Ethanol inhibits L1 cell adhesion molecule activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases

Ningfeng Tang, Min He, Mary Ann O'Riordan, Chloe Farkas, Kevin Buck, Vance Lemmon, Cynthia F. Bearer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Inhibition of the functions of L1 cell adhesion molecule (L1) by ethanol has been implicated in the pathogenesis of the neurodevelopmental aspects of the fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Ethanol at pharmacological concentrations has been shown to inhibit L1-mediated neurite outgrowth of rat post-natal day 6 cerebellar granule cells (CGN). Extracellular signal-related kinases (ERK) 1/2 activation occurs following L1 clustering. Reduction in phosphoERK1/2 by inhibition of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) reduces neurite outgrowth of cerebellar neurons. Here, we examine the effects of ethanol on L1 activation of ERK1/2, and whether this activation occurs via activation of fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1). Ethanol at 25 mm markedly inhibited ERK1/2 activation by both clustering L1 with cross-linked monoclonal antibodies, or by L1-Fc chimeric proteins. Clustering L1 with subsequent ERK1/2 activation did not result in tyrosine phosphorylation of the FGFR1. In addition, inhibition of FGFR1 tyrosine kinase blocked basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) activation of ERK1/2, but did not affect activation of ERK1/2 by clustered L1. We conclude that ethanol disrupts the signaling pathway between L1 clustering and ERK1/2 activation, and that this occurs independently of the FGFR1 pathway in cerebellar granule cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1480-1490
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of neurochemistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Ethanol
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome
  • L1 cell adhesion molecule
  • Mitogen-activated protein kinases
  • Signal transduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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