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Nat Neurosci. 2011 Mar;14(3):305-13. doi: 10.1038/nn.2755. Epub 2011 Feb 6.

Phosphorylation of SCG10/stathmin-2 determines multipolar stage exit and neuronal migration rate.

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Turku Centre for Biotechnology, Åbo Akademi University and University of Turku, Turku, Finland.


Cell migration is the consequence of the sum of positive and negative regulatory mechanisms. Although appropriate migration of neurons is a principal feature of brain development, the negative regulatory mechanisms remain obscure. We found that JNK1 was highly active in developing cortex and that selective inhibition of JNK in the cytoplasm markedly increased both the frequency of exit from the multipolar stage and radial migration rate and ultimately led to an ill-defined cellular organization. Moreover, regulation of multipolar-stage exit and radial migration in Jnk1(-/-) (also known as Mapk8) mice, resulted from consequential changes in phosphorylation of the microtubule regulator SCG10 (also called stathmin-2). Expression of an SCG10 mutant that mimics the JNK1-phosphorylated form restored normal migration in the brains of Jnk1(-/-) mouse embryos. These findings indicate that the phosphorylation of SCG10 by JNK1 is a fundamental mechanism that governs the transition from the multipolar stage and the rate of neuronal cell movement during cortical development.

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