Effect of Nerve Growth Factor on Microtubules: Evidence for a Protective Action against Depolymerization Induced by Calcium Ions or Cold Treatment

  • P. Calissano
  • D. Mercanti
  • G. Monaco
  • L. Castellani


Although the powerful and specific promoting activity of nerve growth factor (NGF) was first reported more than 25 years ago (1), still little is known about its molecular mechanisms and physiological action. This is frequently the case in the field of hormones and growth factors, whose phenomenological aspects (spectrum of actions, number and type of target cells, etc.) become known even decades before the understanding of their mechanism of action. This gap is mainly due to lack of a precise knowledge of how several eukariotic cells respond to a given external stimulus. The discovery of second messengers is a remarkable exception to this rule, but it would be unwise, in our opinion, to consider them as transducers or amplifiers for all hormones and growth factors.


Nerve Growth Factor Neurite Growth Cold Treatment Axonal Growth Vinca Alkaloid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Levi Montalcini, R., Effects of mouse tumor transplantation on the nervous system, Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci., 55 (1952) 330–343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Levi Montalcini, R. The nerve growth factor: its mode of action on sensory and sympathetic nerve cells, Harvey Lectures, 60 (1966) 217–250.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Shubert, D. La Corbiere, M., Whitlock, C. and Stallup, W., Alterations in the surface properties of cell responsive to nerve growth factor, Nature, 273 (1978) 718–723.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Greene, L.A. and Tichler, A.S., Establishment of a noradrenergic clonal line of rat adrenal pheochromocytoma cells which respond to nerve growth factor, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 73 (1976) 2424–2427.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Landreth, G., Cohen, P. and Shooter, E.M., Ca++ transmembrane fluxes and nerve growth factor action on a clonal cell line of rat pheochromocytoma, Nature, 283 (1980) 202–204.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Calissano, P. and Cozzari, C., Interaction of nerve growth factor with mouse neurotubule protein(s), Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 71 (1974) 2131–2135.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Levi, A., Cimino, M., Mercanti, D., Chen, J.S. and Calissano. P., Interaction of nerve growth factor with tubulin. Studies on binding and induced polymerization, Biochim. Biophys. Acta 399 (1975) 50–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Calissano, P., Monaco, G., Castellani, L., Mercanti, D. and Levi, A., Nerve growth factor potentiates actomyosin adenosinetriphosphatase, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 75 (1978) 2210–2214.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Yamada, K.M., Spooner, B.S. and Wessell, K.N., Ultrastructure and function of growth cones and axons of cultured nerve cells, J. Cell Biol., 49 (1971) 614–635.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Bray, D., Thomas, C. and Shaw, G., Growth cone formation in cultures of sensory neurons. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 75 (1978) 5226–5229.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Shelanski, M.L., Gaskin, F. and Cantor, C.R., Microtubule assembly in the absence of added nucleotides, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 70 (1973) 765–768.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Calissano, P., Monaco, G., Levi, A., Menesini-Chen, G.M., Chen, J. S. and Levi Montalcini, R. In Perry, S.V., Margreth, A. and Adelstein, R. S. (Eds.), Contractile Systems in Non Muscle Tissues, North-Holland, 1976, pp. 201–214.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Margolis, R.L. and Wilson, L., Addition of colchicine-tubulin complex to microtubule ends: the mechanism of substoichiometric colchicine poisoning, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 74 (1977) 3466–3470.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Monaco, G., Calissano, P. and Mercanti, D., Effect of NGF on in vitro preformed microtubules. Evidence for a protective action against vinblastine, Brain Res., 129 (1977) 265–274.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Menesini-Chen, G.N., Chen, J.S., Calissano, P. and Levi Montalcini, R., Nerve growth factor prevents destructive effects on sympathetic ganglia in newborn mice, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 74 (1977) 5559–5563.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Herrup, K. and Shooter, E.M., Properties of nerve growth factor receptor of avian dorsal root ganglia, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 70 (1973) 3884–3888.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Stöeckel, K., Paravicini, V. and Thoenen, H., Specificity of the retrograde axonal transport of nerve growth factor, Brain Res. 76 (1974) 413–421.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Calissano, P. and Shelanski, M.L., Interaction of nerve growth factor with pheochromocytoma cells. Evidence for tight binding and sequestration. Neuroscience (1980) in press.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Yankner, B.A. and Shooter, E.M., Nerve growth factor in the nucleus: interaction with receptors on the nuclear membrane, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 76 (1979) 1269–1273.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Chang Lin, D., Dugan-Tobin, K., Grumet, M. and Lin, S., Cytochalasin inhibits nuclei-induced actin polymerization by blocking filament elongation, J. Cell Biol., 84 (1980) 455–460.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Bocchini, V. and Angeletti, P.U., The nerve growth factor: purification as a 30,000 molecular weight protein, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 64 (1969) 787–794.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Calissano
    • 1
  • D. Mercanti
    • 1
  • G. Monaco
    • 1
  • L. Castellani
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratorio di Biologia Cellulare, C.N.R., Via Romagnosi. 18A, and Instituto di Anatomia ComparataUniversita di RomaRomaItaly

Personalised recommendations