Beta amyloid precursor protein mediates neuronal cell-cell and cell-surface adhesion

J Neurosci Res. 1991 Jan;28(1):90-100. doi: 10.1002/jnr.490280109.


The beta-amyloid precursor protein (APP) is a membrane-bound glycoprotein which has been proposed to play a role both as a growth factor and a mediator of cell adhesion. Using the Neuro-2A neuroblastoma cell line, we have investigated the capacity of APP to mediate neural cell adhesion. The cells express the protein at a high level, the immunohistochemical staining pattern at the level of the membrane having a punctate pattern. Fab' fragments of antibodies to the extracellular portion of the molecule were found to inhibit cell binding to a collagen substrate, but not to laminin, fibronectin, or poly-l-lysine. Fab' fragments of antibodies to the nerve cell adhesion molecule N-CAM also inhibited binding of Neuro-2A cells specifically to collagen. This inhibition of cell-surface binding was accompanied by a repression of neurite outgrowth in differentiating cells in the presence of antibodies. APP antibodies also inhibited neuron-neuron and neuron-glial binding, but not glial-glial cell adhesion. These data suggest that the APP, which is expressed primarily on differentiated neuronal cells, may play a role in the mediation of both cell-cell and cell-substrate adhesion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / physiology*
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor
  • Animals
  • Axons / ultrastructure
  • Bucladesine / pharmacology
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules, Neuronal / physiology*
  • Cell Adhesion*
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Line
  • Cerebellum / cytology
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins / metabolism
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments / pharmacology
  • Mice
  • Neuroblastoma / pathology
  • Neuroglia / cytology
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Neurons / ultrastructure
  • Protease Inhibitors / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Precursors / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / drug effects
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / pathology


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules, Neuronal
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins
  • Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments
  • Protease Inhibitors
  • Protein Precursors
  • Bucladesine