Chemokine binding to cognate receptors induces actin dynamics that are a major driving force for T cell migration and chemotactic motility. HIV-1 binding to the chemokine coreceptor CXCR4 initiates chemotactic signaling, mimicking chemokine-induced actin dynamics to facilitate infection processes such as entry, early DNA synthesis, and nuclear migration. Recently, we identified that HIV-triggered early actin polymerization is mediated through the Rac1-PAK1/2-LIMK1-cofilin pathway. Inhibition of LIMK1 (LIM domain kinase 1), a kinase phosphorylating cofilin, through shRNA knockdown decreases actin polymerization and T cell chemotaxis toward SDF-1. The LIMK1 knockdown T cells also supported lower viral entry, DNA synthesis and nuclear migration, suggesting a critical role of LIMK1-mediated actin dynamics in the initiation of HIV-1 infection. Surprisingly, LIMK1 knockdown in CEM-SS T cells did not lead to an overall change in the ratio of phospho-cofilin to total cofilin although there was a measurable decrease in the amount of actin filaments in cells. The decrease in filamentous actin in LIMK1 knockdown cells was found to mainly occur in polarized cap region rich in F-actin. These results suggest that LIMK1 may be involved in spontaneous actin polarization in transformed T cells. The inhibition of T cell chemotaxis by LIMK1 knockdown likely result from inhibition of localized LIMK1 activation and cofilin phosphorylation that are required for polarized actin polymerization for directional cell migration. The inhibition of HIV-1 infection by LIMK1 knockdown may also result from the decrease of actin-rich membrane protrusions that may be preferred viral entry sites in T cells.
LIMK1; cofilin; chemotaxis; SDF-1; CXCR4; HIV-1; CD4 T cells; Rac1; Pak1; Pak2
It is known that retinoid receptor function is attenuated during T cell activation, a phenomenon that involves actin remodeling, suggesting that actin modification may play a role in such inhibition. Here we have investigated the role of actin dynamics and the effect of actin cytoskeleton modifying agents on retinoid receptor-mediated transactivation.
Agents that disturb the F-actin assembly or disassembly attenuated receptor-mediated transcription indicating that actin cytoskeletal homeostasis is important for retinoid receptor function. Overexpression or siRNA-induced knockdown of cofilin-1 (CFL1), a key regulator of F-actin assembly, induced the loss of receptor function. In addition, expression of either constitutively active or inactive/dominant-negative mutants of CFL1or CFL1 kinase LIMK1 induced loss of receptor function suggesting a critical role of the LIMK1-mediated CFL1 pathway in receptor-dependent transcription. Further evidence of the role of LMK1/CFL1-mediated actin dynamics, was provided by studying the effect of Nef, an actin modifying HIV-1 protein, on receptor function. Expression of Nef induced phosphorylation of CFL1 at serine 3 and LIMK1 at threonine 508, inhibited retinoid-receptor mediated reporter activity, and the expression of a number of genes that contain retinoid receptor binding sites in their promoters. The results suggest that the Nef-mediated inhibition of receptor function encompasses deregulation of actin filament dynamics by LIMK1 activation and phosphorylation of CFL1.
We have identified a critical role of LIMK1-mediated CFL1 pathway and actin dynamics in modulating retinoid receptor mediated function and shown that LIMK1-mediated phosphocycling of CFL1 plays a crucial role in maintaining actin homeostasis and receptor activity. We suggest that T cell activation-induced repression of nuclear receptor-dependent transactivation is in part through the modification of actin dynamics.
Actin plays important roles in a number of synaptic processes, including synaptic vesicle organization and exocytosis, mobility of postsynaptic receptors, and synaptic plasticity. However, little is known about the mechanisms that control actin at synapses. Actin dynamics crucially depend on LIM kinase 1 (LIMK1) that controls the activity of the actin depolymerizing proteins of the ADF/cofilin family. While analyses of mouse mutants revealed the importance of LIMK1 for both pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms, the ADF/cofilin family member n-cofilin appears to be relevant merely for postsynaptic plasticity, and not for presynaptic physiology. By means of immunogold electron microscopy and immunocytochemistry, we here demonstrate the presence of ADF (actin depolymerizing factor), a close homolog of n-cofilin, in excitatory synapses, where it is particularly enriched in presynaptic terminals. Surprisingly, genetic ablation of ADF in mice had no adverse effects on synapse structure or density as assessed by electron microscopy and by the morphological analysis of Golgi-stained hippocampal pyramidal cells. Moreover, a series of electrophysiological recordings in acute hippocampal slices revealed that presynaptic recruitment and exocytosis of synaptic vesicles as well as postsynaptic plasticity were unchanged in ADF mutant mice. The lack of synaptic defects may be explained by the elevated n-cofilin levels observed in synaptic structures of ADF mutants. Indeed, synaptic actin regulation was impaired in compound mutants lacking both ADF and n-cofilin, but not in ADF single mutants. From our results we conclude that n-cofilin can compensate for the loss of ADF in excitatory synapses. Further, our data suggest that ADF and n-cofilin cooperate in controlling synaptic actin content.
ADF/cofilin proteins are key regulators of actin dynamics. Their function is inhibited by LIMK-mediated phosphorylation at Ser-3. Previous in vitro studies have shown that dependent on its concentration, cofilin either depolymerizes F-actin (at low cofilin concentrations) or promotes actin polymerization (at high cofilin concentrations).
We found that after in vivo cross-linking with different probes, a cofilin oligomer (65 kDa) could be detected in platelets and endothelial cells. The cofilin oligomer did not contain actin. Notably, ADF that only depolymerizes F-actin was present mainly in monomeric form. Furthermore, we found that formation of the cofilin oligomer is regulated by Ser-3 cofilin phosphorylation. Cofilin but not phosphorylated cofilin was present in the endogenous cofilin oligomer. In vitro, formation of cofilin oligomers was drastically reduced after phosphorylation by LIMK2. In endothelial cells, LIMK-mediated cofilin phosphorylation after thrombin-stimulation of EGFP- or DsRed2-tagged cofilin transfected cells reduced cofilin aggregate formation, whereas inhibition of cofilin phosphorylation after Rho-kinase inhibitor (Y27632) treatment of endothelial cells promoted formation of cofilin aggregates. In platelets, cofilin dephosphorylation after thrombin-stimulation and Y27632 treatment led to an increased formation of the cofilin oligomer.
Based on our results, we propose that an equilibrium exists between the monomeric and oligomeric forms of cofilin in intact cells that is regulated by cofilin phosphorylation. Cofilin phosphorylation at Ser-3 may induce conformational changes on the protein-protein interacting surface of the cofilin oligomer, thereby preventing and/or disrupting cofilin oligomer formation. Cofilin oligomerization might explain the dual action of cofilin on actin dynamics in vivo.
Bone morphogenic proteins (BMPs) are involved in axon pathfinding, but how they guide growth cones remains elusive. In this study, we report that a BMP7 gradient elicits bidirectional turning responses from nerve growth cones by acting through LIM kinase (LIMK) and Slingshot (SSH) phosphatase to regulate actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin-mediated actin dynamics. Xenopus laevis growth cones from 4–8-h cultured neurons are attracted to BMP7 gradients but become repelled by BMP7 after overnight culture. The attraction and repulsion are mediated by LIMK and SSH, respectively, which oppositely regulate the phosphorylation-dependent asymmetric activity of ADF/cofilin to control the actin dynamics and growth cone steering. The attraction to repulsion switching requires the expression of a transient receptor potential (TRP) channel TRPC1 and involves Ca2+ signaling through calcineurin phosphatase for SSH activation and growth cone repulsion. Together, we show that spatial regulation of ADF/cofilin activity controls the directional responses of the growth cone to BMP7, and Ca2+ influx through TRPC tilts the LIMK-SSH balance toward SSH-mediated repulsion.
The small GTPase RhoA controls activity of serum response factor (SRF) by inducing changes in actin dynamics. We show that in PC12 cells, activation of SRF after serum stimulation is RhoA dependent, requiring both actin polymerization and the Rho kinase (ROCK)–LIM kinase (LIMK)–cofilin signaling pathway, previously shown to control F-actin turnover. Activation of SRF by overexpression of wild-type LIMK or ROCK-insensitive LIMK mutants also requires functional RhoA, indicating that a second RhoA-dependent signal is involved. This is provided by the RhoA effector mDia: dominant interfering mDia1 derivatives inhibit both serum- and LIMK-induced SRF activation and reduce the ability of LIMK to induce F-actin accumulation. These results demonstrate a role for LIMK in SRF activation, and functional cooperation between RhoA-controlled LIMK and mDia effector pathways.
LIM kinase; mDia; ROCK; actin; SRF
The polarity protein Par-3 plays critical roles in axon specification and the establishment of epithelial apico-basal polarity. Par-3 associates with Par-6 and atypical protein kinase C and is required for the proper assembly of tight junctions, but the molecular basis for its functions is poorly understood. We now report that depletion of Par-3 elevates the phosphorylated pool of cofilin, a key regulator of actin dynamics. Expression of a nonphosphorylatable mutant of cofilin partially rescues tight junction assembly in cells lacking Par-3, as does the depletion of LIM kinase 2 (LIMK2), an upstream kinase for cofilin. Par-3 binds to LIMK2 but not to the related kinase LIMK1. Par-3 inhibits LIMK2 activity in vitro, and overexpressed Par-3 suppresses cofilin phosphorylation that is induced by lysophosphatidic acid. Our findings identify LIMK2 as a novel target of Par-3 and uncover a molecular mechanism by which Par-3 could regulate actin dynamics during cell polarization.
Stromal cell-derived factor 1 α (SDF-1α), the ligand for G-protein-coupled receptor CXCR4, is a chemotactic factor for T lymphocytes. LIM kinase 1 (LIMK1) phosphorylates cofilin, an actin-depolymerizing and -severing protein, at Ser-3 and regulates actin reorganization. We investigated the role of cofilin phosphorylation by LIMK1 in SDF-1α-induced chemotaxis of T lymphocytes. SDF-1α significantly induced the activation of LIMK1 in Jurkat human leukemic T cells and peripheral blood lymphocytes. SDF-1α also induced cofilin phosphorylation, actin reorganization, and activation of small GTPases, Rho, Rac, and Cdc42, in Jurkat cells. Pretreatment with pertussis toxin inhibited SDF-1α-induced LIMK1 activation, thus indicating that Gi protein is involved in LIMK1 activation. Expression of dominant negative Rac (DN-Rac), but not DN-Rho or DN-Cdc42, blocked SDF-1α-induced activation of LIMK1, which means that SDF-1α-induced LIMK1 activation is mediated by Rac but not by Rho or Cdc42. We used a cell-permeable peptide (S3 peptide) that contains the phosphorylation site (Ser-3) of cofilin to inhibit the cellular function of LIMK1. S3 peptide inhibited the kinase activity of LIMK1 in vitro. Treatment of Jurkat cells with S3 peptide inhibited the SDF-1α-induced cofilin phosphorylation, actin reorganization, and chemotactic response of Jurkat cells. These results suggest that the phosphorylation of cofilin by LIMK1 plays a critical role in the SDF-1α-induced chemotactic response of T lymphocytes.
Cofilin mediates lamellipodium extension and polarized cell migration by accelerating actin filament dynamics at the leading edge of migrating cells. Cofilin is inactivated by LIM kinase (LIMK)–1-mediated phosphorylation and is reactivated by cofilin phosphatase Slingshot (SSH)-1L. In this study, we show that cofilin activity is temporally and spatially regulated by LIMK1 and SSH1L in chemokine-stimulated Jurkat T cells. The knockdown of LIMK1 suppressed chemokine-induced lamellipodium formation and cell migration, whereas SSH1L knockdown produced and retained multiple lamellipodial protrusions around the cell after cell stimulation and impaired directional cell migration. Our results indicate that LIMK1 is required for cell migration by stimulating lamellipodium formation in the initial stages of cell response and that SSH1L is crucially involved in directional cell migration by restricting the membrane protrusion to one direction and locally stimulating cofilin activity in the lamellipodium in the front of the migrating cell. We propose that LIMK1- and SSH1L-mediated spatiotemporal regulation of cofilin activity is critical for chemokine-induced polarized lamellipodium formation and directional cell movement.
