The Role of ATP in the Regulation of NCAM Function

  • Martin V. HübschmannEmail author
  • Galina Skladchikova
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 663)


Extracellular ATP is an abundant signaling molecule that has a number of functions in the nervous system. It is released by both neurons and glial cells, activates purinergic receptors, and acts as a trophic factor as well as a neurotransmitter. In this review, we summarize the evidence for a direct ATP-NCAM interaction and discuss its functional implications. The ectodomain of NCAM contains the ATP binding Walker motif A and has intrinsic ATPase activity, which could modulate NCAM-dependent signaling processes. NCAM interacts directly with and signals through FGFR. The NCAM binding site to ATP overlaps with the site of NCAM-FGFR interaction, and ATP is capable of disrupting NCAM-FGFR binding. This implies that NCAM signaling through FGFR can be regulated by ATP, which is supported by the observation that ATP can abrogate NCAM-induced neurite outgrowth. Finally, ATP can induce NCAM ectodomain shedding, possibly affecting the structural plasticity associated with learning and memory.


NCAM ATP Ecto-ATPase Extracellular proteolysis FGFR Neural cell differentiation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cellular and Molecular MedicineUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagen NDenmark

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