Interaction of ganglioside GD3 with an EGF receptor sustains the self-renewal ability of mouse neural stem cells in vitro

Jing Wang, Robert K. Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


Mounting evidence supports the notion that gangliosides serve regulatory roles in neurogenesis; little is known, however, about how these glycosphingolipids function in neural stem cell (NSC) fate determination. We previously demonstrated that ganglioside GD3 is a major species in embryonic mouse brain: more than 80% of the NSCs obtained by the neurosphere method express GD3. To investigate the functional role of GD3 in neurogenesis, we compared the properties of NSCs from GD3-synthase knockout (GD3SKO) mice with those from their wild-type littermates. NSCs from GD3S-KO mice showed decreased self-renewal ability compared with those from the wild-type animals, and that decreased ability was accompanied by reduced expression of EGF receptor (EGFR) and an increased degradation rate of EGFR and EGF-induced ERK signaling. We also showed that EGFR switched from the low-density lipid raft fractions in wild-type NSCs to the high-density layers in the GD3S-KO NSCs. Immunochemical staining revealed colocalization of EGFR and GD3, and EGFR could be immunoprecipitated from the NSC lysate with an anti-GD3 antibody from the wild-type, but not from the GD3S-KO, mice. Tracking the localization of endocytosed EGFR with endocytosis pathway markers indicated that more EGFR in GD3S-KO NSCs translocated through the endosomal?lysosomal degradative pathway, rather than through the recycling pathway. Those findings support the idea that GD3 interacts with EGFR in the NSCs and that the interaction is responsible for sustaining the expression of EGFR and its downstream signaling to maintain the selfrenewal capability of NSCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19137-19142
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number47
StatePublished - Nov 19 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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