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Axon growth is tightly controlled to establish functional neural circuits during brain development. Despite the belief that cytoskeletal dynamics is critical for cell morphology, how microtubule acetylation regulates axon development in the mammalian central nervous system remains unclear. Here, we report that loss of α-tubulin acetylation by ablation of MEC-17 in mice predisposes neurons to axon overbranching and overgrowth. Introduction of MEC-17F183A lacking α-tubulin acetyltransferase activity into MEC-17-deficient neurons failed to rescue axon defects. Moreover, loss of α-tubulin acetylation led to increases in microtubule debundling, microtubule invasion into filopodia and growth cones, and microtubule plus-end dynamics along the axon. Taxol application dampened microtubule hyperdynamics and suppressed axon overbranching and overgrowth in MEC-17-deficient neurons. Thus, our study reveals that α-tubulin acetylation acts as a brake for axon overbranching and overgrowth by dampening microtubule dynamics, providing insight into the role of microtubule post-translational modifications in regulating neural development.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Cerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991)
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First segment of axon that connects distal axon segments to the neuronal CELL BODY at the axon hillock region. The axon initial segment is not protected by the MYELIN SHEATH and has properties critical for axonal growth. The axon initial segment and the axon hillock form an axonal trigger zone.
Agents that interact with TUBULIN to inhibit or promote polymerization of MICROTUBULES.
High molecular weight proteins found in the MICROTUBULES of the cytoskeletal system. Under certain conditions they are required for TUBULIN assembly into the microtubules and stabilize the assembled microtubules.
Degeneration of distal aspects of a nerve axon following injury to the cell body or proximal portion of the axon. The process is characterized by fragmentation of the axon and its MYELIN SHEATH.
A microtubule subunit protein found in large quantities in mammalian brain. It has also been isolated from SPERM FLAGELLUM; CILIA; and other sources. Structurally, the protein is a dimer with a molecular weight of approximately 120,000 and a sedimentation coefficient of 5.8S. It binds to COLCHICINE; VINCRISTINE; and VINBLASTINE.