Ubiquitination is an essential post-translational modification that regulates signalling and protein turnover in eukaryotic cells. Specificity of ubiquitination is driven by ubiquitin E3 ligases, many of which remain poorly understood. One such is the mammalian muskelin/RanBP9/CTLH complex that includes eight proteins, five of which (RanBP9/RanBPM, TWA1, MAEA, Rmnd5 and muskelin), share striking similarities of domain architecture and have been implicated in regulation of cell organisation. In budding yeast, the homologous GID complex acts to down-regulate gluconeogenesis. In both complexes, Rmnd5/GID2 corresponds to a RING ubiquitin ligase. To better understand this E3 ligase system, we conducted molecular phylogenetic and sequence analyses of the related components. TWA1, Rmnd5, MAEA and WDR26 are conserved throughout all eukaryotic supergroups, albeit WDR26 was not identified in Rhizaria. RanBPM is absent from Excavates and from some sub-lineages. Armc8 and c17orf39 were represented across unikonts but in bikonts were identified only in Viridiplantae and in O. trifallax within alveolates. Muskelin is present only in Opisthokonts. Phylogenetic and sequence analyses of the shared LisH and CTLH domains of RanBPM, TWA1, MAEA and Rmnd5 revealed closer relationships and profiles of conserved residues between, respectively, Rmnd5 and MAEA, and RanBPM and TWA1. Rmnd5 and MAEA are also related by the presence of conserved, variant RING domains. Examination of how N- or C-terminal domain deletions alter the sub-cellular localisation of each protein in mammalian cells identified distinct contributions of the LisH domains to protein localisation or folding/stability. In conclusion, all components except muskelin are inferred to have been present in the last eukaryotic common ancestor. Diversification of this ligase complex in different eukaryotic lineages may result from the apparently fast evolution of RanBPM, differing requirements for WDR26, Armc8 or c17orf39, and the origin of muskelin in opisthokonts as a RanBPM-binding protein.
Thrombospondins are glycoproteins that associate with the extracellular matrix and have roles in cell signaling and tissue remodeling.
Thrombospondins are evolutionarily conserved, calcium-binding glycoproteins that undergo transient or longer-term interactions with other extracellular matrix components. They share properties with other matrix molecules, cytokines, adaptor proteins, and chaperones, modulate the organization of collagen fibrils, and bind and localize an array of growth factors or proteases. At cell surfaces, interactions with an array of receptors activate cell-dependent signaling and phenotypic outcomes. Through these dynamic, pleiotropic, and context-dependent pathways, mammalian thrombospondins contribute to wound healing and angiogenesis, vessel wall biology, connective tissue organization, and synaptogenesis. We overview the domain organization and structure of thrombospondins, key features of their evolution, and their cell biology. We discuss their roles in vivo, associations with human disease, and ongoing translational applications. In many respects, we are only beginning to appreciate the important roles of these proteins in physiology and pathology.
Recurrence of carcinomas due to cells that migrate away from the primary tumor is a major problem in cancer treatment. Immunohistochemical analyses of human carcinomas have consistently correlated up-regulation of the actin-bundling protein fascin with a clinically aggressive phenotype and poor prognosis. To understand the functional and mechanistic contributions of fascin, we undertook inducible short hairpin RNA (shRNA) knockdown of fascin in human colon carcinoma cells derived from an aggressive primary tumor. Fascin-depletion led to decreased numbers of filopodia and altered morphology of cell protrusions, decreased Rac-dependent migration on laminin, decreased turnover of focal adhesions, and, in vivo, decreased xenograft tumor development and metastasis. cDNA rescue of fascin shRNA-knockdown cells with wild-type green fluorescent protein-fascin or fascins mutated at the protein kinase C (PKC) phosphorylation site revealed that both the actin-bundling and active PKC-binding activities of fascin are required for the organization of filopodial protrusions, Rac-dependent migration, and tumor metastasis. Thus, fascin contributes to carcinoma migration and metastasis through dual pathways that impact on multiple subcellular structures needed for cell migration.
BPGAP1 controls morphogenesis, migration, and ERK signaling by the concerted action of its multiple domains. Its BCH domain targets K-Ras and induces robust ERK activation and neuronal differentiation in a process antagonized by SmgGDS. The results highlight unique cross-talk of two regulators of GTPases in Ras/ERK signaling and differentiation.
BPGAP1 is a Rho GTPase-activating protein (RhoGAP) that regulates cell morphogenesis, cell migration, and ERK signaling by the concerted action of its proline-rich region (PRR), RhoGAP domain, and the BNIP-2 and Cdc42GAP homology (BCH) domain. Although multiple cellular targets for the PRR and RhoGAP have been identified, and their functions delineated, the mechanism by which the BCH domain regulates functions of BPGAP1 remains unclear. Here we show that its BCH domain induced robust ERK activation leading to PC12 cell differentiation by targeting specifically to K-Ras. Such stimulatory effect was inhibited, however, by both dominant-negative mutants of Mek2 (Mek2-K101A) and K-Ras (K-Ras-S17N) and also by the small G-protein GDP dissociation stimulator (SmgGDS). Consequently SmgGDS knockdown released this inhibition and resulted in a superinduction of K-Ras activation and PC12 differentiation mediated by BCH domain. These results demonstrate the versatility of the BCH domain of BPGAP1 in regulating ERK signaling by involving K-Ras and SmgGDS and support the unique role of BPGAP1 as a dual regulator for Ras and Rho signaling in cell morphogenesis and differentiation.
Fascin-1 is an actin-bundling protein expressed in many human carcinomas, although absent from most normal epithelia. Fascin-1 promotes filopodia formation, migration and invasion in carcinoma cells; in mouse xenograft tumor models it contributes to metastasis. Fascin-1 is an interesting candidate biomarker for aggressive, metastatic carcinomas but data from individual studies of human tumors have not yet been pooled systematically.
This systematic review was conducted in accordance with PRISMA guidelines, using fixed and random effects models, as appropriate, to undertake meta-analysis.
A total of 26 immunohistochemical studies of 5 prevalent human carcinomas were identified for meta-analysis. Fascin-1 was associated with increased risk of mortality for breast (pooled hazard ratio, (HR) = 2.58; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.48 to 4.52; P = 0.001), colorectal (HR = 1.60 (1.37 to 1.86; P <0.001) and esophageal carcinomas (HR = 1.35; CI 1.13 to 1.60; P = 0.001). There was no evidence of association of fascin-1 with mortality in gastric and lung carcinomas. Fascin-1 was associated with increased risk of disease progression in breast (HR = 2.48; CI 1.38 to 4.46; P = 0.002) and colorectal carcinomas (HR = 2.12; CI 1.00 to 4.47; P = 0.05), but not with progression of lung carcinomas (HR = 0.95; CI 0.49 to 1.85; P = 0.9). Fascin-1 was associated with increased risk of lymph node metastasis in colorectal (pooled risk ratio (RR) = 1.47; CI 1.26 to 1.71; P <0.001) and gastric carcinomas (RR = 1.43; CI 1.21 to 1.70; P <0.001). There was no evidence of association of fascin-1 with lymph node metastasis in lung or esophageal carcinomas. Fascin-1 was associated with increased risk of distant metastasis in colorectal (RR = 1.70; CI 1.18 to 2.45; P = 0.004) and gastric carcinomas (RR = 1.93; CI 1.21 to 3.33; P = 0.02). No association with distant metastasis in esophageal carcinomas was observed. Pooling across all the carcinomas provided strong evidence for association of fascin-1 with increased risk of mortality (HR = 1.44; CI 1.24 to 1.68; P <0.001; n = 3,645), lymph node metastasis (RR = 1.36; CI 1.18 to 1.55; P <0.001; n = 2,906) and distant metastasis (1.76; 1.34 to 2.32; P <0.001; n = 1,514).
