ARF6 directs axon transport and traffic of integrins and regulates axon growth in adult DRG neurons

Richard Eva, Sarah Crisp, Jamie R. K. Marland, Jim C. Norman, Venkateswarlu Kanamarlapudi, Charles ffrench-Constant, James W. Fawcett

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76 Citations (Scopus)


Integrins are involved in axon growth and regeneration. Manipulation of integrins is a route to promoting axon regeneration and understanding regeneration failure in the CNS. Expression of α9 integrin promotes axon regeneration, so we have investigated α9β1 trafficking and transport in axons and at the growth cone. We have previously found that α9 and β1 integrins traffic via Rab11-positive recycling endosomes in peripheral axons and growth cones. However, transport via Rab11 is slow, while rapid transport occurs in vesicles lacking Rab11. We have further studied α9 and β1 integrin transport and traffic in adult rat dorsal root ganglion axons and PC12 cells. Integrins are in ARF6 vesicles during rapid axonal transport and during trafficking in the growth cone. We report that rapid axonal transport of these integrins and their trafficking at the cell surface is regulated by ARF6. ARF6 inactivation by expression of ACAP1 leads to increased recycling of β1 integrins to the neuronal surface and to increased anterograde axonal transport. ARF6 activation by expression of the neuronal guanine nucleotide exchange factors, ARNO or EFA6, increases retrograde integrin transport in axons and increases integrin internalization. ARF6 inactivation increases integrin-mediated outgrowth, while activation decreases it. The coordinated changes in integrin transport and recycling resulting from ARF6 activation or inactivation are the probable mechanism behind this regulation of axon growth. Our data suggest a novel mechanism of integrin traffic and transport in peripheral axons, regulated by the activation state of ARF6, and suggest that ARF6 might be targeted to enhance integrin-dependent axon regeneration after injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10352-10364
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number30
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2012

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