2008 Volume 214 Issue 3 Pages 191-198
ADP ribosylation factor 6 (ARF6) is a member of the ARF family of small GTPases, which mediates a variety of neuronal functions accompanying the structural changes of developing and mature neurons through its regulation of actin cytoskeleton reorganization and membrane traffic. The activation of ARF6 is strictly regulated by guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs). The EFA6 family is the first member that was identified to be a specific GEF for ARF6 and comprises four structurally related polypeptides (EFA6A, EFA6B, EFA6C and EFA6D). Since the cellular and subcelllular localization of GEFs is a critical determinant for the spatiotemporal activation of ARF6 in neurons, I have focused on the EFA6 family from the anatomical point of view to understand the neuronal functions of ARF6. Three members of the EFA6 family (EFA6A, EFA6C and EFA6D) are abundantly expressed in the mouse brain with distinct spatiotemporal patterns. Interestingly, they are enriched particularly in the postsynaptic density fraction, shedding light on the importance of the EFA-ARF6 pathway in neuronal synapses. Here, I will review the recent advances in the expression and functions of the EFA6 family in the nervous system.