Fascin-1 is associated consistently with increased risk of mortality in breast, colorectal and esophageal carcinomas and with metastasis in colorectal and gastric carcinomas. The results were stable to various sensitivity analyses and did not vary by predefined subgroups. These data will assist rational decision making for focusing investigations of fascin-1 as a biomarker or therapeutic target onto the most relevant carcinomas.
Fascin-1; carcinoma; mortality; metastasis; meta-analysis
Prostaglandins (PGs) regulate the actin cytoskeleton. However, their mechanisms of action are unknown. Use of Drosophila oogenesis—specifically nurse cell dumping—as a model shows that PGs regulate the actin bundler Fascin to control parallel actin filament bundle formation and cortical actin integrity.
Although prostaglandins (PGs)—lipid signals produced downstream of cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes—regulate actin cytoskeletal dynamics, their mechanisms of action are unknown. We previously established Drosophila oogenesis, in particular nurse cell dumping, as a new model to determine how PGs regulate actin remodeling. PGs, and thus the Drosophila COX-like enzyme Pxt, are required for both the parallel actin filament bundle formation and the cortical actin strengthening required for dumping. Here we provide the first link between Fascin (Drosophila Singed, Sn), an actin-bundling protein, and PGs. Loss of either pxt or fascin results in similar actin defects. Fascin interacts, both pharmacologically and genetically, with PGs, as reduced Fascin levels enhance the effects of COX inhibition and synergize with reduced Pxt levels to cause both parallel bundle and cortical actin defects. Conversely, overexpression of Fascin in the germline suppresses the effects of COX inhibition and genetic loss of Pxt. These data lead to the conclusion that PGs regulate Fascin to control actin remodeling. This novel interaction has implications beyond Drosophila, as both PGs and Fascin-1, in mammalian systems, contribute to cancer cell migration and invasion.
Thrombospondins are multimeric extracellular matrix glycoproteins that play important roles in development, synaptogenesis and wound healing in mammals. We previously identified four putative thrombospondins in the genome of the starlet sea anemone Nematostella vectensis. This study presents the first analysis of these thrombospondins, with the goals of understanding fundamental roles of thrombospondins in the Eumetazoa. Reverse transcriptase PCR showed that each of the N. vectensis thrombospondins (Nv85341, Nv22035, Nv168100 and Nv30790) is transcribed. Three of the four thrombospondins include an RGD or KGD motif in their thrombospondin type 3 repeats at sites equivalent to mammalian thrombospondins, suggesting ancient roles as RGD integrin ligands. Phylogenetic analysis based on the C-terminal regions demonstrated a high level of sequence diversity between N. vectensis thrombospondins. A full-length cDNA sequence was obtained for Nv168100 (NvTSP168100), which has an unusual domain organization. Immunohistochemistry with an antibody to NvTSP168100 revealed labeling of neuron-like cells in the mesoglea of the retractor muscles and the pharynx. In situ hybridization and quantitative PCR showed that NvTSP168100 is upregulated during regeneration. Immunohistochemistry of the area of regeneration identified strong immunostaining of the glycocalyx, the carbohydrate-rich matrix coating the epidermis, and electron microscopy identified changes in glycocalyx organization during regeneration. Thus, N. vectensis thrombospondins share structural features with thrombospondins from mammals and may have roles in the nervous system and in matrix reorganization during regeneration.
Cnidaria; Mesoglea; Extracellular matrix; Glycocalyx; Regeneration; Nervous system
Fascin-1 is an actin crosslinking protein that is important for the assembly of cell protrusions in neurons, skeletal and smooth muscle, fibroblasts, and dendritic cells. Although absent from most normal adult epithelia, fascin-1 is upregulated in many human carcinomas, and is associated with poor prognosis because of its promotion of carcinoma cell migration, invasion, and metastasis. Rac and Cdc42 small guanine triphosphatases have been identified as upstream regulators of the association of fascin-1 with actin, but the possible role of Rho has remained obscure. Additionally, experiments have been hampered by the inability to measure the fascin-1/actin interaction directly in intact cells. We investigated the hypothesis that fascin-1 is a functional target of Rho in normal and carcinoma cells, using experimental approaches that included a novel fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)/fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) method to measure the interaction of fascin-1 with actin.
