To stabilize neutrophil polarity, PIP3 and Cdc42 augment RhoA activity at the back as well as signals at the front.
ABSTRACT: Chemoattractants like f-Met-Leu-Phe (fMLP) induce neutrophils to polarize by triggering divergent signals that promote the formation of protrusive filamentous actin (F-actin; frontness) and RhoA-dependent actomyosin contraction (backness). Frontness locally inhibits backness and vice versa. In neutrophil-like HL60 cells, blocking phosphatidylinositol-3,4,5-tris-phosphate (PIP3) accumulation with selective inhibitors of PIP3 synthesis completely prevents fMLP from activating a PIP3-dependent kinase and Cdc42 but not from stimulating F-actin accumulation. PIP3-deficient cells show reduced fMLP-dependent Rac activity and unstable pseudopods, which is consistent with the established role of PIP3 as a mediator of positive feedback pathways that augment Rac activation at the front. Surprisingly, such cells also show reduced RhoA activation and RhoA-dependent contraction at the trailing edge, leading to the formation of multiple lateral pseudopods. Cdc42 mediates PIP3's positive effect on RhoA activity. Thus, PIP3 and Cdc42 maintain stable polarity with a single front and a single back not only by strengthening pseudopods but also, at longer range, by promoting RhoA-dependent actomyosin contraction at the trailing edge.
Project description:Chemoattractants like fMet-Leu-Phe (fMLP) induce neutrophils to polarize with phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate (PIP3) and protrusive F-actin at the front and actomyosin contraction at the sides and back. RhoA and its downstream effector, myosin II, mediate the "backness" response, which locally inhibits the "frontness" response and constrains its location to one part of the cell. In living HL-60 cells, we used a fluorescent PIP3 probe or a single-chain FRET biosensor for RhoA-GTP to assess spatial distribution of frontness or backness responses, respectively, during the first 3 min after exposure to a uniform concentration of fMLP. Increased PIP3 signal or RhoA activity initially localized randomly about the cell's periphery but progressively redistributed to the front or to the back and sides, respectively. Cells rendered unable to mount the frontness response (by inhibiting actin polymerization or Gi, a trimeric G protein) responded to a micropipette source of attractant by localizing RhoA activity at the up-gradient edge. We infer that protrusive F-actin, induced by the frontness response, constrains the spatial distribution of backness by locally reducing activation of RhoA, thereby reducing its active form at the front. Mutual incompatibility of frontness and backness is responsible for self-organization of neutrophil polarity.
Project description:How do microtubules, which maintain and direct polarity of many eukaryotic cells, regulate polarity of blood neutrophils? In sharp contrast to most cells, disrupting a neutrophil's microtubule network with nocodazole causes it to polarize and migrate [Niggli, V. (2003) J. Cell Sci. 116, 813-822]. Nocodazole induces the same responses in differentiated HL-60 cells, a model neutrophil cell line, and reduces their chemotactic prowess by causing them to pursue abnormally circuitous paths in migrating toward a stationary point source of an attractant, f-Met-Leu-Phe (fMLP). The chemotactic defect stems from dramatic nocodazole-induced imbalance between the divergent, opposed fMLP-induced "backness" and "frontness" signals responsible for neutrophil polarity. Nocodazole (i) stimulates backness by increasing Rho- and actomyosin-dependent contractility, as reported by Niggli, and also (ii) impairs fMLP-dependent frontness: pseudopods are flatter, contain less F-actin, and show decreased membrane translocation of PH-Akt-GFP, a fluorescent marker for 3'-phosphoinositide lipids. Inhibiting backness with a pharmacologic inhibitor of a Rho-dependent kinase substantially reverses nocodazole's effects on chemotaxis, straightness of migration paths, morphology, and PH-Akt-GFP translocation. Thus, microtubules normally balance backness vs. frontness signals, preventing backness from reducing the strength of pseudopods and from impairing directional migration.
