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Kakad, P.P., Penserga, T., Davis, B.P., Henry, B., Boerner, J., Riso, A., Pielage, J., Godenschwege, T.A. (2018). An ankyrin-binding motif regulates nuclear levels of L1-type neuroglian and expression of the oncogene Myc in Drosophila neurons.  J. Biol. Chem. 293(45): 17442--17453.
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Research paper

L1 cell adhesion molecule (L1CAM) is well-known for its importance in nervous system development and cancer progression. In addition to its role as a plasma membrane protein in cytoskeletal organization, recent in vitro studies have revealed that both transmembrane and cytosolic fragments of proteolytically cleaved vertebrate L1CAM translocate to the nucleus. In vitro studies indicate that nuclear L1CAM affects genes with functions in DNA post-replication repair, cell cycle control, and cell migration and differentiation, but its in vivo role and how its nuclear levels are regulated is less well-understood. Here, we report that mutations in the conserved ankyrin-binding domain affect nuclear levels of the sole Drosophila homolog neuroglian (Nrg) and that it also has a noncanonical role in regulating transcript levels of the oncogene Myc in the adult nervous system. We further show that altered nuclear levels of Nrg correlate with altered transcript levels of Myc in neurons, similar to what has been reported for human glioblastoma stem cells. However, whereas previous in vitro studies suggest that increased nuclear levels of L1CAM promote tumor cell survival, we found here that elevated levels of nuclear Nrg in neurons are associated with increased sensitivity to oxidative stress and reduced life span of adult animals. We therefore conclude that these findings are of potential relevance to the management of neurodegenerative diseases associated with oxidative stress and cancer.

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PMC6231124 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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    J. Biol. Chem.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry
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