A conserved role for Syntaxin-1 in pre- and post-commissural midline axonal guidance in fly, chick, and mouse. uri icon

abstract

  • Axonal growth and guidance rely on correct growth cone responses to guidance cues. Unlike the signaling cascades that link axonal growth to cytoskeletal dynamics, little is known about the crosstalk mechanisms between guidance and membrane dynamics and turnover. Recent studies indicate that whereas axonal attraction requires exocytosis, chemorepulsion relies on endocytosis. Indeed, our own studies have shown that Netrin-1/Deleted in Colorectal Cancer (DCC) signaling triggers exocytosis through the SNARE Syntaxin-1 (STX1). However, limited in vivo evidence is available about the role of SNARE proteins in axonal guidance. To address this issue, here we systematically deleted SNARE genes in three species. We show that loss-of-function of STX1 results in pre- and post-commissural axonal guidance defects in the midline of fly, chick, and mouse embryos. Inactivation of VAMP2, Ti-VAMP, and SNAP25 led to additional abnormalities in axonal guidance. We also confirmed that STX1 loss-of-function results in reduced sensitivity of commissural axons to Slit-2 and Netrin-1. Finally, genetic interaction studies in Drosophila show that STX1 interacts with both the Netrin-1/DCC and Robo/Slit pathways. Our data provide evidence of an evolutionarily conserved role of STX1 and SNARE proteins in midline axonal guidance in vivo, by regulating both pre- and post-commissural guidance mechanisms.

publication date

  • June 2018