Molecular biology of the cell

Cdo interacts with APPL1 and activates Akt in myoblast differentiation.

PMID 20484574


Cell-cell interactions between muscle precursors are required for myogenic differentiation; however, underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. Promyogenic cell surface protein Cdo functions as a component of multiprotein complexes containing other cell adhesion molecules, Boc, Neogenin and N-cadherin, and mediates some of signals triggered by cell-cell interactions between muscle precursors. Cdo activates p38MAPK via interaction with two scaffold proteins JLP and Bnip-2 to promote myogenesis. p38MAPK and Akt signaling are required for myogenic differentiation and activation of both signaling pathways is crucial for efficient myogenic differentiation. We report here that APPL1, an interacting partner of Akt, forms complexes with Cdo and Boc in differentiating myoblasts. Both Cdo and APPL1 are required for efficient Akt activation during myoblast differentiation. The defective differentiation of Cdo-depleted cells is fully rescued by overexpression of a constitutively active form of Akt, whereas overexpression of APPL1 fails to do so. Taken together, Cdo activates Akt through association with APPL1 during myoblast differentiation, and this complex likely mediates some of the promyogenic effect of cell-cell interaction. The promyogenic function of Cdo involves a coordinated activation of p38MAPK and Akt via association with scaffold proteins, JLP and Bnip-2 for p38MAPK and APPL1 for Akt.