Second messenger systems mediate neuronal responses to extracellular factors that elicit axon branching, turning, and guidance. We found that mutations in Caenorhabditis elegans that affect components of second messenger systems, a G-protein subunit, phospholipase Cβ, diacylglycerol (DAG) kinase, and calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CaMKII), have no obvious effect on axon responses to UNC-6 except in animals in which the N-terminal fragment, UNC-6ΔC, is expressed. In these animals, the mutations enhance or suppress ectopic branching of certain axons. Netrin UNC-6 is an extracellular protein that guides circumferential migrations, and UNC-6ΔC has UNC-6 guidance activity. We propose that the guidance response elicited by the UNC-6 N-terminal domains involves mechanisms that can induce branching that is sensitive to CaMKII- and DAG-dependent signaling, and that the UNC-6 C domain is required in cis to the N-terminal domains to silence the branching and to maintain proper axon morphology.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of Neuroscience|
|State||Published - Mar 15 2002|
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