Novel vertebrate- and brain-specific driver of neuronal outgrowth

Eric J.R. Jansen, Nick H.M. van Bakel, Bente Benedict, Nikkie F.M. Olde Loohuis, Theo G.M. Hafmans, Shek Man Chim, Jiake Xu, Sharon M. Kolk, Gerard J.M. Martens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


During the process of neuronal outgrowth, developing neurons produce new projections, neurites, that are essential for brain wiring. Here, we discover a relatively late-evolved protein that we denote Ac45-related protein (Ac45RP) and that, surprisingly, drives neuronal outgrowth. Ac45RP is a paralog of the Ac45 protein that is a component of the vacuolar proton ATPase (V-ATPase), the main pH regulator in eukaryotic cells. Ac45RP mRNA expression is brain specific and coincides with the peak of neurogenesis and the onset of synaptogenesis. Furthermore, Ac45RP physically interacts with the V-ATPase V0-sector and colocalizes with V0 in unconventional, but not synaptic, secretory vesicles of extending neurites. Excess Ac45RP enhances the expression of V0-subunits, causes a more elaborate Golgi, and increases the number of cytoplasmic vesicular structures, plasma membrane formation and outgrowth of actin-containing neurites devoid of synaptic markers. CRISPR-cas9n-mediated Ac45RP knockdown reduces neurite outgrowth. We conclude that the novel vertebrate- and brain-specific Ac45RP is a V0-interacting constituent of unconventional vesicular structures that drives membrane expansion during neurite outgrowth and as such may furnish a tool for future neuroregenerative treatment strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102069
JournalProgress in Neurobiology
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


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