Birgit Weinhold

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The unique modification of the neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) by polysialic acid (polySia) is tightly associated with nervous system development and plasticity. The prevailing view that this large carbohydrate polymer acts as an anti-adhesive factor seems straightforward at first sight. However, during almost 25 years of polySia research it became(More)
Poly-alpha2,8-sialic acid (polySia) is a unique modification of the neural cell adhesion molecule, NCAM, tightly associated with neural development and plasticity. However, the vital role attributed to this carbohydrate polymer has been challenged by the mild phenotype of mice lacking polySia due to NCAM-deficiency. To dissect polySia and NCAM functions, we(More)
The neural cell adhesion molecule NCAM and its associated polysialic acid (PSA) play important roles in synaptic plasticity in the CA1 and/or CA3 regions of the hippocampus in vitro. Here, we address the question of whether NCAM and PSA are involved in regulation of synaptic transmission and plasticity also in vivo at synapses formed by entorhinal cortex(More)
Polysialic acid (PSA) regulates functions of the neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) during development and in neuroplasticity in the adult; the underlying mechanisms at different phases of learning and memory consolidation are, however, unknown. To investigate the contributions of PSA versus the extracellular domain of the NCAM glycoprotein backbone to(More)
The transcription factor serum response factor (SRF), a phylogenetically conserved nuclear protein, mediates the rapid transcriptional response to extracellular stimuli, e.g. growth and differentiation signals. DNA- protein complexes containing SRF or its homologues function as nuclear targets of the Ras/MAPK signalling network, thereby directing gene(More)
Polysialic acid (polySia) is a large glycan with restricted expression, typically found attached to the protein scaffold neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM). PolySia is best known for its proposed role in modulating neuronal development. Its presence and potential functions outside the nervous systems are essentially unexplored. Herein we show the(More)
Among the large set of cell surface glycan structures, the carbohydrate polymer polysialic acid (polySia) plays an important role in vertebrate brain development and synaptic plasticity. The main carrier of polySia in the nervous system is the neural cell adhesion molecule NCAM. As polySia with chain lengths of more than 40 sialic acid residues was still(More)
The post-translational modification of the neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) by polysialic acid (polySia) represents a remarkable example of dynamic modulation of homo- and heterophilic cell interactions by glycosylation. The synthesis of this unique carbohydrate polymer depends on the polysialyltransferases ST8SiaII and ST8SiaIV. Aiming to understand in(More)
Understanding the mechanisms that regulate neurogenesis is a prerequisite for brain repair approaches based on neuronal precursor cells. One important regulator of postnatal neurogenesis is polysialic acid (polySia), a post-translational modification of the neural cell adhesion molecule NCAM. In the present study, we investigated the role of polySia in(More)
The serum response factor (SRF) transcription factor is essential for murine embryogenesis. SRF+(-/-) embryos stop developing at the onset of gastrulation, lacking detectable mesoderm. This developmental defect may reflect cell-autonomous impairment of SRF(-/-) embryonic cells in mesoderm formation. Alternatively, it may be caused by a non-cell-autonomous(More)