Neuromusculin, a Drosophila gene expressed in peripheral neuronal precursors and muscles, encodes a cell adhesion molecule

Neuron. 1993 Oct;11(4):673-87. doi: 10.1016/0896-6273(93)90078-6.


To unravel the molecular mechanisms of peripheral nervous system differentiation in Drosophila, we have screened for and identified genes that are expressed in sensory mother cells. Here, we describe a novel gene, neuromusculin (nrm), that is expressed in sensory mother cells and developing muscles. nrm encodes a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily. Immunoblots of Schneider 2 cells transfected with an nrm cDNA indicate that Nrm is present in a membrane-associated form and a secreted form. Cell aggregation assays suggest that Nrm is a homophilic cell adhesion molecule that is secreted or released after proteolysis, a mechanism that to our knowledge has not been described for immunoglobulin-like molecules. Genetic analyses indicate that nrm is an essential gene required for larval viability. We propose that Nrm may play a role as a cell adhesion molecule in clustering cells of the peripheral nervous system, neuronal fasciculation, and/or pathfinding.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / biosynthesis*
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / chemistry
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / genetics
  • Cell Aggregation
  • Cell Line
  • Chromosome Walking
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • DNA Primers
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Drosophila / metabolism*
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Gene Expression*
  • Genomic Library
  • Immunoglobulins / chemistry
  • Immunoglobulins / genetics
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Larva
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Muscles / metabolism*
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Neurons, Afferent / metabolism*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Protein Structure, Secondary
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Transfection


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • DNA Primers
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Immunoglobulins
  • nrm protein, Drosophila

Associated data

  • GENBANK/L23146