PP2A phosphatase is required for dendrite pruning via actin regulation in Drosophila

EMBO Rep. 2020 May 6;21(5):e48870. doi: 10.15252/embr.201948870. Epub 2020 Mar 24.


Large-scale pruning, the developmentally regulated degeneration of axons or dendrites, is an important specificity mechanism during neuronal circuit formation. The peripheral sensory class IV dendritic arborization (c4da) neurons of Drosophila larvae specifically prune their dendrites at the onset of metamorphosis in an ecdysone-dependent manner. Dendrite pruning requires local cytoskeleton remodeling, and the actin-severing enzyme Mical is an important ecdysone target. In a screen for pruning factors, we identified the protein phosphatase 2 A (PP2A). PP2A interacts genetically with the actin-severing enzymes Mical and cofilin as well as other actin regulators during pruning. Moreover, Drosophila cofilin undergoes a change in localization at the onset of metamorphosis indicative of a change in actin dynamics. This change is abolished both upon loss of Mical and PP2A. We conclude that PP2A regulates actin dynamics during dendrite pruning.

Keywords: PP2A; actin; dendrite; phosphatase; pruning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actins / genetics
  • Animals
  • Dendrites / metabolism
  • Drosophila Proteins* / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins* / metabolism
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / metabolism
  • Drosophila* / genetics
  • Drosophila* / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Neuronal Plasticity
  • Protein Phosphatase 2 / genetics
  • Sensory Receptor Cells / metabolism


  • Actins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Protein Phosphatase 2