Directed cell migration is mediated by cycles of protrusion, adhesion, traction generation on the extracellular matrix and retraction. However, how the events after protrusion are timed, and what dictates their temporal order is completely unknown. We used acute epidermal growth factor (EGF) stimulation of epidermal keratinocytes to initiate the cell migration cycle to study the mechanism of the timing of adhesion, traction generation, and de-adhesion. Using microscopic and biochemical assays, we surprisingly found that at ∼2 min after EGF stimulation protrusion, activation of myosin-II, traction generation, adhesion assembly, and paxillin phosphorylation occurred nearly simultaneously, followed by a 10-min delay during which paxillin became dephosphorylated before cell retraction. Inhibition of myosin-II blocked both the EGF-stimulated paxillin phosphorylation and cell retraction, and a paxillin phosphomimic blocked retraction. These results suggest that EGF-mediated activation of myosin-II acts as a mechanical signal to promote a cycle of paxillin phosphorylation/dephosphorylation that mediates a cycle of adhesion strengthening and weakening that delays cell retraction. Thus, we reveal for the first time a mechanism by which cells may temporally segregate protrusion, adhesion, and traction generation from retraction during EGF-stimulated cell migration.
Although the regulation of hemidesmosome dynamics during processes such as epithelial migration, wound healing, and carcinoma invasion is important, the mechanisms involved are poorly understood. The integrin α6β4 is an essential component of the hemidesmosome and a target of such regulation. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) can induce hemidesmosome disassembly by a mechanism that involves serine phosphorylation of the β4 integrin subunit. Using a combination of biochemical and mutational analyses, we demonstrate that EGF induces the phosphorylation of three specific serine residues (S1356, S1360, and S1364) located within the connecting segment of the β4 subunit and that phosphorylation on these residues accounts for the bulk of β4 phosphorylation stimulated by EGF. Importantly, phosphorylation of these serines is critical for the ability of EGF to disrupt hemidesmosomes. Using COS-7 cells, which assemble hemidesmosomes type II upon exogenous expression of the α6β4 integrin, we observed that expression of a β4 construct containing Ser→Ala mutations of S1356, S1360, and S1364 reduced the ability of EGF to disrupt hemidesmosomes and that this effect appears to involve cooperation among these phosphorylation sites. Moreover, expression of Ser→Asp mutants that mimic constitutive phosphorylation reduced hemidesmosome formation. Protein kinase C-α (PKC-α) is the kinase responsible for phosphorylating at least two of these serines, based on in vitro kinase assays, peptide mapping, and mutational analysis. Together, these results highlight the importance of serine phosphorylation in regulating type II hemidesmosome disassembly, implicate a cluster of serine residues within the connecting segment of β4, and argue for a key role for PKC-α in regulating these structures.
The objective of this paper is to introduce some novel in vitro applications in characterizing human melanoma cell protrusion and migration in response to soluble extracellular matrix protein stimulation. Specifically, we describe two assay systems: (1) dual-micropipette manipulation and (2) flow-migration chamber. Applications of the dual-micropipet technique provided kinetic measure of cell movement, cyclic pseudopod protrusion, and subsequent cell locomotion governed by chemotactic molecular transport dynamics. Chemotactic concentration gradient was found to influence significantly pseudopod protrusion frequency and locomotion speed, but not the protrusion extension. To further characterize active tumor cell extravasation, a process that involves dynamic tumor cell adhesion to vascular endothelium under flow conditions and subsequent transendothelial migration in response to chemotactic signals from the interstitial space, we developed a flow-migration chemotaxis system. This assay enabled characterization of tumor cell transcellular migration in terms of chemotactic signal gradients, shear forces, and cell-substrate adhesion. Results suggest that shear flow plays significant roles in tumor cell extravasation that is regulated by both tumor cell motility and tumor cell adhesion to endothelial molecules in a cooperative process.
