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Neuron. 2004 Jul 8;43(1):81-94.

Arp2/3 is a negative regulator of growth cone translocation.

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Biology Department, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


Arp2/3 is an actin binding complex that is enriched in the peripheral lamellipodia of fibroblasts, where it forms a network of short, branched actin filaments, generating the protrusive force that extends lamellipodia and drives fibroblast motility. Although it has been assumed that Arp2/3 would play a similar role in growth cones, our studies indicate that Arp2/3 is enriched in the central, not the peripheral, region of growth cones and that the growth cone periphery contains few branched actin filaments. Arp2/3 inhibition in fibroblasts severely disrupts actin organization and membrane protrusion. In contrast, Arp2/3 inhibition in growth cones minimally affects actin organization and does not inhibit lamellipodia protrusion or de novo filopodia formation. Surprisingly, Arp2/3 inhibition significantly enhances axon elongation and causes defects in growth cone guidance. These results indicate that Arp2/3 is a negative regulator of growth cone translocation.

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