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1.  The Integrin-Linked Kinase-PINCH-Parvin Complex Supports Integrin αIIbβ3 Activation 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e85498.
Integrin-linked kinase (ILK) is an important signaling regulator that assembles into the heteroternary complex with adaptor proteins PINCH and parvin (termed the IPP complex). We recently reported that ILK is important for integrin activation in a Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell system. We previously established parental CHO cells expressing a constitutively active chimeric integrin (αIIbα6Bβ3) and mutant CHO cells expressing inactive αIIbα6Bβ3 due to ILK deficiency. In this study, we further investigated the underlying mechanisms for ILK-dependent integrin activation. ILK-deficient mutant cells had trace levels of PINCH and α-parvin, and transfection of ILK cDNA into the mutant cells increased not only ILK but also PINCH and α-parvin, resulting in the restoration of αIIbα6Bβ3 activation. In the parental cells expressing active αIIbα6Bβ3, ILK, PINCH, and α-parvin were co-immunoprecipitated, indicating the formation of the IPP complex. Moreover, short interfering RNA (siRNA) experiments targeting PINCH-1 or both α- and β-parvin mRNA in the parent cells impaired the αIIbα6Bβ3 activation as well as the expression of the other components of the IPP complex. In addition, ILK mutants possessing defects in either PINCH or parvin binding failed to restore αIIbα6Bβ3 activation in the mutant cells. Kindlin-2 siRNA in the parental cells impaired αIIbα6Bβ3 activation without disturbing the expression of ILK. For CHO cells stably expressing wild-type αIIbβ3 that is an inactive form, overexpression of a talin head domain (THD) induced αIIbβ3 activation and the THD-induced αIIbβ3 activation was impaired by ILK siRNA through a significant reduction in the expression of the IPP complex. In contrast, overexpression of all IPP components in the αIIbβ3-expressing CHO cells further augmented THD-induced αIIbβ3 activation, whereas they did not induce αIIbβ3 activation without THD. These data suggest that the IPP complex rather than ILK plays an important role and supports integrin activation probably through stabilization of the active conformation.
PMCID: PMC3871693  PMID: 24376884
2.  Parvin Overexpression Uncovers Tissue-Specific Genetic Pathways and Disrupts F-Actin to Induce Apoptosis in the Developing Epithelia in Drosophila 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e47355.
Parvin is a putative F-actin binding protein important for integrin-mediated cell adhesion. Here we used overexpression of Drosophila Parvin to uncover its functions in different tissues in vivo. Parvin overexpression caused major defects reminiscent of metastatic cancer cells in developing epithelia, including apoptosis, alterations in cell shape, basal extrusion and invasion. These defects were closely correlated with abnormalities in the organization of F-actin at the basal epithelial surface and of integrin-matrix adhesion sites. In wing epithelium, overexpressed Parvin triggered increased Rho1 protein levels, predominantly at the basal side, whereas in the developing eye it caused a rough eye phenotype and severely disrupted F-actin filaments at the retina floor of pigment cells. We identified genes that suppressed these Parvin-induced dominant effects, depending on the cell type. Co-expression of both ILK and the apoptosis inhibitor DIAP1 blocked Parvin-induced lethality and apoptosis and partially ameliorated cell delamination in epithelia, but did not rescue the elevated Rho1 levels, the abnormal organization of F-actin in the wing and the assembly of integrin-matrix adhesion sites. The rough eye phenotype was suppressed by coexpression of either PTEN or Wech, or by knock-down of Xrp1. Two main conclusions can be drawn from our studies: (1), high levels of cytoplasmic Parvin are toxic in epithelial cells; (2) Parvin in a dose dependent manner affects the organization of actin cytoskeleton in both wing and eye epithelia, independently of its role as a structural component of the ILK-PINCH-Parvin complex that mediates the integrin-actin link. Thus, distinct genetic interactions of Parvin occur in different cell types and second site modifier screens are required to uncover such genetic circuits.
PMCID: PMC3471835  PMID: 23077599
3.  Significance of Thymosin β4 and Implication of PINCH-1-ILK-α-Parvin (PIP) Complex in Human Dilated Cardiomyopathy 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(5):e20184.
Myocardial remodeling is a major contributor in the development of heart failure (HF) after myocardial infarction (MI). Integrin-linked kinase (ILK), LIM-only adaptor PINCH-1, and α-parvin are essential components of focal adhesions (FAs), which are highly expressed in the heart. ILK binds tightly to PINCH-1 and α-parvin, which regulates FA assembly and promotes cell survival via the activation of the kinase Akt. Mice lacking ILK, PINCH or α-parvin have been shown to develop severe defects in the heart, suggesting that these proteins play a critical role in heart function. Utilizing failing human heart tissues (dilated cardiomyopathy, DCM), we found a 2.27-fold (p<0.001) enhanced expression of PINCH, 4 fold for α-parvin, and 10.5 fold (p<0.001) for ILK as compared to non-failing (NF) counterparts. No significant enhancements were found for the PINCH isoform PINCH-2 and parvin isoform β-parvin. Using a co-immunoprecipitation method, we also found that the PINCH-1-ILK-α-parvin (PIP) complex and Akt activation were significantly up-regulated. These observations were further corroborated with the mouse myocardial infarction (MI) and transaortic constriction (TAC) model. Thymosin beta4 (Tβ4), an effective cell penetrating peptide for treating MI, was found to further enhance the level of PIP components and Akt activation, while substantially suppressing NF-κB activation and collagen expression—the hallmarks of cardiac fibrosis. In the presence of an Akt inhibitor, wortmannin, we show that Tβ4 had a decreased effect in protecting the heart from MI. These data suggest that the PIP complex and activation of Akt play critical roles in HF development. Tβ4 treatment likely improves cardiac function by enhancing PIP mediated Akt activation and suppressing NF-κB activation and collagen-mediated fibrosis. These data provide significant insight into the role of the PIP-Akt pathway and its regulation by Tβ4 treatment in post-MI.
PMCID: PMC3098280  PMID: 21625516
4.  γ-Parvin Is Dispensable for Hematopoiesis, Leukocyte Trafficking, and T-Cell-Dependent Antibody Response†  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2006;26(5):1817-1825.
Integrins regulate cell behavior through the assembly of multiprotein complexes at the site of cell adhesion. Parvins are components of such a multiprotein complex. They consist of three members (α-, β-, and γ-parvin), form a functional complex with integrin-linked kinase (ILK) and PINCH, and link integrins to the actin cytoskeleton. Whereas α- and β-parvins are widely expressed, γ-parvin has been reported to be expressed in hematopoietic organs. In the present study, we report the expression pattern of the parvins in hematopoietic cells and the phenotypic analysis of γ-parvin-deficient mice. Whereas α-parvin is not expressed in hematopoietic cells, β-parvin is only found in myeloid cells and γ-parvin is present in both cells of the myeloid and lymphoid lineages, where it binds ILK. Surprisingly, loss of γ-parvin expression had no effect on blood cell differentiation, proliferation, and survival and no consequence for the T-cell-dependent antibody response and lymphocyte and dendritic cell migration. These data indicate that despite the high expression of γ-parvin in hematopoietic cells it must play a more subtle role for blood cell homeostasis.
PMCID: PMC1430247  PMID: 16479001
5.  PINCH Proteins Regulate Cardiac Contractility by Modulating Integrin-Linked Kinase-Protein Kinase B Signaling▿† 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2011;31(16):3424-3435.
Integrin-linked kinase (ILK) is an essential component of the cardiac mechanical stretch sensor and is bound in a protein complex with parvin and PINCH proteins, the so-called ILK-PINCH-parvin (IPP) complex. We have recently shown that inactivation of ILK or β-parvin activity leads to heart failure in zebrafish via reduced protein kinase B (PKB/Akt) activation. Here, we show that PINCH proteins localize at sarcomeric Z disks and costameres in the zebrafish heart and skeletal muscle. To investigate the in vivo role of PINCH proteins for IPP complex stability and PKB signaling within the vertebrate heart, we inactivated PINCH1 and PINCH2 in zebrafish. Inactivation of either PINCH isoform independently leads to instability of ILK, loss of stretch-responsive anf and vegf expression, and progressive heart failure. The predominant cause of heart failure in PINCH morphants seems to be loss of PKB activity, since PKB phosphorylation at serine 473 is significantly reduced in PINCH-deficient hearts and overexpression of constitutively active PKB reconstitutes cardiac function in PINCH morphants. These findings highlight the essential function of PINCH proteins in controlling cardiac contractility by granting IPP/PKB-mediated signaling.
PMCID: PMC3147799  PMID: 21670146
6.  Purification and SAXS Analysis of the Integrin Linked Kinase, PINCH, Parvin (IPP) Heterotrimeric Complex 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e55591.
The heterotrimeric protein complex containing the integrin linked kinase (ILK), parvin, and PINCH proteins, termed the IPP complex, is an essential component of focal adhesions, where it interacts with many proteins to mediate signaling from integrin adhesion receptors. Here we conduct a biochemical and structural analysis of the minimal IPP complex, comprising full-length human ILK, the LIM1 domain of PINCH1, and the CH2 domain of α-parvin. We provide a detailed purification protocol for IPP and show that the purified IPP complex is stable and monodisperse in solution. Using small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), we also conduct the first structural characterization of IPP, which reveals an elongated shape with dimensions 120×60×40 Å. Flexibility analysis using the ensemble optimization method (EOM) is consistent with an IPP complex structure with limited flexibility, raising the possibility that inter-domain interactions exist. However, our studies suggest that the inter-domain linker in ILK is accessible and we detect no inter-domain contacts by gel filtration analysis. This study provides a structural foundation to understand the conformational restraints that govern the IPP complex.
PMCID: PMC3561323  PMID: 23383235
7.  The Rsu-1-PINCH1-ILK complex is regulated by Ras activation in tumor cells 
European journal of cell biology  2008;87(8-9):721-734.
The link between Ras transformation and enhanced cell migration due to altered integrin signaling is well established in tumorigenesis, however there remain gaps in our understanding of its mechanism. The Ras suppressor, Rsu-1, has recently been linked to the IPP (integrin-linked kinase {ILK}, PINCH-1/LIMS1, parvin) focal adhesion complex based on its interaction with the LIM 5 domain of PINCH1. Defining the role of the Rsu1-PINCH1-ILK-parvin complex in tumorigenesis is important because both ILK and PINCH1 are elevated in certain tumors while ectopic expression of Rsu-1 blocks tumorigenesis. Our studies previously identified an alternatively-spliced isoform of Rsu-1 in high-grade gliomas. We report here the detection of a truncated (p29) Rsu-1 protein, which correlates with the presence of the alternatively spliced Rsu-1 RNA. This RNA and the respective protein were detected in human tumor cell lines that contain high levels of activated Ras, and inhibitor studies demonstrate that the Mek-ERK pathway regulates expression of this truncated Rsu-1 product. We also show that Rsu-1 colocalizes with ILK at focal contacts and co-immunoprecipitates with the ILK-PINCH1 complex in non-transformed cells, but following Ras transformation the association of Rsu-1 with the PINCH1-ILK complex is greatly reduced. Using a human breast cancer cell line, our in vitro studies demonstrate that the depletion of Rsu-1 full-length protein enhances cell migration coincident with an increase in Rac-GTP while the depletion of the p29 Rsu-1 truncated protein inhibits migration. These findings indicate that Rsu-1 may inhibit cell migration by stabilizing the IPP adhesion complex and that Ras activation perturbs this inhibitory function by modulating both Rsu-1 splicing and association of full-length Rsu-1 with IPP. Hence, our findings demonstrate that Rsu-1 links the Ras pathway with the IPP complex and the perturbations of cell attachment-dependent signaling that occur in the malignant process.
PMCID: PMC2600675  PMID: 18436335
Rsu-1; PINCH1; Integrin-linked kinase; Adhesion; Ras; Focal adhesion; Migration
8.  Integrin-linked kinase regulates migration and proliferation of human intestinal cells under a fibronectin-dependent mechanism 
Journal of Cellular Physiology  2010;222(2):387-400.
Integrin-linked kinase (ILK) plays a role in integrin signaling-mediated extracellular matrix (ECM)–cell interactions and also acts as a scaffold protein in functional focal adhesion points. In the present study, we investigated the expression and roles of ILK in human intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) in vivo and in vitro. Herein, we report that ILK and its scaffold-function interacting partners, PINCH-1, α-parvin, and β-parvin, are expressed according to a decreasing gradient from the bottom of the crypt (proliferative/undifferentiated) compartment to the tip of the villus (non-proliferative/differentiated) compartment, closely following the expression pattern of the ECM/basement membrane component fibronectin. The siRNA knockdown of ILK in human IECs caused a loss of PINCH-1, α-parvin, and β-parvin expression, along with a significant decrease in cell proliferation via a loss of cyclin D1 and an increase in p27 and hypophosphorylated pRb expression levels. ILK knockdown severely affected cell spreading, migration, and restitution abilities, which were shown to be directly related to a decrease in fibronectin deposition. All ILK knockdown-induced defects were rescued with exogenously deposited fibronectin. Altogether, our results indicate that ILK performs crucial roles in the control of human intestinal cell and crypt–villus axis homeostasis—especially with regard to basement membrane fibronectin deposition—as well as cell proliferation, spreading, and migration. J. Cell. Physiol. 222: 387–400, 2010. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
PMCID: PMC2814089  PMID: 19885839
9.  ILK: a pseudokinase in the center stage of cell-matrix adhesion and signaling 
Current opinion in cell biology  2012;24(5):607-613.
Integrin-linked kinase (ILK) is a widely expressed and evolutionally conserved component of cell-extracellular matrix (ECM) adhesions. Although initially named as a kinase, ILK contains an unusual pseudoactive site that is incapable of catalyzing phosphorylation. Instead, ILK acts as a central component of a heterotrimer (the PINCH-ILK-parvin complex) at ECM adhesions mediating interactions with a large number of proteins via multiple sites including its pseudoactive site. Through higher level protein-protein interactions, this scaffold links integrins to the actin cytoskeleton and catalytic proteins and thereby regulates focal adhesion assembly, cytoskeleton organization and signaling. This review summarizes recent advances in our understanding of the structure and functions of the PINCH-ILK-parvin complex, and discuss emerging new features of the molecular mechanisms by which it regulates diverse cellular, physiological and pathological processes.
PMCID: PMC3467332  PMID: 22763012
10.  Structural basis of competition between PINCH1 and PINCH2 for binding to the ankyrin repeat domain of integrin-linked kinase 
Journal of structural biology  2009;170(1):157-163.
Formation of a heterotrimeric IPP complex composed of integrin-linked kinase (ILK), the LIM domain protein PINCH, and parvin is important for signaling through integrin adhesion receptors. Mammals possess two PINCH genes that are expressed simultaneously in many tissues. PINCH1 and PINCH2 have overlapping functions and can compensate for one another in many settings; however, isoform-specific functions have been reported and it is proposed that association with a PINCH1- or PINCH2-containing IPP complex may provide a bifurcation point in integrin signaling promoting different cellular responses. Here we report that the LIM1 domains of PINCH1 and PINCH2 directly compete for the same binding site on the ankyrin repeat domain (ARD) of ILK. We determined the 1.9 Å crystal structure of the PINCH2 LIM1 domain complexed with the ARD of ILK, and show that disruption of this interface by point mutagenesis reduces binding in vitro and alters localization of PINCH2 in cells. These studies provide further evidence for the role of the PINCH LIM1 domain in association with ILK and highlight direct competition as one mechanism for regulating which PINCH isoform predominates in IPP complexes. Differential regulation of PINCH1 and PINCH2 expression may therefore provide a means for altering cellular integrin signaling pathways.
PMCID: PMC2841223  PMID: 19963065
Integrin signaling; Ankyrin repeat domain; LIM domain; IPP complex
11.  Rsu1 contributes to regulation of cell adhesion and spreading by PINCH1-dependent and - independent mechanisms 
Cell adhesion and migration are complex processes that require integrin activation, the formation and dissolution of focal adhesion (FAs), and linkage of actin cytoskeleton to the FAs. The IPP (ILK, PINCH, Parvin) complex regulates FA formation via binding of the adaptor protein ILK to β1 integrin, PINCH and parvin. The signaling protein Rsu1 is linked to the complex via binding PINCH1. The role of Rsu1 and PINCH1 in adhesion and migration was examined in non-transformed mammary epithelial cells. Confocal microscopy revealed that the depletion of either Rsu1 or PINCH1 by siRNA in MCF10A cells decreased the number of focal adhesions and altered the distribution and localization of β1 integrin, vinculin, talin and paxillin without affecting the levels of FA protein expression. This correlated with reduced adhesion, failure to spread or migrate in response to EGF and a loss of actin stress fibers and caveolae. In addition, constitutive phosphorylation of actin regulatory proteins occurred in the absence of PINCH1. The depletion of Rsu1 caused significant reduction in PINCH1 implying that Rsu1 may function by regulating levels of PINCH1. However, while both Rsu1- or PINCH1-depleted cells retained the ability to activate adhesion signaling in response to EGF stimulation, only Rsu1 was required for EGF-induced p38 Map Kinase phosphorylation and ATF2 activation, suggesting an Rsu1 function independent from the IPP complex. Reconstitution of Rsu1-depleted cells with an Rsu1 mutant that does not bind to PINCH1 failed to restore FAs or migration but did promote spreading and constitutive p38 activation. These data show that Rsu1-PINCH1 association with ILK and the IPP complex is required for regulation of adhesion and migration but that Rsu1 has a critical role in linking integrin-induced adhesion to activation of p38 Map kinase signaling and cell spreading. Moreover, it suggests that Rsu1 may regulate p38 signaling from the IPP complex affecting other functions including survival.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12079-013-0207-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3889256  PMID: 23765260
Rsu1; PINCH1; Cell adhesion; Cell migration
12.  Integration of Cell Attachment, Cytoskeletal Localization, and Signaling by Integrin-linked Kinase (ILK), CH-ILKBP, and the Tumor Suppressor PTEN 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2003;14(12):4813-4825.
Cell attachment and the assembly of cytoskeletal and signaling complexes downstream of integrins are intimately linked and coordinated. Although many intracellular proteins have been implicated in these processes, a new paradigm is emerging from biochemical and genetic studies that implicates integrin-linked kinase (ILK) and its interacting proteins, such as CH-ILKBP (α-parvin), paxillin, and PINCH in coupling integrins to the actin cytoskeleton and signaling complexes. Genetic studies in Drosophila, Caenorhabditis elegans, and mice point to an essential role of ILK as an adaptor protein in mediating integrin-dependent cell attachment and cytoskeletal organization. Here we demonstrate, using several different approaches, that inhibiting ILK kinase activity, or expression, results in the inhibition of cell attachment, cell migration, F-actin organization, and the specific cytoskeletal localization of CH-ILKBP and paxillin in human cells. We also demonstrate that the kinase activity of ILK is elevated in the cytoskeletal fraction and that the interaction of CH-ILKBP with ILK within the cytoskeleton stimulates ILK activity and downstream signaling to PKB/Akt and GSK-3. Interestingly, the interaction of CH-ILKBP with ILK is regulated by the Pi3 kinase pathway, because inhibition of Pi3 kinase activity by pharmacological inhibitors, or by the tumor suppressor PTEN, inhibits this interaction as well as cell attachment and signaling. These data demonstrate that the kinase and adaptor properties of ILK function together, in a Pi3 kinase–dependent manner, to regulate integrin-mediated cell attachment and signal transduction.
PMCID: PMC284786  PMID: 12960424
13.  LIMD2 Is a Small LIM-Only Protein Overexpressed in Metastatic Lesions That Regulates Cell Motility and Tumor Progression by Directly Binding to and Activating the Integrin-Linked Kinase 
Cancer research  2014;74(5):1390-1403.
Proteins that communicate signals from the cytoskeleton to the nucleus are prime targets for effectors of metastasis as they often transduce signals regulating adhesion, motility, and invasiveness. LIM domain proteins shuttle between the cytoplasm and the nucleus, and bind to partners in both compartments, often coupling changes in gene expression to extracellular cues. In this work, we characterize LIMD2, a mechanistically undefined LIM-only protein originally found to be overexpressed in metastatic lesions but absent in the matched primary tumor. LIMD2 levels in fresh and archival tumors positively correlate with cell motility, metastatic potential, and grade, including bladder, melanoma, breast, and thyroid tumors. LIMD2 directly contributes to these cellular phenotypes as shown by overexpression, knockdown, and reconstitution experiments in cell culture models. The solution structure of LIMD2 that was determined using nuclear magnetic resonance revealed a classic LIM-domain structure that was highly related to LIM1 of PINCH1, a core component of the integrin-linked kinase–parvin–pinch complex. Structural and biochemical analyses revealed that LIMD2 bound directly to the kinase domain of integrin-linked kinase (ILK) near the active site and strongly activated ILK kinase activity. Cells that were null for ILK failed to respond to the induction of invasion by LIMD2. This strongly suggests that LIMD2 potentiates its biologic effects through direct interactions with ILK, a signal transduction pathway firmly linked to cell motility and invasion. In summary, LIMD2 is a new component of the signal transduction cascade that links integrin-mediated signaling to cell motility/metastatic behavior and may be a promising target for controlling tumor spread.
PMCID: PMC4183205  PMID: 24590809
14.  Drosophila Integrin-Linked Kinase Is Required at Sites of Integrin Adhesion to Link the Cytoskeleton to the Plasma Membrane 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2001;152(5):1007-1018.
Integrin-linked kinase (ILK) was identified by its interaction with the cytoplasmic tail of human β1 integrin and previous data suggest that ILK is a component of diverse signaling pathways, including integrin, Wnt, and protein kinase B. Here we show that the absence of ILK function in Drosophila causes defects similar to loss of integrin adhesion, but not similar to loss of these signaling pathways. ILK mutations cause embryonic lethality and defects in muscle attachment, and clones of cells lacking ILK in the adult wing fail to adhere, forming wing blisters. Consistent with this, an ILK–green fluorescent protein fusion protein colocalizes with the position-specific integrins at sites of integrin function: muscle attachment sites and the basal junctions of the wing epithelium. Surprisingly, mutations in the kinase domain shown to inactivate the kinase activity of human ILK do not show any phenotype in Drosophila, suggesting a kinase-independent function for ILK. The muscle detachment in ILK mutants is associated with detachment of the actin filaments from the muscle ends, unlike integrin mutants, in which the primary defect is detachment of the plasma membrane from the extracellular matrix. Our data suggest that ILK is a component of the structure linking the cytoskeleton and the plasma membrane at sites of integrin-mediated adhesion.
PMCID: PMC2198807  PMID: 11238456
integrins; cell adhesion; cytoskeleton; kinase; Drosophila
15.  Role of PINCH and Its Partner Tumor Suppressor Rsu-1 in Regulating Liver Size and Tumorigenesis 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e74625.
Particularly interesting new cysteine-histidine-rich protein (PINCH) protein is part of the ternary complex known as the IPP (integrin linked kinase (ILK)-PINCH-Parvin-α) complex. PINCH itself binds to ILK and to another protein known as Rsu-1 (Ras suppressor 1). We generated PINCH 1 and PINCH 2 Double knockout mice (referred as PINCH DKO mice). PINCH2 elimination was systemic whereas PINCH1 elimination was targeted to hepatocytes. The genetically modified mice were born normal. The mice were sacrificed at different ages after birth. Soon after birth, they developed abnormal hepatic histology characterized by disorderly hepatic plates, increased proliferation of hepatocytes and biliary cells and increased deposition of extracellular matrix. After a sustained and prolonged proliferation of all epithelial components, proliferation subsided and final liver weight by the end of 30 weeks in livers with PINCH DKO deficient hepatocytes was 40% larger than the control mice. The livers of the PINCH DKO mice were also very stiff due to increased ECM deposition throughout the liver, with no observed nodularity. Mice developed liver cancer by one year. These mice regenerated normally when subjected to 70% partial hepatectomy and did not show any termination defect. Ras suppressor 1 (Rsu-1) protein, the binding partner of PINCH is frequently deleted in human liver cancers. Rsu-1 expression is dramatically decreased in PINCH DKO mouse livers. Increased expression of Rsu-1 suppressed cell proliferation and migration in HCC cell lines. These changes were brought about not by affecting activation of Ras (as its name suggests) but by suppression of Ras downstream signaling via RhoGTPase proteins. In conclusion, our studies suggest that removal of PINCH results in enlargement of liver and tumorigenesis. Decreased levels of Rsu-1, a partner for PINCH and a protein often deleted in human liver cancer, may play an important role in the development of the observed phenotype.
PMCID: PMC3776730  PMID: 24058607
16.  Integrin-Linked Kinase links Dynactin-1/Dynactin-2 with cortical Integrin receptors to orient the mitotic spindle relative to the substratum 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:8389.
