Michael C Chang

University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, United States

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Publications (3)25.48 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Correct targeting of proteins to axons and dendrites is crucial for neuronal function. We showed previously that axonal accumulation of the cell adhesion molecule L1/neuron-glia cell adhesion molecule (NgCAM) depends on endocytosis (Wisco, D., E.D. Anderson, M.C. Chang, C. Norden, T. Boiko, H. Folsch, and B. Winckler. 2003. J. Cell Biol. 162:1317-1328). Two endocytosis-dependent pathways to the axon have been proposed: transcytosis and selective retrieval/retention. We show here that axonal accumulation of L1/NgCAM occurs via nondegradative somatodendritic endosomes and subsequent anterograde axonal transport, which is consistent with transcytosis. Additionally, we identify the neuronal-specific endosomal protein NEEP21 (neuron-enriched endosomal protein of 21 kD) as a regulator of L1/NgCAM sorting in somatodendritic endosomes. Down-regulation of NEEP21 leads to missorting of L1/NgCAM to the somatodendritic surface as well as to lysosomes. Importantly, the axonal accumulation of endogenous L1 in young neurons is also sensitive to NEEP21 depletion. We propose that small endosomal carriers derived from somatodendritic recycling endosomes can serve to redistribute a distinct set of membrane proteins from dendrites to axons.
    The Journal of Cell Biology 03/2008; 180(4):827-42. · 10.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glycosphingolipids are constituents of lipid rafts which might function in sorting apical and axonal cargoes in the trans-Golgi network. In fact, two GPI-linked proteins, Thy1 and PrPC, require lipid raft lipids for sorting to the axon. It was previously shown that inhibition of glycosphingolipid synthesis by FumonisinB1 (FB1) impairs axon outgrowth but not axon specification, leading to the hypothesis that formation of axonally-targeted vesicles is coupled to sphingolipid synthesis. Since the axonal cell adhesion molecule L1/NgCAM can partition into membrane rafts biochemically, we asked whether correct targeting to the axon is FB1-sensitive, similarly to GPI-linked proteins. We previously showed that cultured hippocampal neurons use more than one trafficking pathway to the axon: a transcytotic pathway and a direct pathway. We show here that reducing raft lipid levels does not disrupt axonal targeting of L1/NgCAM along either pathway. Unexpectedly, FB1 selectively slowed the kinetics of surface expression of a truncated NgCAM using the direct pathway, but not of NgCAM using the transcytotic pathway. Therefore, the formation and/or transport of a subset of axonally-targeted vesicles are coupled to sphingolipid synthesis. Our results yield a mechanism for the axon outgrowth defect observed in FB1.
    Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience 04/2006; 31(3):525-38. · 3.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neuronal polarity is, at least in part, mediated by the differential sorting of membrane proteins to distinct domains, such as axons and somata/dendrites. We investigated the pathways underlying the subcellular targeting of NgCAM, a cell adhesion molecule residing on the axonal plasma membrane. Following transport of NgCAM kinetically, surprisingly we observed a transient appearance of NgCAM on the somatodendritic plasma membrane. Down-regulation of endocytosis resulted in loss of axonal accumulation of NgCAM, indicating that the axonal localization of NgCAM was dependent on endocytosis. Our data suggest the existence of a dendrite-to-axon transcytotic pathway to achieve axonal accumulation. NgCAM mutants with a point mutation in a crucial cytoplasmic tail motif (YRSL) are unable to access the transcytotic route. Instead, they were found to travel to the axon on a direct route. Therefore, our results suggest that multiple distinct pathways operate in hippocampal neurons to achieve axonal accumulation of membrane proteins.
    The Journal of Cell Biology 10/2003; 162(7):1317-28. · 10.82 Impact Factor