IJPPP Copyright © 2009-All rights reserved. Published by e-Century Publishing Corporation, Madison, WI 53711
Int J Physiol Pathophysiol Pharmacol 2009;1(1):64-75.

Original Article
Versican isoforms modulate expression and function of nicotinic acetylcholine

Yaojiong Wu, Wang Sheng, Haiheng Dong, David Lapierre, Yudi Wan, Wei-Yang Lu, Burton B. Yang

Sunnybrook Research Institute, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre; Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University
of Toronto; Department of Anaesthesia, University of Toronto

Received February 8, 2009; accepted February 13, 2008; available online February 15, 2009

Abstract: Versican is a chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan whose isoforms are differentially expressed, but little is known of their
functions in the neuronal system. Here we show that isoforms of versican play different roles in neuronal differentiation and neurite
outgrowth. Expression of versican V1 isoform in PC12 cells induced complete neuronal differentiation and increased the expression of
nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in NGF-independent manners. The V1-induced neuronal differentiation was different from the
NGF-induced differentiation, showing a specific profile of nAChR subunit expression and distinct kinetics of receptor-gated channel
activity. Our results have implications for understanding how versican regulates neuronal development, function and repair.

Key words: Differentiation, neurite outgrowth, phosphorylation, PC12 cells

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Address all correspondence to:
Wei-Yang Lu, MD, PhD
Research Building, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Avenue, Toronto M4N 3M5 Canada
Tel: (416) 480-4823, E-mail:

Burton B. Yang, MD, PhD, Research Building
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Avenue, Toronto M4N 3M5 Canada
Tel: (416) 480-5874; E-mail: