A large number of cell adhesion molecules mediate cell-to-cell and cell- to-extracellular matrix interaction during development, differentiation and regeneration of the peripheral nervous system. Here, we report the identification of a novel cell surface adhesion molecule, ninjurin2 (for nerve injury induced protein 2). Ninjurin2 is a homolog of a homophilic cellular adhesion molecule, ninjurin1, that was previously isolated as a gene induced in Schwann cells after nerve injury. Ninjurin1 and 2 share conserved hydrophobic regions for their transmembrane domains; however, they do not contain comparable adhesion motifs nor do they interact with each other. In the peripheral nervous system, ninjurin2 is expressed constitutively in mature sensory and enteric neurons but not in glial cells or in autonomic ganglia. Ninjurin2 is upregulated in Schwann cells surrounding the distal segment of injured nerve with a time course similar to that of ninjurin1, neural CAM, and L1. Ninjurin2 promotes neurite outgrowth from primary cultured dorsal root ganglion neurons, presumably via homophilic cellular interactions. Ninjurin2 is also highly expressed in hematopoietic and lymphatic tissues. Finally, the ninjurin2 gene is located on human chromosome 12p13 in which several disorders of unknown etiology have been mapped, including inflammatory bowel disease and acrocallosal syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-195
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000


  • Acrocallosal syndrome
  • Cell adhesion
  • Chromosome 12p13
  • Hematopoietic and lymphatic organs
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Peripheral nervous system
  • Postmitotic


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