Targeting of the F-actin-binding Protein Drebrin by the Microtubule Plus-Tip Protein EB3 Is Required for Neuritogenesis

Nat Cell Biol. 2008 Oct;10(10):1181-9. doi: 10.1038/ncb1778. Epub 2008 Sep 21.


Interactions between dynamic microtubules and actin filaments (F-actin) underlie a range of cellular processes including cell polarity and motility. In growth cones, dynamic microtubules are continually extending into selected filopodia, aligning alongside the proximal ends of the F-actin bundles. This interaction is essential for neuritogenesis and growth-cone pathfinding. However, the molecular components mediating the interaction between microtubules and filopodial F-actin have yet to be determined. Here we show that drebrin, an F-actin-associated protein, binds directly to the microtubule-binding protein EB3. In growth cones, this interaction occurs specifically when drebrin is located on F-actin in the proximal region of filopodia and when EB3 is located at the tips of microtubules invading filopodia. When this interaction is disrupted, the formation of growth cones and the extension of neurites are impaired. We conclude that drebrin targets EB3 to coordinate F-actin-microtubule interactions that underlie neuritogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • COS Cells
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Growth Cones / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Microfilament Proteins / metabolism*
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism*
  • Microtubules / metabolism*
  • Neurites / metabolism*
  • Neuropeptides / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding
  • Pseudopodia / metabolism
  • Rats


  • Carrier Proteins
  • EB1 microtubule binding proteins
  • F-actin-binding proteins
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Neuropeptides
  • drebrins