Scapinin, also named phactr3, is an actin and protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) binding protein, which is expressed in the adult brain and some tumor cells. At present, the role(s) of scapinin in the brain and tumors are poorly understood. We show that the RPEL-repeat domain of scapinin, which is responsible for its direct interaction with actin, inhibits actin polymerization in vitro. Next, we established a Hela cell line, where scapinin expression was induced by tetracycline. In these cells, expression of scapinin stimulated cell spreading and motility. Scapinin was colocalized with actin at the edge of spreading cells. To explore the roles of the RPEL-repeat and PP1-binding domains, we expressed wild-type and mutant scapinins as fusion proteins with green fluorescence protein (GFP) in Cos7 cells. Expression of GFP-scapinin (wild type) also stimulated cell spreading, but mutation in the RPEL-repeat domain abolished both the actin binding and the cell spreading activity. PP1-binding deficient mutants strongly induced cell retraction. Long and branched cytoplasmic processes were developed during the cell retraction. These results suggest that scapinin enhances cell spreading and motility through direct interaction with actin and that PP1 plays a regulatory role in scapinin-induced morphological changes.