Research Summary: An SK3 Channel/nWASP/Abi-1 Complex Is Involved in Early Neurogenesis



The stabilization or regulated reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton is essential for cellular structure and function. Recently, we could show that the activation of the SK3-channel that represents the predominant SK-channel in neural stem cells, leads to a rapid local outgrowth of long filopodial processes. This observation indicates that the rearrangement of the actin based cytoskeleton via membrane bound SK3-channels might selectively be controlled in defined micro compartments of the cell.

Principal Findings

We found two important proteins for cytoskeletal rearrangement, the Abelson interacting protein 1, Abi-1 and the neural Wiskott Aldrich Syndrome Protein, nWASP, to be in complex with SK3- channels in neural stem cells (NSCs). Moreover, this interaction is also found in spines and postsynaptic compartments of developing primary hippocampal neurons and regulates neurite outgrowth during early phases of differentiation. Overexpression of the proteins or pharmacological activation of SK3 channels induces obvious structural changes in NSCs and hippocampal neurons. In both neuronal cell systems SK3 channels and nWASP act synergistic by strongly inducing filopodial outgrowth while Abi-1 behaves antagonistic to its interaction partners.


Our results give good evidence for a functional interplay of a trimeric complex that transforms incoming signals via SK3-channel activation into the local rearrangement of the cytoskeleton in early steps of neuronal differentiation involving nWASP and Abi-1 actin binding proteins.


Publisher: Public Library of Science

Date Published: 25-March-2011

Author(s): Liebau S., Steinestel J., Linta L., Kleger A., Storch A., Schoen M., Steinestel K., Proepper C., Bockmann J., Schmeisser M., Boeckers T.


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