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1.  Role of Palladin Phosphorylation by Extracellular Signal-Regulated Kinase in Cell Migration 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(12):e29338.
Phosphorylation of actin-binding proteins plays a pivotal role in the remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton to regulate cell migration. Palladin is an actin-binding protein that is phosphorylated by growth factor stimulation; however, the identity of the involved protein kinases remains elusive. In this study, we report that palladin is a novel substrate of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK). Suppression of ERK activation by a chemical inhibitor reduced palladin phosphorylation, and expression of active MEK alone was sufficient for phosphorylation. In addition, an in vitro kinase assay demonstrated direct palladin phosphorylation by ERK. We found that Ser77 and Ser197 are essential residues for phosphorylation. Although the phosphorylation of these residues was not required for actin cytoskeletal organization, we found that expression of non-phosphorylated palladin enhanced cell migration. Finally, we show that phosphorylation inhibits the palladin association with Abl tyrosine kinase. Taken together, our results indicate that palladin phosphorylation by ERK has an anti-migratory function, possibly by modulating interactions with molecules that regulate cell migration.
PMCID: PMC3247243  PMID: 22216253
2.  Palladin Mutation Causes Familial Pancreatic Cancer and Suggests a New Cancer Mechanism 
PLoS Medicine  2006;3(12):e516.
Pancreatic cancer is a deadly disease. Discovery of the mutated genes that cause the inherited form(s) of the disease may shed light on the mechanism(s) of oncogenesis. Previously we isolated a susceptibility locus for familial pancreatic cancer to chromosome location 4q32–34. In this study, our goal was to discover the identity of the familial pancreatic cancer gene on 4q32 and determine the function of that gene.
Methods and Findings
A customized microarray of the candidate chromosomal region affecting pancreatic cancer susceptibility revealed the greatest expression change in palladin (PALLD), a gene that encodes a component of the cytoskeleton that controls cell shape and motility. A mutation causing a proline (hydrophobic) to serine (hydrophilic) amino acid change (P239S) in a highly conserved region tracked with all affected family members and was absent in the non-affected members. The mutational change is not a known single nucleotide polymorphism. Palladin RNA, measured by quantitative RT-PCR, was overexpressed in the tissues from precancerous dysplasia and pancreatic adenocarcinoma in both familial and sporadic disease. Transfection of wild-type and P239S mutant palladin gene constructs into HeLa cells revealed a clear phenotypic effect: cells expressing P239S palladin exhibited cytoskeletal changes, abnormal actin bundle assembly, and an increased ability to migrate.
These observations suggest that the presence of an abnormal palladin gene in familial pancreatic cancer and the overexpression of palladin protein in sporadic pancreatic cancer cause cytoskeletal changes in pancreatic cancer and may be responsible for or contribute to the tumor's strong invasive and migratory abilities.
The presence of abnormalpalladin in familial pancreatic cancer and its overexpression in sporadic pancreatic cancer leads to cytoskeletal changes and may be responsible for the tumor's invasive and migratory abilities.
Editors' Summary
Pancreatic cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related death in the US. Because it causes few symptoms in its early stages, pancreatic cancer is rarely detected until it has spread (metastasized) around the body. Pancreatic tumors can occasionally be removed surgically but the usual treatment is radio- or chemotherapy, and neither of these is curative; most patients die within a year of diagnosis. As in other cancers, the cells in pancreatic tumors have acquired genetic changes (mutations) that allow them to divide uncontrollably (normal cells divide only to repair damaged tissue). Other mutations alter the shape of the cells and allow them to migrate into (invade) other areas of the body. These mutations usually arise randomly—the cells in the human body are bombarded by chemicals and other agents that can damage their DNA—and cause “sporadic” pancreatic cancer. But some people inherit mutated genes that increase their susceptibility to pancreatic cancer. These people are recognizable because pancreatic cancer is more common in their families than in the general population.
Why Was This Study Done?
