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Keywords:

  • Src-family kinase;
  • src;
  • fyn;
  • neuronal positioning;
  • development;
  • reelin signaling

Abstract

The actions of Reelin in neuronal positioning in the developing cortex and cerebellum are relayed by Src-family kinase (SFK)-mediated phosphorylation of Dab1. Biochemical studies show that after phosphorylation Dab1 binds to an adaptor protein, CrkL. Whether CrkL is important for Reelin signaling in vivo is unknown, because crkl−/− embryos die before cortical development is complete. In the developing spinal cord, Reelin and components of its signaling pathway, VLDLR, ApoER2, and Dab1, control the positioning of sympathetic preganglionic neurons (SPN); however, it is not known whether SFKs or Dab1 tyrosine phosphorylation is required. In the present study, we asked whether Reelin-controlled SPN migration depends on tyrosine phosphorylation of Dab1 by SFKs and whether CrkL is involved in SPN migration. To answer these questions, we examined the location of SPN in various mutant mouse embryos. Results showed that, in dab15F/5F embryos, which express a nonphosphorylated mutant of Dab1, and in src−/−fyn−/− double knockout embryos, the location of SPN is identical to that of reeler. These results show that tyrosine phosphorylation of Dab1 by SFKs is required for Reelin-regulated SPN positioning. In addition, we found that SPN migration in crkl−/− showed a partial reeler phenotype, suggesting a partial loss of response of SPN to Reelin signaling. These results suggest a role for CrkL in the Reelin signaling pathway to control neuronal migration. J. Comp. Neurol. 502:635–643, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.