GDE3 regulates oligodendrocyte precursor proliferation via release of soluble CNTFRα

Mateusz Dobrowolski, Clinton Cave, Reuben Levy-Myers, Chang Hee Lee, Sungjin Park, Bo Ran Choi, Bo Xiao, Wanchun Yang, Shanthini Sockanathan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Oligodendrocyte development is tightly controlled by extrinsic signals; however, mechanisms that modulate cellular responses to these factors remain unclear. Six-transmembrane glycerophosphodiester phosphodiesterases (GDEs) are emerging as central regulators of cellular differentiation via their ability to shed glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored proteins from the cell surface. We show here that GDE3 controls the pace of oligodendrocyte generation by negatively regulating oligodendrocyte precursor cell (OPC) proliferation. GDE3 inhibits OPC proliferation by stimulating ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF)-mediated signaling through release of CNTFRα, the ligand-binding component of the CNTF-receptor multiprotein complex, which can function as a soluble factor to activate CNTF signaling. GDE3 releases soluble CNTFRα by GPI-anchor cleavage from the plasma membrane and from extracellular vesicles (EVs) after co-recruitment of CNTFRα in EVs. These studies uncover new physiological roles for GDE3 in gliogenesis and identify GDE3 as a key regulator of CNTFdependent regulation of OPC proliferation through release of CNTFRα.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberdev180695
JournalDevelopment (Cambridge)
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2020


  • CNTF
  • CNTFRα
  • GDE3 (GDPD2)
  • Mouse
  • Oligodendrocyte precursor
  • Proliferation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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