The identification of the genes that are mutated in familial pancreatic cancer might provide insights into how both inherited and sporadic cancer develops in the pancreas. Such information could suggest ways to detect pancreatic cancers earlier than is currently possible and could identify new therapeutic targets for this deadly disease. Previous work by the researchers who did this study localized a gene responsible for inherited pancreatic cancer to a small region of Chromosome 4 in a family in which pancreatic cancer is very common (Family X). In this study, the researchers identified which of the genes in this region is likely to be responsible for the susceptibility to pancreatic cancer of Family X.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers made a DNA microarray (a small chip spotted with DNA sequences) of the 243 genes in the chromosomal region linked to pancreatic cancer in Family X. They used this to examine gene expression in dysplastic pancreatic tissue from a Family X member (pancreatic dysplasia is a precancerous lesion that precedes cancer), in normal pancreatic tissue, and in samples from sporadic pancreatic cancers. The most highly overexpressed (compared to normal tissue) gene in both the Family X tissue and the sporadic cancers encoded a protein called palladin. Palladin is a component of the cytoskeleton (a structure that helps to control cell shape and motility) and it organizes other cytoskeletal components. Next, the researchers quantified the expression of palladin RNA in an independent set of normal and cancerous pancreatic samples, and in precancerous pancreatic tissue taken from Family X members and from people who inherit pancreatic cancer but who were not in Family X. This analysis indicated that palladin was overexpressed early in sporadic and inherited pancreatic cancer development. Sequencing of the palladin gene then uncovered a mutation in palladin that was present in Family X members with pancreatic cancer or precancerous lesions but not in unaffected members. This specific mutation, which probably affects palladin's interaction with another cytoskeletal protein called alpha-actinin, was not found in sporadic cancers although many sporadic cancer cell lines had abnormal expression of alpha-actinin protein in addition to palladin protein. Finally, the researchers showed that the introduction of mutated palladin into a human cell line growing in the laboratory increased its migration rate and disrupted its cytoskeleton.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These results strongly suggest that mutated palladin is involved in the development of familial pancreatic cancer. Because genes tend to be inherited in groups, there is still chance that a mutation in a nearby gene could be responsible for the increased susceptibility to pancreatic cancer in Family X. However, the data showing palladin overexpression in sporadic tumors and alterations of cell behavior in the laboratory after introduction of the mutated gene make this unlikely. To prove the involvement of palladin in pancreatic cancer, palladin mutations must now be identified in other familial cases and the overexpression of palladin in sporadic cancers must be explained. The results here nevertheless provide an intriguing glimpse into a potential new mechanism for cancer development in the pancreas and possibly other tissues, one in which abnormalities in palladin function or expression (or in the proteins with which it associates) drive some of the changes in cell migration, shape, and size that characterize cancer cells.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
US National Cancer Institute, information on pancreatic cancer for patients and health professionals
MedlinePlus encyclopedia entry on pancreatic carcinoma
Cancer Research UK, information for patients about pancreatic cancer
Johns Hopkins University, information on pancreatic cancer that includes details on familial cancer
CancerQuest, information provided by Emory University about how cancer develops
PMCID: PMC1751121  PMID: 17194196
3.  Arousal of Cancer-Associated Stroma: Overexpression of Palladin Activates Fibroblasts to Promote Tumor Invasion 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(1):e30219.
Cancer-associated fibroblasts, comprised of activated fibroblasts or myofibroblasts, are found in the stroma surrounding solid tumors. These myofibroblasts promote invasion and metastasis of cancer cells. Mechanisms regulating the activation of the fibroblasts and the initiation of invasive tumorigenesis are of great interest. Upregulation of the cytoskeletal protein, palladin, has been detected in the stromal myofibroblasts surrounding many solid cancers and in expression screens for genes involved in invasion. Using a pancreatic cancer model, we investigated the functional consequence of overexpression of exogenous palladin in normal fibroblasts in vitro and its effect on the early stages of tumor invasion.
Principal Findings
Palladin expression in stromal fibroblasts occurs very early in tumorigenesis. In vivo, concordant expression of palladin and the myofibroblast marker, alpha smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), occurs early at the dysplastic stages in peri-tumoral stroma and progressively increases in pancreatic tumorigenesis. In vitro introduction of exogenous 90 kD palladin into normal human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs) induces activation of stromal fibroblasts into myofibroblasts as marked by induction of α-SMA and vimentin, and through the physical change of cell morphology. Moreover, palladin expression in the fibroblasts enhances cellular migration, invasion through the extracellular matrix, and creation of tunnels through which cancer cells can follow. The fibroblast invasion and creation of tunnels results from the development of invadopodia-like cellular protrusions which express invadopodia proteins and proteolytic enzymes. Palladin expression in fibroblasts is triggered by the co-culture of normal fibroblasts with k-ras-expressing epithelial cells.
Overall, palladin expression can impart myofibroblast properties, in turn promoting the invasive potential of these peri-tumoral cells with invadopodia-driven degradation of extracellular matrix. Palladin expression in fibroblasts can be triggered by k-ras expression in adjacent epithelial cells. This data supports a model whereby palladin-activated fibroblasts facilitate stromal-dependent metastasis and outgrowth of tumorigenic epithelium.
PMCID: PMC3264580  PMID: 22291919
4.  Actin-associated protein palladin promotes tumor cell invasion by linking extracellular matrix degradation to cell cytoskeleton 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2014;25(17):2556-2570.
This study identifies a novel protein interaction between the key cell-surface collagenase MT1-MMP and the dynamic actin-binding protein palladin, which links extracellular matrix degradation to cytoskeletal dynamics and migration signaling, thus promoting mesenchymal invasion of breast carcinoma cells.
Basal-like breast carcinomas, characterized by unfavorable prognosis and frequent metastases, are associated with epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. During this process, cancer cells undergo cytoskeletal reorganization and up-regulate membrane-type 1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP; MMP14), which functions in actin-based pseudopods to drive invasion by extracellular matrix degradation. However, the mechanisms that couple matrix proteolysis to the actin cytoskeleton in cell invasion have remained unclear. On the basis of a yeast two-hybrid screen for the MT1-MMP cytoplasmic tail-binding proteins, we identify here a novel Src-regulated protein interaction between the dynamic cytoskeletal scaffold protein palladin and MT1-MMP. These proteins were coexpressed in invasive human basal-like breast carcinomas and corresponding cell lines, where they were associated in the same matrix contacting and degrading membrane complexes. The silencing and overexpression of the 90-kDa palladin isoform revealed the functional importance of the interaction with MT1-MMP in pericellular matrix degradation and mesenchymal tumor cell invasion, whereas in MT1-MMP–negative cells, palladin overexpression was insufficient for invasion. Moreover, this invasion was inhibited in a dominant-negative manner by an immunoglobulin domain–containing palladin fragment lacking the dynamic scaffold and Src-binding domains. These results identify a novel protein interaction that links matrix degradation to cytoskeletal dynamics and migration signaling in mesenchymal cell invasion.
PMCID: PMC4148246  PMID: 24989798
5.  Characterization of Human Palladin, a Microfilament-associated Protein 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2001;12(10):3060-3073.