Rho activity modulates the interaction of fascin-1 with actin, as detected by a novel FRET method, in skeletal myoblasts and human colon carcinoma cells. Mechanistically, Rho regulation depends on Rho kinase activity, is independent of the status of myosin II activity, and is not mediated by promotion of the fascin/PKC complex. The p-Lin-11/Isl-1/Mec-3 kinases (LIMK), LIMK1 and LIMK2, act downstream of Rho kinases as novel binding partners of fascin-1, and this complex regulates the stability of filopodia.
We have identified a novel activity of Rho in promoting a complex between fascin-1 and LIMK1/2 that modulates the interaction of fascin-1 with actin. These data provide new mechanistic insight into the intracellular coordination of contractile and protrusive actin-based structures. During the course of the study, we developed a novel FRET method for analysis of the fascin-1/actin interaction, with potential general applicability for analyzing the activities of actin-binding proteins in intact cells.
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.
The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a complex, multiprotein network that has essential roles in tissue integrity and intercellular signaling in the metazoa. Thrombospondins (TSPs) are extracellular, calcium-binding glycoproteins that have biologically important roles in mammals in angiogenesis, vascular biology, connective tissues, immune response, and synaptogenesis. The evolution of these complex functional properties is poorly understood. We report here on the evolution of TSPs and their ligand-binding capacities, from comparative genomics of species representing the major phyla of metazoa and experimental analyses of the oligomerization properties of noncanonical TSPs of basal deuterostomes. Monomeric, dimeric, trimeric, and pentameric TSPs have arisen through separate evolutionary events involving gain, loss, or modification of a coiled-coil domain or distinct domains at the amino-terminus. The relative transience of monomeric forms under evolution implicates a biological importance for multivalency of the C-terminal region of TSPs. Most protostomes have a single TSP gene encoding a pentameric TSP. The pentameric form is also present in deuterostomes, and gene duplications at the origin of deuterostomes and gene loss and further gene duplication events in the vertebrate lineage gave rise to distinct forms and novel domain architectures. Parallel analysis of the major ligands of mammalian TSPs revealed that many binding activities are neofunctions representing either coevolutionary innovations in the deuterostome lineage or neofunctions of ancient molecules such as CD36. Contrasting widely conserved capacities include binding to heparan glycosaminoglycans, fibrillar collagen, or RGD-dependent integrins. These findings identify TSPs as fundamental components of the extracellular interaction systems of metazoa and thus impact understanding of the evolution of ECM networks. The widely conserved activities of TSPs in binding to ECM components or PS2 clade integrins will be relevant to use of TSPs in synthetic extracellular matrices or tissue engineering. In contrast, the neofunctions of vertebrate TSPs likely include interactions suitable for therapeutic targeting without general disruption of ECM.
thrombospondins; integrins; extracellular matrix; coiled coil; collagen
This study reveals novel roles for the focal adhesion proteins paxillin and Hic-5 in regulating breast cancer invasion strategies and metastasis. Depletion of paxillin promotes a hypermesenchymal phenotype while dysregulating 3D adhesion dynamics. In contrast, RNAi of Hic-5 induces a hyperamoeboid phenotype with dysregulated RhoA/pMLC signaling.
