Radial somatic F-actin organization affects growth cone dynamics during early neuronal development

EMBO Rep. 2019 Dec 5;20(12):e47743. doi: 10.15252/embr.201947743. Epub 2019 Oct 24.


The centrosome is thought to be the major neuronal microtubule-organizing center (MTOC) in early neuronal development, producing microtubules with a radial organization. In addition, albeit in vitro, recent work showed that isolated centrosomes could serve as an actin-organizing center, raising the possibility that neuronal development may, in addition, require a centrosome-based actin radial organization. Here, we report, using super-resolution microscopy and live-cell imaging of cultured rodent neurons, F-actin organization around the centrosome with dynamic F-actin aster-like structures with F-actin fibers extending and retracting actively. Photoactivation/photoconversion experiments and molecular manipulations of F-actin stability reveal a robust flux of somatic F-actin toward the cell periphery. Finally, we show that somatic F-actin intermingles with centrosomal PCM-1 (pericentriolar material 1 protein) satellites. Knockdown of PCM-1 and disruption of centrosomal activity not only affect F-actin dynamics near the centrosome but also in distal growth cones. Collectively, the data show a radial F-actin organization during early neuronal development, which might be a cellular mechanism for providing peripheral regions with a fast and continuous source of actin polymers, hence sustaining initial neuronal development.

Keywords: PCM-1; actin; centrosome; microtubules; neuronal development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Centrosome / metabolism
  • Growth Cones / metabolism*
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • Hippocampus / embryology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microtubules / metabolism
  • Neurogenesis*
  • Rats


  • Actins
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Pcm1 protein, mouse