Differential interaction of the Pafah1b alpha subunits with the Reelin transducer Dab1

Guangcheng Zhang, Amir H. Assadi, Mila Roceri, Gary D. Clark, Gabriella D'Arcangelo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The Reelin signaling pathway controls radial neuronal migration and maturation in the developing brain. The platelet activating factor (PAF) acetyl hydrolase 1b (Pafah1b) complex is also involved in multiple aspects of brain development. We previously showed that the Reelin pathway and the Pafah1b complex interact genetically and biochemically. Lis1, the regulatory subunit of Pafah1b interacts with phosphoDab1, an essential mediator of Reelin signaling. Compound mutants carrying mutations in both, the Reelin pathway and Lis1 exhibit hydrocephalus, a phenotype that is suppressed by mutations in the gene encoding the Alpha2 subunit of Pafah1b. This subunit, like the Alpha1 catalytic subunit of Pafah1b also binds the Reelin receptor VLDLR. Here we investigated the molecular interactions of the Pafah1b catalytic subunits with Dab1. We found that Alpha2 coprecipitates with Dab1 from brain extracts of normal and reeler mutant mice lacking Reelin, and from cell-free extracts containing normal or a phosphorylation mutant form of Dab1, suggesting that Dab1 phosphorylation is not necessary for binding to Alpha2. This interaction is specific for Alpha2 and not Alpha1, and depends on a unique tyrosine residue of Alpha2. Biochemical assays using mutant mice lacking Alpha2 further demonstrated that this subunit is not required for Reelin-induced Dab1 phosphorylation. However, increasing amounts of Alpha2 in a cell-free system disrupted the formation of Dab1-Lis1 complexes without affecting the association of Dab1 with VLDLR. Our data suggest that the Alpha2 subunit may play a modulatory role in the formation of protein complexes that affect brain development and hydrocephalus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalBrain research
StatePublished - Apr 24 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


  • Disabled-1
  • Lipoprotein receptor
  • Neocortex
  • Neuronal migration
  • Platelet activating factor acetylhydrolase
  • Reeler

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