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Role of myosin Va in neuritogenesis of chick dorsal root ganglia nociceptive neurons



Myosin-Va, widely distributed throughout the developing nervous system, is involved in the transport of vesicles and other intracellular components with its globular tail domain (GTD) implicated in cargo recognition/interaction. Inactivation of myosin-Va in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons of chick embryos, in vitro, decreases the rate of filopodial extension. MYO5A mutant mice have severe neurological defects. We have found that the overexpression of GTD in DRG cultures reduces the number of neurons with long neurites (above fourfold cell body length) and increased the number of neurons with short or no neurites. However, if transfection occurred after the onset of neuritogenesis, this was not seen. In embryo, we characterized the expression pattern of myosin-Va during neuritogenesis of TrkA-positive cells at different stages of chick DRG development. Myosin-Va expression was detected starting from HH25. At this stage, it was present in cells both with and without neurites. The presence of myosin-Va in DRG neurites persisted throughout the last stage analysed (HH34). The data suggest that Myosin Va can participate in embryonic DRG neuritogenesis.

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