Douglas L. Falls

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The signals that determine whether axons are ensheathed or myelinated by Schwann cells have long been elusive. We now report that threshold levels of neuregulin-1 (NRG1) type III on axons determine their ensheathment fate. Ensheathed axons express low levels whereas myelinated fibers express high levels of NRG1 type III. Sensory neurons from NRG1 type III(More)
In vitro studies indicate a role for the LIM kinase family in the regulation of cofilin phosphorylation and actin dynamics. In addition, abnormal expression of LIMK-1 is associated with Williams syndrome, a mental disorder with profound deficits in visuospatial cognition. However, the in vivo function of this family of kinases remains elusive. Using LIMK-1(More)
The neuregulins (NRGs) are cell-cell signaling proteins that are ligands for receptor tyrosine kinases of the ErbB family. The neuregulin family of genes has four members: NRG1, NRG2, NRG3, and NRG4. Relatively little is known about the biological functions of the NRG2, 3, and 4 proteins, and they are considered in this review only briefly. The NRG1(More)
Motor neurons stimulate their postsynaptic muscle targets to synthesize neurotransmitter receptors. Polypeptide signaling molecules may mediate this inductive interaction. Here we report the purification of ARIA, a protein that stimulates the synthesis of muscle acetylcholine receptors, and the isolation of ARIA cDNA. Recombinant ARIA increases(More)
Two neuregulin-1 isoforms highly expressed in the nervous system are the type III neuregulin III-beta1a and the type I neuregulin I-beta1a. The sequence of these two isoforms differs only in the region that is N-terminal of the bioactive epidermal growth factor-like domain. While the biosynthetic processing of the I-beta1a isoform has been well(More)
The axonal signals that regulate oligodendrocyte myelination during development of the central nervous system (CNS) have not been established. In this study, we have examined the regulation of oligodendrocyte myelination by the type III isoform of neuregulin-1 (NRG1), a neuronal signal essential for Schwann cell differentiation and myelination. In contrast(More)
The neuregulins are receptor tyrosine kinase ligands that play a critical role in the development of the heart, nervous system, and breast. Unlike many extracellular signaling molecules, such as the neurotrophins, most neuregulins are synthesized as transmembrane proteins. To determine the functions of the highly conserved neuregulin cytoplasmic tail, a(More)
A 42-kDa glycoprotein isolated from chicken brain, referred to as acetylcholine receptor-inducing activity (ARIA), that stimulates the rate of incorporation of acetylcholine receptors into the surface of chicken myotubes may play a role in the nerve-induced accumulation of receptors at developing neuromuscular synapses. Using nuclease-protection assays, we(More)
Visualizing the proliferation marker bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) requires pretreatment of tissue, typically with dilute hydrochloric acid (HCl). We report here that pretreatment by steam heating of paraformaldehyde-fixed tissue sections covered with citrate buffer yields much brighter labeling of BrdU than HCl pretreatment, allows labeling with many antibodies(More)
Neuregulin-1 proteins and their receptors, which are members of the ErbB subfamily of receptor tyrosine kinases, play essential roles in the development of the nervous system and heart. Most neuregulin-1 isoforms are synthesized as transmembrane proproteins that are proteolytically processed to yield an N-terminal fragment containing the bioactive EGF-like(More)