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Science 314 (5800): 818-821

Copyright © 2006 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Protrudin Induces Neurite Formation by Directional Membrane Trafficking

Michiko Shirane, and Keiichi I. Nakayama*

Abstract: Guanosine triphosphatases of the Rab family are key regulators of membrane trafficking, with Rab11 playing a specific role in membrane recycling. We identified a mammalian protein, protrudin, that promoted neurite formation through interaction with the guanosine diphosphate (GDP)–bound form of Rab11. Phosphorylation of protrudin by extracellular signal–regulated kinase (ERK) in response to nerve growth factor promoted protrudin association with Rab11-GDP. Down-regulation of protrudin by RNA interference induced membrane extension in all directions and inhibited neurite formation. Thus, protrudin regulates Rab11-dependent membrane recycling to promote the directional membrane trafficking required for neurite formation.

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Medical Institute of Bioregulation, Kyushu University, 3-1-1 Maidashi, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka, Fukuoka 812-8582, Japan. Precursory Research for Embryonic Science and Technology and Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology, Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), Kawaguchi, Saitama 332-0012, Japan.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: nakayak1{at}

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