Molecular Neurobiology

, Volume 50, Issue 2, pp 482–493 | Cite as

Transduction of Extracellular Cues into Cell Polarity: the Role of the Transmembrane Proteoglycan NG2

  • Fabien Binamé


Resident progenitor cells expressing nerve/glial antigen 2 (NG2) such as oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPC) and pericytes persist in the adult brain. The transmembrane proteoglycan NG2 regulates migration of both these cell types in response to growth factors or specific components of the extracellular matrix. This role of NG2 is linked to the control of cell polarity. The polarization of OPC toward an acute lesion in the brain is impaired in NG2-deficient mice, supporting this concept. A review of the signaling pathways impinged on by NG2 reveals key proteins of cell polarity: phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, focal adhesion kinase, Rho GTPases, and polarity complex proteins. In the scope of cell migration, I discuss here how the interplay of NG2 with signaling transmitted by extracellular cues can control the establishment of cell polarity, and I propose a model to integrate the apparent opposite effects of NG2 on cellular dynamics.


Polarity Migration NG2 Rho GTPases Oligodendrocyte precursors 



My work on NG2 signaling was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. I thank Valérie Jolivel for comments on this manuscript and Jacqueline Trotter for support and comments on this manuscript.

Conflict of Interest

The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Molecular Cell Biology, Department of BiologyJohannes Gutenberg University of MainzMainzGermany

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