Cell adhesion; Migration; Melanoma; Endothelium; Type IV collagen; Micropipette manipulation; Shear flow; Chemotaxis
Extension of the plasma membrane is one of the first steps in cell migration. Understanding how cells “choose” between various types of membrane protrusion enhances our knowledge of both normal and cancer cell physiology. The EGF receptor is a paradigm for understanding how transmembrane receptor tyrosine kinases regulate intracellular signaling following ligand stimulation. Evidence from the past decade indicates that EGF receptors also form macromolecular complexes with integrin receptors leading to EGF receptor transactivation during cell adhesion. However, relatively little is known about how these complexes form and impact cell migration. Our recent work characterized a molecular complex between EGF receptor and β3 integrin which recognizes RGD motifs in extracellular matrix proteins. Complex formation requires a dileucine motif (679-LL) in the intracellular juxtamembrane region of the EGF receptor that also controls whether or not the receptor undergoes Src kinase-dependent phosphorylation at Tyr-845. In contrast to wild-type receptors, mutant EGF receptors defective for Tyr-845 phosphorylation form complexes with β1 integrin that also binds RGD motifs. In addition, we have discovered that EGF receptor antagonizes small GTPase RhoA by mediating membrane recruitment of its regulatory GAP p190RhoGAP. In this addendum we discuss a potential new role for Src-dependent EGF receptor transactivation in integrin/EGF receptor complex formation. We also discuss how our study fits with previous observations linking p190RhoGAP to RhoA-dependent cytoskeletal rearrangements involved in cell migration, and provide new data that the EGF receptor is compartmentalized to relatively immature zyxin-poor focal adhesions which are the likely site of p190RhoGAP signaling.
EGF receptor; focal adhesion; p190RhoGAP; RhoA; β3 integrin
Cell responses to soluble regulatory factors may be strongly influenced by the mode of presentation of the factor, as in matrix-bound versus diffusible modes. The possibly diverse effect of presenting a growth factor in autocrine as opposed to exogenous (or paracrine) mode is an especially important issue in cell biology. We demonstrate here that migration behavior of human mammary epithelial cells in response to stimulation by epidermal growth factor (EGF) is qualitatively different for EGF presented in exogenous (paracrine), autocrine, and intracrine modes. When EGF is added as an exogenous factor to the medium of cells that express EGF receptor (EGFR) but not EGF, cell migration speed increases while directional persistence decreases. When these EGFR-expressing cells are made to also express via retroviral transfection EGF in protease-cleaveable transmembrane form on the plasma membrane, migration speed similarly increases, but directional persistence increases as well. Addition of exogenous EGF to these cells abrogates their enhanced directional persistence, reducing their directionality to a level similar to wild-type cells. If the EGFR-expressing cells are instead transduced with a gene encoding EGF in a soluble form, migration speed and directional persistence were unaffected. Thus, autocrine presentation of EGF at the plasma membrane in a protease-cleavable form provides these cells with an enhanced ability to migrate persistently in a given direction, consistent with their increased capability for organizing into gland-like structures. In contrast, an exogenous/paracrine mode of EGF presentation generates a “scattering” response by the cells. These findings emphasize the functional importance of spatial restriction of EGFR signaling, and suggest critical implications for growth factor–based therapeutic treatments.
cell motility; tissue engineering; tumor invasiveness; signaling localization; cell scattering
Recombinant human epidermal growth factor (rhEGF) stimulates the proliferation and migration of epithelial cells in human cell culture systems and animal models of partial-thickness skin wounds. This study investigated the effect of a topical rhEGF ointment on the rate of wound healing and skin re-epithelialization in a rat full thickness wound model, and verified whether or not the rhEGF treatment affected both myofibroblast proliferation and collagen synthesis in the dermis. When rhEGF (10 µg/g ointment) was applied topically twice a day for 14 days, there was significantly enhanced wound closure from the 5th to the 12th day compared with the control (ointment base treatment) group. A histological examination at the postoperative 7th day revealed that the rhEGF treatment increased the number of proliferating nuclear antigen immunoreactive cells in the epidermis layer. In addition, the immunoreactive area of alpha-smooth muscle actin and the expression of prolyl 4-hydroxylase were significantly higher than those of the control group. Overall, a topical treatment of rhEGF ointment promotes wound healing by increasing the rate of epidermal proliferation and accelerating the level of wound contraction related to myofibroblast proliferation and collagen deposition.
alpha-smooth muscle actin; proliferating cell nuclear antigen; prolyl 4-hydroxylase; recombinant human epidermal growth factor; wound healing
In migrating cells, actin polymerization promotes protrusion of the leading edge, whereas actomyosin contractility powers net cell body translocation. Although they promote F-actin–dependent protrusions of the cell periphery upon adhesion to fibronectin (FN), Abl family kinases inhibit cell migration on FN. We provide evidence here that the Abl-related gene (Arg/Abl2) kinase inhibits fibroblast migration by attenuating actomyosin contractility and regulating focal adhesion dynamics. arg−/− fibroblasts migrate at faster average speeds than wild-type (wt) cells, whereas Arg re-expression in these cells slows migration. Surprisingly, the faster migrating arg−/− fibroblasts have more prominent F-actin stress fibers and focal adhesions and exhibit increased actomyosin contractility relative to wt cells. Interestingly, Arg requires distinct functional domains to inhibit focal adhesions and actomyosin contractility. The kinase domain–containing Arg N-terminal half can act through the RhoA inhibitor p190RhoGAP to attenuate stress fiber formation and cell contractility. However, Arg requires both its kinase activity and its cytoskeleton-binding C-terminal half to fully inhibit focal adhesions. Although focal adhesions do not turn over efficiently in the trailing edge of arg−/− cells, the increased contractility of arg−/− cells tears the adhesions from the substrate, allowing for the faster migration observed in these cells. Together, our data strongly suggest that Arg inhibits cell migration by restricting actomyosin contractility and regulating its coupling to the substrate through focal adhesions.
