both the increase and clustering. Conversely, laminin and calcium induced both increased rapsyn-AChR interaction and AChR clustering. Finally, time course experiments revealed that the agrin-induced increase occurs with AChRs that become cytoskeletally linked, and that this precedes receptor clustering. Thus, we propose that neural agrin controls postsynaptic aggregation of the AChR by enhancing rapsyn interaction with surface AChRs and inducing cytoskeletal anchoring and that this is an important precursor step for AChR clustering.

The acetylcholine receptor (AChR)-associated protein rapsyn is essential for neuromuscular synapse formation and clustering of AChRs, but its mode of action remains unclear. We have investigated whether agrin, a key nerve-derived synaptogenic factor, influences rapsyn-AChR interactions and how this affects clustering and cytoskeletal linkage of AChRs. By precipitating AChRs and probing for associated rapsyn, we found that in denervated diaphragm rapsyn associates with synaptic as well as with extrasynaptic AChRs showing that rapsyn interacts with unclustered AChRs in vivo. Interestingly, synaptic AChRs are associated with more rapsyn suggesting that clustering of AChRs may require increased interaction with rapsyn. In similar experiments in cultured myotubes, rapsyn interacted with intracellular AChRs and with unclustered AChRs at the cell surface, although surface interactions are much more prominent. Remarkably, agrin induces recruitment of additional rapsyn to surface AChRs and clustering of AChRs independently of the secretory pathway. This agrin-induced increase in rapsyn-AChR interaction strongly correlates with clustering, because staurosporine and herbimycin blocked both the increase and clustering. Conversely, laminin and calcium induced both increased rapsyn-AChR interaction and AChR clustering. Finally, time course experiments revealed that the agrin-induced increase occurs with AChRs that become cytoskeletally linked, and that this precedes receptor clustering. Thus, we propose that neural agrin controls postsynaptic aggregation of the AChR by enhancing rapsyn interaction with surface AChRs and inducing cytoskeletal anchoring and that this is an important precursor step for AChR clustering.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Brain Research Institute
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:28 February 2003
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:12
Last Modified:01 Sep 2016 07:02
Publisher:American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
ISSN:0021-9258
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:10.1074/jbc.M210865200
PubMed ID:12486121
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-108

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