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Pubmed ID: 27328461
Publication Date: 2016/07/08

The immunoglobulin-like superfamily member IGSF3 is a developmentally regulated protein that controls neuronal morphogenesis.

The establishment of a functional brain depends on the fine regulation and coordination of many processes, including neurogenesis, differentiation, dendritogenesis, axonogenesis, and synaptogenesis. Proteins of the immunoglobulin-like superfamily (IGSF) are major regulators during this sequence of events. Different members of this class of proteins play nonoverlapping functions at specific developmental time-points, as shown in particular by studies of the cerebellum. We have identified a member of the little studied EWI subfamily of IGSF, the protein IGSF3, as a membrane protein expressed in a neuron specific- and time-dependent manner during brain development. In the cerebellum, it is transiently found in membranes of differentiating granule cells, and is particularly concentrated at axon terminals. There it co-localizes with other IGSF proteins with well-known functions in cerebellar development: TAG-1 and L1. Functional analysis shows that IGSF3 controls the differentiation of granule cells, more precisely axonal growth and branching. Biochemical experiments demonstrate that, in the developing brain, IGSF3 is in a complex with the tetraspanin TSPAN7, a membrane protein mutated in several forms of X-linked intellectual disabilities. In cerebellar granule cells, TSPAN7 promotes axonal branching and the size of TSPAN7 clusters is increased by downregulation of IGSF3. Thus IGSF3 is a novel regulator of neuronal morphogenesis that might function through interactions with multiple partners including the tetraspanin TSPAN7. This developmentally regulated protein might thus be at the center of a new signaling pathway controlling brain development. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 77: 75-92, 2017.
Authors: Usardi Alessia , Iyer Keerthana , Sigoillot Séverine M , Dusonchet Antoine , Selimi Fekrije ,


  1. [Last access 2016/07/08].

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