Individual metastatic tumor cells exhibit two interconvertible modes of cell motility during tissue invasion that are classified as either mesenchymal or amoeboid. The molecular mechanisms by which invasive breast cancer cells regulate this migratory plasticity have yet to be fully elucidated. Herein we show that the focal adhesion adaptor protein, paxillin, and the closely related Hic-5 have distinct and unique roles in the regulation of breast cancer cell lung metastasis by modulating cell morphology and cell invasion through three-dimensional extracellular matrices (3D ECMs). Cells depleted of paxillin by RNA interference displayed a highly elongated mesenchymal morphology, whereas Hic-5 knockdown induced an amoeboid phenotype with both cell populations exhibiting reduced plasticity, migration persistence, and velocity through 3D ECM environments. In evaluating associated signaling pathways, we determined that Rac1 activity was increased in cells devoid of paxillin whereas Hic-5 silencing resulted in elevated RhoA activity and associated Rho kinase–induced nonmuscle myosin II activity. Hic-5 was essential for adhesion formation in 3D ECMs, and analysis of adhesion dynamics and lifetime identified paxillin as a key regulator of 3D adhesion assembly, stabilization, and disassembly.
We present a perspective on the molecular evolution of the extracellular matrix (ECM) in metazoa that draws on research publications and data from sequenced genomes and expressed sequence tag libraries. ECM components do not function in isolation, and the biological ECM system or “adhesome” also depends on posttranslational processing enzymes, cell surface receptors, and extracellular proteases. We focus principally on the adhesome of internal tissues and discuss its origins at the dawn of the metazoa and the expansion of complexity that occurred in the chordate lineage. The analyses demonstrate very high conservation of a core adhesome that apparently evolved in a major wave of innovation in conjunction with the origin of metazoa. Integrin, CD36, and certain domains predate the metazoa, and some ECM-related proteins are identified in choanoflagellates as predicted sequences. Modern deuterostomes and vertebrates have many novelties and elaborations of ECM as a result of domain shuffling, domain innovations and gene family expansions. Knowledge of the evolution of metazoan ECM is important for understanding how it is built as a system, its roles in normal tissues and disease processes, and has relevance for tissue engineering, the development of artificial organs, and the goals of synthetic biology.
Using a targeted genetic deletion, we show that the S100A4 metastasis factor is required for macrophage recruitment to sites of inflammation in vivo. S100A4−/− primary macrophages display defects in chemotaxis due to myosin-IIA overassembly and altered CSF-1 receptor signaling. These studies establish S100A4 as a regulator of macrophage motility.
S100A4, a member of the S100 family of Ca2+-binding proteins, is directly involved in tumor metastasis. In addition to its expression in tumor cells, S100A4 is expressed in normal cells and tissues, including fibroblasts and cells of the immune system. To examine the contribution of S100A4 to normal physiology, we established S100A4-deficient mice by gene targeting. Homozygous S100A4−/− mice are fertile, grow normally and exhibit no overt abnormalities; however, the loss of S100A4 results in impaired recruitment of macrophages to sites of inflammation in vivo. Consistent with these observations, primary bone marrow macrophages (BMMs) derived from S100A4−/− mice display defects in chemotactic motility in vitro. S100A4−/− BMMs form unstable protrusions, overassemble myosin-IIA, and exhibit altered colony-stimulating factor-1 receptor signaling. These studies establish S100A4 as a regulator of physiological macrophage motility and demonstrate that S100A4 mediates macrophage recruitment and chemotaxis in vivo.
Molting of nematodes involves the synthesis and removal of a collagen-rich exoskeleton. We describe Caenorhabditis elegans MLT-10, which defines a large family of DUF644 and proline-rich repeat proteins. We show that MLT-10 is released from the epidermis during molting and that MLT-10 is involved in renewal of the exoskeleton and development of the epidermis.
The molting cycle of nematodes involves the periodic synthesis and removal of a collagen-rich exoskeleton, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are not well understood. Here, we describe the mlt-10 gene of Caenorhabditis elegans, which emerged from a genetic screen for molting-defective mutants sensitized by low cholesterol. MLT-10 defines a large family of nematode-specific proteins comprised of DUF644 and tandem P-X2-L-(S/T)-P repeats. Conserved nuclear hormone receptors promote expression of the mlt-10 gene in the hypodermis whenever the exoskeleton is remade. Further, a MLT-10::mCherry fusion protein is released from the hypodermis to the surrounding matrices and fluids during molting. The fusion protein is also detected in strands near the surface of animals. Both loss-of-function and gain-of-function mutations of mlt-10 impede the removal of old cuticles. However, the substitution mutation mlt-10(mg364), which disrupts the proline-rich repeats, causes the most severe phenotype. Mutations of mlt-10 are also associated with abnormalities in the exoskeleton and improper development of the epidermis. Thus, mlt-10 encodes a secreted protein involved in three distinct but interconnected aspects of the molting cycle. We propose that the molting cycle of C. elegans involves the dynamic assembly and disassembly of MLT-10 and possibly the paralogs of MLT-10.
