The dynein light chain Tctex-1 has a dynein-independent role in actin remodeling during neurite outgrowth

Dev Cell. 2005 Jul;9(1):75-86. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2005.04.003.


Coordinated microtubule and microfilament changes are essential for the morphological development of neurons; however, little is know about the underlying molecular machinery linking these two cytoskeletal systems. Similarly, the indispensable role of RhoGTPase family proteins has been demonstrated, but it is unknown how their activities are specifically regulated in different neurites. In this paper, we show that the cytoplasmic dynein light chain Tctex-1 plays a key role in multiple steps of hippocampal neuron development, including initial neurite sprouting, axon specification, and later dendritic elaboration. The neuritogenic effects elicited by Tctex-1 are independent from its cargo adaptor role for dynein motor transport. Finally, our data suggest that the selective high level of Tctex-1 at the growth cone of growing axons drives fast neurite extension by modulating actin dynamics and also Rac1 activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Axons / metabolism*
  • Axons / ultrastructure
  • Cell Polarity
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Dyneins / physiology*
  • Growth Cones / metabolism
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neurites / physiology
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • rac1 GTP-Binding Protein / physiology*
  • t-Complex Genome Region


  • Actins
  • Dynlt1 protein, rat
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Dyneins
  • rac1 GTP-Binding Protein