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J Cell Biol. 2008 Jun 2;181(5):817-29. doi: 10.1083/jcb.200712138.

Shootin1 interacts with actin retrograde flow and L1-CAM to promote axon outgrowth.

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Division of Signal Transduction, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Ikoma 630-0192, Japan.


Actin polymerizes near the leading edge of nerve growth cones, and actin filaments show retrograde movement in filopodia and lamellipodia. Linkage between actin filament retrograde flow and cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) in growth cones is thought to be one of the mechanisms for axon outgrowth and guidance. However, the molecular basis for this linkage remains elusive. Here, we show that shootin1 interacts with both actin filament retrograde flow and L1-CAM in axonal growth cones of cultured rat hippocampal neurons, thereby mediating the linkage between them. Impairing this linkage, either by shootin1 RNA interference or disturbing the interaction between shootin1 and actin filament flow, inhibited L1-dependent axon outgrowth, whereas enhancing the linkage by shootin1 overexpression promoted neurite outgrowth. These results strengthen the actin flow-CAM linkage model ("clutch" model) for axon outgrowth and suggest that shootin1 is a key molecule involved in this mechanism.

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