The small GTPases of the Rho family are intimately involved in integrin-mediated changes in the actin cytoskeleton that accompany cell spreading and motility. The exact means by which the Rho family members elicit these changes is unclear. Here, we demonstrate that the interaction of paxillin via its LD4 motif with the putative ARF-GAP paxillin kinase linker (PKL) (Turner et al., 1999), is critically involved in the regulation of Rac-dependent changes in the actin cytoskeleton that accompany cell spreading and motility. Overexpression of a paxillin LD4 deletion mutant (paxillinΔLD4) in CHO.K1 fibroblasts caused the generation of multiple broad lamellipodia. These morphological changes were accompanied by an increase in cell protrusiveness and random motility, which correlated with prolonged activation of Rac. In contrast, directional motility was inhibited. These alterations in morphology and motility were dependent on a paxillin–PKL interaction. In cells overexpressing paxillinΔLD4 mutants, PKL localization to focal contacts was disrupted, whereas that of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and vinculin was not. In addition, FAK activity during spreading was not compromised by deletion of the paxillin LD4 motif. Furthermore, overexpression of PKL mutants lacking the paxillin-binding site (PKLΔPBS2) induced phenotypic changes reminiscent of paxillinΔLD4 mutant cells. These data suggest that the paxillin association with PKL is essential for normal integrin-mediated cell spreading, and locomotion and that this interaction is necessary for the regulation of Rac activity during these events.
paxillin; PKL; LD motif; Rho family GTPases; cell spreading and motility
Coronins, WD-repeat actin-binding proteins, are known to regulate cell motility by coordinating actin filament turnover in lamellipodia of migrating cell. Here we report a novel mechanism of Coronin 1C-mediated cell motility that involves regulation of cell-matrix adhesion. RNAi silencing of Coronin 1C in intestinal epithelial cells enhanced cell migration and modulated lamellipodia dynamics by increasing the persistence of lamellipodial protrusion. Coronin 1C-depleted cells showed increased cell-matrix adhesions and enhanced cell spreading compared to control cells, while overexpression of Coronin 1C antagonized cell adhesion and spreading. Enhanced cell-matrix adhesion of coronin-deficient cells correlated with hyperphosphorylation of Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK) and paxillin, and an increase in number of focal adhesions and their redistribution at the cell periphery. siRNA depletion of FAK in coronin-deficient cells rescued the effects of Coronin 1C depletion on motility, cell-matrix adhesion, and spreading. Thus, our findings provide the first evidence that Coronin 1C negatively regulates epithelial cell migration via FAK-mediated inhibition of cell-matrix adhesion.
Coronin; FAK; motility; adhesion
The GTPase dynamin controls a variety of endocytic pathways, participates in the formation of phagosomes, podosomal adhesions, and invadopodia, and in regulation of the cytoskeleton and apoptosis. Rac, a member of the Rho family of small GTPases, controls formation of lamellipodia and focal complexes, which are critical in cell migration and phagocytosis. We now show that disruption of dynamin-2 function alters Rac localization and inhibits cell spreading and lamellipodia formation even though Rac is activated. Dominant-negative K44A dynamin-2 inhibited cell spreading and lamellipodia formation on fibronectin without blocking cell adhesion; dynamin-2 depletion by specific small interfering RNA inhibited lamellipodia in a similar manner. Dyn2(K44A) induced Rac mislocalization away from cell edges, into abnormal dorsal ruffles, and led to increased total Rac activity. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer imaging of Rac activity confirmed its predominant localization to aberrant dorsal ruffles in the presence of dominant-negative dyn2(K44A). Dyn2(K44A) induced the accumulation of tubulated structures bearing membrane-bound Rac-GFP. Constitutively active but not wild-type GFP-Rac was found on macropinosomes and Rac-dependent, platelet-derived growth factor-induced macropinocytosis was abolished by Dyn2(K44A) expression. These data suggest an indispensable role of dynamin in Rac trafficking to allow for lamellipodia formation and cell spreading.