Actin-containing microfilaments control cell shape, adhesion, and contraction. In striated muscle, α-actinin and other Z-disk proteins coordinate the organization and functions of actin filaments. In smooth muscle and nonmuscle cells, periodic structures termed dense bodies and dense regions, respectively, are thought to serve functions analogous to Z-discs. We describe here identification and characterization of human palladin, a protein expressed mainly in smooth muscle and nonmuscle and distributed along microfilaments in a periodic manner consistent with dense regions/bodies. Palladin contains three Ig-domains most homologous to the sarcomeric Z-disk protein myotilin. The N terminus includes an FPPPP motif recognized by the Ena-Vasp homology domain 1 domain in Ena/vasodilatator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP)/Wiscott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP) protein family. Cytoskeletal proteins with FPPPP motif target Ena/VASP/WASP proteins to sites of actin modulation. We identified palladin in a yeast two-hybrid search as an ezrin-associated protein. An interaction between palladin and ezrin was further verified by affinity precipitation and blot overlay assays. The interaction was mediated by the α-helical domain of ezrin and by Ig-domains 2–3 of palladin. Ezrin is typically a component of the cortical cytoskeleton, but in smooth muscle cells it is localized along microfilaments. These cells express palladin abundantly and thus palladin may be involved in the microfilament localization of ezrin. Palladin expression was up-regulated in differentiating dendritic cells (DCs), coinciding with major cytoskeletal and morphological alterations. In immature DCs, palladin localized in actin-containing podosomes and in mature DCs along actin filaments. The regulated expression and localization suggest a role for palladin in the assembly of DC cytoskeleton.
PMCID: PMC60155  PMID: 11598191
6.  Dual Roles of Palladin Protein in In Vitro Myogenesis: Inhibition of Early Induction but Promotion of Myotube Maturation 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(4):e0124762.
Palladin is a microfilament-associated phosphoprotein whose function in skeletal muscle has rarely been studied. Therefore, we investigate whether myogenesis is influenced by the depletion of palladin expression known to interfere with the actin cytoskeleton dynamic required for skeletal muscle differentiation. The inhibition of palladin in C2C12 myoblasts leads to precocious myogenic differentiation with a concomitant reduction in cell apoptosis. This premature myogenesis is caused, in part, by an accelerated induction of p21, myogenin, and myosin heavy chain, suggesting that palladin acts as a negative regulator in early differentiation phases. Paradoxically, palladin-knockdown myoblasts are unable to differentiate terminally, despite their ability to perform some initial steps of differentiation. Cells with attenuated palladin expression form thinner myotubes with fewer myonuclei compared to those of the control. It is noteworthy that a negative regulator of myogenesis, myostatin, is activated in palladin-deficient myotubes, suggesting the palladin-mediated impairment of late-stage myogenesis. Additionally, overexpression of 140-kDa palladin inhibits myoblast differentiation while 200-kDa and 90-kDa palladin-overexpressed cells display an enhanced differentiation rate. Together, our data suggest that palladin might have both positive and negative roles in maintaining the proper skeletal myogenic differentiation in vitro.
PMCID: PMC4396843  PMID: 25875253
Molecular cell  2010;38(3):333-344.
The phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI 3-K) signaling pathway is frequently deregulated in cancer. Downstream of PI 3-K, Akt1 and Akt2 have opposing roles in breast cancer invasive migration leading to metastatic dissemination. Here we identify palladin, an actin-associated protein, as an Akt1-specific substrate that modulates breast cancer cell invasive migration. Akt1, but not Akt2, phosphorylates palladin at S507 in a domain that is critical for F-actin bundling. Downregulation of palladin enhances migration and invasion of breast cancer cells and induces abnormal branching morphogenesis in 3D cultures. Palladin phosphorylation at S507 is required for Akt1-mediated inhibition of breast cancer cell migration and also for F-actin bundling leading to the maintenance of an organized actin cytoskeleton. These findings identify palladin as an Akt1-specific substrate that regulates cell motility and provide a molecular mechanism that accounts for the functional distinction between Akt isoforms in breast cancer cell signaling to cell migration.
PMCID: PMC2872630  PMID: 20471940
8.  Palladin Contributes to Invasive Motility in Human Breast Cancer Cells 
Oncogene  2008;28(4):587-598.
Cancer metastasis involves multiple steps including detachment of the metastatic cells from neighboring cells, the acquisition of motility and invasion to other tissue. All of these steps require the reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton. In this study, we found that the protein palladin, a molecular scaffold with an important function in actin organization, is expressed at higher overall levels in tumors compared to benign breast tissue, and also significantly higher in four invasive breast cancer cell lines when compared to four non-invasive cell lines. In addition, we found that palladin plays a key role in the formation of podosomes. Podosomes are actin-rich structures that function in adhesion and matrix degradation and have been found in many invasive cell types. Our results show that phorbol ester treatment stimulated the formation of palladin-containing podosomes in invasive, but not in non-invasive cell lines. More importantly, palladin knockdown resulted in decreased podosome formation and a significant reduction in transwell migration and invasive motility. Palladin overexpression induced podosome formation in the non-invasive MCF7 cells, which are otherwise unable to form podosomes, suggesting that palladin plays a critical role in the assembly of podosomes. Overall, these results indicate that palladin overexpression contributes to the invasive behavior of metastatic cells.
