Signaling to Transcription Networks in the Neuronal Retrograde Injury Response

Science Signaling  13 Jul 2010:
Vol. 3, Issue 130, pp. ra53
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2000952

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Calling In the Repair Crew

The ability of a damaged neuron to regenerate depends on the initiation of a repair program in the cell body, so that the injured neuron switches from a “growth-as-normal” mode to an “injury-response” mode. Initiation of such a repair program depends in turn on the receipt by the cell body of injury signals from the lesion. Michaelevski et al. combined phosphoproteomic analyses of injured and uninjured rat sciatic nerve with microarray analyses of transcripts in the dorsal root ganglia to identify retrograde signaling networks implicated in activating the transcriptional response to axonal injury. Pharmacological manipulation of various protein kinases that appeared in many of these networks and were predicted to play a key role in affecting signaling network size and connectivity affected neurite outgrowth of cultured sensory neurons. Paradoxically, the combined manipulation of pairs of these kinases was sometimes less effective at affecting neurite outgrowth than manipulation of either alone—an observation that has substantial implications for development of appropriate therapies for treating nerve injury.