The F-BAR domain of srGAP2 induces membrane protrusions required for neuronal migration and morphogenesis.
During brain development, proper neuronal migration and morphogenesis is critical for the establishment of functional neural circuits. Here we report that srGAP2 negatively regulates neuronal migration and induces neurite outgrowth and branching through the ability of its F-BAR domain to induce filopodia-like membrane protrusions resembling those induced by I-BAR domains in vivo and in vitro. Previous work has suggested that in nonneuronal cells filopodia dynamics decrease the rate of cell migration and the persistence of leading edge protrusions. srGAP2 knockdown reduces leading process branching and increases the rate of neuronal migration in vivo. Overexpression of srGAP2 or its F-BAR domain has the opposite effects, increasing leading process branching and decreasing migration. These results suggest that F-BAR domains are functionally diverse and highlight the functional importance of proteins directly regulating membrane deformation for proper neuronal migration and morphogenesis.