Cofilin is the major mediator of actin filament turnover in vivo. However, the molecular mechanism of cofilin recruitment to actin networks during dynamic actin-mediated processes in living cells and cofilin's precise in vivo functions have not been determined. In this study, we analyzed the dynamics of fluorescently tagged cofilin and the role of cofilin-mediated actin turnover during endocytosis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In living cells, cofilin is not necessary for actin assembly on endocytic membranes but is recruited to molecularly aged adenosine diphosphate actin filaments and is necessary for their rapid disassembly. Defects in cofilin function alter the morphology of actin networks in vivo and reduce the rate of actin flux through actin networks. The consequences of decreasing actin flux are manifested by decreased but not blocked endocytic internalization at the plasma membrane and defects in late steps of membrane trafficking to the vacuole. These results suggest that cofilin-mediated actin filament flux is required for the multiple steps of endocytic trafficking.
Neurofibromin regulates cell motility via three distinct GTPase pathways acting through two different domains, the Ras GTPase-activating protein-related domain (GRD) and the pre-GRD domain. First, the GRD domain inhibits Ras-dependent changes in cell motility through the mitogen activated protein cascade. Second, it also regulates Rho-dependent (Ras-independent) changes by activating LIM kinase 2 (LIMK2), an enzyme that phosphorylates and inactivates cofilin (an actin-depolymerizing factor). Third, the pre-GRD domain acts through the Rac1 GTPase, that activate the P21 activated kinase 1 (PAK1)-LIMK1-cofilin pathway. We employed molecular modeling to identify a novel inhibitor of LIMK1/2. The active sites of an ephrin-A receptor (EphA3) and LIMK2 showed marked similarity (60%). On testing a known inhibitor of EphA3, we found that it fits to the LIMK1/2-ATP binding site and to the latter's substrate-binding pockets. We identified a similar compound, T56-LIMKi, and found that it inhibits LIMK1/2 kinase activities. It blocked the phosphorylation of cofilin which led to actin severance and inhibition of tumor cell migration, tumor cell growth, and anchorage-independent colony formation in soft agar. Because modulation of LIMK by neurofibromin is not affected by the Ras inhibitor Salirasib, we examined the combined effect of Salirasib and T56-LIMKi each of which can affect cell motility by a distinct pathway. We found that their combined action on cell proliferation and stress-fiber formation in neurofibromin-deficient cells was synergistic. We suggest that this drug combination may be developed for treatment of neurofibromatosis and cancer.
Cofilin; Ras; Rac; Rho; LIMK
Dendritic spines undergo actin-based growth and shrinkage during synaptic plasticity. The actin depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin family of actin-associated proteins plays important roles in spine plasticity. Elevated ADF/cofilin activities often lead to reduced spine size and immature spine morphology, but can enhance synaptic potentiation in some cases. Therefore ADF/cofilin may exert distinct effects on postsynaptic structure and function. Here we report that ADF/cofilin-mediated actin dynamics regulate AMPA receptor (AMPAR) trafficking during synaptic potentiation, which is distinct from actin's structural role in spine morphology. We find that elevated ADF/cofilin activity markedly enhances surface addition of AMPARs after chemically-induced LTP (cLTP), whereas inhibition of ADF/cofilin abolishes AMPAR addition. Our data further show that cLTP elicits a temporal sequence of ADF/cofilin dephosphorylation and phosphorylation that underlies AMPAR trafficking and spine enlargement. These findings suggest a novel role for temporally-regulated ADF/cofilin activities in postsynaptic modifications of receptor number and spine size during synaptic plasticity.