Septins are a family of conserved GTP/GDP-binding proteins implicated in a variety of cellular functions. We found that knockdown of Septin 14 or Septin 4 resulted in inhibition of cortical neuronal migration and defective leading process formation. These results suggest a novel function of septin in cortical development.
Septins are a family of conserved guanosine triphosphate/guanosine diphosphate-binding proteins implicated in a variety of cellular functions such as cell cycle control and cytokinesis. Although several members of septin family, including Septin 14 (Sept14), are abundantly expressed in nervous tissues, little is known about their physiological functions, especially in neuronal development. Here, we report that Sept14 is strongly expressed in the cortical plate of developing cerebral cortex. Knockdown experiments by using the method of in utero electroporation showed that reduction of Sept14 caused inhibition of cortical neuronal migration. Whereas cDNA encoding RNA interference-resistant Sept14 rescued the migration defect, the C-terminal deletion mutant of Sept14 did not. Biochemical analyses revealed that C-terminal coiled-coil region of Sept14 interacts with Septin 4 (Sept4). Knockdown experiments showed that Sept4 is also involved in cortical neuronal migration in vivo. In addition, knockdown of Sept14 or Sept4 inhibited leading process formation in migrating cortical neurons. These results suggest that Sept14 is involved in neuronal migration in cerebral cortex via interaction with Sept4.
In this study, the authors demonstrate a role and a mechanism for h3/acidic calponin in regulating ERK1/2 activity and REF52.2 fibroblast motility, likely due to a regulation of ERK1/2 mediated l-caldesmon phosphorylation.
Migration of fibroblasts is important in wound healing. Here, we demonstrate a role and a mechanism for h3/acidic calponin (aCaP, CNN3) in REF52.2 cell motility, a fibroblast line rich in actin filaments. We show that the actin-binding protein h3/acidic calponin associates with stress fibers in the absence of stimulation but is targeted to the cell cortex and podosome-like structures after stimulation with a phorbol ester, phorbol-12,13-dibutyrate (PDBu). By coimmunoprecipitation and colocalization, we show that extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 and protein kinase C (PKC)α constitutively associate with h3/acidic calponin and are cotargeted with h3/acidic calponin in the presence of PDBu. This targeting can be blocked by a PKC inhibitor but does not require phosphorylation of h3/acidic calponin at the PKC sites S175 or T184. Knockdown of h3/acidic calponin results in a loss of PDBu-mediated ERK1/2 targeting, whereas PKCα targeting is unaffected. Caldesmon is an actin-binding protein that regulates actomyosin interactions and is a known substrate of ERK1/2. Both ERK1/2 activity and nonmuscle l-caldesmon phosphorylation are blocked by h3/acidic calponin knockdown. Furthermore, h3/acidic calponin knockdown inhibits REF52.2 migration in an in vitro wound healing assay. Our findings are consistent with a model whereby h3/acidic calponin controls fibroblast migration by regulation of ERK1/2-mediated l-caldesmon phosphorylation.
Thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) was studied in the 1980s as a major component of platelet α-granules released upon platelet activation and also as a cell adhesion molecule. In 1993, we published a short review that discussed the exciting identification by molecular cloning of four additional vertebrate gene products related to TSP-1 [Current Biology 3 (1993) 188]. We put forward a structurally based classification for the newly identified proteins and discussed the functional and evolutionary implications of the new gene family. Since that time, the depth and breadth of knowledge on vertebrate TSPs and their functions in cells and tissues in health and disease has expanded into important new areas. Of particular interest is the new knowledge on the complex, domain and cell-type specific effects of TSPs on cell-signaling and cell-adhesion behaviour, the roles of TSP-1 and TSP-2 as anti-angiogenic agents, the roles of TSP-1 and TSP-2 in wound-healing, and associations of point mutations and polymorphisms in TSP-1, TSP-4 and TSP-5/COMP with human genetic diseases. The TSP family also now includes invertebrate members. In this article, we give the 2004 view on TSPs and our perspectives on the significant challenges that remain. Other articles in this issue discuss the functions of vertebrate TSPs in depth.
Thrombospondin-1; Extracellular glycoproteins; TSR
The authors show that the mammalian actin binding protein-1 (mAbp1) is required for PDGF-induced dorsal ruffle formation. mAbp1 interacts directly with WASp Interacting Protein (WIP) through its SH3 domain, and this interaction is important for regulating dorsal ruffle formation.
Growth factor stimulation induces the formation of dynamic actin structures known as dorsal ruffles. Mammalian actin-binding protein-1 (mAbp1) is an actin-binding protein that has been implicated in regulating clathrin-mediated endocytosis; however, a role for mAbp1 in regulating the dynamics of growth factor–induced actin-based structures has not been defined. Here we show that mAbp1 localizes to dorsal ruffles and is necessary for platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-mediated dorsal ruffle formation. Despite their structural similarity, we find that mAbp1 and cortactin have nonredundant functions in the regulation of dorsal ruffle formation. mAbp1, like cortactin, is a calpain 2 substrate and the preferred cleavage site occurs between the actin-binding domain and the proline-rich region, generating a C-terminal mAbp1 fragment that inhibits dorsal ruffle formation. Furthermore, mAbp1 directly interacts with the actin regulatory protein WASp-interacting protein (WIP) through its SH3 domain. Finally, we demonstrate that the interaction between mAbp1 and WIP is important in regulating dorsal ruffle formation and that WIP-mediated effects on dorsal ruffle formation require mAbp1. Taken together, these findings identify a novel role for mAbp1 in growth factor–induced dorsal ruffle formation through its interaction with WIP.
The ependymal multiciliated epithelium in the brain restricts the cerebrospinal fluid to the cerebral ventricles and regulates its flow. We report here that mice deficient for myosin IXa (Myo9a), an actin-dependent motor molecule with a Rho GTPase–activating (GAP) domain, develop severe hydrocephalus with stenosis and closure of the ventral caudal 3rd ventricle and the aqueduct. Myo9a is expressed in maturing ependymal epithelial cells, and its absence leads to impaired maturation of ependymal cells. The Myo9a deficiency further resulted in a distorted ependyma due to irregular epithelial cell morphology and altered organization of intercellular junctions. Ependymal cells occasionally delaminated, forming multilayered structures that bridged the CSF-filled ventricular space. Hydrocephalus formation could be significantly attenuated by the inhibition of the Rho-effector Rho-kinase (ROCK). Administration of ROCK-inhibitor restored maturation of ependymal cells, but not the morphological distortions of the ependyma. Similarly, down-regulation of Myo9a by siRNA in Caco-2 adenocarcinoma cells increased Rho-signaling and induced alterations in differentiation, cell morphology, junction assembly, junctional signaling, and gene expression. Our results demonstrate that Myo9a is a critical regulator of Rho-dependent and -independent signaling mechanisms that guide epithelial differentiation. Moreover, Rho-kinases may represent a new target for therapeutic intervention in some forms of hydrocephalus.
