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PLoS Biol. 2013;11(6):e1001572. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001572. Epub 2013 Jun 4.

Bimodal control of dendritic and axonal growth by the dual leucine zipper kinase pathway.

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1
Life Sciences Institute and Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States of America.

Abstract

Knowledge of the molecular and genetic mechanisms underlying the separation of dendritic and axonal compartments is not only crucial for understanding the assembly of neural circuits, but also for developing strategies to correct defective dendrites or axons in diseases with subcellular precision. Previous studies have uncovered regulators dedicated to either dendritic or axonal growth. Here we investigate a novel regulatory mechanism that differentially directs dendritic and axonal growth within the same neuron in vivo. We find that the dual leucine zipper kinase (DLK) signaling pathway in Drosophila, which consists of Highwire and Wallenda and controls axonal growth, regeneration, and degeneration, is also involved in dendritic growth in vivo. Highwire, an evolutionarily conserved E3 ubiquitin ligase, restrains axonal growth but acts as a positive regulator for dendritic growth in class IV dendritic arborization neurons in the larva. While both the axonal and dendritic functions of highwire require the DLK kinase Wallenda, these two functions diverge through two downstream transcription factors, Fos and Knot, which mediate the axonal and dendritic regulation, respectively. This study not only reveals a previously unknown function of the conserved DLK pathway in controlling dendrite development, but also provides a novel paradigm for understanding how neuronal compartmentalization and the diversity of neuronal morphology are achieved.

PMID:
23750116
PMCID:
PMC3672216
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pbio.1001572
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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