Loss of β3 integrin enhances turnover of focal adhesions and cell migration speed due to increased β1 integrin–talin interactions.
Integrins are fundamental to the control of protrusion and motility in adherent cells. However, the mechanisms by which specific members of this receptor family cooperate in signaling to cytoskeletal and adhesion dynamics are poorly understood. Here, we show that the loss of β3 integrin in fibroblasts results in enhanced focal adhesion turnover and migration speed but impaired directional motility on both 2D and 3D matrices. These motility defects are coupled with an increased rate of actin-based protrusion. Analysis of downstream signaling events reveals that loss of β3 integrin results in a loss of protein kinase A–dependent phosphorylation of the actin regulatory protein vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP). Dephosphorylated VASP in β3-null cells is preferentially associated with Rap1-GTP–interacting adaptor molecule (RIAM) both in vitro and in vivo, which leads to enhanced formation of a VASP–RIAM complex at focal adhesions and subsequent increased binding of talin to β1 integrin. These data demonstrate a novel mechanism by which αvβ3 integrin acts to locally suppress β1 integrin activation and regulate protrusion, adhesion dynamics, and persistent migration.
Adult neural stem cells (NSCs) are located in the subventricular zone (SVZ), a specialized brain niche located on the walls of the lateral ventricle. Under physiological conditions, NSCs generate a large number of young neurons and some oligodendrocytes, however the mechanisms controlling cell proliferation and migration are unclear. In vitro, epidermal growth factor (EGF) signaling has been shown to be an important mediator of cell proliferation and migration in the adult brain; however, the primary SVZ progenitors that respond to EGF are not well known. In this study, we isolated SVZ type-B astrocytes and cultured them under different EGF concentrations. We found a dose-dependent effect of EGF on proliferation rates and migration of SVZ type-B astrocytes. We found that GFAP+ type-B astrocytes gave rise to highly migratory and proliferating cells that expressed Olig2 and NG2. After EGF withdrawal, a significant number of EGF-stimulated cells differentiated into S100β+ / O4+ oligodendrocytes. This study provides new insights about the production of oligodendrocytes derived from the astrocyte NSCs residing in the adult SVZ. To be able to manipulate the endogenous adult progenitors, it is crucial to identify and isolate the responding primary precursors and determine the extracellular signals that regulate their cell division, migration and fate.
Neopetrosiamide A (NeoA) is a 28-amino acid tricyclic peptide originally isolated from a marine sponge as a tumor cell invasion inhibitor whose mechanism of action is unknown.
We show that NeoA reversibly inhibits tumor cell adhesion, disassembles focal adhesions in pre-attached cells, and decreases the level of β1 integrin subunits on the cell surface. NeoA also induces the formation of dynamic, membrane-bound protrusions on the surface of treated cells and the release of membrane-bound vesicles into the culture medium. Proteomic analysis indicates that the vesicles contain EGF and transferrin receptors as well as a number of proteins involved in adhesion and migration including: β1 integrin and numerous α integrin subunits; actin and actin-binding proteins such as cofilin, moesin and myosin 1C; and membrane modulating eps15 homology domain (EHD) proteins. Surface labeling, trafficking inhibition, and real-time imaging experiments all suggest that β1 integrin-containing vesicles are released directly from NeoA-induced cell surface protrusions rather than from vesicles generated intracellularly. The biological activity of NeoA is dependent on its disulfide bond pattern and NMR spectroscopy indicates that the peptide is globular with a continuous ridge of hydrophobic groups flanked by charged amino acid residues that could facilitate a simultaneous interaction with lipids and proteins in the membrane.
NeoA is an anti-adhesive peptide that decreases cell surface integrin levels through a novel, yet to be elucidated, mechanism that involves the release of adhesion molecule-containing vesicles from the cell surface.
The authors report that epidermal growth factor (EGF)-induced corneal epithelial migration in the wound-healing process requires activation of a unique cytosolic HDAC6. Subsequently, EGF-induced activation of HDAC6 deacetylates α-tubulin to facilitate corneal epithelial wound healing.