Directed cell migration requires the coordination of growth factor and cell adhesion signaling and is of fundamental importance during embryonic development, wound repair, and pathological conditions such as tumor metastasis. Herein, we demonstrate that the ArfGAP, paxillin-kinase-linker (PKL/GIT2), is tyrosine phosphorylated in response to platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) stimulation, in an adhesion dependent manner and is necessary for directed cell migration. Using a combination of pharmacological inhibitors, knockout cells and kinase mutants, FAK, and Src family kinases were shown to mediate PDGF-dependent PKL tyrosine phosphorylation. In fibroblasts, expression of a PKL mutant lacking the principal tyrosine phosphorylation sites resulted in loss of wound-induced cell polarization as well as directional migration. PKL phosphorylation was necessary for PDGF-stimulated PKL binding to the focal adhesion protein paxillin and expression of paxillin or PKL mutants defective in their respective binding motifs recapitulated the polarization defects. RNA interference or expression of phosphorylation mutants of PKL resulted in disregulation of PDGF-stimulated Rac1 and PAK activities, reduction of Cdc42 and Erk signaling, as well as mislocalization of βPIX. Together these studies position PKL as an integral component of growth factor and cell adhesion cross-talk signaling, controlling the development of front–rear cell polarity and directional cell migration.
The function of α-synuclein, a soluble protein abundant in the brain and concentrated at presynaptic terminals, is still undefined. Yet, α-synuclein overexpression and the expression of its A30P mutant are associated with familial Parkinson's disease. Working in cell-free conditions, in two cell lines as well as in primary neurons we demonstrate that α-synuclein and its A30P mutant have different effects on actin polymerization. Wild-type α-synuclein binds actin, slows down its polymerization and accelerates its depolymerization, probably by monomer sequestration; A30P mutant α-synuclein increases the rate of actin polymerization and disrupts the cytoskeleton during reassembly of actin filaments. Consequently, in cells expressing mutant α-synuclein, cytoskeleton-dependent processes, such as cell migration, are inhibited, while exo- and endocytic traffic is altered. In hippocampal neurons from mice carrying a deletion of the α-synuclein gene, electroporation of wild-type α-synuclein increases actin instability during remodeling, with growth of lamellipodia-like structures and apparent cell enlargement, whereas A30P α-synuclein induces discrete actin-rich foci during cytoskeleton reassembly. In conclusion, α-synuclein appears to play a major role in actin cytoskeletal dynamics and various aspects of microfilament function. Actin cytoskeletal disruption induced by the A30P mutant might alter various cellular processes and thereby play a role in the pathogenesis of neurodegeneration.
Fascin is an actin-bundling protein that is absent from most normal epithelia yet is upregulated in multiple forms of human carcinoma, where its expression correlates clinically with a poor prognosis. How fascin-1 transcription is activated in carcinoma cells is largely unknown, although the hypothesis of regulation by β-catenin signaling has received attention. The question is important because of the clinical significance of fascin expression in human carcinomas.
Through comparative genomics we made an unbiased analysis of the DNA sequence of the fascin-1 promoter region from six mammalian species. We identified two regions in which highly conserved motifs are concentrated. Luciferase promoter reporter assays for the human fascin-1 promoter were carried out in fascin-positive and -negative human breast and colon carcinoma cells, and in human dermal fibroblasts that are constitutively fascin-positive. In all fascin-positive cells, the region −219/+114 that contains multiple highly conserved motifs had strong transcriptional activity. The region −2953/−1582 appeared to contain repressor activity. By examining the effects of single or multiple point mutations of conserved motifs within the −219/+114 region on transcriptional reporter activity, we identified for the first time that the conserved CREB and AhR binding motifs are major determinants of transcriptional activity in human colon carcinoma cells. Chromatin immunoprecipitations for CREB, AhR or β-catenin from extracts from fascin-positive or -negative human colon carcinoma cells identified that CREB and AhR specifically associate with the −219/+114 region of the FSCN1 promoter in fascin-positive colon carcinoma cells. An association of β-catenin was not specific to fascin-positive cells.
Upregulation of fascin-1 in aggressive human carcinomas appears to have a multi-factorial basis. The data identify novel roles for CREB and AhR as major, specific regulators of FSCN-1 transcription in human carcinoma cells but do not support the hypothesis that β-catenin signaling has a central role.