Myosin drives retrograde F-actin flow in neuronal growth cones

C. H. Lin*, E. M. Espreafico, M. S. Mooseker, P. Forscher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

323 Scopus citations


Actin filaments assembled at the leading edge of neuronal growth cones are centripetally transported via retrograde F-actin flow, a process fundamental to growth cone guidance and other forms of directed cell motility. Here we investigated the role of myosins in retrograde flow, using two distinct modes of myosin inhibition: microinjection of NEM inactivated myosin S1 fragments, or treatment with 2,3-butanedione-2-monoxime, an inhibitor of myosin ATPase. Both treatments resulted in dose-dependent attenuation of retrograde F-actin flow and growth of filopodia. Growth was cytochalasin sensitive and directly proportional to the degree of myosin inhibition, suggesting that retrograde flow results from superimposition of two independent processes: actin assembly and myosin-based filament retraction. These results provide the first direct evidence for myosin involvement in neuronal growth cone function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)769-782
Number of pages14
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1996

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