Epidermal growth factor (EGF) stimulates migration in corneal epithelial wound healing. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of EGF-induced α-tubulin deacetylation through activating HDAC6 on migration in corneal epithelial wound healing.
Human corneal epithelial (HCE) cells were cultured in DMEM/F12 medium containing 10% FBS in a 37°C incubator supplied with 5% CO2. Western blot analysis was used to determine protein expression. Activity of HDAC6 was suppressed by trichostatin A (TSA) and by siRNA specific to HDAC6. Corneal epithelial cell migration was measured by using scratch-induced directional migration assay in cultured cells and by corneal epithelial debridement using a mouse whole-eye organ culture model.
The authors found EGF stimulated corneal epithelial cell migration in wound healing by enhancing HDAC6 activity, resulting in the deacetylation of α-tubulin. EGF stimulated HDAC6 enzymatic activity and protein translocation toward the leading edge of the cell. Inhibition of HDAC6 activity by TSA significantly suppressed EGF-induced cell migration and delayed EGF-induced wound healing in epithelially debrided mouse corneas. In the meantime, knockdown of HDAC6 mRNA with specific siRNA effectively abolished EGF-induced deacetylation of α-tubulin, resulting in the inhibition of cell migration.
These results reveal an important mechanism that involves EGF-induced HDAC6 activation and α-tubulin deacetylation, subsequently affecting corneal epithelial migration in the wound-healing process.
Lysophospatidic acid (LPA) is a bioactive lipid mediator implicated in tissue repair and wound healing. It mediates diverse functional effects in fibroblasts, including proliferation, migration and contraction, but less is known about its ability to evoke paracrine signaling to other cell types involved in wound healing. We hypothesized that human pulmonary fibroblasts stimulated by LPA would exhibit ectodomain shedding of EGFR ligands that signal to lung epithelial cells. To test this hypothesis, we used alkaline phosphatase (AP) -tagged EGF receptor (EGFR) ligand plasmids transfected into CCL-151 lung fibroblasts, and ELISAs to detect shedding of native ligands. LPA induced shedding of transfected AP-tagged HB-EGF, amphiregulin and TGF-alpha;non-transfected fibroblasts shed amphiregulin and HB-EGF under baseline conditions, and increased shedding of HB-EGF in response to LPA.. Treatment of fibroblasts with LPA (10 μM) resulted in elevated phosphorylation of ERK1/2 (3.3 ± 0.04 fold induction at 5 minutes), enhanced expression of mRNA for c-fos (59 ± 7.9-fold at 30 minutes), HB-EGF (28 ± 4.7-fold at 4 hours) and amphiregulin (5.7 ± 1.8-fold at 4 hours), and enhanced proliferation at 96 hours. However, none of these fibroblast responses to LPA required ectodomain shedding or EGFR activity. To test the ability of LPA to stimulate paracrine signaling from fibroblasts, we transferred conditioned medium from LPA stimulated- CCL-151 cells, and found enhanced EGFR and ERK1/2 phosphorylation in reporter A549 cells in excess of what could be accounted for by transferred LPA alone. About one-third of th response (37%, P < 0.05) was attributable to EGFR activation. These data demonstrate that LPA mediates EGF-family ectodomain shedding, resulting in enhanced paracrine signaling from lung fibroblasts to epithelial cells.
epidermal growth factor receptor; LPA; A549 cells
Cell polarity is critical for cell migration and requires localized signal transduction in subcellular domains. Recent evidence demonstrates that activation of ERK1/2 (extracellular-signal-regulated kinase 1/2) in focal adhesions is essential for cell migration. GIT1 (G-protein-coupled receptor kinase-interacting protein 1) has been shown to bind paxillin and regulate focal-adhesion disassembly. We have previously reported that GIT1 binds to MEK1 [MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase)/ERK kinase 1] and acts as a scaffold to enhance ERK1/2 activation in response to EGF (epidermal growth factor). In the present study we show that GIT1 associates with ERK1/2 in focal adhesions and this association increases after EGF stimulation. The CC (coiled-coil) domain of ERK1/2 is required for association with GIT1, translocation to focal adhesions, and cell spreading and migration. Immunofluorescent staining showed that, after EGF stimulation, GIT1 co-localized with pERK1/2 (phosphorylated ERK1/2) in focal adhesions. The binding of GIT1 and ERK1/2 was functionally important, since transfecting an ERK2 mutant lacking the CC domain [ERK2(del CC)] significantly decreased pERK1/2 translocation to focal adhesions, cell spreading and migration induced by EGF. In summary, the CC domain of ERK1/2 is necessary for binding to GIT1, for ERK1/2 activation in focal adhesions, and for cell spreading and migration.
extracellular-signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2); focal adhesion; G-protein-coupled receptor kinase-interacting protein 1 (GIT1)
Altered cell motility is considered to be a key factor in determining tumor invasion and metastasis. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) signaling has been implicated in this process by affecting cytoskeletal organization and dynamics in multiple ways. To sort the temporal and spatial regulation of EGF-dependent cytoskeletal re-organization in relation to a cell’s motile behavior time-lapse microscopy was performed on EGF-responsive gastric carcinoma-derived MKN1 cells co-expressing different fluorescently labeled cytoskeletal filaments and focal adhesion components in various combinations. The experiments showed that EGF almost instantaneously induces a considerable increase in membrane ruffling and lamellipodial activity that can be inhibited by Cetuximab EGF receptor antibodies and is not elicited in non-responsive gastric carcinoma Hs746T cells. The transient cell extensions are rich in actin but lack microtubules and keratin intermediate filaments. We show that this EGF-induced increase in membrane motility can be measured by a simple image processing routine. Microtubule plus-ends subsequently invade growing cell extensions, which start to accumulate focal complexes at the lamellipodium-lamellum junction. Such paxillin-positive complexes mature into focal adhesions by tyrosine phosphorylation and recruitment of zyxin. These adhesions then serve as nucleation sites for keratin filaments which are used to enlarge the neighboring peripheral keratin network. Focal adhesions are either disassembled or give rise to stable zyxin-rich fibrillar adhesions which disassemble in the presence of EGF to support formation of new focal adhesion sites in the cell periphery. Taken together the results serve as a basis for modeling the early cytoskeletal EGF response as a tightly coordinated and step-wise process which is relevant for the prediction of the effectiveness of anti-EGF receptor-based tumor therapy.
Keratocytes are fast-moving cells in which adhesion dynamics are tightly coupled to the actin polymerization motor that drives migration, resulting in highly coordinated cell movement. We have found that modifying the adhesive properties of the underlying substrate has a dramatic effect on keratocyte morphology. Cells crawling at intermediate adhesion strengths resembled stereotypical keratocytes, characterized by a broad, fan-shaped lamellipodium, clearly defined leading and trailing edges, and persistent rates of protrusion and retraction. Cells at low adhesion strength were small and round with highly variable protrusion and retraction rates, and cells at high adhesion strength were large and asymmetrical and, strikingly, exhibited traveling waves of protrusion. To elucidate the mechanisms by which adhesion strength determines cell behavior, we examined the organization of adhesions, myosin II, and the actin network in keratocytes migrating on substrates with different adhesion strengths. On the whole, our results are consistent with a quantitative physical model in which keratocyte shape and migratory behavior emerge from the self-organization of actin, adhesions, and myosin, and quantitative changes in either adhesion strength or myosin contraction can switch keratocytes among qualitatively distinct migration regimes.
Cell migration is important for many biological processes: white blood cells chase down and kill bacteria to guard against infection, epithelial cells crawl across open wounds to promote healing, and embryonic cells move collectively to form organs and tissues during embryogenesis. In all of these cases, migration depends on the spatial and temporal organization of multiple forces, including actin-driven protrusion of the cell membrane, membrane tension, cell-substrate adhesion, and myosin-mediated contraction of the actin network. In this work, we have used a simple cell type, the fish epithelial keratocyte, as a model system to investigate the manner in which these forces are integrated to give rise to large-scale emergent properties such as cell shape and movement. Keratocytes are normally fan-shaped and fast-moving, but we have found that keratocytes migrate more slowly and assume round or asymmetric shapes when cell-substrate adhesion strength is too high or too low. By correlating measurements of adhesion-dependent changes in cell shape and speed with measurements of adhesion and myosin localization patterns and actin network organization, we have developed a mechanical model in which keratocyte shape and movement emerge from adhesion and myosin-dependent regulation of the dynamic actin cytoskeleton.
