Neural Intermediate Filament (Neurofilament) Genes

  • Linda M. Parysek


In mammalian systems, at least five neural IF proteins (NIFP) have been characterized. These include NF-L, NF-M, and NF-H (68kd, 150kd, and 200kd, respectively, in rat) (Liem et. al., 1978; Schlaepfer and Freeman, 1978), a 57kd NIFP (peripherin) (Portier et. al., 1984; Parysek and Goldman, 1988), and a 66kd NIFP (Chiu, 1988). These IF polypeptides share the characteristic of neuron-specific expression but there are many distinctions among them.


Nerve Growth Factor Intermediate Filament Dorsal Root Ganglion Neuron Intermediate Filament Protein Vimentin Gene 
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. Black, M. M., and Lee, V. M.-Y., 1988, Phosphorylation of neurofilament proteins in intact neurons: demonstration of phosphorylation in cell bodies and axons, J. Neurosci. 8: 3296–3305.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Brody, B. A., Ley, C. A., and Parysek, L. M., 1989, Selective distribution of the 57kD neural intermediate filament protein in the rat CNS, J. Neurosci., 9: 2391–2401.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Carden, M. J., Trojanowski, J. Q., Schlaepfer, W. W., and Lee, V. M.-Y., 1987, Two-stage expression of neurofilament polypeptides during rat neurogenesis with early establishment of adult phosphorylation patterns, J. Neurosci. 7: 3489–3504.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Charnas, L., Richter, K., Sargent, T., and Dawid, I., 1987, Complementary DNA cloning of a nervous system specific intermediate filament from Xenopus laevis with homology to mammalian neurofilament, Soc. Neurosci. Abstr..Google Scholar
  5. Chiu, F.-C., 1988, A 66kDa protein is a putative subunit of mammalian neurofilament, Soc. Neurosci. Abstr..Google Scholar
  6. Cochard, P., and Paulin, D., 1984, Initial expression of neurofilaments and vimentin in the central and peripheral nervous system of the mouse embryo in vivo, J. Neurosci. 4: 2080–2094.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Corden, J., Wasylyk, B., Buchwalder, A., Sassone-Corsi, P., Kedinger, C., and Chambon, P., 1980, Promoter sequences of eukaryotic protein coding regions, Science 209: 1406–1414.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dickson, G., Prentice, H., Julien, J.-P., Ferrari, G., Leon, A., and Walsh, F. S., 1986, Nerve growth factor activates Thy-1 and neurofilament gene transcription in rat PC 12 cells, EMBO J. 5: 3449–3453.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Dynan, W. S., and Tijan, R., 1983, The promoter-specific transcription factor Sp1 binds to upstream sequences in the SV40 early promoter, Cell 35: 79–87.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Escurat, M., Gumpel, M., Lachapelle, F., Gros, F., and Portier, M.-M., 1988, Expression comparee de deux proteines de filaments intermediaires, la peripherine et la proteine de neurofilament 68 kDa, au cours du developpement embryonnaire du rat, C.R. Acad. Sci. 306: 447–456.Google Scholar
  11. Gambetti, P., Autilio-Gambetti, L., and Papasozomenos, S. C., 1981, Bodian’s silver method stains neurofilament polypeptides, Science 213: 1521–1522.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Geisler, N., Kaufmann, E., Fischer, S., Plessmann, U., and Weber, K., 1983, Neurofilament architecture combines structural principles of intermediate filaments with carboxy-terminal extensions increasing in size between triplet proteins, EMBO J. 2: 1295–1302.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Geisler, N., Fischer, S., Vandekerckhove, J., Plessmann, U., and Weber, K., 1984, Hybrid character of a large neurofilament protein (NF-M): Intermediate filament type sequence followed by a long and acidic carboxyterminal extension, EMBO J. 3: 2701–2706.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Geisler, N., Plessmann, U., and Weber, K., 1985a, The complete amino acid sequence of the major mammalian neurofilament protein (NF-L). FEBS Lett. 182: 475–478.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Geisler, N., Fischer, S., Vandekerckhove, J., Van Damme, J., Plessmann, U., and Weber, K., 1985b, Protein-chemical characterization of NF-H, the largest mammalian neurofilament component: Intermediate filament-type sequences followed by a unique carboxy-terminal extension, EMBO J. 4: 57–63.