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J Neurosci. 2012 Aug 29;32(35):11905-18. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.6139-11.2012.

GSK3β/axin-1/β-catenin complex is involved in semaphorin3A signaling.

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Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Neurobiology, Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine, Yokohama 236-0004, Japan.


Semaphorin3A (Sema3A) exerts a wide variety of biological functions by regulating reorganization of actin and tubulin cytoskeletal proteins through signaling pathways including sequential phosphorylation of collapsin response mediator protein 1 (CRMP1) and CRMP2 by cyclin-dependent kinase-5 and glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK3β). To delineate how GSK3β mediates Sema3A signaling, we here determined the substrates of GSK3β involved. Introduction of either GSK3β mutants, GSK3β-R96A, L128A, or K85M into chick dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons suppressed Sema3A-induced growth cone collapse, thereby suggesting that unprimed as well as primed substrates are involved in Sema3A signaling. Axin-1, a key player in Wnt signaling, is an unprimed substrate of GSK3β. The phosphorylation of Axin-1 by GSK3β accelerates the association of Axin-1 with β-catenin. Immunocytochemical studies revealed that Sema3A induced an increase in the intensity levels of β-catenin in the DRG growth cones. Axin-1 siRNA knockdown suppressed Sema3A-induced growth cone collapse. The reintroduction of RNAi-resistant Axin-1 (rAxin-1)-wt rescued the responsiveness to Sema3A, while that of nonphosphorylated mutants, rAxin S322A/S326A/S330A and T485A/S490A/S497A, did not. Sema3A also enhanced the colocalization of GSK3β, Axin-1, and β-catenin in the growth cones. The increase of β-catenin in the growth cones was suppressed by the siRNA knockdown of Axin-1. Furthermore, either Axin-1 or β-catenin RNAi knockdown suppressed the internalization of Sema3A. These results suggest that Sema3A induces the formation of GSK3β/Axin-1/β-catenin complex, which regulates signaling cascade of Sema3A via an endocytotic mechanism. This finding should provide clue for understanding of mechanisms of a wide variety of biological functions of Sema3A.

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