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Science 301 (5633): 649-653

Copyright © 2003 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Reelin Promotes Peripheral Synapse Elimination and Maturation

Carlo C. Quattrocchi,1,2,7 Cheng Huang,2,8 Sanyong Niu,1,2 Michael Sheldon,2,8 David Benhayon,9 Joiner Cartwright, Jr.,3 Dennis R. Mosier,4,10 Flavio Keller,11 Gabriella D'Arcangelo1,2,5,6*

Abstract: Reelin is an extracellular protein that is crucial for layer formation in the embryonic brain. Here, we demonstrate that Reelin functions postnatally to regulate the development of the neuromuscular junction. Reelin is required for motor end-plate maturation and proper nerve-muscle connectivity, and it directly promotes synapse elimination. Unlike layer formation, neuromuscular junction development requires a function of Reelin that is not mediated by Disabled1 or very-low-density lipoprotein receptors and apolipoprotein E receptor 2 receptors but by a distinct mechanism involving its protease activity.

1 The Cain Foundation Laboratories, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
2 Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
3 Department of Pathology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
4 Department of Neurology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
5 Division of Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
6 Program in Developmental Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
7 Program in Neuroscience, Università degli Studi di Brescia, Brescia 25123, Italy.
8 Division of Hematology-Oncology and Texas Children's Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
9 Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of Tennessee, Memphis, TN 38163, USA.
10 Veterans Administration Medical Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
11 Laboratory of Developmental Neuroscience and Neural Plasticity, Università Campus Bio-Medico, Roma 00155, Italy.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: gangelo{at}bcm.tmc.edu

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