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Goldstein, M. E., Sternberger, L. A., and Sternberger, N. H., 1983, Microheterogeneity (“neurotypy”) of neurofilament proteins, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 80: 3101–3105.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Greenberg, S. G., and Lasek, R. J., 1988, Neurofilament protein synthesis in DRG neurons decreases more after peripheral axotomy than after central axotomy, J. Neurosci. 8: 1739–1746.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Hoffman, P. N., Cleveland, D. W., Griffin, J. W., Landes, P. W., Cowan, N. J., and Price, D. L., 1987, Neurofilament gene expression: A major determinant of axonal caliber, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 84: 3472–3476.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Jones, K. A., Yamamoto, K. R., and Tijan, R., 1985, Two distinct transcription factors bind to the HSV thymidine kinase promoter in vitro, Cell 42: 559–572.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Julien, J.-P., Ramachandran, K., and Grosveld, F., 1985, Cloning of a cDNA encoding the smallest neurofilament protein from the rat, Biochim. Biophys. Acta 825: 398–404.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Julien, J.-P., Meyer, D., Flavell, D., Hurst, J., and Grosveld, F., 1986, Cloning and developmental expression of the murine neurofilament gene family, Mol. Brain Res. 1: 243–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Julien, J.-P., Grosveld, F., Yazdanbaksh, K., Flavell, D., Meijer, D., and Mushynski, W., 1987a, The structure of a human neurofilament gene (NF-L): A unique exon-intron organization in the intermediate filament gene family, Biochim. Biophys. Acta 909: 10–20.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Julien, J.-P., Tretjakoff, I., Beaudet, L., and Peterson, A., 1987b, Expression and assembly of a human neurofilament protein in transgenic mice provide a novel neuronal marking system, Genes Dev. 1: 1085–1095.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Julien, J.-P., Cote, F., Beaudet, L., Sidky, M., Flavell, D., Grosveld, F., and Mushynski, W., 1988, Sequence and structure of the mouse gene coding for the largest neurofilament subunit, Gene 68: 307–314.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kozak, M., 1987, An analysis of 5′-noncoding sequences from 699 vertebrate messenger RNAs, Nucleic Acids Res. 15: 8125–8148.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lasek, R. J., Oblinger, M. M., and Drake, P. F., 1983, Molecular biology of neuronal geometry: Expression of neurofilament genes influences axonal diameter, Cold Spring Harbor Symp. Quant. Biol. 48: 731–744.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lasek, R. J., Phillips, L., Katz, M. J., and Autilio-Gambetti, L., 1985, Function and evolution of neurofilament proteins, Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 455: 462–478.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lawson, S. N., Harper, A. A., Harper, E. I., Garson, J. A., and Anderton, B. H., 1984, A monoclonal antibody against neurofilament protein specifically labels a subpopulation of rat sensory neurones, J. Camp. Neurol. 228: 263–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lee, V. M.-Y., Carden, M. J., Schlaepfer, W. W., and Trojanowski, J. Q., 1987, Monoclonal antibodies distinguish several differentially phosphorylated states of the two largest rat neurofilament subunits (NF-H and NF-M) and demonstrate their existence in the normal nervous system of adult rats, J. Neurosci. 7: 3474–3488.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Lee, V. M.-Y., Otvos, L., Carden, M. J., Hollosi, M., Dietzschold, B., and Lazzarini, R. A., 1988, Identification of the major multiphosphorylation site in mammalian neurofilaments, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 85: 1998–2002.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lees, J. F., Shneidman, P. S., Skuntz, S. F., Carden, M. J., and Lazzarini, R. A., 1988, The structure and organization of the human heavy neurofilament subunit (NF-H) and the gene encoding it, EMBO J. 7: 1947–1955.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Leonard, D. G. B., Ziff, E. B., and Greene, L. A., 1987, The detection and characterization of messenger RNAs regulated by nerve growth factor in PC12 cells, Mol. Cell. Biol. 7: 3156–3167.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Leonard, D. B. G., Gorham, J. D., Cole, P., Greene, L. A., and Ziff, E. B., 1988, A nerve growth factor-related messenger RNA encodes a new intermediate filament protein, J. Cell Biol. 106: 181–193.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Levy, Liem, R. K. H., D’Eustachio, P., and Cowan, N. J., 1987, Structure and evolutionary origin of the gene encoding mouse NF-M, the middle-molecular-mass neurofilament protein, Eur. J. Biochem. 166: 71–77.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lewis, S. A., and Cowan, N. J., 1985, Genetics, evolution, and expression of the 68,000-mol-wt neurofilament protein: Isolation of a cloned cDNA probe, J. Cell Biol. 100: 843–850.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Lewis, S. A., and Cowan, N. J., 1986, Anomalous placement of introns in a member of the intermediate filament multigene family: An evolutionary conundrum, Mol. Cell. Biol. 6: 1529–1534.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Liem, R. K. H., Yen, S.-H., Salomon, G. D., and Shelanski, M. L., 1978, Intermediate filaments in nervous tissue, J. Cell Biol. 79: 637–645.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Lindenbaum, M. H., Carbonetto, S., Grosveld, F., Flavell, D., and Mushynski, W. E., 1988, Transcriptional and post-transcriptional effects of nerve growth factor on expression of the three neurofilament subunits in PC-12 cells, J. Biol. Chem. 263: 5662–5667.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Mencarelli, C., Bugnoli, M., Contorni, M., Moscatelli, A., Ruggiero, P., and Pallini, V., 1987, Phosphorylated epitopes of neurofilaments have been conserved during chordate evolution, Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 149: 807–814.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Myers, M. W., Lazzarini, R. A., Lee, V. M.-Y., Schlaepfer, W. W., and Nelson, D. L., 1987, The human midsize neurofilament subunit: A repeated protein sequence and the relationship of its gene to the intermediate filament gene family, EMBO J. 6: 1617–1626.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Napolitano, E. W., Chin, S. S. M., Colman, D. R., and Liem, R. K. H., 1987, Complete amino acid sequence and in vitro expression of rat NF-M, the middle molecular weight neurofilament protein, J. Neurosci. 7: 2590–2599.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Oblinger, M. M., and Lasek, R. J., 1988, Axotomy-induced alterations in the synthesis and transport of neurofilaments and mirotubules in dorsal root ganglion cells, J. Neurosci. 8: 1747–1758.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Oblinger, M. M., Wong, J., and Parysek, L. M., 1989, Axotomy-induced changes in the expression of a type III neuronal intermediate filament gene, J. Neurosci. (in press).Google Scholar
  44. Pachter, J. S., and Liem, R. K. H., 1984, The differential appearance of neurofilament triplet polypeptides in the developing rat optic nerve, Dev. Biol. 103: 200–210.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Parysek, L. M., and Goldman, R. D., 1988, Distribution of a novel, 57kDa intermediate filament protein in the nervous system, J. Neurosci. 8: 555–563.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Parysek, L. M., Chisholm, R. L., Ley, C. A., and Goldman, R. D., 1988, A type III intermediate filament gene is expressed in mature neurons, Neuron 1: 395–401.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Phillips, L. L., Autilio-Gambetti, L., and Lasek, R. J., 1983, Bodian’s silver method reveals molecular variation in the evolution of neurofilament proteins, Brain Res. 278: 219–223.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Pieper, F. R., Slobbe, R. L., Ramaekers, F. C. S., Cuypers, H. T., and Bloemendal, H., 1987, Upstream regions of the hamster desmin and vimentin genes regulate expression during in vitro myogenesis, EMBO J. 6: 3611–3618.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Portier, M.-M., Croizat, B., de Nechaud, B., Gumpel, M., and Gros, F., 1983, La proteine Y, un nouveau marqueur potentiel dans la diffenciation neuronale du systeme nerveux peripherique, C. R. Acad. Sci. Paris, 297: 57–61.Google Scholar
