p190 RhoGAP is the principal Src substrate in brain and regulates axon outgrowth, guidance and fasciculation

M R Brouns, S F Matheson, J Settleman

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The Src tyrosine kinases have been implicated in several aspects of neural development and nervous system function; however, their relevant substrates in brain and their mechanism of action in neurons remain to be established clearly. Here we identify the potent Rho regulatory protein, p190 RhoGAP (GTPase-activating protein), as the principal Src substrate detected in the developing and mature nervous system. We also find that mice lacking functional p190 RhoGAP exhibit defects in axon guidance and fasciculation. p190 RhoGAP is co-enriched with F-actin in the distal tips of axons, and overexpressing p190 RhoGAP in neuroblastoma cells promotes extensive neurite outgrowth, indicating that p190 RhoGAP may be an important regulator of Rho-mediated actin reorganization in neuronal growth cones. p190 RhoGAP transduces signals downstream of cell-surface adhesion molecules, and we find that p190-RhoGAP-mediated neurite outgrowth is promoted by the extracellular matrix protein laminin. Together with the fact that mice lacking neural adhesion molecules or Src kinases also exhibit defects in axon outgrowth, guidance and fasciculation, our results suggest that p190 RhoGAP mediates a Src-dependent adhesion signal for neuritogenesis to the actin cytoskeleton through the Rho GTPase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-367
Number of pages7
JournalNature Cell Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Animals
  • Axons/physiology
  • Brain/metabolism
  • Cells, Cultured
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Fasciculation
  • GTPase-Activating Proteins
  • Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Nuclear Proteins/genetics
  • Phosphoproteins/genetics
  • Phosphorylation
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins/metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fyn
  • Rats
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Substrate Specificity
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Tyrosine/metabolism
  • src-Family Kinases/metabolism

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