The Journal of cell biology

Hsc70 chaperone activity underlies Trio GEF function in axon growth and guidance induced by netrin-1.

PMID 26323693


During development, netrin-1 is both an attractive and repulsive axon guidance cue and mediates its attractive function through the receptor Deleted in Colorectal Cancer (DCC). The activation of Rho guanosine triphosphatases within the extending growth cone facilitates the dynamic reorganization of the cytoskeleton required to drive axon extension. The Rac1 guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) Trio is essential for netrin-1-induced axon outgrowth and guidance. Here, we identify the molecular chaperone heat shock cognate protein 70 (Hsc70) as a novel Trio regulator. Hsc70 dynamically associated with the N-terminal region and Rac1 GEF domain of Trio. Whereas Hsc70 expression supported Trio-dependent Rac1 activation, adenosine triphosphatase-deficient Hsc70 (D10N) abrogated Trio Rac1 GEF activity and netrin-1-induced Rac1 activation. Hsc70 was required for netrin-1-mediated axon growth and attraction in vitro, whereas Hsc70 activity supported callosal projections and radial neuronal migration in the embryonic neocortex. These findings demonstrate that Hsc70 chaperone activity is required for Rac1 activation by Trio and this function underlies netrin-1/DCC-dependent axon outgrowth and guidance.