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The activities of LDL Receptor-related Protein-1 (LRP1) compartmentalize into distinct plasma membrane microdomains.

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LDL Receptor-related Protein-1 (LRP1) is an endocytic receptor for diverse ligands. In neurons and neuron-like cells, ligand-binding to LRP1 initiates cell-signaling. Herein, we show that in PC12 and N2a neuron-like cells, LRP1 distributes into lipid rafts and non-raft plasma membrane fractions. When lipid rafts were disrupted, using methyl-β-cyclodextrin or fumonisin B1, activation of Src family kinases and ERK1/2 by the LRP1 ligands, tissue-type plasminogen activator and activated α2-macroglobulin, was blocked. Biological consequences of activated LRP1 signaling, including neurite outgrowth and cell growth, also were blocked. The effects of lipid raft disruption on ERK1/2 activation and neurite outgrowth, in response to LRP1 ligands, were reproduced in experiments with cerebellar granule neurons in primary culture. Because the reagents used to disrupt lipid rafts may have effects on the composition of the plasma membrane outside lipid rafts, we studied the effects of these reagents on LRP1 activities unrelated to cell-signaling. Lipid raft disruption did not affect the total ligand binding capacity of LRP1, the affinity of LRP1 for its ligands, or its endocytic activity. These results demonstrate that well described activities of LRP1 require localization of this receptor to distinct plasma membrane microdomains.

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