Proteomics analysis reveals overlapping functions of clustered protocadherins

Meng Hsuan Han, Chengyi Lin, Shuxia Meng, Xiaozhong Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


The three tandem-arrayed protocadherin (Pcdh) gene clusters, namely Pcdh-α, Pcdh-β, and Pcdh-γ, play important roles in the development of the vertebrate central nervous system. To gain insight into the molecular action of PCDHs, we performed a systematic proteomics analysis of PCDH-γ-associated protein complexes. We identified a list of 154 non-redundant proteins in the PCDH-γ complexes. This list includes nearly 30 members of clustered Pcdh-α, -β, and -γ families as core components of the complexes and additionally over 120 putative PCDH-associated proteins. We validated a selected subset of PCDH-γ-associated proteins using specific antibodies. Analysis of the identities of PCDH-associated proteins showed that the majority of them overlap with the proteomic profile of postsynaptic density preparations. Further analysis of membrane protein complexes revealed that several validated PCDH-γ-associated proteins exhibit reduced levels in Pcdh-γ-deficient brain tissues. Therefore, PCDH-γs are required for the integrity of the complexes. However, the size of the overall complexes and the abundance of many other proteins remained unchanged, raising a possibility that PCDH-αs and PCDH-βs might compensate for PCDH-γ function in complex formation. As a test of this idea, RNA interference knock-down of both PCDH-αs and PCDH-γs showed that PCDHs have redundant functions in regulating neuronal survival in the chicken spinal cord. Taken together, our data provide evidence that clustered PCDHs coexist in large protein complexes and have overlapping functions during vertebrate neural development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-83
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular and Cellular Proteomics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology

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