Using yeast two-hybrid screening, we have identified a mouse Postsynaptic density 95/Discs large/Zona occludens-1 (PDZ) protein that interacts with activin type II receptors (ActRIIs). We named the protein activin receptor-interacting protein 2 (ARIP2). ARIP2 was found to have one PDZ domain in the NH2-terminal region and interact specifically with ActRIIs among the receptors for the transforming growth factor β family by the PDZ domain. Interestingly, overexpression of ARIP2 enhances endocytosis of ActRIIs and reduces activin-induced transcription in Chinese hamster ovary K1 cells. In addition, immunofluorescence co-localization studies indicated the direct involvement of ARIP2 in the intracellular translocation of ActRIIs by PDZ domain-mediated interaction. Moreover, we have identified that the COOH-terminal region of ARIP2 interacts with Ral-binding protein 1 (RalBP1). RalBP1 is a potential effector protein of small GTP-binding protein Ral and regulates endocytosis of epidermal growth factor and insulin receptors. The studies using deletion mutants of RalBP1 and constitutively GTP and GDP binding forms of Ral indicate that ARIP2 regulates endocytosis of ActRIIs through the Ral/RalBP1-dependent pathway, and the GDP-GTP exchange of Ral is critical for this regulation.
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