Motivated by the need for bioactive materials that can accelerate dermal wound healing, this work describes the response of keratinocytes to covalently immobilized epidermal growth factor (EGF) and how differences in the physical presentation of this growth factor impact cell function. Specifically, human keratinocytes were cultured with EGF delivered in soluble form, immobilized in a homogeneous pattern, or immobilized in a gradient pattern, followed by analysis of cellular signaling, proliferation, and migration. By changing the manner in which EGF was presented, keratinocyte behavior was dramatically altered. Keratinocytes responded to immobilized EGF patterns with high EGF receptor (EGFR) but low ERK 1/2 and Akt phosphorylation, accompanied by low proliferation, high migratory activity, and coordinated cell alignment. In contrast, keratinocytes treated with soluble EGF experienced lower EGFR but higher ERK 1/2 and Akt phosphorylation, and displayed a highly proliferative, rather than migratory, phenotype. Keratinocytes also responded to differences in immobilized EGF patterns, as migration was fastest upon immobilized gradients of EGF. Better understanding the interaction of cells with soluble vs. immobilized growth factors can help elucidate native healing events and achieve greater control over cell function, which may be useful in the development of wound repair treatments for many types of tissues.
wound healing; epidermal growth factor; keratinocyte; intracellular signaling; cell migration
Epidermal growth factor (EGF) signaling is implicated in the invasion and metastasis of hepatoma cells. However, the signaling pathways for EGF-induced motility of hepatoma cells remain undefined.
We found that EGF dose-dependently stimulated the migration of human hepatoma cells HepG2, with the maximal effect at 10 ng/mL. Additionally, EGF increased Arf6 activity, and ectopic expression of Arf6 T27N, a dominant negative Arf6 mutant, largely abolish EGF-induced cell migration. Blocking GEP100 with GEP100 siRNA or GEP100-△PH, a pleckstrin homology (PH) domain deletion mutant of GEP100, blocked EGF-induced Arf6 activity and cell migration. EGF also increased ERK and Rac1 activity. Ectopic expression GEP100 siRNA, GEP100-△PH, or Arf6-T27N suppressed EGF-induced ERK and Rac1 activity. Furthermore, blocking ERK signaling with its inhibitor U0126 remarkably inhibited both EGF-induced Rac1 activation as well as cell migration, and ectopic expression of inactive mutant form of Rac1 (Rac1-T17N) also largely abolished EGF-induced cell migration.
Taken together, this study highlights the function of the PH domain of GEP100 and its regulated Arf6/ERK/Rac1 signaling cascade in EGF-induced hepatoma cell migration. These findings could provide a rationale for designing new therapy based on inhibition of hepatoma metastasis.
The speed of cell migration on 2-dimensional (2D) surfaces is determined by the rate of assembly and disassembly of clustered integrin receptors known as focal adhesions. Different modes of cell migration that have been described in 3D environments are distinguished by their dependence on integrin-mediated interactions with the extra-cellular matrix. In particular, the mesenchymal invasion mode is the most dependent on focal adhesion dynamics. The focal adhesion protein NEDD9 is a key signalling intermediary in mesenchymal cell migration, however whether NEDD9 plays a role in regulating focal adhesion dynamics has not previously been reported. As NEDD9 effects on 2D migration speed appear to depend on the cell type examined, in the present study we have used mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEFs) from mice in which the NEDD9 gene has been depleted (NEDD9 −/− MEFs). This allows comparison with effects of other focal adhesion proteins that have previously been demonstrated using MEFs. We show that focal adhesion disassembly rates are increased in the absence of NEDD9 expression and this is correlated with increased paxillin phosphorylation at focal adhesions. NEDD9−/− MEFs have increased rates of migration on 2D surfaces, but conversely, migration of these cells is significantly reduced in 3D collagen gels. Importantly we show that myosin light chain kinase is activated in 3D in the absence of NEDD9 and is conversely inhibited in 2D cultures. Measurement of adhesion strength reveals that NEDD9−/− MEFs have decreased adhesion to fibronectin, despite upregulated α5β1 fibronectin receptor expression. We find that β1 integrin activation is significantly suppressed in the NEDD9−/−, suggesting that in the absence of NEDD9 there is decreased integrin receptor activation. Collectively our data suggest that NEDD9 may promote 3D cell migration by slowing focal adhesion disassembly, promoting integrin receptor activation and increasing adhesion force to the ECM.