Cells must divide strictly along a plane to form an epithelial layer parallel to the basal lamina. The axis of cell division is primarily governed by the orientation of the mitotic spindle and spindle misorientation pathways have been implicated in cancer initiation. While β1-Integrin and the Dynein/Dynactin complex are known to be involved, the pathways linking these complexes in positioning mitotic spindles relative to the basal cortex and extracellular matrix remain to be elucidated. Here, we show that Integrin-Linked Kinase (ILK) and α-Parvin regulate mitotic spindle orientation by linking Dynactin-1 and Dynactin-2 subunits of the Dynein/Dynactin complex to Integrin receptors at the basal cortex of mitotic cells. ILK and α-Parvin are required for spindle orientation. ILK interacts with Dynactin-1 and Dynactin-2 and ILK siRNA attenuates Dynactin-2 localization to the basal cortex. Furthermore we show that Dynactin-2 can no longer colocalize or interact with Integrins when ILK is absent, suggesting mechanistically that ILK is acting as a linking protein. Finally we demonstrate that spindle orientation and cell proliferation are disrupted in intestinal epithelial cells in vivo using tissue-specific ILK knockout mice. These data demonstrate that ILK is a linker between Integrin receptors and the Dynactin complex to regulate mitotic spindle orientation.
PMCID: PMC4323648  PMID: 25669897
17.  The pseudo-active site of ILK is essential for its binding to α-parvin and localization to focal adhesions 
Molecular cell  2009;36(5):819-830.
Integrin-linked kinase (ILK) plays a pivotal role in connecting transmembrane receptor integrin to the actin cytoskeleton and thereby regulating diverse cell adhesion-dependent processes. The kinase domain (KD) of ILK is indispensable for its function, but the underlying molecular basis remains enigmatic. Here we present the crystal structure of the ILK KD bound to its cytoskeletal regulator, the C-terminal calponin homology domain of α-parvin. While maintaining a canonical kinase fold, the ILK KD displays a striking pseudo-active site conformation. We show that rather than performing the kinase function, this conformation specifically recognizes α-parvin for promoting effective assembly of ILK into focal adhesions. The α-parvin-bound ILK KD can simultaneously engage integrin β cytoplasmic tails. These results thus define ILK as a distinct pseudokinase that mechanically couples integrin and α-parvin for mediating cell adhesion. They also highlight functional diversity of the kinase fold and its “active” site in mediating many biological processes.
PMCID: PMC2796127  PMID: 20005845
18.  The parvins 
The parvins are a family of proteins involved in linking integrins and associated proteins with intracellular pathways that regulate actin cytoskeletal dynamics and cell survival. Both α-parvin (PARVA) and β-parvin (PARVB) localize to focal adhesions and function in cell adhesion, spreading, motility and survival through interactions with partners, such as integrin-linked kinase (ILK), paxillin, α-actinin and testicular kinase 1. A complex of PARVA with ILK and the LIM protein PINCH-1 is critical for cell survival in a variety of cells, including certain cancer cells, kidney podocytes and cardiac myocytes. While PARVA inhibits the activities of Rac1 and testicular kinase 1 and cell spreading, PARVB binds αPIX and α-actinin, and can promote cell spreading. In contrast to PARVA, PARVB inhibits ILK activity and reverses some of its oncogenic effects in cancer cells. This review focuses on the structure and function of the parvins and some possible roles in human diseases.
PMCID: PMC2792345  PMID: 16314921
Parvin; ILK; PINCH; paxillin; α-actinin; actin cytoskeleton; cell migration; survival
19.  PINCH: More Than Just an Adaptor Protein in Cellular Response 
Journal of cellular physiology  2011;226(4):940-947.
Particularly interesting new cysteine-histidine-rich protein (PINCH) is a LIM-domain-only adaptor protein involved in protein recruitment, subsequent assembly of multi-protein complexes, and subcellular localization of these complexes. PINCH is developmentally regulated and its expression is critical for proper cytoskeletal organization and extracellular matrix adhesion. Although PINCH has no catalytic abilities, the PIP (PINCH–ILK–parvin) complex serves as a link between integrins and components of growth factor receptor kinase and GTPase signaling pathways. Accordingly, PINCH-mediated signaling induces cell migration, spreading, and survival. Further research on the signaling cascades affected by PINCH is key to appreciating its biological significance in cell fate and systems maintenance, as the developmental functions of PINCH may extend to disease states and the cellular response to damage. PINCH is implicated in a diverse array of diseases including renal failure, cardiomyopathy, nervous system degeneration and demyelination, and tumorigenesis. This review presents evidence for PINCH's structural and functional importance in normal cellular processes and in pathogenesis. The current data for PINCH expression in nervous system disease is substantial, but due to the complex and ubiquitous nature of this protein, our understanding of its function in pathology remains unclear. In this review, an overview of studies identifying PINCH binding partners, their molecular interactions, and the potentially overlapping role(s) of PINCH in cancer and in nervous system diseases will be discussed. Many questions remain regarding PINCH's role in cells. What induces cell-specific PINCH expression? How does PINCH expression contribute to cell fate in the central nervous system? More broadly, is PINCH expression in disease a good thing? Clarifying the ambiguous functions of PINCH expression in the central nervous system and other systems is important to understand more clearly signaling events both in health and disease.
PMCID: PMC3544000  PMID: 20945343
20.  Interactions by 2D Gel Electrophoresis Overlap (iGEO): a novel high fidelity approach to identify constituents of protein complexes 
Proteome Science  2013;11:21.
Here we describe a novel approach used to identify the constituents of protein complexes with high fidelity, using the integrin-associated scaffolding protein PINCH as a test case. PINCH is comprised of five LIM domains, zinc-finger protein interaction modules. In Drosophila melanogaster, PINCH has two known high-affinity binding partners—Integrin-linked kinase (ILK) that binds to LIM1 and Ras Suppressor 1 (RSU1) that binds to LIM5—but has been postulated to bind additional proteins as well.
To purify PINCH complexes, in parallel we fused different affinity tags (Protein A and Flag) to different locations within the PINCH sequence (N- and C-terminus). We expressed these tagged versions of PINCH both in cell culture (overexpressed in Drosophila S2 cell culture in the presence of endogenous PINCH) and in vivo (at native levels in Drosophila lacking endogenous PINCH). After affinity purification, we analyzed PINCH complexes by a novel 2D-gel electrophoresis analysis, iGEO (interactions by 2D Gel Electrophoresis Overlap), with mass spectrometric identification of individual spots of interest. iGEO allowed the identification of protein partners that associate with PINCH under two independent purification strategies, providing confidence in the significance of the interaction. Proteins identified by iGEO were validated against a highly inclusive list of candidate PINCH interacting proteins identified in previous analyses by MuDPIT mass spectrometry.
The iGEO strategy confirmed a core complex comprised of PINCH, RSU1, ILK, and ILK binding partner Parvin. Our iGEO method also identified five novel protein partners that specifically interacted with PINCH in Drosophila S2 cell culture. Because of the improved reproducibility of 2D-GE methodology and the increasing affordability of the required labeling reagents, iGEO is a method that is accessible to most moderately well-equipped biological laboratories. The biochemical co-purifications inherent in iGEO allow for rapid and unambiguous identification of the constituents of protein complexes, without the need for extensive follow-up experiments.
PMCID: PMC3688448  PMID: 23663728
PINCH; Interactome; Affinity purification; 2D-GE; DIGE; MudPIT
21.  Migfilin, α-parvin and β-parvin are differentially expressed in ovarian serous carcinoma effusions, primary tumors and solid metastases 
Gynecologic oncology  2012;128(2):364-370.
To analyze the expression and clinical role of integrin-linked kinase (ILK), α-parvin, β-parvin and migfilin in advanced-stage serous ovarian carcinoma.
Expression of these 4 proteins was investigated in 205 effusions and in 94 patient-matched solid lesions (33 primary tumors, 61 solid metastases) using immunohistochemistry. Protein expression was analyzed for association with clinicopathologic parameters and survival.
ILK, α-parvin, β-parvin and migfilin were expressed in tumor cells in 53%, 2%, 28% and 53% of effusions and 57%, 20%, 83% and 25% of solid lesions, respectively. Statistical analysis showed significantly higher α-parvin and β-parvin expression in primary carcinomas (p=0.02 and p=0.001, respectively) and solid metastases (p=0.001 and p<0.001, respectively), compared to effusions, with opposite findings for migfilin (p=0.006 and p=0.008 for primary carcinomas and solid metastases, respectively). ILK expression was comparable at all anatomic sites. β-parvin expression in effusions was associated with better response to chemotherapy at diagnosis (p=0.014), with no other significant association with clinicopathologic parameters or survival. Expression in primary tumors and solid metastases was similarly unrelated to clinicopathologic parameters or survival.
This study provides further evidence to our previous observations that the adhesion profile of ovarian serous carcinoma cells in effusions differs from their counterparts in primary carcinomas and solid metastases. β-parvin may be a novel marker of chemoresponse in metastatic ovarian carcinoma.
PMCID: PMC3552080  PMID: 23099104
ovarian carcinoma; effusions; adhesion; tumor progression; survival
22.  The LIM-Only Protein PINCH Directly Interacts with Integrin-Linked Kinase and Is Recruited to Integrin-Rich Sites in Spreading Cells 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1999;19(3):2425-2434.
