Activity-independent and activity-dependent mechanisms work in concert to regulate neuronal growth, ensuring the formation of accurate synaptic connections. CPG15, a protein regulated by synaptic activity, functions as a cell-surface growth-promoting molecule in vivo. In Xenopus laevis, CPG15 enhanced dendritic arbor growth in projection neurons, with no effect on interneurons. CPG15 controlled growth of neighboring neurons through an intercellular signaling mechanism that requires its glycosylphosphatidylinositol link. CPG15 may represent a new class of activity-regulated, membrane-bound, growth-promoting proteins that permit exquisite spatial and temporal control of neuronal structure.
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