ADF/cofilin; postsynaptic receptor trafficking; actin dynamics; synapse
Cellular stimuli generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) via the local action of NADPH oxidases (Nox) to modulate cytoskeletal organization and cell migration through unknown mechanisms. Cofilin is a major regulator of cellular actin dynamics whose activity is controlled by phosphorylation/dephosphorylation at Ser3. Here we show that Slingshot-1L (SSH-1L), a selective cofilin regulatory phosphatase, is involved in H2O2-induced cofilin dephosphorylation and activation. SSH-1L is activated by its release from a regulatory complex with 14-3-3ζ protein through the redox-mediated oxidation of 14-3-3ζ by H2O2. The ROS-dependent activation of the SSH-1L-cofilin pathway stimulates the SSH-1L–dependent formation of cofilin-actin rods in cofilin-GFP–expressing HeLa cells. Similarly, the formation of endogenous ROS stimulated by angiotensin II (AngII) also activates the SSH-1L-cofilin pathway via oxidation of 14-3-3ζ to increase AngII-induced membrane ruffling and cell motility. These results suggest that the formation of ROS by NADPH oxidases engages a SSH-1L-cofilin pathway to regulate cytoskeletal organization and cell migration.
Binding of the HIV envelope to the chemokine coreceptors triggers membrane fusion and signal transduction. The fusion process has been well characterized, yet the role of coreceptor signaling remains elusive. Here we describe a critical function of the chemokine coreceptor signaling in facilitating HIV infection of resting CD4 T cells. We find that static cortical actin in resting T cells represents a restriction, and HIV utilizes the Gαi-dependent signaling from the chemokine coreceptor CXCR4 to activate a cellular actin depolymerizing factor, cofilin, to overcome this restriction. HIV envelope-mediated cofilin activation and actin dynamics are important for a post entry process that leads to viral nuclear localization. Inhibition of HIV-mediated actin rearrangement markedly diminishes viral latent infection of resting T cells. Conversely, induction of active cofilin greatly facilitates it. These findings shed new light on viral exploitation of cellular machinery in resting T cells, where chemokine receptor signaling becomes obligatory.
We previously provided evidence that cadherin-6B induces de-epithelialization of the neural crest prior to delamination and is required for the overall epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT). Furthermore, de-epithelialization induced by cadherin-6B was found to be mediated by BMP receptor signaling independent of BMP. We now find that de-epithelialization is mediated by non-canonical BMP signaling through the BMP type II receptor (BMPRII) and not by canonical Smad dependent signaling through BMP Type I receptor. The LIM kinase/cofilin pathway mediates non-canonical BMPRII induced de-epithelialization, in response to either cadherin-6B or BMP. LIMK1 induces de-epithelialization in the neural tube and dominant negative LIMK1 decreases de-epithelialization induced by either cadherin-6B or BMP. Cofilin is the major known LIMK1 target and a S3A phosphorylation deficient mutated cofilin inhibits de-epithelialization induced by cadherin-6B as well as LIMK1. Importantly, LIMK1 as well as cadherin-6B can trigger ectopic delamination when co-expressed with the competence factor SOX9, showing that this cadherin-6B stimulated signaling pathway can mediate the full EMT in the appropriate context. These findings suggest that the de-epithelialization step of the neural crest EMT by cadherin-6B/BMPRII involves regulation of actin dynamics via LIMK/cofilin.
EMT; Cadherin-6B; BMP; Non-canonical; LIMK; Cofilin; Neural Crest
Most in vivo studies that have addressed the role of actin dynamics in NADPH oxidase function in phagocytes have used toxins to modulate the polymerization state of actin and mostly effects on actin has been evaluated by end point measurements of filamentous actin, which says little about actin dynamics, and without consideration for the subcellular distribution of the perturbed actin cytoskeleton.
