Zuber MX, Goodman DW, Karns LR, Fishman MC. 1989. The neuronal growth-associated protein GAP-43 induces filopodia in non-neuronal cells. Science (New York, N.Y.). 244(4909):1193-5. Pubmed: 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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Photo of Mark C. Fishman

Mark C. Fishman’s group studies the heart-brain connection. They employ a range of genetic, developmental, and neurobiological tools in zebrafish to understand what the heart tells the brain, and how critical internal sensory systems adjust homeostatic and somatic behaviors, including social interactions.

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