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Mol Cell Biol. 2010 Feb;30(4):1077-87. doi: 10.1128/MCB.01067-09. Epub 2009 Dec 14.

Rab13 regulates neurite outgrowth in PC12 cells through its effector protein, JRAB/MICAL-L2.

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Department of Biochemistry, Institute of Health Biosciences, University of Tokushima Graduate School, 3-18-15 Kuramato-cho, Tokushima 770-8503, Japan.


Neurite outgrowth is the first step in the processes of neuronal differentiation and regeneration and leads to synaptic polarization and plasticity. Rab13 small G protein shows an increased mRNA expression level during neuronal regeneration; it is therefore thought to be involved in this process. We previously identified JRAB (junctional Rab13-binding protein)/MICAL-L2 (molecules interacting with CasL-like 2) as a novel Rab13 effector protein. Here, we show that Rab13 regulates neurite outgrowth in the rat pheochromocytoma cell line PC12 through an interaction with JRAB/MICAL-L2. The expression of JRAB/MICAL-L2 alone inhibits neurite outgrowth, whereas coexpression of the dominant active form of Rab13 rescues this effect. We also demonstrate an intramolecular interaction between the N-terminal calponin-homology (CH) and LIM domains of JRAB/MICAL-L2 and the C-terminal coiled-coil domain. Finally, we show that the binding of Rab13 to JRAB/MICAL-L2 stimulates the interaction of JRAB/MICAL-L2 with actinin-4, an actin-binding protein, which localizes to the cell body and the tips of the neurites in PC12 cells. These results suggest that Rab13 and JRAB/MICAL-L2 may act to transfer actinin-4 from the cell body to the tips of neurites, where actinin-4 is involved in the reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton which results in neurite outgrowth.

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