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Keywords:

  • axonal growth;
  • Girdin;
  • Go2α;
  • heterotrimeric G-proteins;
  • Rap1;
  • Rap1GAP

Abstract

The Goα splice variants Go1α and Go2α are subunits of the most abundant G-proteins in brain, Go1 and Go2. Only a few interacting partners binding to Go1α have been described so far and splice variant-specific differences are not known. Using a yeast two-hybrid screen with constitutively active Go2α as bait, we identified Rap1GTPase activating protein (Rap1GAP) and Girdin as interacting partners of Go2α, which was confirmed by co-immunoprecipitation. Comparison of subcellular fractions from brains of wild type and Go2α−/− mice revealed no differences in the overall expression level of Girdin or Rap1GAP. However, we found higher amounts of active Rap1-GTP in brains of Go2α deficient mutants, indicating that Go2α may increase Rap1GAP activity, thereby effecting the Rap1 activation/deactivation cycle. Rap1 has been shown to be involved in neurite outgrowth and given a Rap1GAP-Go2α interaction, we found that the loss of Go2α affected axonal outgrowth. Axons of cultured cortical and hippocampal neurons prepared from embryonic Go2α−/− mice grew longer and developed more branches than those from wild-type mice. Taken together, we provide evidence that Go2α regulates axonal outgrowth and branching.