Abelson, enabled, and p120catenin exert distinct effects on dendritic morphogenesis in Drosophila

Authors

  • Wenjun Li,

    1. Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease, San Francisco, California
    2. Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, California
    Current affiliation:
    1. Institute for Nutritional Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200031, China
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Yan Li,

    1. Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease, San Francisco, California
    2. Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, California
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Fen-Biao Gao

    Corresponding author
    1. Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease, San Francisco, California
    2. Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, California
    • Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease, 1650 Owens St., San Francisco, CA 94158
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Neurons exhibit diverse dendritic branching patterns that are important for their function. However, the signaling pathways that control the formation of different dendritic structures remain largely unknown. To address this issue in vivo, we use the peripheral nervous system (PNS) of Drosophila as a model system. Through both loss-of-function and gain-of-function analyses in vivo, we show here that the nonreceptor tyrosine kinase Abelson (Abl), an important regulator of cytoskeleton dynamics, inhibits dendritic branching of dendritic arborization (DA) sensory neurons in Drosophila. Enabled (Ena), a substrate for Abl, promotes the formation of both dendritic branches and actin-rich spine-like protrusions of DA neurons, an effect opposite to that of Abl. In contrast, p120catenin (p120ctn) primarily enhances the development of spine-like protrusions. These results suggest that Ena is a key regulator of dendritic branching and that different regulators of the actin cytoskeleton exert distinct effects on dendritic morphogenesis. Developmental Dynamics 234:512–522, 2005. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Ancillary