Myosin II Activity Facilitates Microtubule Bundling in the Neuronal Growth Cone Neck

Dylan T. Burnette, Lin Ji, Andrew W. Schaefer, Nelson A. Medeiros, Gaudenz Danuser, Paul Forscher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


The cell biological processes underlying axon growth and guidance are still not well understood. An outstanding question is how a new segment of the axon shaft is formed in the wake of neuronal growth cone advance. For this to occur, the highly dynamic, splayed-out microtubule (MT) arrays characteristic of the growth cone must be consolidated (bundled together) to form the core of the axon shaft. MT-associated proteins stabilize bundled MTs, but how individual MTs are brought together for initial bundling is unknown. Here, we show that laterally moving actin arcs, which are myosin II-driven contractile structures, interact with growing MTs and transport them from the sides of the growth cone into the central domain. Upon Myosin II inhibition, the movement of actin filaments and MTs immediately stopped and MTs unbundled. Thus, Myosin II-dependent compressive force is necessary for normal MT bundling in the growth cone neck.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-169
Number of pages7
JournalDevelopmental cell
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 8 2008



ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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