  50. Portier, M.-M., de Nechaud, B., and Gros, F., 1984, Peripherin, a new member of the intermediate filament protein family, Dev. Neurosci. 6: 335–344.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Quax, W., Vree Egberts, W., Hendriks, W., Quax-Jeuken, Y., and Bloemendal, H., 1983, The structure of the vimentin gene, Cell 35: 215–223.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Robinson, P. A., Wion, D., and Anderton, B. H. 1986, Isolation of a cDNA for the rat heavy neurofilament polypeptide (NF-H). FEBS Lett. 209: 203–205.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Schlaepfer, W. W., and Freeman, L. A., 1978, Neurofilament proteins of rat peripheral nerve and spinal cord, J. Cell Biol. 78: 653–662.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Sharp, G., Shaw, G., and Weber, K., 1982, Immunoelectron microscopical localization of the three neurofilament triplet proteins along neurofilaments of cultured dorsal root ganglion neurons, Exp. Cell Res. 137: 403–413.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Sharpe, C. R., 1988, Developmental expression of a neurofilament-M and two vimentin-like genes in Xenopus laevis, Development 103: 269–277.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Shaw, G., and Weber, K., 1982, Differential expression of neurofilament triplet proteins in brain development, Nature 298: 277–279.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Shaw, G., Osborn, M., and Weber, K., 1981, An immunofluorescence microscopial study of the neurofilament triplet proteins, vimentin and glial fibrillary acidic protein within the adult rat brain, Eur. J. Cell Biol. 26: 68–82.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  58. Shaw, G., Debus, E., and Weber, K., 1984, The immunological relatedness of neurofilament proteins of higher vertebrates, Eur. J. Cell Biol. 34: 130–136.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  59. Steinert, P. M., and Roop, D. R., 1988, Molecular and cellular biology of intermediate filaments, Annu. Rev. Biochem. 57: 593–625.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Tetzlaff, W. Bisby, M. A., and Kreutzberg, G. W., 1988, Changes in cytoskeletal proteins in the rat facial nucleus following axotomy, J. Neurosci. 8: 3181–3189.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  61. Thompson, M. A., and Ziff, E. B., 1989, Structure of the gene encoding peripherin, an NGF-regulated neuronal-specific Type III intermediate filament protein, Neuron 2: 1043–1053.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Trojanowski, J. Q., Walkenstein, N., and Lee, V.M.-Y., 1986, Expression of neurofilament subunits in neurons of the central and peripheral nervous system: An immunohistochemical study with monoclonal antibodies, J. Neurosci. 6: 650–660.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  63. Vitadello, M., Triban, C., Fabris, M., Gorio, A., and Schiaffino, S., 1986, Heterogeneity of rat neurofilament polypeptides revealed by a monoclonal antibody, J. Neurochem. 46: 665–670.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Vitadello, M., Triban, C., Fabris, M., Dona, M., Gorio, A., and Schiaffino, S., 1987, A developmentally regulated isoform of 150,000 molecular weight neurofilament protein specifically expressed in autonomic and small sensory neurons, Neuroscience 23: 931–941.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Weber, K., Shaw, G., Osborn, M., Debus, E., and Geisler, N., 1983, Neurofilaments, a subclass of intermediate filaments: Structure and expression, Cold Spring Harbor Symp. Quant. Biol. 47: 717–729.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Willard, M., and Simon, C., 1981, Antibody decoration of neurofilaments, J. Cell Biol. 89: 198–205.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Willard, M., and Simon, C., 1983, Modulations of neurofilament axonal transport during the development of rabbit retinal ganglion cells, Cell 35: 551–559.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Wong, J., and Oblinger, M. M., 1987, Changes in neurofilament gene expression occur after axotomy of dorsal root ganglion neurons: An in situ by hybridization study, Metab. Brain Dis. 2: 291–303.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Zopf, D., Hermans-Borgmeyer, I., Gundelfinger, E. D., and Betz, H., 1987, Identification of gene products expressed in the developing chick visual system: Characterization of a middle-molecular-weight neurofilament cDNA, Genes Dev. 1: 699–708.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linda M. Parysek
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy and Cell BiologyUniversity of Cincinnati Medical SchoolCincinnatiUSA

Personalised recommendations