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Nerve Growth Factor Stimulates Phospholipid Methylation in Growing Neurites

Karl H. Pfenninger and Marian P. Johnson
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 78, No. 12, [Part 2: Biological Sciences] (Dec., 1981), pp. 7797-7800
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/11291
Page Count: 4
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Nerve Growth Factor Stimulates Phospholipid Methylation in Growing Neurites
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Abstract

Cultures of neurons from rat superior cervical ganglia were deprived of nerve growth factor, loaded with [methyl-3H]methionine, and then challenged with nerve growth factor for different periods of time. Growing neurites and perikarya were separated microsurgically and extracted with chloroform/methanol. Lipid-incorporated radioactivity in the extracts was measured and expressed on the basis of the amount of phospholipid present. The methylated species in the neurite fraction were identified by thin-layer chromatography as mono-, di-, and trimethylphosphatidylethanolamine (phosphatidylcholine). Furthermore, a small peak of lysophosphatidylcholine was detected. In the neurites, but not in the perikarya, phospholipid methylation was found to reach a peak at 10 sec after onset of stimulation. Stimulated levels were at least 4 times higher than levels of unstimulated controls. The peak was followed by rapid decline of phospholipid-incorporated radioactivity. Our result indicates that phospholipid methylation is part of a nerve-growth-factor-activated secondary messenger system in growing sympathetic neurites. The potential significance of this conclusion for directed neuritic growth and membrane expansion is discussed.

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