Human rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor 11 (ARHGEF11) regulates dendritic morphogenesis

Yutaka Mizuki, Manabu Takaki, Shinji Sakamoto, Sojiro Okamoto, Makiko Kishimoto, Yuko Okahisa, Masahiko Itoh, Norihito Yamada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Disturbances of synaptic connectivity during perinatal and adolescent periods have been hypothesized to be related to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor 11 (ARHGEF11) is a specific guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEF) for RhoA, which is a critical regulator of actin cytoskeleton dynamics and organization of dendritic spines and inhibitor of spine maintenance. ARHGEF11 variants are reported to be associated with a higher risk for the onset of schizophrenia in a Japanese population, however, how ARHGEF11 contributes to the pathogenesis of schizophrenia in dendritic spines is unknown. Therefore, we first studied the distribution, binding, and function of ARHGEF11 in the dendritic spines of the rat cerebral cortex. After subcellular fractionation of the rat cerebral cortex, ARHGEF11 was detected with synaptophysin and post-synaptic density protein 95 (PSD-95) in the P2 fractions including synaptosomal fractions containing presynaptic and postsynaptic density proteins. Endogenous ARHGEF11 was coimmunoprecipitated with synaptophysin or PSD-95. In cortical primary neurons at 28 days in vitro, immunostaining revealed that ARHGEF11 located in the dendrites and dendritic spines and colocalized with PSD-95 and synaptophysin. Overexpression of exogenous ARHGEF11 significantly decreased the number of spines (p = 0.008). These results indicate that ARHGEF11 is likely to be associated with synaptic membranes and regulation of spine.

Original languageEnglish
Article number67
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017


  • ARHGEF11
  • Dendritic spine
  • Immunoprecipitation
  • PSD-95
  • Schizophrenia
  • Synaptophysin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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