A Peptide Motif from the Second Fibronectin Module of the Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule, NCAM, NLIKQDDGGSPIRHY, is a Binding Site for the FGF Receptor

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The mechanism of fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) activation by the neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) is not well understood. A motif in the second NCAM fibronectin type III (FN3) module, termed FGL, has by means of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and surface plasmon resonance (SPR) analyses been demonstrated to be involved in NCAM–FGFR interactions. An FGFR activation motif (FRM) in the first NCAM FN3 module also has been suggested to take part in NCAM interactions with FGFR. Here, we show for the first time that a peptide motif in the second NCAM FN3 module, different from the previously described FGL motif (NLIKQDDGGSPIRHY; termed BCL) binds and activates FGFR and induces FGFR-dependent neurite outgrowth in cultures of cerebellar granule neurons. Our results provide evidence that the BCL motif is one of the multiple FGFR binding sites in NCAM.

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