The Src family of nonreceptor tyrosine kinases plays an important role in modulating signals that affect growth cone extension, neuronal differentiation, and brain development. Recent reports indicate that the Src SH2/SH3 binding partner AFAP-110 has the capacity to modulate actin filament integrity as a cSrc activating protein and as an actin filament bundling protein. Both AFAP-110 and a brain specific isoform called AFAP-120 (collectively referred to as AFAP) exist at high levels in chick embryo brain. We sought to identify the localization of AFAP in mouse brain in order to identify its expression pattern and potential role as a cellular modulator of Src family kinase activity and actin filament integrity in the brain. In E16 mouse embryos, AFAP expression levels were very high and concentrated in the olfactory bulb, cortex, forebrain, cerebellum, and various peripheral sensory structures. In P3 mouse pups, overall expression was reduced compared to E16 embryos, and AFAP was found primarily in olfactory bulb, cortex, and cerebellum. AFAP expression levels were significantly reduced in adult mice, with high expression levels only detected in the olfactory bulb. Western blot analysis indicated that concentrated expression of AFAP correlates well with the AFAP-120 isoform, which appears to be a splice variant of AFAP-110. As the expression pattern of AFAP overlaps with the reported expression patterns of cSrc and Fyn, we hypothesize that AFAP is positioned to modulate signal transduction cascades that direct activation of these nonreceptor tyrosine kinases and concomitant cellular changes that occur in actin filaments during brain development.
- Adaptor protein
- Olfactory neurons