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Nat Cell Biol. 2001 Apr;3(4):361-7.

p190 RhoGAP is the principal Src substrate in brain and regulates axon outgrowth, guidance and fasciculation.

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MGH Cancer Center, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 149 13th Street, Charlestown, Massachusetts 02129, USA.


The Src tyrosine kinases have been implicated in several aspects of neural development and nervous system function; however, their relevant substrates in brain and their mechanism of action in neurons remain to be established clearly. Here we identify the potent Rho regulatory protein, p190 RhoGAP (GTPase-activating protein), as the principal Src substrate detected in the developing and mature nervous system. We also find that mice lacking functional p190 RhoGAP exhibit defects in axon guidance and fasciculation. p190 RhoGAP is co-enriched with F-actin in the distal tips of axons, and overexpressing p190 RhoGAP in neuroblastoma cells promotes extensive neurite outgrowth, indicating that p190 RhoGAP may be an important regulator of Rho-mediated actin reorganization in neuronal growth cones. p190 RhoGAP transduces signals downstream of cell-surface adhesion molecules, and we find that p190-RhoGAP-mediated neurite outgrowth is promoted by the extracellular matrix protein laminin. Together with the fact that mice lacking neural adhesion molecules or Src kinases also exhibit defects in axon outgrowth, guidance and fasciculation, our results suggest that p190 RhoGAP mediates a Src-dependent adhesion signal for neuritogenesis to the actin cytoskeleton through the Rho GTPase.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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