Here, we in addition to toxins use conditional expression of the major actin regulatory protein LIM kinase-1 (LIMK1), and shRNA knock-down of cofilin to modulate the cellular F/G-actin ratio in the Ra2 microglia cell line, and we use Fluorescence Recovery after Photobleaching (FRAP) in β-actin-YFP-transduced cells to obtain a dynamic measure of actin recovery rates (actin turn-over rates) in different F/G-actin states of the actin cytoskeleton. Our data demonstrate that stimulated NADPH oxidase function was severely impaired only at extreme actin recovery rates and F/G-actin ratios, and surprisingly, that any moderate changes of these parameters of the actin cytoskeleton invariably resulted in an increased NADPH oxidase activity.
moderate actin polymerization and depolymerization both increase the FMLP and PMA-stimulated NADPH oxidase activity of microglia, which is directly correlated with neither actin recovery rate nor F/G- actin ratio. Our results indicate that NADPH oxidase functions in an enhanced state of activity in stimulated phagocytes despite widely different states of the actin cytoskeleton.
Postsynaptic receptor localization is crucial for synapse development and function, but the underlying cytoskeletal mechanisms remain elusive. Using Xenopus neuromuscular junctions as a model, we here report that actin depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin regulates actin-dependent vesicular trafficking of acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) to the postsynaptic membrane. We found that active ADF/cofilin was concentrated in small puncta adjacent to AChR clusters and spatiotemporally correlated with the formation and maintenance of surface AChR clusters. Importantly, increased actin dynamics, vesicular markers, and intracellular AChRs were all enriched at the sites of ADF/cofilin localization. Furthermore, a substantial amount of new AChRs was detected at these ADF/cofilin-enriched sites. Manipulation of either ADF/cofilin activity through its serine-3 phosphorylation or ADF/cofilin localization via 14-3-3 proteins markedly attenuated AChR insertion and clustering. These results suggest that spatiotemporally restricted ADF/cofilin-mediated actin dynamics regulate AChR trafficking during the development of neuromuscular synapses.
ADF/cofilin; receptor trafficking; actin dynamics; neuromuscular junction; synapse
Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) regulate multiple cellular processes, including cell differentiation and migration. Their signals are transduced by the kinase receptors BMPR-I and BMPR-II, leading to Smad transcription factor activation via BMPR-I. LIM kinase (LIMK) 1 is a key regulator of actin dynamics as it phosphorylates and inactivates cofilin, an actin depolymerizing factor. During a search for LIMK1-interacting proteins, we isolated clones encompassing the tail region of BMPR-II. Although the BMPR-II tail is not involved in BMP signaling via Smad proteins, mutations truncating this domain are present in patients with primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH). Further analysis revealed that the interaction between LIMK1 and BMPR-II inhibited LIMK1's ability to phosphorylate cofilin, which could then be alleviated by addition of BMP4. A BMPR-II mutant containing the smallest COOH-terminal truncation described in PPH failed to bind or inhibit LIMK1. This study identifies the first function of the BMPR-II tail domain and suggests that the deregulation of actin dynamics may contribute to the etiology of PPH.
LIM kinase 1; BMPR-II; cytoskeleton; F-actin; cofilin
Dynamic changes in the actin cytoskeleton are essential for immune cell function and a number of immune deficiencies have been linked to mutations, which disturb the actin cytoskeleton. In macrophages and dendritic cells, actin remodelling is critical for motility, phagocytosis and antigen presentation, however the actin binding proteins, which control antigen presentation have been poorly characterized. Here we dissect the specific roles of the family of ADF/cofilin F-actin depolymerizing factors in macrophages and in local immune responses.
Macrophage migration, cell polarization and antigen presentation to T-cells require n-cofilin mediated F-actin remodelling. Using a conditional mouse model, we show that n-cofilin also controls MHC class II-dependent antigen presentation. Other cellular processes such as phagocytosis and antigen processing were found to be independent of n-cofilin. Our data identify n-cofilin as a novel regulator of antigen presentation, while ADF on the other hand is dispensable for macrophage motility and antigen presentation.
