Proteomic and functional analyses of the periodic membrane skeleton in neurons

Ruobo Zhou, Boran Han, Roberta Nowak, Yunzhe Lu, Evan Heller, Chenglong Xia, Athar H. Chishti, Velia M. Fowler, Xiaowei Zhuang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Actin, spectrin, and associated molecules form a membrane-associated periodic skeleton (MPS) in neurons. The molecular composition and functions of the MPS remain incompletely understood. Here, using co-immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry, we identified hundreds of potential candidate MPS-interacting proteins that span diverse functional categories. We examined representative proteins in several of these categories using super-resolution imaging, including previously unknown MPS structural components, as well as motor proteins, cell adhesion molecules, ion channels, and signaling proteins, and observed periodic distributions characteristic of the MPS along the neurites for ~20 proteins. Genetic perturbations of the MPS and its interacting proteins further suggested functional roles of the MPS in axon-axon and axon-dendrite interactions and in axon diameter regulation, and implicated the involvement of MPS interactions with cell adhesion molecules and non-muscle myosin in these roles. These results provide insights into the interactome of the MPS and suggest previously unknown functions of the MPS in neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3196
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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