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Neural repair after traumatic spinal cord injury depends upon the restoration of neural networks via axonal sprouting and regeneration. Our previous genome wide loss-of-function screen identified Rab GTPases as playing a prominent role in preventing successful axon sprouting and regeneration. Here, we searched for Rab27b interactors and identified Rabphilin3A as an effector within regenerating axons. Growth cone Rabphilin3a colocalized and physically associated with integrins at puncta in the proximal body of the axonal growth cone. In regenerating axons, loss of Rabphilin3a increased integrin enrichment in the growth cone periphery, enhanced focal adhesion kinase activation, increased F-actin-rich filopodial density and stimulated axon extension. Compared to wild type, mice lacking Rabphilin3a exhibited greater regeneration of retinal ganglion cell axons after optic nerve crush as well as greater corticospinal axon regeneration after complete thoracic spinal cord crush injury. After moderate spinal cord contusion injury, there was greater corticospinal regrowth in the absence of Rph3a. Thus, an endogenous Rab27b - Raphilin3a pathway limits integrin action in the growth cone, and deletion of this monomeric GTPase pathway permits reparative axon growth in the injured adult mammalian central nervous system. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Yuichi Sekine, Ramakrishnan Kannan, Xingxing Wang, Stephen M Strittmatter. Rabphilin3A reduces integrin-dependent growth cone signaling to restrict axon regeneration after trauma. Experimental neurology. 2022 Jul;353:114070

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PMID: 35398339

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