The Hem protein mediates neuronal migration by inhibiting WAVE degradation and functions opposite of Abelson tyrosine kinase

Zengrong Zhu, Krishna Moorthi Bhat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


In the nervous system, neurons form in different regions, then they migrate and occupy specific positions. We have previously shown that RP2/sib, a well-studied neuronal pair in the Drosophila ventral nerve cord (VNC), has a complex migration route. Here, we show that the Hem protein, via the WAVE complex, regulates migration of GMC-1 and its progeny RP2 neuron. In Hem or WAVE mutants, RP2 neuron either abnormally migrates, crossing the midline from one hemisegment to the contralateral hemisegment, or does not migrate at al and fail to send out its axon projection. We report that Hem regulates neuronal migration through stabilizing WAVE. Since Hem and WAVE normally form a complex, our data argues that in the absence of Hem, WAVE, which is presumably no longer in a complex, becomes susceptible to degradation. We also find that Abelson tyrosine kinase affects RP2 migration in a similar manner as Hem and WAVE, and appears to operate via WAVE. However, while Abl negatively regulates the levels of WAVE, it regulates migration via regulating the activity of WAVE. Our results also show that during the degradation of WAVE, Hem function is opposite to that of and downstream of Abl.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-294
Number of pages12
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 15 2011



  • Abl
  • Drosophila
  • Hem
  • Migration
  • Neuron
  • WAVE

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology

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