Cell migration is of paramount importance to organism development and maintenance as well as multiple pathological processes, including cancer metastasis. The RhoGTPases Rac1 and RhoA are indispensable for cell migration as they regulate cell protrusion, cell-extracellular matrix (ECM) interactions and force transduction. However, the consequences of their activity at a molecular level within the cell remain undetermined. Using a combination of FRET, FRAP and biochemical analyses we show that the interactions between the focal adhesion proteins vinculin and paxillin, as well as the closely related family member Hic-5 are spatially and reciprocally regulated by the activity of Rac1 and RhoA. Vinculin in its active conformation interacts with either paxillin or Hic-5 in adhesions in response to Rac1 and RhoA activation respectively, while inactive vinculin interacts with paxillin in the membrane following Rac1 inhibition. Additionally, Rac1 specifically regulates the dynamics of paxillin as well as its binding partner and F-actin interacting protein actopaxin (α-parvin) in adhesions. Furthermore, FRET analysis of protein:protein interactions within cell adhesions formed in 3D matrices revealed that, in contrast to 2D systems vinculin interacts preferentially with Hic-5. This study provides new insight into the complexity of cell-ECM adhesions in both 2D and 3D matrices by providing the first description of RhoGTPase-coordinated protein:protein interactions in a cellular microenvironment. These data identify discrete roles for paxillin and Hic-5 in Rac1 and RhoA-dependent cell adhesion formation and maturation; processes essential for productive cell migration.
Paxillin is a prominent focal adhesion docking protein that regulates cell adhesion and migration. Although numerous paxillin-binding proteins have been identified and paxillin is required for normal embryogenesis, the precise mechanism by which paxillin functions in vivo has not yet been determined. We identified an ortholog of mammalian paxillin in Drosophila (Dpax) and have undertaken a genetic analysis of paxillin function during development. Overexpression of Dpax disrupted leg and wing development, suggesting a role for paxillin in imaginal disc morphogenesis. These defects may reflect a function for paxillin in regulation of Rho family GTPase signaling as paxillin interacts genetically with Rac and Rho in the developing eye. Moreover, a gain-of-function suppressor screen identified a genetic interaction between Dpax and cdi in wing development. cdi belongs to the cofilin kinase family, which includes the downstream Rho target, LIM kinase (LIMK). Significantly, strong genetic interactions were detected between Dpax and Dlimk, as well as downstream effectors of Dlimk. Supporting these genetic data, biochemical studies indicate that paxillin regulates Rac and Rho activity, positively regulating Rac and negatively regulating Rho. Taken together, these data indicate the importance of paxillin modulation of Rho family GTPases during development and identify the LIMK pathway as a critical target of paxillin-mediated Rho regulation.
Paxillin is a multi-domain scaffold protein that localizes to the intracellular surface of sites of cell adhesion to the extracellular matrix. Through the interactions of its multiple protein-protein binding modules, many of which are regulated by phosphorylation, paxillin serves as a platform for the recruitment of numerous regulatory and structural proteins that together control the dynamic changes in cell adhesion, cytoskeletal reorganization and gene expression that are necessary for cell migration and survival. In particular, paxillin plays a central role in coordinating the spatial and temporal action of the Rho family of small GTPases, which regulate the actin cytoskeleton by recruiting an array of GTPase activator, suppressor and effector proteins to cell adhesions. When paxillin was first described eighteen years ago, the amazing complexity of cell adhesion organization, dynamics and signaling was yet to be realized. Herein we highlight our current understanding of how paxillin’s multiple protein interactions contribute to the coordination of cell adhesion function.
Migrating cells are polarized with a protrusive lamella at the cell
front followed by the main cell body and a retractable tail at the rear
of the cell. The lamella terminates in ruffling lamellipodia that face
the direction of migration. Although the role of actin in the formation
of lamellipodia is well established, it remains unclear to what degree
microtubules contribute to this process. Herein, we have studied the
contribution of microtubules to cell motility by time-lapse video
microscopy on green flourescence protein-actin- and
tubulin-green fluorescence protein–transfected melanoma cells.
Treatment of cells with either the microtubule-disrupting agent
nocodazole or with the stabilizing agent taxol showed decreased
ruffling and lamellipodium formation. However, this was not due to an
intrinsic inability to form ruffles and lamellipodia because both were
restored by stimulation of cells with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate
in a Rac-dependent manner, and by stem cell factor in melanoblasts
expressing the receptor tyrosine kinase c-kit. Although ruffling and
lamellipodia were formed without microtubules, the microtubular network
was needed for advancement of the cell body and the subsequent
retraction of the tail. In conclusion, we demonstrate that the
formation of lamellipodia can occur via actin polymerization
independently of microtubules, but that microtubules are required for
cell migration, tail retraction, and modulation of cell adhesion.
