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Reelin and the Cdc42/Rac1 guanine nucleotide exchange factor αPIX/Arhgef6 promote dendritic Golgi translocation in hippocampal neurons


Correspondence: Eckart Förster, as above.



In the cerebral cortex of reeler mutant mice lacking reelin expression, neurons are malpositioned and display misoriented apical dendrites. Neuronal migration defects in reeler have been studied in great detail, but how misorientation of apical dendrites is related to reelin deficiency is poorly understood. In wild-type mice, the Golgi apparatus transiently translocates into the developing apical dendrite of radially migrating neurons. This dendritic Golgi translocation has recently been shown to be promoted by reelin. However, the underlying signalling mechanisms are largely unknown. Here, we show that the Cdc42/Rac1 guanine nucleotide exchange factor αPIX/Arhgef6 promoted translocation of Golgi cisternae into developing dendrites of hippocampal neurons. Reelin treatment further increased the αPIX-dependent effect. In turn, overexpression of exchange activity-deficient αPIX or dominant-negative (dn) Cdc42 or dn-Rac1 impaired dendritic Golgi positioning, an effect that was not compensated by reelin treatment. Together, these data suggest that αPIX may promote dendritic Golgi translocation, as a downstream component of a reelin-modulated signalling pathway. Finally, we found that reelin promoted the translocation of the Golgi apparatus into the dendrite that was most proximal to the reelin source. The distribution of reelin may thus contribute to the selection of the process that becomes the apical dendrite.