• actin cytoskeleton;
  • GTPase activating protein;
  • neural differentiation;
  • nuclear localization;
  • PC12;
  • Rho


Nadrin is a GTPase-activating protein (GAP) for the rho family of GTPases that controls Ca2+-dependent exocytosis in nerve endings. In this study, three novel splice variants of nadrin were identified and the variants were designated as nadrin-102, -104, -116 and -126 according to their relative molecular masses. All nadrin variants share the GAP domain, coiled-coil domain, serine/threonine/proline-rich domain, SH3-binding motif, and a successive repeat of 29 glutamines. Tissue distribution analyses using polyclonal antibodies that can discriminate each variant showed that the expression of nadrin-102, -104 and -116 was dominant in neuronal tissues and correlates well with the differentiation of neurons while nadrin-126 was strongly expressed in embryonic brain. Expression of nadrin-116 in PC12 cells strongly inhibited NGF-dependent neurite outgrowth and this effect was dependent on its GAP activity. In contrast, no significant effect on either cell morphology or neurite outgrowth was observed with other variants. All variants showed punctate appearance throughout the cytoplasm, while the 66-kDa carboxyl-terminal fragment of nadrin-102 and/or nadrin-116 was localized to the nucleus and its nuclear translocation was accelerated by NGF-induced differentiation of the cells. These results suggested that nadrin variants are different in their ability to regulate rho-mediated signaling and that, in addition to being aGTPase-activating protein, nadrin-102 and -116 have otherdistinct functions in the nucleus of the cell, implying apossible role in the cross-talk between the cytoskeleton andthe nucleus.