, Volume 21, Issue 1-2, pp 97-107

Signal-regulated ADF/cofilin activity and growth cone motility

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Abstract

It is becoming increasingly evident that proteins of the actin depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin family are essential regulators of actin turnover required for many actin-based cellular processes, including motility. ADF can increase actin turnover by either increasing the rate of actin filament treadmilling or by severing actin filaments. In neurons ADF is highly expressed in neuronal growth cones and its activity is regulated by many signals that affect growth cone motility. In addition, increased activity of ADF causes an increase in neurite extension. ADF activity is inhibited upon phosphorylation by LIM kinases (LIMK), kinases activated by members of the Rho family of small GTPases. ADF become dephosphorylated downstream of signal pathways that activate PI-3 kinase or increase levels of intracellular calcium. The growth-regulating effects of ADF together with its ability to be regulated by a wide variety of guidance cues, suggest that ADF may regulate growth cone advance and navigation.