Role of the Microtubule Cytoskeleton in Axon Regeneration

We are studying how signaling pathways elicited by injury regulate microtubule posttranslational modifications and the precise role these modifications play in injured axons. These studies led us to that increased levels of tyrosinated a-tubulin at the injury site facilitates retrograde injury signaling and is required to activate a pro-regenerative program. We also demonstrated that a-tubulin deacetylation mediated by HDAC5 at the site of injury in the axon is important for growth cone dynamics and axon regeneration.  

We recently  established Arabidopsis thaliana SPIRAL1 (SPR1) protein as a new type of intrinsic microtubule plus-end tracking proteins (+TIPs). We will be using this new tool to further delineate how microtubule modifications and microtubule associated proteins, such as SCG10, affect microtubule dynamic properties during axon regeneration.