The neuronal growth-associated protein GAP-43 induces filopodia in non-neuronal cells

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Science  09 Jun 1989:
Vol. 244, Issue 4909, pp. 1193-1195
DOI: 10.1126/science.2658062


The neuron-specific protein GAP-43 is associated with the membrane of the nerve growth cone and thus may be important to the activity of this distinctive neuronal structure. Transient transfection of COS and NIH 3T3 cells with appropriate vectors resulted in expression of GAP-43 in these non-neuronal cells; as in neurons, transfected GAP-43 associated with the membrane. In addition, many long fine filopodial processes extended from the periphery of such transfected cells. Stable CHO cell lines expressing GAP-43 also exhibited processes that were more numerous, far longer, and more complex than those of CHO cell lines not transfected or transfected with control plasmids. Thus GAP-43 may directly contribute to growth cone activity by regulating cell membrane structure and enhancing extension of filopodial processes.

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