PMCID: PMC2633435  PMID: 18978809
podosomes; migration; actin; metastasis
9.  Palladin promotes invasion of pancreatic cancer cells by enhancing invadopodia formation in cancer-associated fibroblasts 
Oncogene  2013;33(10):1265-1273.
The stromal compartment surrounding epithelial-derived pancreatic tumors is thought to have a key role in the aggressive phenotype of this malignancy. Emerging evidence suggests that cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), the most abundant cells in the stroma of pancreatic tumors, contribute to the tumor’s invasion, metastasis and resistance to therapy, but the precise molecular mechanisms that regulate CAFs behavior are poorly understood. In this study, we utilized immortalized human pancreatic CAFs to investigate molecular pathways that control the matrix-remodeling and invasion-promoting activity of CAFs. We showed previously that palladin, an actin-associated protein, is expressed at high levels in CAFs of pancreatic tumors and other solid tumors, and also in an immortalized line of human CAFs. In this study, we found that short-term exposure of CAFs to phorbol esters reduced the number of stress fibers and triggered the appearance of individual invadopodia and invadopodial rosettes in CAFs. Molecular analysis of invadopodia revealed that their composition resembled that of similar structures (that is, invadopodia and podosomes) described in other cell types. Pharmacological inhibition and small interfering RNA knockdown experiments demonstrated that protein kinase C, the small GTPase Cdc42 and palladin were necessary for the efficient assembly of invadopodia by CAFs. In addition, GTPase activity assays showed that palladin contributes to the activation of Cdc42. In mouse xenograft experiments using a mixture of CAFs and tumor cells, palladin expression in CAFs promoted the rapid growth and metastasis of human pancreatic tumor cells. Overall, these results indicate that high levels of palladin expression in CAFs enhance their ability to remodel the extracellular matrix by regulating the activity of Cdc42, which in turn promotes the assembly of matrix-degrading invadopodia in CAFs and tumor cell invasion. Together, these results identify a novel molecular signaling pathway that may provide new molecular targets for the inhibition of pancreatic cancer metastasis.
PMCID: PMC3912215  PMID: 23524582
invasion; GTPases; Cdc42; actin; invadopodia; myofibroblasts
10.  The IpaC Carboxyterminal Effector Domain Mediates Src-Dependent Actin Polymerization during Shigella Invasion of Epithelial Cells 
PLoS Pathogens  2009;5(1):e1000271.
Shigella, the causative agent of bacillary dysentery, invades epithelial cells by locally reorganizing the actin cytoskeleton. Shigella invasion requires actin polymerization dependent on the Src tyrosine kinase and a functional bacterial type III secretion (T3S) apparatus. Using dynamic as well as immunofluorescence microscopy, we show that the T3S translocon component IpaC allows the recruitment of the Src kinase required for actin polymerization at bacterial entry sites during the initial stages of Shigella entry. Src recruitment occurred at bacterial-cell contact sites independent of actin polymerization at the onset of the invasive process and was still observed in Shigella strains mutated for translocated T3S effectors of invasion. A Shigella strain with a polar mutation that expressed low levels of the translocator components IpaB and IpaC was fully proficient for Src recruitment and bacterial invasion. In contrast, a Shigella strain mutated in the IpaC carboxyterminal effector domain that was proficient for T3S effector translocation did not induce Src recruitment. Consistent with a direct role for IpaC in Src activation, cell incubation with the IpaC last 72 carboxyterminal residues fused to the Iota toxin Ia (IaC) component that translocates into the cell cytosol upon binding to the Ib component led to Src-dependent ruffle formation. Strikingly, IaC also induced actin structures resembling bacterial entry foci that were enriched in activated Src and were inhibited by the Src inhibitor PP2. These results indicate that the IpaC effector domain determines Src-dependent actin polymerization and ruffle formation during bacterial invasion.
Author Summary
Type III secretion systems (T3SS) are present in a wide range of Gram-negative bacteria that are pathogenic to humans, animals, and plants. These molecular devices allow the injection of bacterial virulence factors into host cells to manipulate various cellular functions. T3SSs share similar functional features. Noticeably, host cell contact triggers the secretion of two T3SS substrates that insert into host cell membranes to form a so-called “translocator” required for the injection of T3SS effectors. Shigella, an enteroinvasive pathogen responsible for bacillary dysentery, uses a T3SS to transiently reorganize the actin cytoskeleton and to induce its internalization into epithelial cells. Some Shigella-injected T3SS effectors participate in cytoskeletal reorganization, but none of these effectors are totally necessary or sufficient to induce bacterial invasion. We show here that in addition to its role in the injection of bacterial effectors, the translocator component IpaC also induces the recruitment of Src and actin polymerization driving the formation of localized membrane ruffling. Our findings suggest that major signaling through T3S translocator components occurs during the initial steps of bacterial interaction with host cell membranes. Compounds that prevent membrane insertion of the Shigella T3S translocator would likely constitute ideal candidates for antimicrobial agents.
PMCID: PMC2621354  PMID: 19165331
11.  Translocation of Src kinase to the cell periphery is mediated by the actin cytoskeleton under the control of the Rho family of small G proteins 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1996;135(6):1551-1564.
We have isolated Swiss 3T3 subclones that are resistant to the mitogenic and morphological transforming effects of v-Src as a consequence of aberrant translocation of the oncoprotein under low serum conditions. In chicken embryo and NIH 3T3 fibroblasts under similar conditions, v-Src rapidly translocates from the perinuclear region to the focal adhesions upon activation of the tyrosine kinase, resulting in downstream activation of activator protein-1 and mitogen- activated protein kinase, which are required for the mitogenic and transforming activity of the oncoprotein. Since serum deprivation induces cytoskeletal disorganization in Swiss 3T3, we examined whether regulators of the cytoskeleton play a role in the translocation of v- Src, and also c-Src, in response to biological stimuli. Actin stress fibers and translocation of active v-Src to focal adhesions in quiescent Swiss 3T3 cells were restored by microinjection of activated Rho A and by serum. Double labeling with anti-Src and phalloidin demonstrated that v-Src localized along the reformed actin filaments in a pattern that would be consistent with trafficking in complexes along the stress fibers to focal adhesions. Furthermore, treatment with the actin-disrupting drug cytochalasin D, but not the microtubule- disrupting drug nocodazole, prevented v-Src translocation. In addition to v-Src, we observed that PDGF-induced, Rac-mediated membrane ruffling was accompanied by translocation of c-Src from the cytoplasm to the plasma membrane, an effect that was also blocked by cytochalasin D. Thus, we conclude that translocation of Src from its site of synthesis to its site of action at the cell membrane requires an intact cytoskeletal network and that the small G proteins of the Rho family may specify the peripheral localization in focal adhesions or along the membrane, mediated by their effects on the cytoskeleton.
PMCID: PMC2133963  PMID: 8978822
12.  Characterization of Palladin, a Novel Protein Localized to Stress Fibers and Cell Adhesions 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2000;150(3):643-656.
Here, we describe the identification of a novel phosphoprotein named palladin, which colocalizes with α-actinin in the stress fibers, focal adhesions, cell–cell junctions, and embryonic Z-lines. Palladin is expressed as a 90–92-kD doublet in fibroblasts and coimmunoprecipitates in a complex with α-actinin in fibroblast lysates. A cDNA encoding palladin was isolated by screening a mouse embryo library with mAbs. Palladin has a proline-rich region in the NH2-terminal half of the molecule and three tandem Ig C2 domains in the COOH-terminal half. In Northern and Western blots of chick and mouse tissues, multiple isoforms of palladin were detected. Palladin expression is ubiquitous in embryonic tissues, and is downregulated in certain adult tissues in the mouse. To probe the function of palladin in cultured cells, the Rcho-1 trophoblast model was used. Palladin expression was observed to increase in Rcho-1 cells when they began to assemble stress fibers. Antisense constructs were used to attenuate expression of palladin in Rcho-1 cells and fibroblasts, and disruption of the cytoskeleton was observed in both cell types. At longer times after antisense treatment, fibroblasts became fully rounded. These results suggest that palladin is required for the normal organization of the actin cytoskeleton and focal adhesions.
PMCID: PMC2175193  PMID: 10931874
focal adhesion; adherens junction; microfilament; α-actinin; trophoblast
13.  The Actin Associated Protein Palladin Is Important for the Early Smooth Muscle Cell Differentiation 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(9):e12823.
Palladin, an actin associated protein, plays a significant role in regulating cell adhesion and cell motility. Palladin is important for development, as knockdown in mice is embryonic lethal, yet its role in the development of the vasculature is unknown. We have shown that palladin is essential for the expression of smooth muscle cells (SMC) marker genes and force development in response to agonist stimulation in palladin deficient SMCs. The goal of the study was to determine the molecular mechanisms underlying palladin's ability to regulate the expression of SMC marker genes. Results showed that palladin expression was rapidly induced in an A404 cell line upon retinoic acid (RA) induced differentiation. Suppression of palladin expression with siRNAs inhibited the expression of RA induced SMC differentiation genes, SM α-actin (SMA) and SM22, whereas over-expression of palladin induced SMC gene expression. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays provided evidence that palladin bound to SMC genes, whereas co-immunoprecipitation assays also showed binding of palladin to myocardin related transcription factors (MRTFs). Endogenous palladin was imaged in the nucleus, increased with leptomycin treatment and the carboxyl-termini of palladin co-localized with MRTFs in the nucleus. Results support a model wherein palladin contributes to SMC differentiation through regulation of CArG-SRF-MRTF dependent transcription of SMC marker genes and as previously published, also through actin dynamics. Finally, in E11.5 palladin null mouse embryos, the expression of SMA and SM22 mRNA and protein is decreased in the vessel wall. Taken together, our findings suggest that palladin plays a key role in the differentiation of SMCs in the developing vasculature.
PMCID: PMC2943901  PMID: 20877641
14.  Agonist-stimulated cytoskeletal reorganization and signal transduction at focal adhesions in vascular smooth muscle cells require c-Src 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1999;103(6):789-797.
Thrombin and angiotensin II (angII) have trophic properties as mediators of vascular remodeling. Focal adhesions and actin cytoskeleton are involved in cell growth, shape, and movement and may be important in vascular remodeling. To characterize mechanisms by which thrombin and angII modulate vessel structure, we studied the effects of these G protein–coupled receptor ligands on focal adhesions in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). Both thrombin and angII stimulated bundling of actin filaments to form stress fibers, assembly of focal adhesions, and protein tyrosine phosphorylation at focal adhesions, such as p130Cas, paxillin, and tensin. To test whether c-Src plays a critical role in focal adhesion rearrangement, we analyzed cells with altered c-Src activity by retroviral transduction of wild-type (WT) and kinase-inactive (KI) c-Src into rat VSMCs, and by use of VSMCs from WT (src+/+) and Src-deficient (src–/–) mice. Tyrosine phosphorylation of Cas, paxillin, and tensin were markedly decreased in VSMCs expressing KI-Src and in src–/– VSMCs. Expression of KI-Src did not inhibit stress fiber formation by thrombin. Surprisingly, actin bundling was markedly decreased in VSMCs from src–/– mice both basally and after thrombin stimulation, compared with src+/+ mice. We also studied the effect of KI-Src and WT-Src on VSMC spreading. Expression of KI-Src reduced the rate of VSMC spreading on collagen, whereas WT-Src enhanced cell spreading. In conclusion, c-Src plays a critical role in agonist-stimulated cytoskeletal reorganization and signal transduction at focal adhesions in VSMCs. c-Src kinase activity is required for the cytoskeletal turnover that occurs in cell spreading, whereas c-Src appears to regulate actin bundling via a kinase-independent mechanism.
