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PNAS 97 (17): 9729-9734

Copyright © 2000 by the National Academy of Sciences.


Reelin molecules assemble together to form a large protein complex, which is inhibited by the function-blocking CR-50 antibody

Naoko Utsunomiya-Tate*, Ken-ichiro Kubo*,{dagger},{ddagger}, Shin-ichi Tate§, Masatsune Kainosho, Eisaku Katayama||,**, Kazunori Nakajima{dagger},||,{ddagger}{ddagger}, and Katsuhiko Mikoshiba*,{ddagger}

*Laboratory for Developmental Neurobiology, Brain Science Institute, RIKEN, Wako, Saitama, 351-0198, Japan; {dagger}Department of Molecular Neurobiology, Institute of DNA Medicine, Jikei University School of Medicine, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 105-8461; ||PRESTO, Japan Science and Technology Corporation, Kawaguchi, Saitama 332-0012; {ddagger}Department of Molecular Neurobiology and **Department of Fine Morphology, Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 108-8639; §Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST), Hokuriku, Nomi-gun, Ishikawa, 923-1292; and Department of Chemistry, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo, 192-03, Japan

Accepted for publication June 13, 2000.

Received for publication February 1, 2000.

Abstract: Reelin is a key mediator of ordered neuronal alignment in the brain. Here, we demonstrate that Reelin molecules assemble with each other to form a huge protein complex both in vitro and in vivo. The Reelin–Reelin interaction clearly is inhibited by the function-blocking anti-Reelin antibody, CR-50, at a concentration known to inhibit Reelin function. This assembly is mediated by electrostatic interaction of the CR-50 epitope region. Recombinant CR-50 epitope fragments spontaneously constitute a soluble, string-like homopolymer with a regularly repeated structure composed of more than 40 monomers. Mutated Reelin, which lacks the CR-50 epitope region, cannot form a homopolymer and fails to induce efficient tyrosine phosphorylation of Disabled 1 (Dab1), which should occur to transduce the Reelin signal. These data suggest that Reelin exerts its biological function by composing a large protein assembly driven by the CR-50 epitope region, proposing a novel model of the Reelin signaling in neurodevelopment.

{ddagger}{ddagger} To whom reprint requests and correspondence should be addressed at: Department of Molecular Neurobiology, Institute of DNA Medicine, Jikei University School of Medicine, 3-25-8 Nishi-Shinbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-8461, Japan. E-mail: kazunori{at}

Communicated by Pasko Rakic, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT

Article published online before print: Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 10.1073/pnas.160272497.

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