Wang, YZ (reprint author), Chinese Acad Sci, Lab Neural Signal Transduct, Inst Neurosci, Shanghai Inst Biol Sci, Shanghai 200031, Peoples R China,email@example.com
A symmetric distributions of activities of the protein kinases Akt and glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (GSK-3 beta) are critical for the formation of neuronal polarity. However, the mechanisms underlying polarized regulation of this pathway remain unclear. In this study, we report that the instability of Akt regulated by the ubiquitin - proteasome system ( UPS) is required for neuron polarity. Preferential distribution in the axons was observed for Akt but not for its target GSK-3 beta. A photoactivatable GFP fused to Akt revealed the preferential instability of Akt in dendrites. Akt but not p110 or GSK-3 beta was ubiquitinated. Suppressing the UPS led to the symmetric distribution of Akt and the formation of multiple axons. These results indicate that local protein degradation mediated by the UPS is important in determining neuronal polarity.