Rho-dependent contractile responses in the neuronal growth cone are independent of classical peripheral retrograde actin flow.

Zhang XF, Schaefer AW, Burnette DT, Schoonderwoert VT, Forscher P
Neuron. 2003 40 (5): 931-44

PMID: 14659092 · DOI:10.1016/s0896-6273(03)00754-2

Rho family GTPases have been implicated in neuronal growth cone guidance; however, the underlying cytoskeletal mechanisms are unclear. We have used multimode fluorescent speckle microscopy (FSM) to directly address this problem. We report that actin arcs that form in the transition zone are incorporated into central actin bundles in the C domain. These actin structures are Rho/Rho Kinase (ROCK) effectors. Specifically, LPA mediates growth cone retraction by ROCK-dependent increases in actin arc and central actin bundle contractility and stability. In addition, these treatments had marked effects on MT organization as a consequence of strong MT-actin arc interactions. In contrast, LPA or constitutively active Rho had no effect on P domain retrograde actin flow or filopodium bundle number. This study reveals a novel mechanism for domain-specific spatial control of actin-based motility in the growth cone with implications for understanding chemorepellant growth cone responses and nerve regeneration.

MeSH Terms (7)

Actins Animals Aplysia Cell Movement Cells, Cultured Growth Cones rho GTP-Binding Proteins

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