The Junction-associated Protein AF-6 Interacts and Clusters with Specific Eph Receptor Tyrosine Kinases at Specialized Sites of Cell–Cell Contact in the Brain Academic Article uri icon


  • The AF-6/afadin protein, which contains a single PDZ domain, forms a peripheral component of cell membranes at specialized sites of cell-cell junctions. To identify potential receptor-binding targets of AF-6 we screened the PDZ domain of AF-6 against a range of COOH-terminal peptides selected from receptors having potential PDZ domain-binding termini. The PDZ domain of AF-6 interacts with a subset of members of the Eph subfamily of RTKs via its COOH terminus both in vitro and in vivo. Cotransfection of a green fluorescent protein-tagged AF-6 fusion protein with full-length Eph receptors into heterologous cells induces a clustering of the Eph receptors and AF-6 at sites of cell-cell contact. Immunohistochemical analysis in the adult rat brain reveals coclustering of AF-6 with Eph receptors at postsynaptic membrane sites of excitatory synapses in the hippocampus. Furthermore, AF-6 is a substrate for a subgroup of Eph receptors and phosphorylation of AF-6 is dependent on a functional kinase domain of the receptor. The physical interaction of endogenous AF-6 with Eph receptors is demonstrated by coimmunoprecipitation from whole rat brain lysates. AF-6 is a candidate for mediating the clustering of Eph receptors at postsynaptic specializations in the adult rat brain.


  • Buchert, Michael
  • Schneider, Stefan
  • Meskenaite, Virginia
  • Adams, Mark T
  • Canaani, Eli
  • Baechi, Thomas
  • Moelling, Karin
  • Hovens, Christopher M

publication date

  • January 25, 1999