Depolarization recruits DCC to the plasma membrane of embryonic cortical neurons and enhances axon extension in response to netrin-1

Authors

  • Jean-François Bouchard,

    1. Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3A 2B4
    2. School of Optometry, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3T 1P1
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  • Katherine E. Horn,

    1. Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3A 2B4
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  • Thomas Stroh,

    1. Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3A 2B4
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  • Timothy E. Kennedy

    1. Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3A 2B4
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Address correspondence and reprint requests to Timothy E. Kennedy, Centre for Neuronal Survival, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, 3801 University Street, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3A 2B4. E-mail: Timothy.kennedy@mcgill.ca

Abstract

The netrin-1 receptor Deleted in Colorectal Cancer (DCC) is required for the formation of major axonal projections by embryonic cortical neurons, including the corpus callosum, hippocampal commissure, and cortico-thalamic tracts. The presentation of DCC by axonal growth cones is tightly regulated, but the mechanisms regulating DCC trafficking within neurons are not well understood. Here, we investigated the mechanisms regulating DCC recruitment to the plasma membrane of embryonic cortical neurons. In embryonic spinal commissural neurons, protein kinase A (PKA) activation recruits DCC to the plasma membrane and enhances axon chemoattraction to netrin-1. We demonstrate that PKA activation similarly recruits DCC and increases embryonic cortical neuron axon extension, which, like spinal commissural neurons, respond to netrin-1 as a chemoattractant. We then determined if depolarization might recruit DCC to the plasma membrane. Neither netrin-1 induced axon extension, nor levels of plasma membrane DCC, were altered by depolarizing embryonic spinal commissural neurons with elevated levels of KCl. In contrast, depolarizing embryonic cortical neurons increased the amount of plasma membrane DCC, including at the growth cone, and increased axon outgrowth evoked by netrin-1. Inhibition of PKA, phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase, protein kinase C, or exocytosis blocked the depolarization-induced recruitment of DCC and suppressed axon outgrowth. Inhibiting protein synthesis did not affect DCC recruitment, nor were the distributions of trkB or neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) influenced by depolarization, consistent with selective mobilization of DCC. These findings identify a role for membrane depolarization modulating the response of axons to netrin-1 by regulating DCC recruitment to the plasma membrane.

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