The Role of NCK in DCC-Sensitive Spinal Cord Circuits
Non-Catalytic region of tyrosine Kinase (NCK) adaptor proteins connect cell surface receptors to the actin cytoskeleton. In the central nervous system loss of NCK proteins leads to a hopping like phenotype¬. We were interested in examining the expression of these proteins in the spinal cord development and better defining their role in global processes of axon guidance. Further, since in vitro studies have shown that NCK associates with the netrin receptor Deleted in Colorectal Cancer (DCC) we set out to determine is loss of NCK affected DCC sensitive pathways in vivo. Thus, the purpose of our study was to better define the in vivo role for NCK in the developing nervous system. Here we found NCK-deficiency causes growth cone defects and increased axon length. Together, these studies reveal the importance of NCK proteins in neuronal development, and show that NCK is required for normal guidance of DCC positive axons.