PMCID: PMC408136  PMID: 10079099
15.  Slap Negatively Regulates Src Mitogenic Function but Does Not Revert Src-Induced Cell Morphology Changes 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2000;20(10):3396-3406.
Src-like adapter protein (Slap) is a recently identified protein that negatively regulates mitogenesis in murine fibroblasts (S. Roche, G. Alonso, A. Kazlausakas, V. M. Dixit, S. A. Courtneidge, and A. Pandey, Curr. Biol. 8:975–978, 1998) and comprises an SH3 and SH2 domain with striking identity to the corresponding Src domains. In light of this, we sought to investigate whether Slap could be an antagonist of all Src functions. Like Src, Slap was found to be myristylated in vivo and largely colocalized with Src when coexpressed in Cos7 cells. Microinjection of a Slap-expressing construct into quiescent NIH 3T3 cells inhibited platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-induced DNA synthesis, and the inhibition was rescued by the transcription factor c-Myc but not by c-Jun/c-Fos expression. Fyn (or Src) overexpression overrides the G1/S block induced by both SrcK− and a Slap mutant with a deletion of its C terminus (SlapΔC), but not the block induced by Slap or SlapΔSH3, implying that the C terminus is a noncompetitive inhibitor of Src mitogenic function. Furthermore, a chimeric adapter comprising SrcΔK fused to the Slap C terminus (Src/SlapC) also inhibited Src function during the PDGF response in a noncompetitive manner, as Src coexpression could not rescue PDGF signaling. Slap, however, did not reverse deregulated Src-induced cell transformation, as it was unable to inhibit depolymerization of actin stress fibers while still being able to inhibit SrcY527F-induced DNA synthesis. This was attributed to a distinct Slap SH3 binding specificity, since the chimeric Slap/SrcSH3 molecule, in which the Slap SH3 was replaced by the Src SH3 sequence, substantially restored stress fiber formation. Indeed, three amino acids important for ligand binding in Src SH3 were replaced in the Slap SH3 sequence; Slap SH3 did not bind to the Src SH3 partners p85α, Shc, and Sam68 in vitro, and the chimeric tyrosine kinase Slap/SrcK, composed of SlapΔC fused to the SH2 linker kinase sequence of Src, was not regulated in vivo. Furthermore, the Src SH3 domain is required for signaling during mitogenesis and since Slap/SrcK behaved as a dominant negative in the PDGF mitogenic response when microinjected into quiescent fibroblasts. We conclude that Slap is a negative regulator of Src during mitogenesis involving both the SH2 and the C terminus domains in a noncompetitive manner, but it does not regulate all Src function due to specific SH3 binding substrates.
PMCID: PMC85632  PMID: 10779329
16.  The role of palladin in actin organization and cell motility 
European journal of cell biology  2008;87(8-9):517-525.
Palladin is a widely expressed protein found in stress fibers, focal adhesions, growth cones, Z-discs, and other actin-based subcellular structures. It belongs to a small gene family that includes the Z-disc proteins myopalladin and myotilin, all of which share similar Ig-like domains. Recent advances have shown that palladin shares with myotilin the ability to bind directly to F-actin, and to crosslink actin filaments into bundles, in vitro. Studies in a variety of cultured cells suggest that the actin-organizing activity of palladin plays a central role in promoting cell motility. Correlative evidence also supports this hypothesis, as palladin levels are typically upregulated in cells that are actively migrating: in developing vertebrate embryos, in cells along a wound edge, and in metastatic cancer cells. Recently, a mutation in the human palladin gene was implicated in an unusually penetrant form of inherited pancreatic cancer, which has stimulated new ideas about the role of palladin in invasive cancer.
PMCID: PMC2597190  PMID: 18342394
Lasp-1; alpha-Actinin; VASP; Eps8; Podosomes; Dorsal ruffles; Focal adhesion
Journal of molecular biology  2011;413(3):712-725.
The interaction between α-actinin and palladin, two actin-crosslinking proteins, is essential for proper bidirectional targeting of these proteins. As a first step toward understanding the role of this complex in organizing cytoskeletal actin, we have characterized binding interactions between the EF hand domain of α-actinin (Act-EF34) and peptides derived from palladin, and generated a NMR-derived structural model for the Act-EF34/palladin peptide complex. The critical binding site residues are similar to an actinin binding motif previously suggested for the complex between Act-EF34 and titin Z-repeats. The structure-based model of the Act-EF34/palladin peptide complex expands our understanding of binding specificity between the scaffold protein α-actinin and various ligands, which appears to require an α-helical motif containing four hydrophobic residues, common to many α–actinin ligands. We also provide evidence that the Family-X mutation in palladin, associated with a highly penetrant form of pancreatic cancer, does not interfere with α-actinin binding.
