In this study, the first nestin isoform, Nes-S, was identified in neurons of dorsal root ganglia (DRG) of adult rats. Nes-S cannot form filaments by itself in cytoplasmic intermediate filamentfree SW13 cells. Instead, it co-assembles into filaments with vimentin when transfected into vimentin + SW13 cells, and with peripherin and neurofilament proteins when transfected into N2a cells. In primary DRG neurons, endogenous Nes-S co-assembles with peripherin and neurofilament proteins. The expression of Nes-S first appears in DRG at postnatal day 5 and persists to adulthood. Among the adult tissues we examined, the expression of Nes-S is restricted to the sensory and motor neurons. Finally, exogenous Nes-S enhances viability when transfected into N2a cells, and knockdown of endogenous Nes-S impairs the survival of DRG neurons in primary cultures. Taken together, Nes-S is a new neuronal intermediate filament protein that exerts a cytoprotective function in mature sensory and motor neurons.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology