Interaction between Tiam1 and the Arp2/3 complex links activation of Rac to actin polymerization.
ABSTRACT: The Rac-specific GEF (guanine-nucleotide exchange factor) Tiam1 (T-lymphoma invasion and metastasis 1) regulates migration, cell-matrix and cell-cell adhesion by modulating the actin cytoskeleton through the GTPase, Rac1. Using yeast two-hybrid screening and biochemical assays, we found that Tiam1 interacts with the p21-Arc [Arp (actin-related protein) complex] subunit of the Arp2/3 complex. Association occurred through the N-terminal pleckstrin homology domain and the adjacent coiled-coil region of Tiam1. As a result, Tiam1 co-localizes with the Arp2/3 complex at sites of actin polymerization, such as epithelial cell-cell contacts and membrane ruffles. Deletion of the p21-Arc-binding domain in Tiam1 impairs its subcellular localization and capacity to activate Rac1, suggesting that binding to the Arp2/3 complex is important for the function of Tiam1. Indeed, blocking Arp2/3 activation with a WASP (Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein) inhibitor leads to subcellular relocalization of Tiam1 and decreased Rac activation. Conversely, functionally active Tiam1, but not a GEF-deficient mutant, promotes activation of the Arp2/3 complex and its association with cytoskeletal components, indicating that Tiam1 and Arp2/3 are mutually dependent for their correct localization and signalling. Our data suggests a model in which the Arp2/3 complex acts as a scaffold to localize Tiam1, and thereby Rac activity, which are both required for activation of the Arp2/3 complex and further Arp2/3 recruitment. This 'self-amplifying' signalling module involving Tiam1, Rac and the Arp2/3 complex could thus drive actin polymerization at specific sites in cells that are required for dynamic morphological changes.
Project description:The small GTPase Rac1 orchestrates actin-dependent remodeling essential for numerous cellular processes including synapse development. While precise spatiotemporal regulation of Rac1 is necessary for its function, little is known about the mechanisms that enable Rac1 activators (GEFs) and inhibitors (GAPs) to act in concert to regulate Rac1 signaling. Here, we identify a regulatory complex composed of a Rac-GEF (Tiam1) and a Rac-GAP (Bcr) that cooperate to control excitatory synapse development. Disruption of Bcr function within this complex increases Rac1 activity and dendritic spine remodeling, resulting in excessive synaptic growth that is rescued by Tiam1 inhibition. Notably, EphB receptors utilize the Tiam1-Bcr complex to control synaptogenesis. Following EphB activation, Tiam1 induces Rac1-dependent spine formation, whereas Bcr prevents Rac1-mediated receptor internalization, promoting spine growth over retraction. The finding that a Rac-specific GEF/GAP complex is required to maintain optimal levels of Rac1 signaling provides an important insight into the regulation of small GTPases.
Project description:The signaling pathways mediated by Rho family GTPases have been implicated in many aspects of cell biology. The specificity of the pathways is achieved in part by the selective interaction between Dbl family guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) and their Rho GTPase substrates. Here, we report a first-generation small-molecule inhibitor of Rac GTPase targeting Rac activation by GEF. The chemical compound NSC23766 was identified by a structure-based virtual screening of compounds that fit into a surface groove of Rac1 known to be critical for GEF specification. In vitro it could effectively inhibit Rac1 binding and activation by the Rac-specific GEF Trio or Tiam1 in a dose-dependent manner without interfering with the closely related Cdc42 or RhoA binding or activation by their respective GEFs or with Rac1 interaction with BcrGAP or effector PAK1. In cells, it potently blocked serum or platelet-derived growth factor-induced Rac1 activation and lamellipodia formation without affecting the activity of endogenous Cdc42 or RhoA. Moreover, this compound reduced Trio or Tiam1 but not Vav, Lbc, Intersectin, or a constitutively active Rac1 mutant-stimulated cell growth and suppressed Trio, Tiam1, or Ras-induced cell transformation. When applied to human prostate cancer PC-3 cells, it was able to inhibit the proliferation, anchorage-independent growth and invasion phenotypes that require the endogenous Rac1 activity. Thus, NSC23766 constitutes a Rac-specific small-molecule inhibitor that could be useful to study the role of Rac in various cellular functions and to reverse tumor cell phenotypes associated with Rac deregulation.
Project description:Rac1-GTPases serve as intermediary cellular switches, which conduct transient and constitutive signals from upstream cues, including those from Ras oncoproteins. Although the sirtuin1 (SIRT1) deacetylase is overexpressed in several human cancers and has recently been linked to cancer cell motility as a context-dependent regulator of multiple pathways, its role in Rac1 activation has not been reported. Similarly, SIRT2 has been demonstrated to be upregulated in some cancers; however, studies have also reported its role in tumor suppression. Here, we demonstrate that SIRT1 and SIRT2 positively regulate the levels of Rac1-GTP and the activity of T-cell lymphoma invasion and metastasis 1 (TIAM1), a Rac guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF). Transient inhibition of SIRT1 and SIRT2 resulted in increased acetylation of TIAM1, whereas chronic SIRT2 knockdown resulted in enhanced acetylation of TIAM1. SIRT1 regulates Dishevelled (DVL) protein levels in cancer cells, and DVL along with TIAM1 are known to augment Rac activation; however, SIRT1 or 2 has not been previously linked with TIAM1. We found that diminished sirtuin activity led to the disruption of the DVL1-TIAM1 interaction. We hence propose a model for Rac activation where SIRT1/2 positively modulates the DVL/TIAM1/Rac axis and promotes sustained pathway activation.
Project description:Long-term synaptic plasticity requires a mechanism that converts short Ca2+ pulses into persistent biochemical signaling to maintain changes in the synaptic structure and function. Here, we present a novel mechanism of a positive feedback loop, formed by a reciprocally activating kinase-effector complex (RAKEC) in dendritic spines, enabling the persistence and confinement of a molecular memory. We found that stimulation of a single spine causes the rapid formation of a RAKEC consisting of CaMKII and Tiam1, a Rac-GEF. This interaction is mediated by a pseudo-autoinhibitory domain on Tiam1, which is homologous to the CaMKII autoinhibitory domain itself. Therefore, Tiam1 binding results in constitutive CaMKII activation, which in turn persistently phosphorylates Tiam1. Phosphorylated Tiam1 promotes stable actin-polymerization through Rac1, thereby maintaining the structure of the spine during LTP. The RAKEC can store biochemical information in small subcellular compartments, thus potentially serving as a general mechanism for prolonged and compartmentalized signaling.
Project description:The Arp2/3 protein complex has been implicated in the control of actin polymerization in cells. The human complex consists of seven subunits which include the actin related proteins Arp2 and Arp3, and five others referred to as p41-Arc, p34-Arc, p21-Arc, p20-Arc, and p16-Arc (p omplex). We have determined the predicted amino acid sequence of all seven subunits. Each has homologues in diverse eukaryotes, implying that the structure and function of the complex has been conserved through evolution. Human Arp2 and Arp3 are very similar to family members from other species. p41-Arc is a new member of the Sop2 family of WD (tryptophan and aspartate) repeat-containing proteins and may be posttranslationally modified, suggesting that it may be involved in regulating the activity and/or localization of the complex. p34-Arc, p21-Arc, p20-Arc, and p16-Arc define novel protein families. We sought to evaluate the function of the Arp2/3 complex in cells by determining its intracellular distribution. Arp3, p34-Arc, and p21-Arc were localized to the lamellipodia of stationary and locomoting fibroblasts, as well to Listeria monocytogenes assembled actin tails. They were not detected in cellular bundles of actin filaments. Taken together with the ability of the Arp2/3 complex to induce actin polymerization, these observations suggest that the complex promotes actin assembly in lamellipodia and may participate in lamellipodial protrusion.
Project description:The formation of new branched actin filament networks at the cell cortex of migrating cells is choreographed by the actin-related protein (Arp) 2/3 complex. Despite the fundamental role of the Arp2/3 complex in actin nucleation and branching, upstream signals that control the functions of p41-Arc, a putative regulatory component of the mammalian Arp2/3 complex, remain unidentified. Here we show that p41-Arc interacts with p21-activated kinase 1 (Pak1) both in vitro and in vivo. Pak1 phosphorylation of p41-Arc regulates its localization with the Arp2/3 complex in the cortical nucleation regions of cells. Pak1 phosphorylates p41-Arc on threonine 21 in the first WD repeat, and its mutation has functional implications in vivo. Threonine 21 phosphorylation by Pak1 is required for both constitutive and growth-factor-induced cell motility. Pak1 regulation of p41-Arc activation status represents a novel mechanism by which signalling pathways may influence the functions of the Arp2/3 complex, leading to motility in mammalian cells.
