Research ArticleNeuroscience

Phosphorylation of Nogo Receptors Suppresses Nogo Signaling, Allowing Neurite Regeneration

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Science Signaling  31 Mar 2009:
Vol. 2, Issue 64, pp. ra14
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2000062

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Rescuing Regeneration?

Unlike the axons of neurons in the peripheral nervous system, the axons of neurons in the adult mammalian brain and spinal cord show limited regeneration after an injury. In part, this limited regeneration is thought to result from myelin-associated proteins found on oligodendrocytes that bind neuronal Nogo receptors, thereby eliciting signals that inhibit neurite outgrowth. Takei shows that extracellular phosphorylation of a particular serine residue on the Nogo receptor NgR1 inhibits ligand binding, enabling neurite outgrowth even in the presence of inhibitory myelin-associated proteins. He speculates that this research may provide a launching point for developing methods to stimulate neuronal regeneration in the central nervous system.