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Development (Cambridge, England)

Heterotrimeric Go protein links Wnt-Frizzled signaling with ankyrins to regulate the neuronal microtubule cytoskeleton.


PMID 25139856

Abstract

Drosophila neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) represent a powerful model system with which to study glutamatergic synapse formation and remodeling. Several proteins have been implicated in these processes, including components of canonical Wingless (Drosophila Wnt1) signaling and the giant isoforms of the membrane-cytoskeleton linker Ankyrin 2, but possible interconnections and cooperation between these proteins were unknown. Here, we demonstrate that the heterotrimeric G protein Go functions as a transducer of Wingless-Frizzled 2 signaling in the synapse. We identify Ankyrin 2 as a target of Go signaling required for NMJ formation. Moreover, the Go-ankyrin interaction is conserved in the mammalian neurite outgrowth pathway. Without ankyrins, a major switch in the Go-induced neuronal cytoskeleton program is observed, from microtubule-dependent neurite outgrowth to actin-dependent lamellopodial induction. These findings describe a novel mechanism regulating the microtubule cytoskeleton in the nervous system. Our work in Drosophila and mammalian cells suggests that this mechanism might be generally applicable in nervous system development and function.

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