Axonal elongation triggered by stimulus-induced local translation of a polarity complex protein

Ulrich Hengst, Alessia Deglincerti, Hyung Joon Kim, Noo Li Jeon, Samie R. Jaffrey

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Abstract

During development, axon growth rates are precisely regulated to provide temporal control over pathfinding. The precise temporal regulation of axonal growth is a key step in the formation of functional synapses and the proper patterning of the nervous system. The rate of axonal elongation is increased by factors such as netrin-1 and nerve growth factor (NGF), which stimulate axon outgrowth using incompletely defined pathways. To clarify the mechanism of netrin-1- and NGF-stimulated axon growth, we explored the role of local protein translation. We found that intra-axonal protein translation is required for stimulated, but not basal, axon outgrowth. To identify the mechanism of translation-dependent outgrowth, we examined the PAR complex, a cytoskeleton regulator. We found that the PAR complex, like local translation, is required for stimulated, but not basal, outgrowth. Par3 mRNA is localized to developing axons, and NGF and netrin-1 trigger its local translation. Selective ablation of Par3 mRNA from axons abolishes the outgrowth-promoting effect of NGF. These results identify a new role for local translation and the PAR complex in axonal outgrowth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1024-1030
Number of pages7
JournalNature Cell Biology
Volume11
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 23 2009

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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