Structural features of a close homologue of L1 (CHL1) in the mouse: A new member of the L1 family of neural recognition molecules

Jürgen Holm, Rainer Hillenbrand, Volker Steuber, Udo Bartsch, Marion Moos, Hermann Lübbert, Dirk Montag, Melitta Schachner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations

Abstract

We have identified a close homologue of L1 (CHL1) in the mouse. CHL1 comprises an N-terminal signal sequence, six immunoglobulin (lg)-like domains, 4.5 fibronectin type III (FN)-like repeats, a transmembrane domain and a C-terminal, most likely intracellular domain of ∼100 amino acids. CHL1 is most similar in its extracellular domain to chicken Ng-CAM (∼40% amino acid identity), followed by mouse L1, chicken neurofascin, chicken Nr-CAM, Drosophila neuroglian and zebrafish L1.1 (37-28% amino acid identity), and mouse F3, rat TAG-1 and rat BIG-1 (∼27% amino acid identity). The similarity with other members of the lg superfamily [e.g. neural cell adhesion molecule (N-CAM), DCC, HLAR, rse] is 16-11%. The intracellular domain is most similar to mouse and chicken Nr-CAM, mouse and rat neurofascin (∼60% amino acid identity) followed by chicken neurofascin and Ng-CAM, Drosophila neuroglian and zebrafish L1.1 and L1.2 (∼40% amino acid identity). Besides the high overall homology and conserved modular structure among previously recognized members of the L1 family (mouse/human L1/rat NILE; chicken Ng-CAM; chicken/mouse Nr-CAM; Drosophila neuroglian; zebrafish L1.1 and L1.2; chicken/mouse neurofascin/rat ankyrin-binding glycoprotein), criteria characteristic of L1 were identified with regard to the number of amino acids between positions of conserved amino acid residues defining distances within and between two adjacent lg-like domains and FN-like repeats. These show a collinearity in the six lg-like domains and four adjacent FN-like repeats that is remarkably conserved between L1 and molecules containing these modules (designated the L1 family cassette), including the GPI-linked forms of the F3 subgroup (mouse F3/chicken F11/human CNTN1; rat BIG-1/mouse PANG; rat TAG-1/mouse TAX-1/chicken axonin-1). The colorectal cancer molecule (DCC), previously introduced as an N-CAM-like molecule, conforms to the L1 family cassette. Other structural features of CHL1 shared between members of the L1 family are a high degree of N-glycosidically linked carbohydrates (∼20% of its molecular mass), which include the HNK-1 carbohydrate structure, and a pattern of protein fragments comprising a major 185 kDa band and smaller fragments of 165 and 125 kDa. As for the other L1 family members, predominant expression of CHL1 is observed in the nervous system and at later developmental stages. In the central nervous system CHL1 is expressed by neurons, but, in contrast to L1, also by glial cells. Our findings suggest a common ancestral L1-like molecule which evolved via gene duplication to generate a diversity of structurally and functionally distinct yet similar molecules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1613-1629
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
Volume8
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)

Keywords

  • Immunoglobulin superfamily
  • L1 cassette
  • cDNA

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