We explored the hypothesis that the chemotactic migration of carcinoma cells that assemble hemidesmosomes involves the activation of a signaling pathway that releases the α6β4 integrin from these stable adhesion complexes and promotes its association with F-actin in cell protrusions enabling it to function in migration. Squamous carcinoma-derived A431 cells were used because they express α6β4 and migrate in response to EGF stimulation. Using function-blocking antibodies, we show that the α6β4 integrin participates in EGF-stimulated chemotaxis and is required for lamellae formation on laminin-1. At concentrations of EGF that stimulate A431 chemotaxis (∼1 ng/ml), the α6β4 integrin is mobilized from hemidesmosomes as evidenced by indirect immunofluorescence microscopy using mAbs specific for this integrin and hemidesmosomal components and its loss from a cytokeratin fraction obtained by detergent extraction. EGF stimulation also increased the formation of lamellipodia and membrane ruffles that contained α6β4 in association with F-actin. Importantly, we demonstrate that this mobilization of α6β4 from hemidesmosomes and its redistribution to cell protrusions occurs by a mechanism that involves activation of protein kinase C-α and that it is associated with the phosphorylation of the β4 integrin subunit on serine residues. Thus, the chemotactic migration of A431 cells on laminin-1 requires not only the formation of F-actin–rich cell protrusions that mediate α6β4-dependent cell movement but also the disruption of α6β4-containing hemidesmosomes by protein kinase C.
integrins; cell movement; PKC; hemidesmosomes; cytoskeleton
Productive cell migration requires the spatiotemporal coordination of cell adhesion, membrane protrusion, and actomyosin-mediated contraction. Integrins, engaged by the extracellular matrix (ECM), nucleate the formation of adhesive contacts at the cell's leading edge(s), and maturation of nascent adhesions to form stable focal adhesions constitutes a functional switch between protrusive and contractile activities. To shed additional light on the coupling between integrin-mediated adhesion and membrane protrusion, we have formulated a quantitative model of leading edge dynamics combining mechanistic and phenomenological elements and studied its features through classical bifurcation analysis and stochastic simulation. The model describes in mathematical terms the feedback loops driving, on the one hand, Rac-mediated membrane protrusion and rapid turnover of nascent adhesions, and on the other, myosin-dependent maturation of adhesions that inhibit protrusion at high ECM density. Our results show that the qualitative behavior of the model is most sensitive to parameters characterizing the influence of stable adhesions and myosin. The major predictions of the model, which we subsequently confirmed, are that persistent leading edge protrusion is optimal at an intermediate ECM density, whereas depletion of myosin IIA relieves the repression of protrusion at higher ECM density.
Cell migration is fundamental to human physiology and a phenomenon of long-standing interest in cell biology. It requires the concerted regulation of several dynamic processes that mediate physical anchorage of the cell and productive generation of protrusion and traction forces that propel the cell forward. In this work, we have developed a mathematical model that describes this interplay, cast at the level of biochemical signaling pathways activated at the front of a moving cell. Based on our analysis of the model and experimental confirmation of its basic predictions, we assert that coupled, counteracting feedback loops constitute a functional switch between maintenance and stalling of the cell protrusion speed. Our model successfully explains the dependence of this switch on the abundance of adhesive molecules in the cell's immediate surroundings and sheds light on how non-muscle myosin shapes that dependence.
During breast cancer metastasis, cells emigrate from the primary tumor to the bloodstream, which carries them to distant sites where they infiltrate and sometimes form metastases within target organs. These cells must penetrate the dense extracellular matrix comprising the basement membrane of the mammary duct/acinus and migrate toward blood and lymphatic vessels, processes that mammary tumor cells execute using primarily Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF)-dependent protrusive and migratory activity. Here, we focus on how the actin regulatory protein Mena affects EGF-elicited movement, invasion and metastasis. Recent findings indicate that, in invasive migratory tumor cells, Mena isoforms that endow heightened sensitivity to EGF and increased protrusive and migratory abilities are up-regulated, while other isoforms are selectively down-regulated. This change in Mena isoform expression enables tumor cells to invade in response to otherwise benign EGF stimulus levels and may offer an opportunity to identify metastatic risk in patients.
Cell migration is critically important for the repair of chronic wounds, which cost billions of dollars each year to treat and can lead to serious complications, including amputation and death. Growth factors, including epidermal growth factor (EGF) and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), are known to be deficient in chronic wounds; unfortunately, traditional delivery of soluble growth factors to wounds is expensive and complicated by their degradation. We have previously shown that directed and accelerated keratinocyte migration could be achieved by creating immobilized gradients of EGF. In this work, we have optimized EGF gradients for cell migration, synthesized and characterized gradient patterns of IGF-1, and tested for migration synergy upon combination of EGF and IGF-1 patterns. An optimal EGF concentration and pattern were identified, resulting in migration that was almost 10-fold that achieved on unpatterned controls. Immobilization of IGF-1 gradients also accelerated and directed keratinocyte migration (p<0.05), however, no difference in migration was found across various IGF-1 concentrations or gradient patterns. Although combining EGF with IGF-1 patterns did not accelerate migration beyond levels achieved using EGF alone, these methods can be applied to create other types of multi-component gradients that will ultimately be utilized to create 3-D bioactive wound dressings.
