The schizophrenia susceptibility gene, Rgs4, is one of the most intensively studied regulators of G-protein signaling members, well known to be fundamental in regulating
neurotransmission. However, little is known about its role in the developing nervous system. We have isolated zebrafish rgs4 and shown that it is transcribed in the developing nervous system. Rgs4 knockdown did not affect neuron number and patterning
but resulted in locomotion defects and aberrant development of axons. This was confirmed using a selective Rgs4 inhibitor,
CCG-4986. Rgs4 knockdown also attenuated the level of phosphorylated-Akt1, and injection of constitutively-activated AKT1 rescued the motility defects and axonal phenotypes in the spinal cord but not in the hindbrain and trigeminal neurons. Our
in vivo analysis reveals a novel role for Rgs4 in regulating axonogenesis during embryogenesis, which is mediated by another
schizophrenia-associated gene, Akt1, in a region-specific manner.