GDNF Receptors : Veterans and Novices

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Title: GDNF Receptors : Veterans and Novices
Author: Bespalov, Maxim
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Biosciences, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Division of Genetics
Institute of Biotechnology
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2009-12-18
Language: en
Thesis level: Doctoral dissertation (article-based)
Abstract: Neurotrophic factors play essential role in the development and functioning of the nervous system and other organs. Glial cell line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (GDNF) family ligands (GFLs) are of particular interest because they promote the survival of dopaminergic neurons in vitro, in Parkinson s disease animal models and in patients. GDNF is also a potent survival factor for the central motoneurons and thus is considered as a potential lead for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The survival promoting receptor complex for GFLs consists of a ligand-specific co-receptor, GFRα and a signal transducing module, receptor tyrosine kinase RET. At least GDNF and persephin, a GFL, have established functions outside central nervous system. GDNF is crucial for enteric nervous system and kidney development as well as for spermatogenesis. Persephin controls calcitonin secretion. Communication between cells often occurs in the extracellular matrix (ECM), a meshwork, which is secreted and deposited by the cells and is mainly composed of fibrillar proteins and polymerized sugars. We evaluated the relationship between GFLs and extracellular matrix components and demonstrated that three GFLs - GDNF, neurturin and artemin bind heparan sulfates with nanomolar affinities. The fourth member of the family - persephin binds these polysaccharides thousand times less tightly. GDNF, neurturin and artemin also bind with high affinity to heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG) isolated from the nervous system, syndecan-3. GDNF signals through HSPGs, evoking Src family kinase activation. This signaling induces cell spreading, hippocampal neurite outgrowth in vitro and cellular migration. Specifically, GDNF signaling through syndecan-3 is important for embryonic cortical neuron migration. Syndecan-3-deficient mice, similarly to mice lacking GDNF, have less GABAergic neurons in their cortex, as compared to the wild-type mice. This fact provides indirect evidence that GDNF interaction with syndecan-3 is important for cortical brain development. Noteworthy, in non-neuronal tissues GFLs may signal via other syndecans. We also present the structural model for a GDNF co-receptor, GFRα1. The X-ray structure of the GFRα1 domain 3 was solved with 1.8 Å resolution, revealing a new protein fold. Later we also solved the structure of the truncated GFRα1 in the complex with GDNF and this model was confirmed by site-directed mutagenesis. In summary, our work contributed to the structural characterization of GFRα-based receptor complex and revealed a new receptor for GDNF, neurturin and artemin the HSPG syndecan-3. This information is critically important for the development of GFRα/RET agonists for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.GDNF reseptorit: veteraanit ja noviisit Hermokasvutekijöillä on välttämätön rooli hermoston ja muiden elinten kehityksessä ja toiminnassa. Gliasoluperäinen hermokasvutekijä (GDNF)-perheen ligandit (GFL:t) ovat erityisen kiinnostavia sillä ne edistävät dopamiinia välittäjäaineenaan käyttävien neuronien eloonjäämistä soluviljelmissä, Parkinsonin taudin eläinmalleissa ja potilaissa. GDNF edistää myös tehokkaasti keskushermoston liikehermosolujen eloonjäämistä ja siksi sitä pidetään lupaavana proteiinina amyotrofisen lateraaliskleroosin hoitoon. Eloonjäämistä edistävä GFL:ien reseptorikompleksi koostuu GFRα-apureseptorista, joka määrää spesifisyyden ligandille, ja RET reseptori tyrosiinikinaasista, joka välittää signaalin soluun. Tässä työssä raportoimme GDNF:n ja sen apureseptorin muodostaman kompleksin rakenteen. Kuvaamme myös vaihtoehtoisen reseptorin GDNF:lle, syndekaani-3 proteoglykaanin. Nämä tulokset saattavat olla hyödyllisiä suunniteltaessa GDNF:n toimintaa jäljitteleviä aineita neurologisten sairauksien hoitoon.
Subject: perinnöllisyystiede
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