Author(s): Xin X, Wang Y, Ma XM, Rompolas P, Keutmann HT,
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Abstract Kalirin, one of the few Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) that contains spectrin-like repeats, plays a critical role in axon extension and maintenance of dendritic spines. PC12 cells were used to determine whether Cdk5, a critical participant in both processes, regulates the action of Kalirin. Expression of Kalirin-7 in nondifferentiated PC12 cells caused GEF-activity-dependent extension of broad cytoplasmic protrusions; coexpression of dominant-negative Cdk5 largely eliminated this response. The spectrin-like repeat region of Kalirin plays an essential role in this response, which is not mimicked by the GEF domain alone. Thr1590, which follows the first GEF domain of Kalirin, is the only Cdk5 phosphorylation site in Kalirin-7. Although mutant Kalirin-7 with Ala1590 retains GEF activity, it is unable to cause extension of protrusions. Kalirin-7 with an Asp1590 mutation has slightly increased GEF activity and dominant-negative Cdk5 fails to block its ability to cause extension of protrusions. Phosphorylation of Thr1590 causes a slight increase in GEF activity and Kalirin-7 solubility. Dendritic spines formed by cortical neurons in response to the expression of Kalirin-7 with Ala1590 differ in shape from those formed in response to wild-type Kalirin-7 or Kalirin-7 containing Asp1590. The presence of Thr1590 in each major Kalirin isoform would allow Cdk5 to regulate Kalirin function throughout development.
This article was published in J Cell Sci
and referenced in Brain Disorders & Therapy