Integrins can intercommunicate with cadherins. Here, we examined their possible relationship by use of small interfering RNA–mediated protein knockdown in HeLa cells. We found that a subset of integrin signaling molecules, namely Fak and paxillin, but not p130 Crk-associated substrate or proline-rich tyrosine kinase 2, participate in processes regulating N-cadherin–based cell–cell adhesion. Paxillin was found to be required primarily for the recruitment of Fak to robust focal adhesions. Our results suggest that at least some signals involving Fak are linked to a mechanism down-regulating Rac1 activity at the cell periphery, which appears to be important for the formation of N-cadherin–based adhesions in motile cells. Our analyses simultaneously exemplified the essential role of Fak in the maintenance of cell–cell adhesions in collective cell migration, a type of migration occurring in embryonic development and carcinoma invasion.
Fak; integrin; N-cadherin; paxillin; siRNA
Întegrins coordinate spatial signaling events essential for cell polarity and directed migration. Such signals from α4 integrins regulate cell migration in development and in leukocyte trafficking. Here, we report that efficient α4-mediated migration requires spatial control of α4 phosphorylation by protein kinase A, and hence localized inhibition of binding of the signaling adaptor, paxillin, to the integrin. In migrating cells, phosphorylated α4 accumulated along the leading edge. Blocking α4 phosphorylation by mutagenesis or by inhibition of protein kinase A drastically reduced α4-dependent migration and lamellipodial stability. α4 phosphorylation blocks paxillin binding in vitro; we now find that paxillin and phospho-α4 were in distinct clusters at the leading edge of migrating cells, whereas unphosphorylated α4 and paxillin colocalized along the lateral edges of those cells. Furthermore, enforced paxillin association with α4 inhibits migration and reduced lamellipodial stability. These results show that topographically specific integrin phosphorylation can control cell migration and polarization by spatial segregation of adaptor protein binding.
α4 integrin; paxillin; polarization; lamellipodia; PKA
The precise temporal-spatial regulation of the p21-activated serine-threonine kinase PAK at the plasma membrane is required for proper cytoskeletal reorganization and cell motility. However, the mechanism by which PAK localizes to focal adhesions has not yet been elucidated. Indirect binding of PAK to the focal adhesion protein paxillin via the Arf-GAP protein paxillin kinase linker (PKL) and PIX/Cool suggested a mechanism. In this report, we demonstrate an essential role for a paxillin–PKL interaction in the recruitment of activated PAK to focal adhesions. Similar to PAK, expression of activated Cdc42 and Rac1, but not RhoA, stimulated the translocation of PKL from a generally diffuse localization to focal adhesions. Expression of the PAK regulatory domain (PAK1–329) or the autoinhibitory domain (AID 83–149) induced PKL, PIX, and PAK localization to focal adhesions, indicating a role for PAK scaffold activation. We show PIX, but not NCK, binding to PAK is necessary for efficient focal adhesion localization of PAK and PKL, consistent with a PAK–PIX–PKL linkage. Although PAK activation is required, it is not sufficient for localization. The PKL amino terminus, containing the PIX-binding site, but lacking paxillin-binding subdomain 2 (PBS2), was unable to localize to focal adhesions and also abrogated PAK localization. An identical result was obtained after PKLΔPBS2 expression. Finally, neither PAK nor PKL was capable of localizing to focal adhesions in cells overexpressing paxillinΔLD4, confirming a requirement for this motif in recruitment of the PAK–PIX–PKL complex to focal adhesions. These results suggest a GTP-Cdc42/GTP-Rac triggered multistep activation cascade leading to the stimulation of the adaptor function of PAK, which through interaction with PIX provokes a functional PKL PBS2–paxillin LD4 association and consequent recruitment to focal adhesions. This mechanism is probably critical for the correct subcellular positioning of PAK, thereby influencing the ability of PAK to coordinate cytoskeletal reorganization associated with changes in cell shape and motility.
Continuous adhesion formation and disassembly (adhesion turnover) in the protrusions of migrating cells is regulated by unclear mechanisms. We show that p21-activated kinase (PAK)–induced phosphorylation of serine 273 in paxillin is a critical regulator of this turnover. Paxillin-S273 phosphorylation dramatically increases migration, protrusion, and adhesion turnover by increasing paxillin–GIT1 binding and promoting the localization of a GIT1–PIX–PAK signaling module near the leading edge. Mutants that interfere with the formation of this ternary module abrogate the effects of paxillin-S273 phosphorylation. PAK-dependent paxillin-S273 phosphorylation functions in a positive-feedback loop, as active PAK, active Rac, and myosin II activity are all downstream effectors of this turnover pathway. Finally, our studies led us to identify in highly motile cells a class of small adhesions that reside near the leading edge, turnover in 20–30 s, and resemble those seen with paxillin-S273 phosphorylation. These adhesions appear to be regulated by the GIT1–PIX–PAK module near the leading edge.
Identification of signaling molecules that regulate cell migration is important for understanding fundamental processes in development and the origin of various pathological conditions. The migration of Nara Bladder Tumor II (NBT-II) cells was used to determine which signaling molecules are specifically involved in the collagen-mediated locomotion. We show here that paxillin is tyrosine phosphorylated after induction of motility on collagen. Overexpression of paxillin mutants in which tyrosine 31 and/or tyrosine 118 were replaced by phenylalanine effectively impaired cell motility. Moreover, stimulation of motility by collagen preferentially enhanced the association of paxillin with the SH2 domain of the adaptor protein CrkII. Mutations in both tyrosine 31 and 118 diminished the phosphotyrosine content of paxillin and prevented the formation of the paxillin–Crk complex, suggesting that this association is necessary for collagen-mediated NBT-II cell migration. Other responses to collagen, such as cell adhesion and spreading, were not affected by these mutations. Overexpression of wild-type paxillin or Crk could bypass the migration-deficient phenotype. Both the SH2 and the SH3 domains of CrkII are shown to play a critical role in this collagen-mediated migration. These results demonstrate the important role of the paxillin–Crk complex in the collagen-induced cell motility.
cell migration; collagen; paxillin; tyrosine phosphorylation; Crk
Exposure to extracellular 5′-adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is known to induce membrane blebbing. In this study, we investigated the subcellular distribution of the cytoskeletal adaptor protein paxillin in primary bovine osteoblasts upon stimulation with ATP. Cells expressing a fusion protein of green fluorescent protein (GFP) and paxillin were followed by time-lapse video-microscopy after stimulation with 100 μM ATP. Within 100 s, GFP-paxillin became incorporated in numerous de novo formed focal aggregates localized at the cell periphery. The assembly of individual paxillin-containing aggregates occurred with a mean half-life time of <60 s, whereas their disassembly lasted twice as long. Despite the ongoing presence of ATP, the formation of paxillin aggregates was self-limiting within 25 min. Paxillin clustering was preceded by a transient rise in cytoplasmic calcium transients, which peaked already 20 s after adding ATP. The high mobility of paxillin was confirmed by measuring the dissociation rate of GFP-paxillin at mature focal adhesions, demonstrating the presence of a highly mobile fraction with a mean recovery half-life of 8.2 ± 1.2 s, followed by a slower phase (53 ± 20 s). Thus, both the exchange of paxillin at mature focal adhesions and the increase in intracellular calcium concentrations upon ATP stimulation are very rapid processes, which override the time course of ATP-induced paxillin membrane clustering by one to two orders of magnitude. Our data demonstrate that the transient recruitment of paxillin in membrane protuberances is based on the high intracytoplasmic mobility of unbound paxillin molecules and their rapid focal accumulation.
Paxillin; Focal adhesions; Bone remodelling; ATP; Osteoblast
Barrier-protective agonists induce association of focal adhesions (FA) and adherens junctions (AJ) in endothelial cells. Here we identified specific domains of FA protein paxillin interacting with AJ protein and examined regulation of paxillin domain interactions with β-catenin by Rac GTPase. Co-expression of paxillin LD-1,2; LD-3,4; LIM-1,2; and LIM-3,4 domains with β-catenin showed exclusive interaction of LIM-1,2 and LIM-3,4 with β-catenin, which was enhanced by agonist-induced Rac activation or expression of activated Rac mutant. These results demonstrate a novel function of paxillin LIM domains in targeting β-catenin in a Rac-dependent manner, which may play a role in Rac-dependent control of FA-AJ interactions and monolayer integrity.
Focal adhesions; adherens junctions; protein interactions; Rac GTPase
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.
We have previously identified poly(A)-binding protein 1 (PABP1) as a ligand for paxillin and shown that the paxillin-PABP1 complex undergoes nucleocytoplasmic shuttling. By targeting the paxillin-binding subdomain sequences in PABP1, we have generated mutants of PABP1 that do not bind to cellular paxillin. Here we report that paxillin association is necessary for efficient nuclear export of PABP1 and that RNA interference of paxillin drives the nuclear accumulation of PABP1. Furthermore, ablation of paxillin-PABP1 association impeded a number of indices of cell motility including spreading on fibronectin, cell migration on two-dimensional matrices, and transmigration in Boyden chambers. These data indicate that PABP1 must associate with paxillin in order to be efficiently transported from the nucleus to the cytoplasm and that this event is necessary for cells to remodel their focal adhesions during cell migration.
4-Hydroxycoumarin (4-HC) is a coumarin that lacks anticoagulant activity. 4-HC affects the cytoskeletal stability and decreases cell adhesion and motility of the melanoma cell line B16-F10. Together with integrins and other cytoskeletal proteins, paxillin participates in the regulation of cell adhesion and motility, acting as an adapter protein at focal adhesions. The present study determined the participation of paxillin in the reported effects of 4-HC and analyzed the role of paxillin in the formation of melanoma metastases.
4-HC decreased protein and mRNA levels of α- and β-paxillin isoforms in B16-F10 cells. Paxillin downregulation correlated with an inadequate translocation of paxillin to focal adhesions and a reduced phosphotyr118-paxillin pool. Consequently, 4-HC altered paxillin-mediated signaling, decreasing the phosphorylation of FAK and the level of GTP-bound Rac-1. These results partially explain the mechanism of the previously reported effects of 4-HC. Additionally, we studied the effect of 4-HC on metastatic potential of B16-F10 cells through experimental metastasis assays. In vitro treatment of cells with 4-HC inhibited their capability to originate pulmonary metastases. 4-HC did not affect cell proliferation or survival, demonstrating that its antimetastatic effect is unrelated to changes on cell viability. We also studied the importance of paxillin in metastasis by transfecting melanoma cells with paxillin-siRNA. Transfection produced a modest reduction on metastatic potential, indicating that: i) paxillin plays a role as inducer of melanoma metastasis; and ii) paxillin downregulation is not sufficient to explain the antimetastatic effect of 4-HC. Therefore, we evaluated other changes in gene expression by differential display RT-PCR analysis. Treatment with 4-HC produced a downregulation of Adhesion Regulating Molecule-1 (ARM-1), which correlated with a decreased adhesion of melanoma cells to lung slides.
This study shows that reduced paxillin expression is associated with the impaired cell adhesion and motility seen in 4-HC-treated cells and partially contributes to the antimetastatic effect of 4-HC. In contrast, the role of ARM-1 reduced expression in the effects of 4-HC is still to be clarified. The antimetastatic effect of 4-HC suggests that this compound, or others with similar mode of action, might be useful for the development of adjuvant therapies for melanoma.
The angiogenic potential of a cell requires dynamic reorganization of the cytoskeletal architecture that involves the interaction of urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) with the extracellular matrix. This study focuses on the effect of uPAR deficiency (uPAR-/-) on angiogenic function and associated cytoskeletal organization. Utilizing murine endothelial cells, it was observed that adhesion, migration, proliferation, and capillary tube formation were altered in uPAR-/- cells compared to wild-type (WT) cells. On a vitronectin (Vn) matrix, uPAR-/- cells acquired a "fried egg" morphology characterized by circular actin organization and lack of lamellipodia formation. The up-regulation of β1 integrin, FAK(P-Tyr925), and paxillin (P-Tyr118), and decreased Rac1 activation, suggested increased focal adhesions, but delayed focal adhesion turnover in uPAR-/- cells. This accounted for the enhanced adhesion, but attenuated migration, on Vn. VEGF-enriched Matrigel implants from uPAR-/- mice demonstrated a lack of mature vessel formation compared to WT mice. Collectively, these results indicate that a uPAR deficiency leads to decreased angiogenic functions of endothelial cells.
