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Agrin Interactions at Neuromuscular Junction

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Description

The development of the NMJ (Neuromuscular Junction) is triggered by agrin, a signaling factor that is deposited by the nerve terminal at the site of contact with the muscle cell. Motor neuron-derived agrin induces many aspects of synaptic differentiation and is required for the postsynaptic localization of many synapse-specific basal lamina, transmembrane, and cytoplasmic proteins. In addition, agrin is sufficient to induce aggregation of these synaptic proteins in muscle cells in vitro, or at ectopic sites on muscle fibers in vivo. Most notably, agrin induces a rapid aggregation of AChR (Acetylcholine Receptors), initially through a redistribution of preexisting receptors in the muscle membrane. This agrin-induced clustering of the neurotransmitter receptor allows functional, synaptic transmission from early stages of NMJ formation [...]

References:

1.Structural mechanisms of the agrin-LRP4-MUSK signaling pathway in neuromuscular junction differentiation.
Zong Y, Jin R.
Cell Mol Life Sci. 2013 Sep;70(17):3077-88. doi: 10.1007/s00018-012-1209-9. Epub 2012 Nov 22. Review.
2.Molecular control of neuromuscular junction development.
Ferraro E, Molinari F, Berghella L.
J Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle. 2012 Mar;3(1):13-23. doi: 10.1007/s13539-011-0041-7. Epub 2011 Oct 14.
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