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The Muscle Protein Dok-7 Is Essential for Neuromuscular Synaptogenesis

Science  23 Jun 2006:
Vol. 312, Issue 5781, pp. 1802-1805
DOI: 10.1126/science.1127142

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Abstract

The formation of the neuromuscular synapse requires muscle-specific receptor kinase (MuSK) to orchestrate postsynaptic differentiation, including the clustering of receptors for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Upon innervation, neural agrin activates MuSK to establish the postsynaptic apparatus, although agrin-independent formation of neuromuscular synapses can also occur experimentally in the absence of neurotransmission. Dok-7, a MuSK-interacting cytoplasmic protein, is essential for MuSK activation in cultured myotubes; in particular, the Dok-7 phosphotyrosine-binding domain and its target in MuSK are indispensable. Mice lacking Dok-7 formed neither acetylcholine receptor clusters nor neuromuscular synapses. Thus, Dok-7 is essential for neuromuscular synaptogenesis through its interaction with MuSK.

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