Paxillin acts as an adaptor molecule in integrin signaling. Paxillin is localized to focal contacts but seems to also exist in a relatively large cytoplasmic pool. Here, we report the identification of a new paxillin-binding protein, PAG3 (paxillin-associated protein with ADP-ribosylation factor [ARF] GTPase-activating protein [GAP] activity, number 3), which is involved in regulation of the subcellular localization of paxillin. PAG3 bound to all paxillin isoforms and was induced during monocyte maturation, at which time paxillin expression is also increased and integrins are activated. PAG3 was diffusely distributed in the cytoplasm in premature monocytes but became localized at cell periphery in mature monocytes, a fraction of which then colocalized with paxillin. PAG3, on the other hand, did not accumulate at focal adhesion plaques, suggesting that PAG3 is not an integrin assembly protein. PAG3 was identical to KIAA0400/Papα, which was previously identified as a Pyk2-binding protein bearing a GAP activity toward several ARFs in vitro. Mammalian ARFs fall into three classes, and we showed that all classes could affect subcellular localization of paxillin. We also examined possible interaction of PAG3 with ARFs and showed evidence that at least one of them, ARF6, seems to be an intracellular substrate for GAP activity of PAG3. Moreover, overexpression of PAG3, but not its GAP-inactive mutant, inhibited paxillin recruitment to focal contacts and hampered cell migratory activities, whereas cell adhesion activities were almost unaffected. Therefore, our results demonstrate that paxillin recruitment to focal adhesions is not mediated by simple cytoplasmic diffusion; rather, PAG3 appears to be involved in this process, possibly through its GAP activity toward ARF proteins. Our result thus delineates a new aspect of regulation of cell migratory activities.
Cell migration is regulated by processes that control adhesion to extracellular matrix (ECM) and force generation. While our fundamental understanding of how these control mechanisms are actuated at the molecular level (signal transduction) has been refined over many years, appreciation of their dynamics has grown more recently. Here, we formulate and analyze by stochastic simulation a quantitative model of signaling mediated by the integrin family of adhesion receptors. Nascent adhesions foster the activation of the small GTPase Rac by at least two distinct signaling pathways, one of which involves tyrosine phosphorylation of the scaffold protein paxillin and formation of multiprotein complexes containing the guanine nucleotide exchange factor DOCK180. Active Rac promotes protrusion of the cell’s leading edge, which in turn enhances the rate of nascent adhesion nucleation; we call this feedback mechanism the core protrusion cycle. Protrusion is antagonized by stable adhesions, which form by myosin-dependent maturation of nascent adhesions, and we propose here a feedforward mechanism mediated by the tyrosine kinase c-Src by which this antagonism is regulated so as to allow transient protrusion at higher densities of ECM. We show that this “buffering of inhibition” mechanism, coupled with the core protrusion cycle, is capable of tuning the frequencies of protrusion and adhesion maturation events.
Integrins; Focal adhesions; Signal transduction; Paxillin; Src-family kinases; Myosin
The ArfGAP paxillin kinase linker (PKL)/G protein-coupled receptor kinase-interacting protein (GIT)2 has been implicated in regulating cell spreading and motility through its transient recruitment of the p21-activated kinase (PAK) to focal adhesions. The Nck-PAK-PIX-PKL protein complex is recruited to focal adhesions by paxillin upon integrin engagement and Rac activation. In this report, we identify tyrosine-phosphorylated PKL as a protein that associates with the SH3-SH2 adaptor Nck, in a Src-dependent manner, after cell adhesion to fibronectin. Both cell adhesion and Rac activation stimulated PKL tyrosine phosphorylation. PKL is phosphorylated on tyrosine residues 286/392/592 by Src and/or FAK and these sites are required for PKL localization to focal adhesions and for paxillin binding. The absence of either FAK or Src-family kinases prevents PKL phosphorylation and suppresses localization of PKL but not GIT1 to focal adhesions after Rac activation. Expression of an activated FAK mutant in the absence of Src-family kinases partially restores PKL localization, suggesting that Src activation of FAK is required for PKL phosphorylation and localization. Overexpression of the nonphosphorylated GFP-PKL Triple YF mutant stimulates cell spreading and protrusiveness, similar to overexpression of a paxillin mutant that does not bind PKL, suggesting that failure to recruit PKL to focal adhesions interferes with normal cell spreading and motility.
