The axons of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) are topographically sorted before they arrive at the optic tectum. This pre-target sorting, typical of axon tracts throughout the brain, is poorly understood. Here, we show that cytoplasmic FMR1-interacting proteins (CYFIPs) fulfill non-redundant functions in RGCs, with CYFIP1 mediating axon growth and CYFIP2 specifically involved in axon sorting. We find that CYFIP2 mediates homotypic and heterotypic contact-triggered fasciculation and repulsion responses between dorsal and ventral axons. CYFIP2 associates with transporting ribonucleoprotein particles in axons and regulates translation. Axon-axon contact stimulates CYFIP2 to move into growth cones where it joins the actin nucleating WAVE regulatory complex (WRC) in the periphery and regulates actin remodeling and filopodial dynamics. CYFIP2's function in axon sorting is mediated by its binding to the WRC but not its translational regulation. Together, these findings uncover CYFIP2 as a key regulatory link between axon-axon interactions, filopodial dynamics, and optic tract sorting.
Nascent proteins can be positioned rapidly at precise subcellular locations by local protein synthesis (LPS) to facilitate localized growth responses. Axon arbor architecture, a major determinant of synaptic connectivity, is shaped by localized growth responses, but it is unknown whether LPS influences these responses in vivo. Using high-resolution live imaging, we examined the spatiotemporal dynamics of RNA and LPS in retinal axons during arborization in vivo. Endogenous RNA tracking reveals that RNA granules dock at sites of branch emergence and invade stabilized branches. Live translation reporter analysis reveals that de novo β-actin hotspots colocalize with docked RNA granules at the bases and tips of new branches. Inhibition of axonal β-actin mRNA translation disrupts arbor dynamics primarily by reducing new branch emergence and leads to impoverished terminal arbors. The results demonstrate a requirement for LPS in building arbor complexity and suggest a key role for pre-synaptic LPS in assembling neural circuits.
We report that a major subpopulation of monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs) contains high levels of dUTP, which is incorporated into HIV-1 DNA during reverse transcription (U/A pairs), resulting in pre-integration restriction and post-integration mutagenesis. After entering the nucleus, uracilated viral DNA products are degraded by the uracil base excision repair (UBER) machinery with less than 1% of the uracilated DNA successfully integrating. Although uracilated proviral DNA showed few mutations, the viral genomic RNA was highly mutated, suggesting that errors occur during transcription. Viral DNA isolated from blood monocytes and alveolar macrophages (but not T cells) of drug-suppressed HIV-infected individuals also contained abundant uracils. The presence of viral uracils in short-lived monocytes suggests their recent infection through contact with virus producing cells in a tissue reservoir. These findings reveal new elements of a viral defense mechanism involving host UBER that may be relevant to the establishment and persistence of HIV-1 infection.