Axon regeneration in the adult CNS is prevented by inhibitors in myelin. These inhibitors seem to modulate RhoA activity by binding to a receptor complex comprising a ligand-binding subunit (the Nogo-66 receptor NgR1) and a signal transducing subunit (the neurotrophin receptor p75). However, in reconstituted non-neuronal systems, NgR1 and p75 together are unable to activate RhoA, suggesting that additional components of the receptor may exist. Here we describe LINGO-1, a nervous system-specific transmembrane protein that binds NgR1 and p75 and that is an additional functional component of the NgR1/p75 signaling complex. In non-neuronal cells, coexpression of human NgR1, p75 and LINGO-1 conferred responsiveness to oligodendrocyte myelin glycoprotein, as measured by RhoA activation. A dominant-negative human LINGO-1 construct attenuated myelin inhibition in transfected primary neuronal cultures. This effect on neurons was mimicked using an exogenously added human LINGO-1-Fc fusion protein. Together these observations suggest that LINGO-1 has an important role in CNS biology.
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