M6a is a four-transmembrane protein that is abundantly expressed in the nervous system. Previous studies have shown that over-expression of this protein induces various cellular protrusions, such as neurites, filopodia, and dendritic spines. In this detailed characterization of M6a-induced structures, we found their varied and peculiar characteristics. Notably, the M6a-induced protrusions were mostly devoid of actin filaments or microtubules and exhibited free random vibrating motion. Moreover, when an antibody bound to M6a, the membrane-wrapped protrusions were suddenly disrupted, leading to perturbation of the surrounding membrane dynamics involving phosphoinositide signaling. During single-molecule analysis, M6a exhibited cytoskeleton-independent movement and became selectively entrapped along the cell perimeter in an actin-independent manner. These observations highlight the unusual characteristics of M6a, which may have a significant yet unappreciated role in biological systems.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)