The G(alpha)o/i-coupled CB1 cannabionoid receptor induces neurite outgrowth in Neuro-2A cells. The mechanisms of signaling through G(alpha)o/i to induce neurite outgrowth were studied. The expression of G(alpha)o/i reduces the stability of its direct interactor protein, Rap1GAPII, by targeting it for ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation. This results in the activation of Rap1. G(alpha)o/i-induced activation of endogenous Rap1 in Neuro-2A cells is blocked by the proteasomal inhibitor lactacystin. G(alpha)o/i stimulates neurite outgrowth that is blocked by the expression of dominant negative Rap1. Expression of Rap1GAPII also blocks the G(alpha)o/i-induced neurite outgrowth and treatment with proteasomal inhibitors potentiates this inhibition. The endogenous G(alpha)o/i-coupled cannabinoid (CB1) receptor in Neuro-2A cells stimulates the degradation of Rap1GAPII; activation of Rap1 and treatment with pertussis toxin or lactacystin blocks these effects. The CB1 receptor-stimulated neurite outgrowth is blocked by treatment with pertussis toxin, small interfering RNA for Rap, lactacystin, and expression of Rap1GAPII. Thus, the G(alpha)o/i-coupled cannabinoid receptor, by regulating the proteasomal degradation of Rap1GAPII, activates Rap1 to induce neurite outgrowth.
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