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Commun Integr Biol. 2011 Sep;4(5):554-6. doi: 10.4161/cib.4.5.16051. Epub 2011 Sep 1.

Tao kinases as coordinators of actin and microtubule dynamics in developing neurons.

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1
Department of Anatomy; University of California; San Francisco.

Abstract

Drosophila tao, encoding a Ste20 family kinase, was identified as a gene involved in ethanol, cocaine and nicotine sensitivity. The behavioral phenotypes appear to be caused by defects in the development of the adult brain. Specifically, Drosophila tao functions to promote axon guidance of mushroom body (MB) neurons. The MB is a large structure in the central brain of the fly whose development and function have been well characterized. tao interacts genetically with mutations in the par-1 gene, also encoding a serine-threonine kinase. Since Par-1 has been implicated in the regulation of microtubule dynamics, this suggests that tao regulates the microtubule cytoskeleton in developing MB neurons. Here we discuss these results in light of previous studies that have proposed that Drosophila tao and its mammalian homologs function as a link between the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons, regulating microtubule stability in response to actin signals.

KEYWORDS:

actin; axon guidance; cytoskeleton; microtubule; tao

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