The neural factor agrin induces the aggregation of acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) and other synaptic molecules on cultured myotubes. This aggregating activity can be mimicked by experimental manipulations that include treatment with neuraminidase or elevated calcium. We report evidence that neuraminidase and calcium act through the agrin signal transduction pathway. The effects of neuraminidase and calcium on AChR clustering are additive with that of agrin at low concentrations and cosaturating at high concentrations. In addition, like agrin, both neuraminidase and calcium cause rapid tyrosine phosphorylation of the muscle-specific kinase (MUSK) and the AChR-β subunit. Our results argue that all three agents act directly on components of the same signal transduction complex. We suggest that sialic acids on components of the complex inhibit interactions necessary for signal transduction and that disinhibition can result in activation. In such a model, agrin could activate signal transduction by disinhibition or by circumventing the inhibition.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of Neurobiology|
|State||Published - 1999|
- Acetylcholine receptor
- Tyrosine phosphorylation
ASJC Scopus subject areas