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Neuron. 2004 Dec 2;44(5):779-93.

Rho GTPases regulate axon growth through convergent and divergent signaling pathways.

Author information

1
Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. julian.ng@kcl.ac.uk

Abstract

Rho GTPases are essential regulators of cytoskeletal reorganization, but how they do so during neuronal morphogenesis in vivo is poorly understood. Here we show that the actin depolymerization factor cofilin is essential for axon growth in Drosophila neurons. Cofilin function in axon growth is inhibited by LIM kinase and activated by Slingshot phosphatase. Dephosphorylating cofilin appears to be the major function of Slingshot in regulating axon growth in vivo. Genetic data provide evidence that Rho or Rac/Cdc42, via effector kinases Rok or Pak, respectively, activate LIM kinase to inhibit axon growth. Importantly, Rac also activates a Pak-independent pathway that promotes axon growth, and different RacGEFs regulate these distinct pathways. These genetic analyses reveal convergent and divergent pathways from Rho GTPases to the cytoskeleton during axon growth in vivo and suggest that different developmental outcomes could be achieved by biases in pathway selection.

PMID:
15572110
DOI:
10.1016/j.neuron.2004.11.014
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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