The ovarian hormone estrogen increases the axospinous synapse density in the hippocampal CA1 region of young female rats but fails to do so in aged rats. This estrogen-mediated alteration of spine synapse structures suggests the coincident requirement for the structural reorganization of the underlying actin cytoskeleton network. Actin reorganization is known to require the deactivation of Cofilin, an actin depolymerization factor. Cofilin is deactivated by LIM Kinase (LIMK), and LIMK activity is modulated by the phosphorylation of specific residues. We have previously demonstrated that estrogen is able to increase phosphorylated LIMK (pLIMK) immunoreactivity (IR) in the hippocampus in vivo and that this estrogen-stimulated pLIMK-IR is decreased in the aged brain. Because Cofilin phosphorylation allows for actin filament elongation and spine synapse growth, we sought to determine if estrogen acts through Cofilin and if such estrogen action requires the observed LIMK activity. Using both hippocampal neurons and the NG108-15 neuroblastoma cell line, we demonstrate here that estrogen stimulates the phosphorylation of Cofilin in vitro. Furthermore, this estrogen action on Cofilin requires LIMK. Lastly, while initiating the phosphorylation of LIMK and Cofilin, estrogen can also stimulate the formation of filopodial extensions, an early step in the formation of nascent spines, demonstrating that estrogen can alter the actin-dependent neuronal morphology. This linkage of estrogen communication to Cofilin via LIMK provides the functionality to the age-sensitive pLIMK-IR that we have observed in vivo.
Cofilin is a member of the actin depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin family, which regulates actin dynamics. Increasing evidence suggests that mitochondrial translocation of cofilin appears necessary for the regulation of apoptosis.
We report that allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) potently induces mitochondria injury and apoptosis. These events were accompanied by a loss of polymerized filamentous actin (F-actin) and increase in unpolymerized globular actin (G-actin). AITC also induces dephosphorylation of cofilin through activation of PP1 and PP2A. Only dephosphorylated cofilin binds to G-actin and translocates to mitochondria during AITC-mediated apoptosis. Mechanistic study revealed that interruption of ROCK1/PTEN/PI3K signaling pathway plays a critical role in AITC-mediated dephosphorylation and mitochondrial translocation of cofilin and apoptosis. Our in vivo study also showed that AITC-mediated inhibition of tumor growth of mouse leukemia xenograft model is in association with dephosphorylation of cofilin.
These findings support a model in which induction of apoptosis by AITC stems primarily from activation of ROCK1 and PTEN, and inactivation of PI3K, leading in turn to activation of PP1 and PP2A, resulting in dephosphorylation of cofilin, which binds to G-actin and translocates to mitochondria, culminating in the dysfunction of mitochondria, release of cytochrome c and apoptosis.
Allyl isothiocyanate; Apoptosis; Cofilin; ROCK1; PI3K; Leukemia
Cofilin is a major regulator of actin dynamics involved in the regulation of cell spreading and migration through its actin depolymerizing and severing activities. V-Src is an activated Src tyrosine kinase and a potent oncogene known to phosphorylate a variety of cellular proteins in cell transformation process including altered cell adhesion, spreading and migration. Recently, it has been suggested that cofilin is a potential substrate of v-Src (Rush et al., 2005). Here, we show direct tyrosine phosphorylation of cofilin by v-Src and identify Y68 as the major phosphorylation site. Cofilin phosphorylation at Y68 did not change its activity per se, but induced increased ubiquitination of cofilin and its degradation through the proteosome pathway. Furthermore, the negative effect of cofilin on cellular F-actin contents was inhibited by co-expression of v-Src, whereas that of cofilin mutant Y68F (Y68 mutated to F) was not affected, suggesting that v-Src-mediated cofilin phosphorylation at Y68 is required for degradation of cofilin in vivo. Lastly, inhibition of cell spreading by v-Src was rescued partially by co-expression of cofilin, and to a greater extent by the Y68F mutant which is not subjected to v-Src induced degradation through phosphorylation, suggesting that v-Src mediated changes in cell spreading is, at least in part, through inhibiting the function of cofilin via phosphorylating it at Y68. Together, these results suggest a novel mechanism by which cofilin is regulated by v-Src through tyrosine phosphorylation at Y68 that triggers degradation of cofilin via ubiquitination-proteosome pathway and consequently inhibits cofilin activity in reducing cellular F-actin contents and cell spreading.
