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Isoform-specific expression of the Coxsackie and adenovirus receptor (CAR) in neuromuscular junction and cardiac intercalated discs

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Author(s): Shaw Christian | Holland Paul | Sinnreich Michael | Allen Carol | Sollerbrant Kerstin | Karpati George | Nalbantoglu Josephine

Journal: BMC Cell Biology
ISSN 1471-2121

Volume: 5;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 42;
Date: 2004;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Abstract Background The Coxsackie and adenovirus receptor (CAR) has a restricted expression pattern in the adult. In skeletal muscle, although CAR is expressed in immature fibers, its transcript levels are barely detectable in mature muscle. This is in contrast to the robust expression observed in the heart. However, both heart and skeletal muscle are susceptible to infection with the Coxsackie B virus which utilizes primarily CAR for cellular internalization. The specific point of viral entry in skeletal and heart muscle remains unknown. Results Using antibodies directed against the extracellular and the cytoplasmic domains of CAR, we show CAR in normal human and mouse skeletal muscle to be a novel component of the neuromuscular junction. In cardiac muscle, CAR immunoreactivity is observed at the level of intercalated discs. We demonstrate a single isoform of CAR to be expressed exclusively at the human neuromuscular junction whereas both predominant CAR isoforms are expressed at the intercalated discs of non-diseased human heart. Conclusion The localization of CAR to these important junctional complexes suggests that CAR may play both a structural and a regulatory role in skeletal and cardiac muscle, and that these complexes may serve as a point of entry for Coxsackie B virus.
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