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Sci Rep. 2017 Aug 29;7(1):9583. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-09832-8.

Microtubules Modulate F-actin Dynamics during Neuronal Polarization.

Author information

1
RG Neuronal Development, Center for Molecular Neurobiology Hamburg (ZMNH), University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, 20251, Hamburg, Germany.
2
Combinatorial Neuroimaging Core Facility (CNI), Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology, 39118, Magdeburg, Germany.
3
Department of Biochemistry and Signal Transduction, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, 20246, Hamburg, Germany.
4
RG Neuroplasticity, Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology, 39118, Magdeburg, Germany.
5
Leibniz Guest Group "Dendritic Organelles and Synaptic Function", Center for Molecular Neurobiology (ZMNH), University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, 20251, Hamburg, Germany.
6
Emmy-Noether Group "Neuronal Protein Transport", Center for Molecular Neurobiology (ZMNH), University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, 20251, Hamburg, Germany.
7
RG Neuronal Development, Center for Molecular Neurobiology Hamburg (ZMNH), University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, 20251, Hamburg, Germany. froylan.calderon@zmnh.uni-hamburg.de.

Abstract

Neuronal polarization is reflected by different dynamics of microtubule and filamentous actin (F-actin). Axonal microtubules are more stable than those in the remaining neurites, while dynamics of F-actin in axonal growth cones clearly exceed those in their dendritic counterparts. However, whether a functional interplay exists between the microtubule network and F-actin dynamics in growing axons and whether this interplay is instrumental for breaking cellular symmetry is currently unknown. Here, we show that an increment on microtubule stability or number of microtubules is associated with increased F-actin dynamics. Moreover, we show that Drebrin E, an F-actin and microtubule plus-end binding protein, mediates this cross talk. Drebrin E segregates preferentially to growth cones with a higher F-actin treadmilling rate, where more microtubule plus-ends are found. Interruption of the interaction of Drebrin E with microtubules decreases F-actin dynamics and arrests neuronal polarization. Collectively the data show that microtubules modulate F-actin dynamics for initial axon extension during neuronal development.

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