LIM-kinase 1 (LIMK1) regulates actin cytoskeletal reorganization by phosphorylating and inactivating actin-depolymerizing factor and cofilin. We examined the role of LIMK1 in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)-induced neuritogenesis in primary-cultured rat cortical neurons. Knockdown of LIMK1 or expression of a kinase-dead LIMK1 mutant suppressed BDNF-induced enhancement of primary neurite formation. By contrast, expression of an active form of LIMK1 promoted primary neuritogenesis in the absence of BDNF. BDNF-induced neuritogenesis was inhibited by KN-93, an inhibitor of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinases (CaMKs), but not by STO-609, an inhibitor of CaMK-kinase (CaMKK). CaMKK activity is required for the activation of CaMKI and CaMKIV, but not CaMKII, which suggests that CaMKII is principally involved in BDNF-induced enhancement of neuritogenesis. Knockdown of CaMKIIβ, but not CaMKIIα, suppressed BDNF-induced neuritogenesis. Active CaMKIIβ promoted neuritogenesis, and this promotion was inhibited by knockdown of LIMK1, indicating that CaMKIIβ is involved in BDNF-induced neuritogenesis via activation of LIMK1. Furthermore, in vitro kinase assays revealed that CaMKIIβ phosphorylates LIMK1 at Thr-508 in the kinase domain and activates the cofilin-phosphorylating activity of LIMK1. In summary, these results suggest that CaMKIIβ-mediated activation of LIMK1 plays a crucial role in BDNF-induced enhancement of primary neurite formation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology