Actin filaments and their interactions with cell surface molecules have key roles in tissue cell behaviour. Axonal pathfinding during embryogenesis, an especially complex cell behaviour, is based on the migration of nerve growth cones. We have used fluorescence immunocytochemistry to examine the distribution in growth cones, their filopodia and lamellipodia of several actin-associated proteins and nerve cell adhesion molecules. The leading margins of chick dorsal root ganglion nerve growth cones and their protrusions stain strongly for f-actin, filamin, alpha-actinin, myosin, tropomyosin, talin and vinculin. MAP2 is absent from DRG growth cones, and staining for spectrin fodrin extends into growth cones, but not along filopodia. Thus, organization of the leading margins of growth cones may strongly resemble the leading lamella of migrating fibroblasts. The adhesion-mediating molecules integrin, L1, N-CAM and A-CAM are all found on DRG neurites and growth cones. However, filopodia stain relatively more strongly for integrin and L1 than for A-CAM or N-CAM. In fact, the 180 X 10(3) Mr form of N-CAM may be absent from most of the length of filopodia. DRG neurones cultured in cytochalasin B display differences in immunofluorescence staining which further emphasize that these adhesion molecules interact differentially with the actin filament system of migrating growth cones. Several models for neuronal morphogenesis emphasize the importance of regulation of the expression of adhesion molecules. Our results support hypotheses that cellular distribution and transmembrane interactions are key elements in the functions of these adhesion molecules during axonal pathfinding.
Distribution and possible interactions of actin-associated proteins and cell adhesion molecules of nerve growth cones
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P.C. Letourneau, T.A. Shattuck; Distribution and possible interactions of actin-associated proteins and cell adhesion molecules of nerve growth cones. Development 1 March 1989; 105 (3): 505–519. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/dev.105.3.505
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