Activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein Arc/Arg3.1 binds to spectrin and associates with nuclear promyelocytic leukemia (PML) bodies

Brain Res. 2007 Jun 11;1153:20-33. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2007.03.079. Epub 2007 Mar 31.


Activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc/Arg3.1) is an immediate early gene, whose expression in the central nervous system is induced by specific patterns of synaptic activity. Arc is required for the late-phase of long-term potentiation (LTP) and memory consolidation, and has been implicated in AMPA receptor trafficking. Since Arc's molecular function remains incompletely understood, we have determined its subcellular localization in cultured hippocampal neurons and HEK 293T cells. Fluorescence microscopy experiments revealed that both endogenous and exogenous Arc protein was primarily found in the nucleus, where it concentrated in puncta associated with promyelocytic leukemia (PML) bodies, proposed sites of transcriptional regulation. Arc co-localized and interacted with the betaIV spectrin splice variant betaSpIVSigma5, a nuclear spectrin isoform associated with PML bodies and the nuclear matrix. A small region of Arc containing the coiled-coil domain is also restricted to beta-spectrin-positive puncta, while the isolated spectrin homology domain is diffusely localized. Finally, Arc and betaSpIVSigma5 synergistically increased the number of PML bodies. These results suggest that Arc functions as a spectrin-binding protein, forming a complex that may provide a role at sites of transcriptional regulation within the nucleus.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Embryonic Structures
  • Gene Expression
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • Humans
  • Intranuclear Inclusion Bodies / drug effects
  • Intranuclear Inclusion Bodies / metabolism*
  • Leukemia, Promyelocytic, Acute / metabolism*
  • Luminescent Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Spectrin / metabolism*
  • Transfection / methods


  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • activity regulated cytoskeletal-associated protein
  • betaIV spectrin
  • Spectrin