Mouse neuron navigator 1, a novel microtubule-associated protein involved in neuronal migration

Mol Cell Neurosci. 2005 Apr;28(4):599-612. doi: 10.1016/j.mcn.2004.09.016.


The development of the nervous system (NS) requires the coordinated migration of multiple waves of neurons and subsequent processes of neurite maturation, both involving selective guidance mechanisms. In Caenorhabditis elegans, unc-53 codes for a new multidomain protein involved in the directional migration of a subset of cells. We describe here the first functional characterization of the mouse homologue, mouse Neuron navigator 1 (mNAV1), whose expression is largely restricted to the NS during development. EGFP-mNAV1 associates with microtubules (MTs) plus ends present in the growth cone through a new microtubule-binding (MTB) domain. Moreover, its overexpression in transfected cells leads to MT bundling. The abolition of mNAV1 causes loss of directionality in the leading processes of pontine-migrating cells, providing evidence for a role of mNAV1 in mediating Netrin-1-induced directional migration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • COS Cells
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Fetal Development / physiology
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / genetics
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / physiology*
  • Nerve Growth Factors / biosynthesis
  • Nerve Growth Factors / genetics
  • Nerve Growth Factors / physiology*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / physiology*
  • Neurons / chemistry
  • Neurons / physiology*


  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • NAV1 protein, human
  • Nav1 protein, mouse
  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins