Actin, spectrin and associated molecules form a periodic sub-membrane lattice structure in axons. How this membrane skeleton is developed and why it preferentially forms in axons are unknown. Here, we studied the developmental mechanism of this lattice structure. We found that this structure emerged early during axon development and propagated from proximal regions to distal ends of axons. Components of the axon initial segment were recruited to the lattice late during development. Formation of the lattice was regulated by the local concentration of βII spectrin, which is higher in axons than in dendrites. Increasing the dendritic concentration of βII spectrin by over-expression or by knocking out ankyrin B induced the formation of the periodic structure in dendrites, demonstrating that the spectrin concentration is a key determinant in the preferential development of this structure in axons and that ankyrin B is critical for the polarized distribution of βII spectrin in neurites.
Animal experimentation: This study was performed in strict accordance with the recommendations in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Health. All of the animals were handled according to approved institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) protocol, number 10-16. The protocol was approved by the Committee on the Use of Animals in Research and Teaching of Harvard University Faculty of Arts & Sciences (HU/FAS). The HU/FAS animal care and use program is AAALAC International accredited, has a PHS Assurance (A3593-01) on file with NIH's Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare, and is registered with the USDA (14-R-0128). Animals were euthanized in accordance with AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals
- Robert H Singer, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, United States
© 2014, Zhong et al.
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Successful regeneration requires the coordinated execution of multiple cellular responses to injury. In amputated zebrafish fins, mature osteoblasts dedifferentiate, migrate towards the injury and form proliferative osteogenic blastema cells. We show that osteoblast migration is preceded by cell elongation and alignment along the proximodistal axis, which require actomyosin, but not microtubule turnover. Surprisingly, osteoblast dedifferentiation and migration can be uncoupled. Using pharmacological and genetic interventions, we found that NF-ĸB and retinoic acid signalling regulate dedifferentiation without affecting migration, while the complement system and actomyosin dynamics affect migration but not dedifferentiation. Furthermore, by removing bone at two locations within a fin ray, we established an injury model containing two injury sites. We found that osteoblasts dedifferentiate at and migrate towards both sites, while accumulation of osteogenic progenitor cells and regenerative bone formation only occur at the distal-facing injury. Together, these data indicate that osteoblast dedifferentiation and migration represent generic injury responses that are differentially regulated and can occur independently of each other and of regenerative growth. We conclude that successful fin bone regeneration appears to involve the coordinated execution of generic and regeneration-specific responses of osteoblasts to injury.
Branched actin networks are self-assembling molecular motors that move biological membranes and drive many important cellular processes, including phagocytosis, endocytosis, and pseudopod protrusion. When confronted with opposing forces, the growth rate of these networks slows and their density increases, but the stoichiometry of key components does not change. The molecular mechanisms governing this force response are not well understood, so we used single-molecule imaging and AFM cantilever deflection to measure how applied forces affect each step in branched actin network assembly. Although load forces are observed to increase the density of growing filaments, we find that they actually decrease the rate of filament nucleation due to inhibitory interactions between actin filament ends and nucleation promoting factors. The force-induced increase in network density turns out to result from an exponential drop in the rate constant that governs filament capping. The force dependence of filament capping matches that of filament elongation and can be explained by expanding Brownian Ratchet theory to cover both processes. We tested a key prediction of this expanded theory by measuring the force-dependent activity of engineered capping protein variants and found that increasing the size of the capping protein increases its sensitivity to applied forces. In summary, we find that Brownian Ratchets underlie not only the ability of growing actin filaments to generate force but also the ability of branched actin networks to adapt their architecture to changing loads.