In physiological and pathological events, extracellular ATP plays an important role by controlling several types of purinergic receptors and changing cytoskeleton dynamics. To know the process of ATP-dependent cytoskeleton remodeling, we focused on cofilin, a key regulator of actin cytoskeleton, and investigated the dynamics of cofilin in PC12 cells through fluorescent protein-labeled cofilin and actin, Ca2+ imaging, and fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) techniques. As a result, ATP induced intracellular Ca2+ increase, following cofilin rods' formation. ATP-induced cofilin rods' formation was not observed in cells expressing unphosphorylatable variant of cofilin. A P2X receptor agonist, but not P2Y, induced the formation of cofilin rods, whereas calmodulin and calcineurin inhibitors suppressed it. These results indicate that Ca2+ influx through P2X receptors induces the formation of cofilin rods via calcineurin-dependent dephosphorylation of cofilin. This pathway might be one candidate to explain the effects of ATP on neuronal development and injury.
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