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Duncan, J.E., Lytle, N.K., Zuniga, A., Goldstein, L.S. (2013). The Microtubule Regulatory Protein Stathmin Is Required to Maintain the Integrity of Axonal Microtubules in Drosophila.  PLoS ONE 8(6): e68324.
FlyBase ID
FBrf0222106
Publication Type
Research paper
Abstract

Axonal transport, a form of long-distance, bi-directional intracellular transport that occurs between the cell body and synaptic terminal, is critical in maintaining the function and viability of neurons. We have identified a requirement for the stathmin (stai) gene in the maintenance of axonal microtubules and regulation of axonal transport in Drosophila. The stai gene encodes a cytosolic phosphoprotein that regulates microtubule dynamics by partitioning tubulin dimers between pools of soluble tubulin and polymerized microtubules, and by directly binding to microtubules and promoting depolymerization. Analysis of stai function in Drosophila, which has a single stai gene, circumvents potential complications with studies performed in vertebrate systems in which mutant phenotypes may be compensated by genetic redundancy of other members of the stai gene family. This has allowed us to identify an essential function for stai in the maintenance of the integrity of axonal microtubules. In addition to the severe disruption in the abundance and architecture of microtubules in the axons of stai mutant Drosophila, we also observe additional neurological phenotypes associated with loss of stai function including a posterior paralysis and tail-flip phenotype in third instar larvae, aberrant accumulation of transported membranous organelles in stai deficient axons, a progressive bang-sensitive response to mechanical stimulation reminiscent of the class of Drosophila mutants used to model human epileptic seizures, and a reduced adult lifespan. Reductions in the levels of Kinesin-1, the primary anterograde motor in axonal transport, enhance these phenotypes. Collectively, our results indicate that stai has an important role in neuronal function, likely through the maintenance of microtubule integrity in the axons of nerves of the peripheral nervous system necessary to support and sustain long-distance axonal transport.

PubMed ID
PubMed Central ID
PMC3694009 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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    Language of Publication
    English
    Additional Languages of Abstract
    Parent Publication
    Publication Type
    Journal
    Abbreviation
    PLoS ONE
    Title
    PLoS ONE
    Publication Year
    2006-
    ISBN/ISSN
    1932-6203
    Data From Reference
    Aberrations (6)
    Alleles (6)
    Genes (6)
    Natural transposons (2)
    Insertions (2)
    Transgenic Constructs (2)