Project description:The Rho-GTPase Rac1 stimulates actin remodelling at the cell periphery by relaying signals to Scar/WAVE proteins leading to activation of Arp2/3-mediated actin polymerization. Scar/WAVE proteins do not interact with Rac1 directly, but instead assemble into multiprotein complexes, which was shown to regulate their activity in vitro. However, little information is available on how these complexes function in vivo. Here we show that the specifically Rac1-associated protein-1 (Sra-1) and Nck-associated protein 1 (Nap1) interact with WAVE2 and Abi-1 (e3B1) in resting cells or upon Rac activation. Consistently, Sra-1, Nap1, WAVE2 and Abi-1 translocated to the tips of membrane protrusions after microinjection of constitutively active Rac. Moreover, removal of Sra-1 or Nap1 by RNA interference abrogated the formation of Rac-dependent lamellipodia induced by growth factor stimulation or aluminium fluoride treatment. Finally, microinjection of an activated Rac failed to restore lamellipodia protrusion in cells lacking either protein. Thus, Sra-1 and Nap1 are constitutive and essential components of a WAVE2- and Abi-1-containing complex linking Rac to site-directed actin assembly.
Project description:The small GTPase Rac1 is implicated in various cellular processes that are essential for normal cell function. Deregulation of Rac1 signaling has also been linked to a number of diseases, including cancer. The diversity of Rac1 functioning in cells is mainly attributed to its ability to bind to a multitude of downstream effectors following activation by Guanine nucleotide Exchange Factors (GEFs). Despite the identification of a large number of Rac1 binding partners, factors influencing downstream specificity are poorly defined, thus hindering the detailed understanding of both Rac1's normal and pathological functions. In a recent study, we demonstrated a role for 2 Rac-specific GEFs, Tiam1 and P-Rex1, in mediating Rac1 anti- versus pro-migratory effects, respectively. Importantly, via conducting a quantitative proteomic screen, we identified distinct changes in the Rac1 interactome following activation by either GEF, indicating that these opposing effects are mediated through GEF modulation of the Rac1 interactome. Here, we present the full list of identified Rac1 interactors together with functional annotation of the differentially regulated Rac1 binding partners. In light of this data, we also provide additional insights into known and novel signaling cascades that might account for the GEF-mediated Rac1-driven cellular effects.
Project description:Cell polarization is essential for many biological processes, including directed cell migration, and loss of polarity contributes to pathological conditions such as cancer. The Par complex (Par3, Par6, and PKC?) controls cell polarity in part by recruiting the Rac-specific guanine nucleotide exchange factor T-lymphoma invasion and metastasis 1 (Tiam1) to specialized cellular sites, where Tiam1 promotes local Rac1 activation and cytoskeletal remodeling. However, the mechanisms that restrict Par-Tiam1 complex activity to the leading edge to maintain cell polarity during migration remain unclear. We identify the Rac-specific GTPase-activating protein (GAP) breakpoint cluster region protein (Bcr) as a novel regulator of the Par-Tiam1 complex. We show that Bcr interacts with members of the Par complex and inhibits both Rac1 and PKC? signaling. Loss of Bcr results in faster, more random migration and striking polarity defects in astrocytes. These polarity defects are rescued by reducing PKC? activity or by expressing full-length Bcr, but not an N-terminal deletion mutant or the homologous Rac-GAP, Abr, both of which fail to associate with the Par complex. These results demonstrate that Bcr is an integral member of the Par-Tiam1 complex that controls polarized cell migration by locally restricting both Rac1 and PKC? function.
Project description:T-cell lymphoma invasion and metastasis 1 (Tiam1) is a Dbl-family guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) that specifically activates the Rho-family GTPase Rac1 in response to upstream signals, thereby regulating cellular processes including cell adhesion and migration. Tiam1 contains multiple domains, including an N-terminal pleckstrin homology coiled-coiled extension (PHn-CC-Ex) and catalytic Dbl homology and C-terminal pleckstrin homology (DH-PHc) domain. Previous studies indicate that larger fragments of Tiam1, such as the region encompassing the N-terminal to C-terminal pleckstrin homology domains (PHn-PHc), are auto-inhibited. However, the domains in this region responsible for inhibition remain unknown. Here, we show that the PHn-CC-Ex domain inhibits Tiam1 GEF activity by directly interacting with the catalytic DH-PHc domain, preventing Rac1 binding and activation. Enzyme kinetics experiments suggested that Tiam1 is auto-inhibited through occlusion of the catalytic site rather than by allostery. Small angle X-ray scattering and ensemble modeling yielded models of the PHn-PHc fragment that indicate it is in equilibrium between "open" and "closed" conformational states. Finally, single-molecule experiments support a model in which conformational sampling between the open and closed states of Tiam1 contributes to Rac1 dissociation. Our results highlight the role of the PHn-CC-Ex domain in Tiam1 GEF regulation and suggest a combinatorial model for GEF inhibition and activation of the Rac1 signaling pathway.