Identification and characterization of a neuron-specific isoform of protrudin

Takafumi Ohnishi, Michiko Shirane, Yutaka Hashimoto, Shotaro Saita, Keiichi I. Nakayama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Protrudin is a membrane protein that regulates polarized vesicular transport. Now, we have identified a novel isoform of protrudin (protrudin-L) that contains an additional seven amino acids between the FFAT motif and the coiled-coil domain compared with the conventional isoform (protrudin-S) as a result of alternative splicing of a microexon (exon L). Protrudin-L mRNA was found to be mostly restricted to the central nervous system in mice, whereas protrudin-S mRNA was detected in all tissues examined. With the use of a splicing reporter minigene that produces two distinct fluorescent proteins in a manner dependent on the splicing pattern of protrudin transcripts, we found that most neurons express protrudin-L, whereas astrocytes express both protrudin isoforms and oligodendrocytes express only protrudin-S. Protrudin-L associated to a greater extent with vesicle-associated membrane protein-associated protein (VAP) than protrudin-S. Expression of protrudin-L in hippocampal neurons of protrudin-deficient mice also promoted neurite outgrowth more efficiently than protrudin-S. Our results suggest that protrudin-L is a neuron-specific protrudin isoform that promotes axonal elongation and contributes to the establishment of neuronal polarity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-111
Number of pages15
JournalGenes to Cells
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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