PINCH is a widely expressed and evolutionarily conserved protein comprising primarily five LIM domains, which are cysteine-rich consensus sequences implicated in mediating protein-protein interactions. We report here that PINCH is a binding protein for integrin-linked kinase (ILK), an intracellular serine/threonine protein kinase that plays important roles in the cell adhesion, growth factor, and Wnt signaling pathways. The interaction between ILK and PINCH has been consistently observed under a variety of experimental conditions. They have interacted in yeast two-hybrid assays, in solution, and in solid-phase-based binding assays. Furthermore, ILK, but not vinculin or focal adhesion kinase, has been coisolated with PINCH from mammalian cells by immunoaffinity chromatography, indicating that PINCH and ILK associate with each other in vivo. The PINCH-ILK interaction is mediated by the N-terminal-most LIM domain (LIM1, residues 1 to 70) of PINCH and multiple ankyrin (ANK) repeats located within the N-terminal domain (residues 1 to 163) of ILK. Additionally, biochemical studies indicate that ILK, through the interaction with PINCH, is capable of forming a ternary complex with Nck-2, an SH2/SH3-containing adapter protein implicated in growth factor receptor kinase and small GTPase signaling pathways. Finally, we have found that PINCH is concentrated in peripheral ruffles of cells spreading on fibronectin and have detected clusters of PINCH that are colocalized with the α5β1 integrins. These results demonstrate a specific protein recognition mechanism utilizing a specific LIM domain and multiple ANK repeats and suggest that PINCH functions as an adapter protein connecting ILK and the integrins with components of growth factor receptor kinase and small GTPase signaling pathways.
PMCID: PMC84035  PMID: 10022929
23.  A New Focal Adhesion Protein That Interacts with Integrin-Linked Kinase and Regulates Cell Adhesion and Spreading 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2001;153(3):585-598.
Integrin-linked kinase (ILK) is a multidomain focal adhesion (FA) protein that functions as an important regulator of integrin-mediated processes. We report here the identification and characterization of a new calponin homology (CH) domain-containing ILK-binding protein (CH-ILKBP). CH-ILKBP is widely expressed and highly conserved among different organisms from nematodes to human. CH-ILKBP interacts with ILK in vitro and in vivo, and the ILK COOH-terminal domain and the CH-ILKBP CH2 domain mediate the interaction. CH-ILKBP, ILK, and PINCH, a FA protein that binds the NH2-terminal domain of ILK, form a complex in cells. Using multiple approaches (epitope-tagged CH-ILKBP, monoclonal anti–CH-ILKBP antibodies, and green fluorescent protein–CH-ILKBP), we demonstrate that CH-ILKBP localizes to FAs and associates with the cytoskeleton. Deletion of the ILK-binding CH2 domain abolished the ability of CH-ILKBP to localize to FAs. Furthermore, the CH2 domain alone is sufficient for FA targeting, and a point mutation that inhibits the ILK-binding impaired the FA localization of CH-ILKBP. Thus, the CH2 domain, through its interaction with ILK, mediates the FA localization of CH-ILKBP. Finally, we show that overexpression of the ILK-binding CH2 fragment or the ILK-binding defective point mutant inhibited cell adhesion and spreading. These findings reveal a novel CH-ILKBP–ILK–PINCH complex and provide important evidence for a crucial role of this complex in the regulation of cell adhesion and cytoskeleton organization.
PMCID: PMC2190577  PMID: 11331308
focal adhesion; integrin-linked kinase; calponin homology; integrins; cell adhesion
24.  Integrin-linked kinase is involved in matrix-induced hepatocyte differentiation 
Hepatocytes have restricted proliferative capacity in culture and when cultured without matrix, lose the hepatocyte-specific gene expression and characteristic cellular micro-architecture. Overlay of matrix-preparations on de-differentiated hepatocytes restores differentiation. Integrin-linked kinase (ILK) is a cell-matrix-adhesion protein crucial in fundamental processes such as differentiation and survival. In this study, we investigated the role of ILK, and its binding partners PINCH, α-parvin, and Mig-2 in matrix-induced hepatocyte differentiation. We report here that ILK is present in the liver and localizes at cell-matrix adhesions of cultured hepatocytes. We also show that ILK, PINCH, α-parvin, and Mig-2 expression level is dramatically reduced in the re-differentiated hepatocytes. Interestingly, hepatocytes lacking ILK undergo matrix-induced differentiation but their differentiation is incomplete, as judged by monitoring cell morphology and production of albumin. Our results show that ILK and cell-matrix adhesion proteins play an important role in the process of matrix-induced hepatocyte differentiation.
PMCID: PMC1769419  PMID: 17194454
ILK; PINCH; Parvin; Mig-2; Hepatocytes; Differentiation; Matrix
25.  Expression of integrin-linked kinase and its binding partners in chondrosarcoma: Association with prognostic significance 
Integrin-linked kinase (ILK) and its binding partners α-parvin, β-parvin, Mig-2 and Migfilin are important components of the cell–matrix adhesions implicated in cell motility, growth, survival and ultimately carcinogenesis. Herein, we investigated immunohistochemically the expression of these molecules in cartilaginous neoplasms and explored their involvement in chondrosarcoma pathobiology and behaviour. Our analyses revealed that ILK, α-parvin, β-parvin and Mig-2 are expressed in the majority of chondrosarcomas but in a small proportion of enchondromas, implying that these proteins might have a role in the development and progression of chondrogenic neoplasms. Moreover, our findings highlight the possibilities that ILK might serve as biological marker that could accurately predict a highgrade tumour and that Mig-2 may function as a promising prognostic indicator of high-risk patients.
PMCID: PMC2588856  PMID: 18722108
Chondrosarcoma; ILK; Migfilin; Mig-2; Parvins; Prognosis; Survival

Results 1-25 (904994)