The regulation of cytoskeletal components in the dendritic shaft core is critical for dendrite elongation and branching. Here, we report that a brain-specific Ras guanine nucleotide exchange factor (RasGEF) carrying two kinase non-catalytic C-lobe domains (KINDs), very-KIND (v-KIND), regulates microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2). v-KIND is expressed in developing mouse brain, predominantly in the cerebellar granule cells. v-KIND not only activates Ras small GTPases via the C-terminal RasGEF domain, but also specifically binds to MAP2 via the second KIND domain (KIND2), leading to threonine phosphorylation of MAP2. v-KIND overexpression suppresses dendritic extension and branching of hippocampal neurons and cerebellar granule cells, whereas knockdown of endogenous v-KIND expression promotes dendrite growth. These findings suggest that v-KIND mediates a signaling pathway that links Ras and MAP2 to control dendrite growth.
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