Regulation of N-cadherin dynamics at neuronal contacts by ligand binding and cytoskeletal coupling

Olivier Thoumine, Mireille Lambert, René-Marc Mège, Daniel Choquet
MBoC. 2006-02-01; 17(2): 862-875
DOI: 10.1091/mbc.E05-04-0335

Lire sur PubMed

N-cadherin plays a key role in axonal outgrowth and synaptogenesis, but how neurons initiate and remodel N-cadherin-based adhesions remains unclear. We addressed this issue with a semiartificial system consisting of N-cadherin coated microspheres adhering to cultured neurons transfected for N-cadherin-GFP. Using optical tweezers, we show that growth cones are particularly reactive to N-cadherin coated microspheres, which they capture in a few seconds and drag rearward. Such strong coupling requires an intact connection between N-cadherin receptors and catenins. As they move to the basis of growth cones, microspheres slow down while gradually accumulating N-cadherin-GFP, demonstrating a clear delay between bead coupling to the actin flow and receptor recruitment. Using FRAP and photoactivation, N-cadherin receptors at bead-to-cell contacts were found to continuously recycle, consistently with a model of ligand-receptor reaction not limited by membrane diffusion. The use of N-cadherin-GFP receptors truncated or mutated in specific cytoplasmic regions show that N-cadherin turnover is exquisitely regulated by catenin partners. Turnover rates are considerably lower than those obtained previously in single molecule studies, demonstrating an active regulation of cadherin bond kinetics in intact cells. Finally, spontaneous neuronal contacts enriched in N-cadherin exhibited similar turnover rates, suggesting that such dynamics of N-cadherin may represent an intrinsic mechanism underlying the plasticity of neuronal adhesions.

Auteurs Bordeaux Neurocampus