The CRMP (collapsin response mediator protein) family is thought to play key roles in growth cone guidance during neural development. The four members (CRMP1-4) identified to date have been demonstrated to form hetero-multimeric structures through mutual associations. In this study, we cloned a novel member of this family, which we call CRMP5, by the yeast twohybrid method. This protein shares relatively low amino acid identity with the other CRMP members (49-50%) and also with dihydropyrimidinase (51%), whereas CRMP1-4 exhibit higher identity with each other (68-75%), suggesting that CRMP5 might be categorized into a third subfamily. The mouse CRMP5 gene was located at chromosome 5 B1. Northern blot and in situ hybridization analyses indicated that CRMP5 is expressed throughout the nervous system similarly to the other members (especially CRMP1 and CRMP4) with the expression peak in the first postnatal week. Association experiments using the yeast two-hybrid method and coimmunoprecipitation showed that CRMP5 interacts with dihydropyrimidinase and all the CRMPs including itself, except for CRMP1, although the expression profile almost overlaps with that of CRMP1 during development. These results suggest that CRMP complexes in the developing nervous system are classifiable into two populations that contain either CRMP1 or CRMP5. This indicates that different complexes may have distinct functions in shaping the neural networks.
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