The first quarter of the C-terminal domain of Abelson regulates the WAVE regulatory complex and Enabled in axon guidance

Published on 2020-05-03T04:00:19Z (GMT) by
Abstract Background Abelson tyrosine kinase (Abl) plays a key role in axon guidance in linking guidance receptors to actin dynamics. The long C-terminal domain (CTD) of Drosophila Abl is important for this role, and previous work identified the ‘first quarter’ (1Q) of the CTD as essential. Here, we link the physical interactions of 1Q binding partners to Abl’s function in axon guidance. Methods Protein binding partners of 1Q were identified by GST pulldown and mass spectrometry, and validated using axon guidance assays in the embryonic nerve cord and motoneurons. The role of 1Q was assessed genetically, utilizing a battery of Abl transgenes in combination with mutation or overexpression of the genes of pulled down proteins, and their partners in actin dynamics. The set of Abl transgenes had the following regions deleted: all of 1Q, each half of 1Q (‘eighths’, 1E and 2E) or a PxxP motif in 2E, which may bind SH3 domains. Results GST pulldown identified Hem and Sra-1 as binding partners of 1Q, and our genetic analyses show that both proteins function with Abl in axon guidance, with Sra-1 likely interacting with 1Q. As Hem and Sra-1 are part of the actin-polymerizing WAVE regulatory complex (WRC), we extended our analyses to Abi and Trio, which interact with Abl and WRC members. Overall, the 1Q region (and especially 2E and its PxxP motif) are important for Abl’s ability to work with WRC in axon guidance. These areas are also important for Abl’s ability to function with the actin regulator Enabled. In comparison, 1E contributes to Abl function with the WRC at the midline, but less so with Enabled. Conclusions The 1Q region, and especially the 2E region with its PxxP motif, links Abl with the WRC, its regulators Trio and Abi, and the actin regulator Ena. Removing 1E has specific effects suggesting it may help modulate Abl’s interaction with the WRC or Ena. Thus, the 1Q region of Abl plays a key role in regulating actin dynamics during axon guidance.

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Cheong, Han Sian Joshua; Nona, Mark; Guerra, Samantha Barbara; VanBerkum, Mark Francis (2020): The first quarter of the C-terminal domain of Abelson regulates the WAVE regulatory complex and Enabled in axon guidance. figshare. Collection.