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Scapinin-induced inhibition of axon elongation is attenuated by phosphorylation and translocation to the cytoplasm


Scapinin is an actin- and PP1-binding protein that is exclusively expressed in the brain; however, its function in neurons has not been investigated. Here we show that expression of scapinin in primary rat cortical neurons inhibits axon elongation without affecting axon branching, dendritic outgrowth, or polarity. This inhibitory effect was dependent on its ability to bind actin because a mutant form that does not bind actin had no effect on axon elongation. Immunofluorescence analysis showed that scapinin is predominantly located in the distal axon shaft, cell body, and nucleus of neurons and displays a reciprocal staining pattern to phalloidin, consistent with previous reports that it binds actin monomers to inhibit polymerization. We show that scapinin is phosphorylated at a highly conserved site in the central region of the protein (Ser-277) by Cdk5 in vitro. Expression of a scapinin phospho-mimetic mutant (S277D) restored normal axon elongation without affecting actin binding. Instead, phosphorylated scapinin was sequestered in the cytoplasm of neurons and away from the axon. Because its expression is highest in relatively plastic regions of the adult brain (cortex, hippocampus), scapinin is a new regulator of neurite outgrowth and neuroplasticity in the brain.

Authors Farghaian, H.; Chen, Y.; Fu, A. W.; Fu, A. K.; Ip, J. P.; Ip, N. Y.; Turnley, A. M.; Cole, A. R.
Publisher Name J BIOL CHEM
Published Date 2011-06-01 00:00:00
Published Volume 286
Published Issue 22
Published Pages 19724-34
URL 10.1074/jbc.M110.205781
Status Published In-print
OpenAccess Link Farghaian_.pdf