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Stathmin is enriched in the developing corticospinal tract

Fuller, Heidi R.; Slade, Robert; Jovanov-Milošević, Nataša; Babić, Mirjana; Sedmak, Goran; Šimić, Goran; Fuszard, Matthew A.; Shirran, Sally L.; Botting, Catherine H.; Gates, Monte A.

Stathmin is enriched in the developing corticospinal tract Thumbnail


Robert Slade

Nataša Jovanov-Milošević

Mirjana Babić

Goran Sedmak

Goran Šimić

Matthew A. Fuszard

Sally L. Shirran

Catherine H. Botting


Understanding the intra- and extracellular proteins involved in the development of the corticospinal tract (CST) may offer insights into how the pathway could be regenerated following traumatic spinal cord injury. Currently, however, little is known about the proteome of the developing corticospinal system. The present study, therefore, has used quantitative proteomics and bioinformatics to detail the protein profile of the rat CST during its formation in the spinal cord. This analysis identified increased expression of 65 proteins during the early ingrowth of corticospinal axons into the spinal cord, and 36 proteins at the period of heightened CST growth. A majority of these proteins were involved in cellular assembly and organization, with annotations being most highly associated with cytoskeletal organization, microtubule dynamics, neurite outgrowth, and the formation, polymerization and quantity of microtubules. In addition, 22 proteins were more highly expressed within the developing CST in comparison to other developing white matter tracts of the spinal cord of age-matched animals. Of these differentially expressed proteins, only one, stathmin 1 (a protein known to be involved in microtubule dynamics), was both highly enriched in the developing CST and relatively sparse in other developing descending and ascending spinal tracts. Immunohistochemical analyses of the developing rat spinal cord and fetal human brain stem confirmed the enriched pattern of stathmin expression along the developing CST, and in vitro growth assays of rat corticospinal neurons showed a reduced length of neurite processes in response to pharmacological perturbation of stathmin activity. Combined, these findings suggest that stathmin activity may modulate axonal growth during development of the corticospinal projection, and reinforces the notion that microtubule dynamics could play an important role in the generation and regeneration of the CST.


Fuller, H. R., Slade, R., Jovanov-Milošević, N., Babić, M., Sedmak, G., Šimić, G., …Gates, M. A. (2015). Stathmin is enriched in the developing corticospinal tract. Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, 12-21.

Acceptance Date Sep 7, 2015
Publication Date Sep 12, 2015
Journal Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience
Print ISSN 1044-7431
Publisher Elsevier
Pages 12-21
Keywords corticospinal tract; spinal cord; development; proteomics; microtubule dynamics; stathmin
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