Inositol 1,4,5-Trisphosphate Receptor Type 3 Regulates Neuronal Growth Cone Sensitivity to Guidance Signals

iScience. 2020 Mar 27;23(3):100963. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2020.100963. Epub 2020 Mar 5.


During neurodevelopment, the growth cone deciphers directional information from extracellular guidance cues presented as shallow concentration gradients via signal amplification. However, it remains unclear how the growth cone controls this amplification process during its navigation through an environment in which basal cue concentrations vary widely. Here, we identified inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) receptor type 3 as a regulator of axonal sensitivity to guidance cues in vitro and in vivo. Growth cones lacking the type 3 subunit are hypersensitive to nerve growth factor (NGF), an IP3-dependent attractive cue, and incapable of turning toward normal concentration ranges of NGF to which wild-type growth cones respond. This is due to globally, but not asymmetrically, activated Ca2+ signaling in the hypersensitive growth cones. Remarkably, lower NGF concentrations can polarize growth cones for turning if IP3 receptor type 3 is deficient. These data suggest a subtype-specific IP3 receptor function in sensitivity adjustment during axon navigation.

Keywords: Biological Sciences; Cellular Neuroscience; Molecular Neuroscience; Neuroscience.