• ADP ribosylation factor;
  • guanine nucleotide exchange factor;
  • photoreceptor;
  • retina;
  • ribbon synapse


IQ-ArfGEF/BRAG1 is a guanine nucleotide exchange factor for ADP ribosylation factors (Arfs), which are implicated in membrane trafficking and actin cytoskeleton dynamics. In this study, we examined the immunohistochemical localization of IQ-ArfGEF/BRAG1 in the adult mouse retina using light and electron microscopy. IQ-ArfGEF/BRAG1 was distributed in a punctate manner and colocalized well with RIBEYE in both the outer and inner plexiform layers. Immunoelectron microscopic analysis showed that IQ-ArfGEF/BRAG1 was localized at the synaptic ribbons of photoreceptors. When heterologously expressed in HeLa cells, IQ-ArfGEF/BRAG1 was recruited to RIBEYE-containing clusters and formed an immunoprecipitable complex with RIBEYE. Furthermore, immunoprecipitation analysis showed that anti-IQ-ArfGEF/BRAG1 antibody efficiently pulled down RIBEYE from retinal lysates. These findings indicate that IQ-ArfGEF/BRAG1 is a novel component of retinal synaptic ribbons and forms a protein complex with RIBEYE.