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      Oncomodulin/Truncated Protamine-Mediated Nogo-66 Receptor Small Interference RNA Delivery Promotes Axon Regeneration in Retinal Ganglion Cells

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          The optic nerve often suffers regenerative failure after injury, leading to serious visual impairment such as glaucoma. The main inhibitory factors, including Nogo-A, oligodendrocyte myelin glycoprotein, and myelin-associated glycoprotein, exert their inhibitory effects on axonal growth through the same receptor, the Nogo-66 receptor (NgR). Oncomodulin (OM), a calcium-binding protein with a molecular weight of an ∼12 kDa, which is secreted from activated macrophages, has been demonstrated to have high and specific affinity for retinal ganglion cells (RGC) and promote greater axonal regeneration than other known polypeptide growth factors. Protamine has been reported to effectively deliver small interference RNA (siRNA) into cells. Accordingly, a fusion protein of OM and truncated protamine (tp) may be used as a vehicle for the delivery of NgR siRNA into RGC for gene therapy. To test this hypothesis, we constructed OM and tp fusion protein (OM/tp) expression vectors. Using the indirect immunofluorescence labeling method, OM/tp fusion proteins were found to have a high affinity for RGC. The gel shift assay showed that the OM/tp fusion proteins retained the capacity to bind to DNA. Using OM/tp fusion proteins as a delivery tool, the siRNA of NgR was effectively transfected into cells and significantly down-regulated NgR expression levels. More importantly, OM/tp-NgR siRNA dramatically promoted axonal growth of RGC compared with the application of OM/tp recombinant protein or NgR siRNA alone in vitro. In addition, OM/tp-NgR siRNA highly elevated intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels and inhibited activation of the Ras homolog gene family, member A (RhoA). Taken together, our data demonstrated that the recombinant OM/tp fusion proteins retained the functions of both OM and tp, and that OM/tp-NgR siRNA might potentially be used for the treatment of optic nerve injury.

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          Most cited references 34

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          Identification of the Nogo inhibitor of axon regeneration as a Reticulon protein.

          Adult mammalian axon regeneration is generally successful in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) but is dismally poor in the central nervous system (CNS). However, many classes of CNS axons can extend for long distances in peripheral nerve grafts. A comparison of myelin from the CNS and the PNS has revealed that CNS white matter is selectively inhibitory for axonal outgrowth. Several components of CNS white matter, NI35, NI250(Nogo) and MAG, that have inhibitory activity for axon extension have been described. The IN-1 antibody, which recognizes NI35 and NI250(Nogo), allows moderate degrees of axonal regeneration and functional recovery after spinal cord injury. Here we identify Nogo as a member of the Reticulon family, Reticulon 4-A. Nogo is expressed by oligodendrocytes but not by Schwann cells, and associates primarily with the endoplasmic reticulum. A 66-residue lumenal/extracellular domain inhibits axonal extension and collapses dorsal root ganglion growth cones. In contrast to Nogo, Reticulon 1 and 3 are not expressed by oligodendrocytes, and the 66-residue lumenal/extracellular domains from Reticulon 1, 2 and 3 do not inhibit axonal regeneration. These data provide a molecular basis to assess the contribution of Nogo to the failure of axonal regeneration in the adult CNS.
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            Identification of myelin-associated glycoprotein as a major myelin-derived inhibitor of neurite growth.

            Contact-dependent axon growth inhibitory activity is present in CNS myelin, but the inhibitory proteins have not been fully characterized. We report here that at least two peaks of inhibitory activity can be separated by fractionating solubilized CNS myelin proteins by DEAE chromatography. A major peak of inhibitory activity corresponded to the elution profile of myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG). Immunodepletion of MAG from these inhibitory fractions removed neurite growth inhibition, whereas recombinant MAG (ectodomain) was a potent inhibitor of neurite outgrowth. Immunodepletion of MAG from total extracts of CNS myelin restored neurite growth up to 63% of control levels. These results establish that MAG is a significant, and possibly the major, inhibitor in CNS myelin; this has broad implications for axonal regeneration in the injured mammalian CNS.
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              Oligodendrocyte-myelin glycoprotein is a Nogo receptor ligand that inhibits neurite outgrowth.

              The inhibitory activity associated with myelin is a major obstacle for successful axon regeneration in the adult mammalian central nervous system (CNS). In addition to myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG) and Nogo-A, available evidence suggests the existence of additional inhibitors in CNS myelin. We show here that a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored CNS myelin protein, oligodendrocyte-myelin glycoprotein (OMgp), is a potent inhibitor of neurite outgrowth in cultured neurons. Like Nogo-A, OMgp contributes significantly to the inhibitory activity associated with CNS myelin. To further elucidate the mechanisms that mediate this inhibitory activity of OMgp, we screened an expression library and identified the Nogo receptor (NgR) as a high-affinity OMgp-binding protein. Cleavage of NgR and other GPI-linked proteins from the cell surface renders axons of dorsal root ganglia insensitive to OMgp. Introduction of exogenous NgR confers OMgp responsiveness to otherwise insensitive neurons. Thus, OMgp is an important inhibitor of neurite outgrowth that acts through NgR and its associated receptor complex. Interfering with the OMgp/NgR pathway may allow lesioned axons to regenerate after injury in vivo.

                Author and article information

                Mol Cells
                Mol. Cells
                Molecules and Cells
                Korean Society for Molecular and Cellular Biology
                31 August 2014
                18 August 2014
                18 August 2014
                : 37
                : 8
                : 613-619
                Department of Ophthalmology, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an710032, China
                [1 ]Department of Ophthalmology, No. 451 Hospital of PLA, Xi’an 710054, China
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: wangys003@
                The Korean Society for Molecular and Cellular Biology. All rights reserved.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit



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