cofilin; protein phosphorylation; protein degradation; cell spreading
Myelination is a complex process requiring coordination of directional motility and an increase in glial cell size to generate a multilamellar myelin sheath. Regulation of actin dynamics during myelination is poorly understood. However, it is known that myelin thickness is related to the abundance of neuregulin-1 (NRG1) expressed on the axon surface. Here we identify cofilin1, an actin depolymerizing and severing protein, as a downstream target of NRG1 signaling in rat Schwann cells (SCs). In isolated SCs, NRG1 promotes dephosphorylation of cofilin1 and its upstream regulators, LIM kinase (LIMK) and Slingshot-1 phosphatase (SSH1), leading to cofilin1 activation and recruitment to the leading edge of the plasma membrane. These changes are associated with rapid membrane expansion yielding a 35–50% increase in SC size within 30 min. Cofilin1-deficient SCs increase phosphorylation of ErbB2, ERK, focal adhesion kinase, and paxillin in response to NRG1, but fail to increase in size possibly due to stabilization of unusually long focal adhesions. Cofilin1-deficient SCs cocultured with sensory neurons do not myelinate. Ultrastructural analysis reveals that they unsuccessfully segregate or engage axons and form only patchy basal lamina. After 48 h of coculturing with neurons, cofilin1-deficient SCs do not align or elongate on axons and often form adhesions with the underlying substrate. This study identifies cofilin1 and its upstream regulators, LIMK and SSH1, as end targets of a NRG1 signaling pathway and demonstrates that cofilin1 is necessary for dynamic changes in the cytoskeleton needed for axon engagement and myelination by SCs.
In metastatic rat mammary adenocarcinoma cells, cell motility can be induced by epidermal growth factor. One of the early events in this process is the massive generation of actin barbed ends, which elongate to form filaments immediately adjacent to the plasma membrane at the tip of the leading edge. As a result, the membrane moves outward and forms a protrusion. To test the involvement of ADF/cofilin in the stimulus-induced barbed end generation at the leading edge, we inhibited ADF/cofilin's activity in vivo by increasing its phosphorylation level using the kinase domain of LIM-kinase 1 (GFP-K). We report here that expression of GFP-K in rat cells results in the near total phosphorylation of ADF/cofilin, without changing either the G/F-actin ratio or signaling from the EGF receptor in vivo. Phosphorylation of ADF/cofilin is sufficient to completely inhibit the appearance of barbed ends and lamellipod protrusion, even in the continued presence of abundant G-actin. Coexpression of GFP-K, together with an active, nonphosphorylatable mutant of cofilin (S3A cofilin), rescues barbed end formation and lamellipod protrusion, indicating that the effects of kinase expression are caused by the phosphorylation of ADF/cofilin. These results indicate a direct role for ADF/cofilin in the generation of the barbed ends that are required for lamellipod extension in response to EGF stimulation.
ADF/cofilin; actin; LIM-kinase; EGF; cell motility
The functions of the actin cytoskeleton in post-Golgi trafficking are still poorly understood. Here, we report the role of LIM Kinase 1 (LIMK1) and its substrate cofilin in the trafficking of apical and basolateral proteins in Madin-Darby canine kidney cells. Our data indicate that LIMK1 and cofilin organize a specialized population of actin filaments at the Golgi complex that is selectively required for the emergence of an apical cargo route to the plasma membrane (PM). Quantitative pulse-chase live imaging experiments showed that overexpression of kinase-dead LIMK1 (LIMK1-KD), or of LIMK1 small interfering RNA, or of an activated cofilin mutant (cofilin S3A), selectively slowed down the exit from the trans-Golgi network (TGN) of the apical PM marker p75-green fluorescent protein (GFP) but did not interfere with the apical PM marker glycosyl phosphatidylinositol-YFP or the basolateral PM marker neural cell adhesion molecule-GFP. High-resolution live imaging experiments of carrier formation and release by the TGN and analysis of peri-Golgi actin dynamics using photoactivatable GFP suggest a scenario in which TGN-localized LIMK1-cofilin regulate a population of actin filaments required for dynamin-syndapin-cortactin–dependent generation and/or fission of precursors to p75 transporters.