PMCID: PMC3226707  PMID: 21925511
18.  A Role for the Cytoskeleton-associated Protein Palladin in Neurite Outgrowth 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2001;12(9):2721-2729.
The outgrowth of neurites is a critical step in neuronal maturation, and it is well established that the actin cytoskeleton is involved in this process. Investigators from our laboratory recently described a novel protein named palladin, which has been shown to play an essential role in organizing the actin cytoskeleton in cultured fibroblasts. We investigated the expression of palladin in the developing rat brain by Western blot and found that the E18 brain contained a unique variant of palladin that is significantly smaller (∼85 kDa) than the common form found in other developing tissues (90–92 kDa). Because the expression of a tissue-specific isoform suggests the possibility of a cell type-specific function, we investigated the localization and function of palladin in cultured cortical neurons. Palladin was found preferentially targeted to the developing axon but not the dendrites and was strongly localized to the axonal growth cone. When palladin expression was attenuated by transfection with antisense constructs in both the B35 neuroblastoma cell line and in primary cortical neurons, a reduction in the expression of palladin resulted in a failure of neurite outgrowth. These results implicate palladin as a critical component of the developing nervous system, with an important role in axonal extension.
PMCID: PMC59707  PMID: 11553711
19.  Arousal of cancer-associated stromal fibroblasts 
Cell Adhesion & Migration  2012;6(6):488-494.
Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAF), comprised of activated fibroblasts or myofibroblasts, are found in stroma surrounding solid tumors; these myofibroblasts promote invasion and metastasis of cancer cells. Activation of stromal fibroblasts into myofibroblasts is induced by expression of cystoskeleton protein, palladin, at early stages in tumorigenesis and increases with neoplastic progression. Expression of palladin in fibroblasts is triggered by paracrine signaling from adjacent k-ras-expressing epithelial cells. Three-dimensional co-cultures of palladin-expressing fibroblasts and pancreatic cancer cells reveals that the activated fibroblasts lead the invasion by creating tunnels through the extracellular matrix through which the cancer cells follow. Invasive tunneling occurs as a result of the development of invadopodia-like cellular protrusions in the palladin-activated fibroblasts and the addition of a wounding/inflammatory trigger. Abrogation of palladin reduces the invasive capacity of these cells. CAF also play a role in cancer resistance and immuno-privilege, making the targeting of activators of these cells of interest for oncologists.
PMCID: PMC3547892  PMID: 23076142
cancer associated fibroblast; palladin; stroma; pancreatic cancer; myofibroblasts; invadopodia; ras mutation; cancer metastasis; invasion
20.  Diacylglycerol Kinase-α Mediates Hepatocyte Growth Factor-induced Epithelial Cell Scatter by Regulating Rac Activation and Membrane Ruffling 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2007;18(12):4859-4871.
Diacylglycerol kinases (Dgk) phosphorylate diacylglycerol (DG) to phosphatidic acid (PA), thus turning off and on, respectively, DG-mediated and PA-mediated signaling pathways. We previously showed that hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), vascular endothelial growth factor, and anaplastic lymphoma kinase activate Dgkα in endothelial and leukemia cells through a Src-mediated mechanism and that activation of Dgkα is required for chemotactic, proliferative, and angiogenic signaling in vitro. Here, we investigate the downstream events and signaling pathways regulated by Dgkα, leading to cell scatter and migration upon HGF treatment and v-Src expression in epithelial cells. We report that specific inhibition of Dgkα, obtained either pharmacologically by R59949 treatment, or by expression of Dgkα dominant-negative mutant, or by small interfering RNA-mediated down-regulation of endogenous Dgkα, impairs 1) HGF- and v-Src-induced cell scatter and migration, without affecting the loss of intercellular adhesions; 2) HGF-induced cell spreading, lamellipodia formation, membrane ruffling, and focal adhesions remodeling; and 3) HGF-induced Rac activation and membrane targeting. In summary, we provide evidence that Dgkα, activated downstream of tyrosine kinase receptors and Src, regulates crucial steps directing Rac activation and Rac-dependent remodeling of actin cytoskeleton and focal contacts in migrating epithelial cells.
PMCID: PMC2096597  PMID: 17898083
21.  Microtubule-mediated Src Tyrosine Kinase Trafficking in Neuronal Growth Cones 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2008;19(11):4611-4627.
Src family tyrosine kinases are important signaling enzymes in the neuronal growth cone, and they have been implicated in axon guidance; however, the detailed localization, trafficking, and cellular functions of Src kinases in live growth cones are unclear. Here, we cloned two novel Aplysia Src kinases, termed Src1 and Src2, and we show their association with both the plasma membrane and the microtubule cytoskeleton in the growth cone by live cell imaging, immunocytochemistry, and cell fractionation. Activated Src2 is enriched in filopodia tips. Interestingly, Src2-enhanced green fluorescent protein–positive endocytic vesicles and tubulovesicular structures undergo microtubule-mediated movements that are bidirectional in the central domain and mainly retrograde in the peripheral domain. To further test the role of microtubules in Src trafficking in the growth cone, microtubules were depleted with either nocodazole or vinblastine treatment, resulting in an increase in Src2 plasma membrane levels in all growth cone domains. Our data suggest that microtubules regulate the steady-state level of active Src at the plasma membrane by mediating retrograde recycling of endocytosed Src. Expression of constitutively active Src2 results in longer filopodia that protrude from smaller growth cones, implicating Src2 in controlling the size of filopodia and lamellipodia.