Cell adhesion and motility is of fundamental importance during development, normal physiology and pathologic conditions such as tumor metastasis. Focal adhesion proteins and their dynamic interactions play a critical role in the regulation of directed cell migration upon exposure to extracellular guidance cues. Using a combination of pharmacological inhibitors, knockout and knockdown cells and mutant protein expression, we recently reported that following adhesion and growth factor stimulation the dynamic interaction between paxillin and PKL(GIT2) is regulated by Src/FAK-dependent phosphorylation of PKL and that this interaction is necessary for the coordination of Rho family GTPase signaling controlling front-rear cell polarity and thus directional migration. Herein, we discuss the implications of these observations.
FAK; Src; PTP-PEST; PIX; PAK; Arf6; Rac1; cell polarity; cell migration; tyrosine phosphorylation
Cdc42 and Rac family GTPases are important regulators of morphology, motility, and polarity in a variety of mammalian cell types. However, comprehensive analysis of their roles in the morphological and behavioral aspects of chemotaxis within a single experimental system is still lacking. Here we demonstrate using a direct viewing chemotaxis assay that of all of the Cdc42/Rac1-related GTPases expressed in primary fibroblasts, Cdc42, Rac1, and RhoG are required for efficient migration towards platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF). During migration, Cdc42-, Rac1-, and RhoG-deficient cells show aberrant morphology characterized as cell elongation and cell body rounding, loss of lamellipodia, and formation of thick membrane extensions, respectively. Analysis of individual cell trajectories reveals that cell speed is significantly reduced, as well as persistence, but to a smaller degree, while the directional response to the gradient of PDGF is not affected. Combined knockdown of Cdc42, Rac1, and RhoG results in greater inhibition of cell speed than when each protein is knocked down alone, but the cells are still capable of migrating toward PDGF. We conclude that, Cdc42, Rac1, and RhoG function cooperatively during cell migration and that, while each GTPase is implicated in the control of morphology and cell speed, these and other Cdc42/Rac-related GTPases are not essential for the directional response toward PDGF.
Directed cell migration requires the coordination of growth factor and cell adhesion signaling and is of fundamental importance during embryonic development, wound repair, and pathological conditions such as tumor metastasis. Herein, we demonstrate that the ArfGAP, paxillin-kinase-linker (PKL/GIT2), is tyrosine phosphorylated in response to platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) stimulation, in an adhesion dependent manner and is necessary for directed cell migration. Using a combination of pharmacological inhibitors, knockout cells and kinase mutants, FAK, and Src family kinases were shown to mediate PDGF-dependent PKL tyrosine phosphorylation. In fibroblasts, expression of a PKL mutant lacking the principal tyrosine phosphorylation sites resulted in loss of wound-induced cell polarization as well as directional migration. PKL phosphorylation was necessary for PDGF-stimulated PKL binding to the focal adhesion protein paxillin and expression of paxillin or PKL mutants defective in their respective binding motifs recapitulated the polarization defects. RNA interference or expression of phosphorylation mutants of PKL resulted in disregulation of PDGF-stimulated Rac1 and PAK activities, reduction of Cdc42 and Erk signaling, as well as mislocalization of βPIX. Together these studies position PKL as an integral component of growth factor and cell adhesion cross-talk signaling, controlling the development of front–rear cell polarity and directional cell migration.
MDA-MB-231 cells are highly aggressive human breast adenocarcinoma cells that depend on PLD activity for survival. In response to the stress of serum withdrawal, there is increased motility and invasiveness of these cells that is associated with a rapid increase in PLD activity. In addition, PLD activity is elevated in response to most mitogenic signals. Similar to PLD, paxillin, a focal adhesion adaptor protein, and Erk, mitogen-activated protein kinase, play vital roles in cell motility through regulation of focal adhesion dynamics. Here, we addressed whether there is a functional correlation between paxillin and PLD that may influence cancer cell motility. We investigated the role of PLD activity on paxillin regulation, Erk activation and formation of a paxillin-Erk and paxillin-FAK association. Inhibition of PLD activity led to an increase in paxillin tyrosine phosphorylation, a decrease in Erk activation, as measured by phosphorylation, and enhanced association of paxillin with Erk. In addition, we found that paxillin tyrosine phosphorylation depends upon Erk activity and may be a consequence of an increased association with FAK. Taken together, these results suggest that Erk activity is governed by PLD activity and regulates the tyrosine phosphorylation of paxillin, potentially explaining its role in cell motility. This study indicated that PLD, Erk, paxillin and FAK participate in the same signaling pathway in this breast cancer cell line.