Microtubule-Associated Type II Protein Kinase A Is Important for Neurite Elongation

Yung An Huang, Jun Wei Kao, Dion Tzu Huan Tseng, Wen Shin Chen, Ming Han Chiang, Eric Hwang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Neuritogenesis is a process through which neurons generate their widespread axon and dendrites. The microtubule cytoskeleton plays crucial roles throughout neuritogenesis. Our previous study indicated that the amount of type II protein kinase A (PKA) on microtubules significantly increased upon neuronal differentiation and neuritogenesis. While the overall pool of PKA has been shown to participate in various neuronal processes, the function of microtubule-associated PKA during neuritogenesis remains largely unknown. First, we showed that PKA localized to microtubule-based region in different neurons. Since PKA is essential for various cellular functions, globally inhibiting PKA activity will causes a wide variety of phenotypes in neurons. To examine the function of microtubule-associated PKA without changing the total PKA level, we utilized the neuron-specific PKA anchoring protein MAP2. Overexpressing the dominant negative MAP2 construct that binds to type II PKA but cannot bind to the microtubule cytoskeleton in dissociated hippocampal neurons removed PKA from microtubules and resulted in compromised neurite elongation. In addition, we demonstrated that the association of PKA with microtubules can also enhance cell protrusion using the non-neuronal P19 cells. Overexpressing a MAP2 deletion construct which does not target PKA to the microtubule cytoskeleton caused non-neuronal cells to generate shorter cell protrusions than control cells overexpressing wild-type MAP2 that anchors PKA to microtubules. Finally, we demonstrated that the ability of microtubule-associated PKA to promote protrusion elongation was independent of MAP2 phosphorylation. This suggests other proteins in close proximity to the microtubule cytoskeleton are involved in this process.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere73890
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8
StatePublished - 13 Aug 2013


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