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Acetylcholine receptors are required for agrin-induced clustering of postsynaptic proteins.


Marangi, P A; Forsayeth, J R; Mittaud, P; Erb-Vögtli, S; Blake, D J; Moransard, M; Sander, A; Fuhrer, C (2001). Acetylcholine receptors are required for agrin-induced clustering of postsynaptic proteins. The EMBO Journal, 20(24):7060-7073.

Abstract

We have investigated the role of acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) in an early step of postsynaptic assembly at the neuromuscular synapse, the clustering of postsynaptic proteins induced by nerve-released agrin. To achieve this, we used two variants of C2 myotubes virtually lacking AChRs and C2 cells in which surface AChRs were down-regulated by AChR antibodies. In all cases, agrin caused normal clustering of the agrin receptor component MuSK, alpha-dystrobrevin and utrophin, but failed to aggregate AChRs, alpha- and beta-dystroglycan, syntrophin isoforms and rapsyn, an AChR-anchoring protein necessary for postsynaptic assembly and AChR clustering. In C2 variants, the stability of rapsyn was decreased, whereas in antibody-treated cells, rapsyn efficiently co-localized with remaining AChRs in microaggregates. Upon ectopic injection into myofibers in vivo, rapsyn did not form clusters in the absence of AChRs. These results show that AChRs and rapsyn are interdependent components of a pre-assembled protein complex that is required for agrin-induced clustering of a full set of postsynaptic proteins, thus providing evidence for an active role of AChRs in postsynaptic assembly.

We have investigated the role of acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) in an early step of postsynaptic assembly at the neuromuscular synapse, the clustering of postsynaptic proteins induced by nerve-released agrin. To achieve this, we used two variants of C2 myotubes virtually lacking AChRs and C2 cells in which surface AChRs were down-regulated by AChR antibodies. In all cases, agrin caused normal clustering of the agrin receptor component MuSK, alpha-dystrobrevin and utrophin, but failed to aggregate AChRs, alpha- and beta-dystroglycan, syntrophin isoforms and rapsyn, an AChR-anchoring protein necessary for postsynaptic assembly and AChR clustering. In C2 variants, the stability of rapsyn was decreased, whereas in antibody-treated cells, rapsyn efficiently co-localized with remaining AChRs in microaggregates. Upon ectopic injection into myofibers in vivo, rapsyn did not form clusters in the absence of AChRs. These results show that AChRs and rapsyn are interdependent components of a pre-assembled protein complex that is required for agrin-induced clustering of a full set of postsynaptic proteins, thus providing evidence for an active role of AChRs in postsynaptic assembly.

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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:17 December 2001
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:12
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:12
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:0261-4189
Publisher DOI:10.1093/emboj/20.24.7060
PubMed ID:11742983
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-120

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