Letter abstract

Nature Cell Biology 10, 1164 - 1171 (2008)
Published online: 31 August 2008 | doi:10.1038/ncb1776

Spatial control of branching within dendritic arbors by dynein-dependent transport of Rab5-endosomes

Daisuke Satoh1, Daichi Sato2, Taiichi Tsuyama2, Motoki Saito3, Hiroyuki Ohkura4, Melissa M. Rolls5,6, Fuyuki Ishikawa3 & Tadashi Uemura2


Dendrites allow neurons to integrate sensory or synaptic inputs, and the spatial disposition and local density of branches within the dendritic arbor limit the number and type of inputs1, 2. Drosophila melanogaster dendritic arborization (da) neurons provide a model system to study the genetic programs underlying such geometry in vivo. Here we report that mutations of motor-protein genes, including a dynein subunit gene (dlic) and kinesin heavy chain (khc), caused not only downsizing of the overall arbor, but also a marked shift of branching activity to the proximal area within the arbor. This phenotype was suppressed when dominant-negative Rab5 was expressed in the mutant neurons, which deposited early endosomes in the cell body. We also showed that 1) in dendritic branches of the wild-type neurons, Rab5-containing early endosomes were dynamically transported and 2) when Rab5 function alone was abrogated, terminal branches were almost totally deleted. These results reveal an important link between microtubule motors and endosomes in dendrite morphogenesis.

  1. Department of Biophysics, Graduate School of Science, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan.
  2. Laboratory of Cell Recognition and Pattern Formation, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan.
  3. Laboratory of Cell Cycle Regulation, Graduate School of Biostudies, South Campus Research Building (Building G), Kyoto University, Yoshida Konoe-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan.
  4. Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology, Institute of Cell Biology, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Edinburgh, Mayfield Road, Edinburgh, EH9 3JR, United Kingdom.
  5. Institutes of Neuroscience and Molecular Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Oregon, Eugene, USA.
  6. Current address: Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Penn State, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA.

Correspondence to: Tadashi Uemura2 e-mail: tauemura@lif.kyoto-u.ac.jp


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