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PubMed | Membrane Biology And Axonal Repair Laboratory Hospital Nacional Of Paraplejicos Sescam
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of cell science | Year: 2010

Serine phosphorylation of the beta-galactoside-binding protein galectin-3 (Gal-3) impacts nuclear localization but has unknown consequences for extracellular activities. Herein, we reveal that the phosphorylated form of galectin-3 (pGal-3), adsorbed to substratum surfaces or to heparan sulphate proteoglycans, is instrumental in promoting axon branching in cultured hippocampal neurons by local actin destabilization. pGal-3 interacts with neural cell adhesion molecule L1, and enhances L1 association with Thy-1-rich membrane microdomains. Concomitantly, membrane-actin linker proteins ezrin-radixin-moesin (ERM) are recruited to the same membrane site via interaction with the intracellular domain of L1. We propose that the local regulation of the L1-ERM-actin pathway, at the level of the plasma membrane, underlies pGal-3-induced axon branching, and that galectin phosphorylation in situ could act as a molecular switch for the axon response to Gal-3.

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