Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Cell Neurosci. 2003 Nov;24(3):673-86.

Glycogen synthase kinase-3 and Axin function in a beta-catenin-independent pathway that regulates neurite outgrowth in neuroblastoma cells.

Author information

MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology, University College London, London, UK.


We have sought to determine the roles of beta-catenin and the Wnt signaling pathway in neurite outgrowth using a model cell system, the Neuro-2a neuroblastoma cell line. Activation of the Wnt signaling pathway disrupts a multiprotein complex that includes beta-catenin, Axin, and glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3), which would otherwise promote the phosphorylation and degradation of beta-catenin. Stabilized beta-catenin accumulates in the cytosol and in the nucleus; in the nucleus it binds to TCF family transcription factors, forming a bipartite transcriptional activator of Wnt target genes. These events can be mimicked by lithium (Li(+)), which inhibits GSK-3 activity. Both Li(+) and the GSK-3 inhibitor SB415286 induced neurite outgrowth of Neuro-2a cells. Li(+)-induced neurite outgrowth did not require beta-catenin-/TCF-dependent transcription, and increasing levels of beta-catenin either by transfection or using Wnt-3A was not sufficient to induce neurite outgrowth. Interestingly, Axin, which is also a substrate for GSK-3, was destabilized by Li(+) and ectopic expression of Axin inhibited Li(+)-induced neurite outgrowth. Deletion analysis of Axin indicated that this inhibition required the GSK-3 binding site, but not the beta-catenin binding site. Our results suggest that a signaling pathway involving Axin and GSK-3, but not beta-catenin, regulates Li(+)-induced neurite outgrowth in Neuro-2a cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center