biomolecule tethering; epidermal growth factor (EGF); insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1); keratinocytes; wound healing
Directed cell migration requires continuous cycles of protrusion of the leading edge and contraction to pull up the cell rear. How these spatially distributed processes are coordinated to maintain a state of persistent protrusion remains unknown. During wound healing responses of epithelial sheets, cells along the wound-edge display two distinct morphologies: ‘Leader cells’ exhibit persistent edge protrusions, while the greater majority of ‘follower cells’ randomly cycle between protrusion and retraction. Here, we exploit the heterogeneity in cell morphodynamic behaviors to deduce the requirements in terms of cytoskeleton dynamics for persistent and sporadic protrusion events. We used quantitative Fluorescent Speckle Microscopy (qFSM) to compare rates of F-actin assembly and flow relative to the local protrusion and retraction dynamics of the leading edge. Persistently protruding cells are characterized by contractile actomyosin structures that align with the direction of migration, with converging F-actin flows interpenetrating over a wide band in the lamella. Conversely, non-persistent protruders have their actomyosin structures aligned perpendicular to the axis of migration, and are characterized by prominent F-actin retrograde flows that end into transverse arcs. Analysis of F-actin kinetics in the lamellipodia showed that leader cells have threefold higher assembly rates when compared to followers. To further investigate a putative relationship between actomyosin contraction and F-actin assembly, myosin II was inhibited by blebbistatin. Treated cells at the wound edge adopted a homogeneously persistent protrusion behavior, with rates matching those of leader cells. Surprisingly, we found that disintegration of actomyosin structures led to a significant decrease in F-actin assembly. Our data suggests that persistent protrusion in these cells is achieved by a reduction in overall F-actin retrograde flow, with lower assembly rates now sufficient to propel forward the leading edge. Based on our data we propose that differences in the protrusion persistence of leaders and followers originate in the distinct actomyosin contraction modules that differentially regulate leading edge protrusion-promoting F-actin assembly, and retraction-promoting retrograde flow.
Protrusion; Contraction; speckles; cell motility; wound-healing; correlation
T1736 is a novel phosphorylation site on the integrin β4 subunit that is phosphorylated downstream of protein kinase C and EGF receptor activation and is a substrate for protein kinase D1 in vitro and in cells. It contributes to the regulation of HD dynamics through modulating the association of β4 with plectin.
During wound healing, hemidesmome disassembly enables keratinocyte migration and proliferation. Hemidesmosome dynamics are altered downstream of epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor activation, following the phosphorylation of integrin β4 residues S1356 and S1364, which reduces the interaction with plectin; however, this event is insufficient to drive complete hemidesmome disassembly. In the studies reported here, we used a fluorescence resonance energy transfer–based assay to demonstrate that the connecting segment and carboxy-terminal tail of the β4 cytoplasmic domain interact, which facilitates the formation of a binding platform for plectin. In addition, analysis of a β4 mutant containing a phosphomimicking aspartic acid residue at T1736 in the C-tail suggests that phosphorylation of this residue regulates the interaction with the plectin plakin domain. The aspartic acid mutation of β4 T1736 impaired hemidesmosome formation in junctional epidermolysis associated with pyloric atresia/β4 keratinocytes. Furthermore, we show that T1736 is phosphorylated downstream of protein kinase C and EGF receptor activation and is a substrate for protein kinase D1 in vitro and in cells, which requires its translocation to the plasma membrane and subsequent activation. In conclusion, we identify T1736 as a novel phosphorylation site that contributes to the regulation of hemidesmome disassembly, a dynamically regulated process involving the concerted phosphorylation of multiple β4 residues.
Modulation of cell : cell junctions is a key event in cutaneous wound repair. In this study we report that activation of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor disrupts cell : cell adhesion, but with different kinetics and fates for the desmosomal cadherin desmoglein and for E-cadherin. Downregulation of desmoglein preceded that of E-cadherin in vivo and in an EGF-stimulated in vitro wound reepithelialization model. Dual immunofluorescence staining revealed that neither E-cadherin nor desmoglein-2 internalized with the EGF receptor, or with one another. In response to EGF, desmoglein-2 entered a recycling compartment based on predominant colocalization with the recycling marker Rab11. In contrast, E-cadherin downregulation was accompanied by cleavage of the extracellular domain. A broad-spectrum matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor protected E-cadherin but not the desmosomal cadherin, desmoglein-2, from EGF-stimulated disruption. These findings demonstrate that although activation of the EGF receptor regulates adherens junction and desmosomal components, this stimulus downregulates associated cadherins through different mechanisms.