Spinophilin: from partners to functions

Biochimie. 2006 Sep;88(9):1099-113. doi: 10.1016/j.biochi.2006.04.010. Epub 2006 May 17.


Spinophilin/neurabin 2 has been isolated independently by two laboratories as a protein interacting with protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) and F-actin. Gene analysis and biochemical approaches have contributed to define a number of distinct modular domains in spinophilin that govern protein-protein interactions such as two F-actin-, three potential Src homology 3 (SH3)-, a receptor- and a PP1-binding domains, a PSD95/DLG/zo-1 (PDZ) and three coiled-coil domains, and a potential leucine/isoleucine zipper (LIZ) motif. More than 30 partner proteins of spinophilin have been discovered, including cytoskeletal and cell adhesion molecules, enzymes, guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEF) and regulator of G-protein signalling protein, membrane receptors, ion channels and others proteins like the tumour suppressor ARF. The physiological relevance of some of these interactions remains to be demonstrated. However, spinophilin structure suggests that the protein is a multifunctional protein scaffold that regulates both membrane and cytoskeletal functions. Spinophilin plays important functions in the nervous system where it is implicated in spine morphology and density regulation, synaptic plasticity and neuronal migration. Spinophilin regulates also seven-transmembrane receptor signalling and may provide a link between some of these receptors and intracellular mitogenic signalling events dependent on p70(S6) kinase and Rac G protein-GEF. Strikingly a role for spinophilin in cell growth was demonstrated and this effect was enhanced by its interaction with ARF. Here we review the current knowledge of the protein partners of spinophilin and present the available data that are contributing to the appreciation of spinophilin functions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Central Nervous System / metabolism
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Microfilament Proteins / chemistry
  • Microfilament Proteins / genetics
  • Microfilament Proteins / physiology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / chemistry
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction*


  • Microfilament Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • neurabin