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Agrin is an extracellular matrix (ECM) protein with a calculated relative molecular mass of more than 200 kD that induces the aggregation of acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) at the neuromuscular junction. This activity has been mapped to its COOH terminus. In an attempt to identify the functions of the NH2-terminal end, we have now characterized full-length(More)
Genome instability contributes to cancer development and accelerates age-related pathologies as evidenced by a variety of congenital cancer susceptibility and progeroid syndromes that are caused by defects in genome maintenance mechanisms. DNA damage response (DDR) pathways that are mediated through the tumor suppressor p53 play an important role in the(More)
Agrin is a basement membrane-associated proteoglycan that induces the formation of postsynaptic specializations at the neuromuscular junction. This activity is modulated by alternative splicing and is thought to be mediated by receptors expressed in muscle fibers. An isoform of agrin that does not induce postsynaptic specializations binds with high affinity(More)
Agrin is a basal lamina-associated heparansulfate proteoglycan that is a key molecule in the formation of the vertebrate neuromuscular junction. The carboxy-terminal part of agrin is involved in its synaptogenic activity. The amino-terminal end of chick agrin consists of a signal sequence, required for the targeting of the protein to the secretory pathway,(More)
Aging represents the progressive functional decline and increased mortality risk common to nearly all metazoans. Recent findings experimentally link DNA damage and organismal aging: longevity-regulating genetic pathways respond to the accumulation of DNA damage and other stress conditions and conversely influence the rate of damage accumulation and its(More)
Agrin is a large, multidomain heparan sulfate proteoglycan that is associated with basement membranes of several tissues. Particular splice variants of agrin are essential for the formation of synaptic structures at the neuromuscular junction. The binding of agrin to laminin appears to be required for its localization to synaptic basal lamina and other(More)
Impairment of stem cell function contributes to the progressive deterioration of tissue maintenance and repair with ageing. Evidence is mounting that age-dependent accumulation of DNA damage in both stem cells and cells that comprise the stem cell microenvironment are partly responsible for stem cell dysfunction with ageing. Here, we review the impact of(More)
Coiled-coil domains are found in a wide variety of proteins, where they typically specify subunit oligomerization. Recently, we have demonstrated that agrin, a multidomain heparan sulfate proteoglycan with a crucial role in the development of the nerve-muscle synapse, binds to the three-stranded coiled-coil domain of laminin-1. The interaction with laminin(More)
miRNAs constitute a family of small RNA species that have been demonstrated to play a central role in regulating gene expression in many organisms. With the advent of next generation sequencing, new opportunities have arisen to identify and quantify miRNAs and elucidate their function. The unprecedented sequencing depth reached by next generation sequencing(More)
The accumulation of stochastic DNA damage throughout an organism's lifespan is thought to contribute to ageing. Conversely, ageing seems to be phenotypically reproducible and regulated through genetic pathways such as the insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and growth hormone (GH) receptors, which are central mediators of the somatic growth axis. Here we(More)