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EphA receptors regulate growth cone dynamics through the novel guanine nucleotide exchange factor ephexin.

Authors:
Shamah SM, Lin MZ, Goldberg JL, Estrach S, Sahin M, Hu L, Bazalakova M, Neve RL, Corfas G, Debant A, Greenberg ME
Affiliation:
Journal:
Cell

Abstract

Eph receptors transduce short-range repulsive signals for axon guidance by modulating actin dynamics within growth cones. We report the cloning and characterization of ephexin, a novel Eph receptor-interacting protein that is a member of the Dbl family of guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) for Rho GTPases. Ephrin-A stimulation of EphA receptors modulates the activity of ephexin leading to RhoA activation, Cdc42 and Rac1 inhibition, and cell morphology changes. In addition, expression of a mutant form of ephexin in primary neurons interferes with ephrin-A-induced growth cone collapse. The association of ephexin with Eph receptors constitutes a molecular link between Eph receptors and the actin cytoskeleton and provides a novel mechanism for achieving highly localized regulation of growth cone motility.

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