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Mol Cell Biol. 2008 Apr;28(7):2314-23. doi: 10.1128/MCB.00998-07. Epub 2008 Jan 22.

Trio mediates netrin-1-induced Rac1 activation in axon outgrowth and guidance.

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  • 1CRBM-CNRS, UMR5237, 1919 Route de Mende, 34293 Montpellier Cédex 05, France.


The chemotropic guidance cue netrin-1 promotes neurite outgrowth through its receptor Deleted in Colorectal Cancer (DCC) via activation of Rac1. The guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) linking netrin-1/DCC to Rac1 activation has not yet been identified. Here, we show that the RhoGEF Trio mediates Rac1 activation in netrin-1 signaling. We found that Trio interacts with the netrin-1 receptor DCC in mouse embryonic brains and that netrin-1-induced Rac1 activation in brain is impaired in the absence of Trio. Trio(-/-) cortical neurons fail to extend neurites in response to netrin-1, while they are able to respond to glutamate. Accordingly, netrin-1-induced commissural axon outgrowth is reduced in Trio(-/-) spinal cord explants, and the guidance of commissural axons toward the floor plate is affected by the absence of Trio. The anterior commissure is absent in Trio-null embryos, and netrin-1/DCC-dependent axonal projections that form the internal capsule and the corpus callosum are defective in the mutants. Taken together, these findings establish Trio as a GEF that mediates netrin-1 signaling in axon outgrowth and guidance through its ability to activate Rac1.

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