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Integrins have been implicated in various processes of nervous system development, including proliferation, migration, and differentiation of neuronal cells. In this study, we show that the serine/threonine kinase Ndr2 controls integrin-dependent dendritic and axonal growth in mouse hippocampal neurons. We further demonstrate that Ndr2 is able to induce phosphorylation at the activity- and trafficking-relevant site Thr(788/789) of β1-integrin to stimulate the PKC- and CaMKII-dependent activation of β1-integrins, as well as their exocytosis. Accordingly, Ndr2 associates with integrin-positive early and recycling endosomes in primary hippocampal neurons and the surface expression of activated β1-integrins is reduced on dendrites of Ndr2-deficient neurons. The role of Ndr2 in dendritic differentiation is also evident in vivo, because Ndr2-null mutant mice show arbor-specific alterations of dendritic complexity in the hippocampus. This indicates a role of Ndr2 in the fine regulation of dendritic growth; in fact, treatment of primary neurons with Semaphorin 3A rescues Ndr2 knock-down-induced dendritic growth deficits but fails to enhance growth beyond control level. Correspondingly, Ndr2-null mutant mice show a Semaphorin 3A(-/-)-like phenotype of premature dendritic branching in the hippocampus. The results of this study show that Ndr2-mediated integrin trafficking and activation are crucial for neurite growth and guidance signals during neuronal development.


Kati Rehberg, Stefanie Kliche, Deniz A Madencioglu, Marlen Thiere, Bettina Müller, Bernhard Manuel Meineke, Christian Freund, Eike Budinger, Oliver Stork. The serine/threonine kinase Ndr2 controls integrin trafficking and integrin-dependent neurite growth. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2014 Apr 09;34(15):5342-54

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PMID: 24719112

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