Acetylcholinesterase clustering at the neuromuscular junction involves perlecan and dystroglycan

H. Benjamin Peng, Hongbo Xie, Susana G Rossi, Richard L Rotundo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

170 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Formation of the synaptic basal lamina at vertebrate neuromuscular junction involves the accumulation of numerous specialized extracellular matrix molecules including a specific form of acetylcholinesterase (ACHE), the collagenic-tailed form. The mechanisms responsible for its localization at sites of nerve-muscle contact are not well understood. To understand synaptic AChE localization, we synthesized a fluorescent conjugate of fasciculin 2, a snake α-neurotoxin that tightly binds to the catalytic subunit. Prelabeling AChE on the surface of Xenopus muscle cells revealed that preexisting AChE molecules could be recruited to form clusters that colocalize with acetylcholine receptors at sites of nerve-muscle contact. Likewise, purified avian AChE with collagen-like tail, when transplanted to Xenopus muscle cells before the addition of nerves, also accumulated at sites of nerve-muscle contact. Using exogenous avian AChE as a marker, we show that the collagenic-tailed form of the enzyme binds to the heparan-sulfate proteoglycan perlecan, which in turn binds to the dystroglycan complex through α-dystroglycan. Therefore, the dystroglycan-perlecan complex serves as a cell surface acceptor for ACHE, enabling it to be clustered at the synapse by lateral migration within the plane of the membrane. A similar mechanism may underlie the initial formation of all specialized basal lamina interposed between other cell types.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)911-921
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Volume145
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 17 1999

Fingerprint

Dystroglycans
Neuromuscular Junction
Acetylcholinesterase
Cluster Analysis
Xenopus
Basement Membrane
Muscles
Muscle Cells
Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycans
Snakes
Neurotoxins
Cholinergic Receptors
Synapses
Extracellular Matrix
Vertebrates
Tail
Catalytic Domain
Collagen
Membranes
Enzymes

Keywords

  • Acetylcholinesterase (ACHE)
  • Basal lamina
  • Dystroglycan
  • Heparan- sulfate proteoglycan
  • Neuromuscular junction
  • Perlecan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Acetylcholinesterase clustering at the neuromuscular junction involves perlecan and dystroglycan. / Peng, H. Benjamin; Xie, Hongbo; Rossi, Susana G; Rotundo, Richard L.

In: Journal of Cell Biology, Vol. 145, No. 4, 17.05.1999, p. 911-921.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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