PMCID: PMC2575181  PMID: 18716055
22.  Myopalladin, a Novel 145-Kilodalton Sarcomeric Protein with Multiple Roles in Z-Disc and I-Band Protein Assemblies 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2001;153(2):413-428.
We describe here a novel sarcomeric 145-kD protein, myopalladin, which tethers together the COOH-terminal Src homology 3 domains of nebulin and nebulette with the EF hand motifs of α-actinin in vertebrate Z-lines. Myopalladin's nebulin/nebulette and α-actinin–binding sites are contained in two distinct regions within its COOH-terminal 90-kD domain. Both sites are highly homologous with those found in palladin, a protein described recently required for actin cytoskeletal assembly (Parast, M.M., and C.A. Otey. 2000. J. Cell Biol. 150:643–656). This suggests that palladin and myopalladin may have conserved roles in stress fiber and Z-line assembly. The NH2-terminal region of myopalladin specifically binds to the cardiac ankyrin repeat protein (CARP), a nuclear protein involved in control of muscle gene expression. Immunofluorescence and immunoelectron microscopy studies revealed that myopalladin also colocalized with CARP in the central I-band of striated muscle sarcomeres. Overexpression of myopalladin's NH2-terminal CARP-binding region in live cardiac myocytes resulted in severe disruption of all sarcomeric components studied, suggesting that the myopalladin–CARP complex in the central I-band may have an important regulatory role in maintaining sarcomeric integrity. Our data also suggest that myopalladin may link regulatory mechanisms involved in Z-line structure (via α-actinin and nebulin/nebulette) to those involved in muscle gene expression (via CARP).
PMCID: PMC2169455  PMID: 11309420
α-actinin; nebulin; palladin; myopalladin; CARP
23.  Localization of p21-Activated Kinase 1 (PAK1) to Pinocytic Vesicles and Cortical Actin Structures in Stimulated Cells  
The Journal of Cell Biology  1997;138(6):1265-1278.
The mechanisms through which the small GTPases Rac1 and Cdc42 regulate the formation of membrane ruffles, lamellipodia, and filopodia are currently unknown. The p21-activated kinases (PAKs) are direct targets of active Rac and Cdc42 which can induce the assembly of polarized cytoskeletal structures when expressed in fibroblasts, suggesting that they may play a role in mediating the effects of these GTPases on cytoskeletal dynamics.
We have examined the subcellular localization of endogenous PAK1 in fibroblast cell lines using specific PAK1 antibodies. PAK1 is detected in submembranous vesicles in both unstimulated and stimulated fibroblasts that colocalize with a marker for fluid-phase uptake. In cells stimulated with PDGF, in v-Src–transformed fibroblasts, and in wounded cells, PAK1 redistributed into dorsal and membrane ruffles and into the edges of lamellipodia, where it colocalizes with polymerized actin. PAK1 was also colocalized with F-actin in membrane ruffles extended as a response to constitutive activation of Rac1. PAK1 appears to precede F-actin in translocating to cytoskeletal structures formed at the cell periphery. The association of PAK1 with the actin cytoskeleton is prevented by the actin filament-disrupting agent cytochalasin D and by the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor wortmannin. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments demonstrate an in vivo interaction of PAK1 with filamentous (F)-actin in stimulated cells. Microinjection of a constitutively active PAK1 mutant into Rat-1 fibroblasts overexpressing the insulin receptor (HIRcB cells) induced the formation of F-actin- and PAK1-containing structures reminiscent of dorsal ruffles. These data indicate a close correlation between the subcellular distribution of endogenous PAK1 and the formation of Rac/Cdc42-dependent cytoskeletal structures and support an active role for PAK1 in regulating cortical actin rearrangements.
PMCID: PMC2132543  PMID: 9298982
24.  Palladin regulation of the actin structures needed for cancer invasion 
Cell Adhesion & Migration  2013;8(1):29-35.
Cell migration and invasion involve the formation of cell adhesion structures as well as the dynamic and spatial regulation of the cytoskeleton. The adhesive structures known as podosomes and invadopodia share a common role in cell motility, adhesion, and invasion, and form when the plasma membrane of motile cells undergoes highly regulated protrusions. Palladin, a molecular scaffold, co-localizes with actin-rich structures where it plays a role in their assembly and maintenance in a wide variety of cell lines. Palladin regulates actin cytoskeleton organization as well as cell adhesion formation. Moreover, palladin contributes to the invasive nature of cancer metastatic cells by regulating invadopodia formation. Palladin seems to regulate podosome and invodopodia formation through Rho GTPases, which are known as key players in coordinating the cellular responses required for cell migration and metastasis.
PMCID: PMC3974790  PMID: 24525547
Palladin; actin; invasion; invadopodia; podosome
25.  Akt2 Regulates Expression of the Actin-Bundling Protein Palladin 
FEBS letters  2010;584(23):4769-4774.
The PI 3-K/Akt pathway is responsible for key aspects of tumor progression, and is frequently hyperactivated in cancer. We have recently identified palladin, an actin-bundling protein that functions to control the actin cytoskeleton, as an Akt1-specific substrate that inhibits breast cancer cell migration. Here we have identified a role for Akt isoforms in the regulation of palladin expression. Akt2, but not Akt1, enhances palladin expression by maintaining protein stability and upregulating transcription. These data reveal that Akt signaling regulates the stability of palladin, and further supports the notion that Akt isoforms have distinct and specific roles in tumorigenesis.
PMCID: PMC2997733  PMID: 21050850
Akt isoform; palladin; protein stability; breast cancer

Results 1-25 (948047)