Project description:Chemotactic responsiveness is crucial to neutrophil recruitment to sites of infection. During chemotaxis, highly divergent cytoskeletal programs are executed at the leading and trailing edge of motile neutrophils. The Rho family of small GTPases plays a critical role in cell migration, and recent work has focused on elucidating the specific roles played by Rac1, Rac2, Cdc42, and Rho during cellular chemotaxis. Rac GTPases regulate actin polymerization and extension of the leading edge, whereas Rho GTPases control myosin-based contraction of the trailing edge. Rac and Rho signaling are thought to crosstalk with one another, and previous research has focused on mutual inhibition of Rac and Rho signaling during chemotaxis. Indeed, polarization of neutrophils has been proposed to involve the activity of a negative feedback system where Rac activation at the front of the cell inhibits local Rho activation, and vice versa. Using primary human neutrophils and neutrophils derived from a Rac1/Rac2-null transgenic mouse model, we demonstrate here that Rac1 (and not Rac2) is essential for Rho and myosin activation at the trailing edge to regulate uropod function. We conclude that Rac plays both positive and negative roles in the organization of the Rhomyosin "backness" program, thereby promoting stable polarity in chemotaxing neutrophils.
Project description:The individual molecular pathways downstream of Cdc42, Rac, and Rho GTPases are well documented, but we know surprisingly little about how these pathways are coordinated when cells move in a complex environment in vivo. In the developing embryo, melanoblasts originating from the neural crest must traverse the dermis to reach the epidermis of the skin and hair follicles. We previously established that Rac1 signals via Scar/WAVE and Arp2/3 to effect pseudopod extension and migration of melanoblasts in skin. Here we show that RhoA is redundant in the melanocyte lineage but that Cdc42 coordinates multiple motility systems independent of Rac1. Similar to Rac1 knockouts, Cdc42 null mice displayed a severe loss of pigmentation, and melanoblasts showed cell-cycle progression, migration, and cytokinesis defects. However, unlike Rac1 knockouts, Cdc42 null melanoblasts were elongated and displayed large, bulky pseudopods with dynamic actin bursts. Despite assuming an elongated shape usually associated with fast mesenchymal motility, Cdc42 knockout melanoblasts migrated slowly and inefficiently in the epidermis, with nearly static pseudopods. Although much of the basic actin machinery was intact, Cdc42 null cells lacked the ability to polarize their Golgi and coordinate motility systems for efficient movement. Loss of Cdc42 de-coupled three main systems: actin assembly via the formin FMNL2 and Arp2/3, active myosin-II localization, and integrin-based adhesion dynamics.
Project description:Traction force against the substrate is required for neuronal migration, but how it is generated and regulated remains controversial. Using traction force microscopy, we showed in cultured granule cells the coexistence of three distinct contraction centers (CCs) that are located at the distal and proximal regions of the leading process as well as at the trailing process, regions exhibiting high-level myosin-II activities. The CC activities depended on myosin-II, actin filaments, and microtubules, as well as substrate adhesion, and exhibited apparently independent fluctuation. The difference of strain energies associated with CC activities between leading versus trailing processes tightly correlated with the displacement of the soma at any given time. Application of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and Slit2, factors known to guide neuronal migration, at the leading process altered CC activities by regulating the small GTPases Cdc42 and RhoA, respectively, leading to forward and rearward soma translocation. These results delineate the multiple origins and spatiotemporal dynamics of the traction force underlying neuronal migration.
Project description:Contractile arrays of actin filaments (F-actin) and myosin-2 power diverse biological processes. Contractile array formation is stimulated by the Rho GTPases Rho and Cdc42; after assembly, array movement is thought to result from contraction itself. Contractile array movement and GTPase activity were analyzed during cellular wound repair, in which arrays close in association with zones of Rho and Cdc42 activity. Remarkably, contraction suppression prevents translocation of F-actin and myosin-2 without preventing array or zone closure. Closure is driven by an underlying "signal treadmill" in which the GTPases are preferentially activated at the leading edges and preferentially lost from the trailing edges of their zones. Treadmill organization requires myosin-2-powered contraction and F-actin turnover. Thus, directional gradients in Rho GTPase turnover impart directional information to contractile arrays, and proper functioning of these gradients is dependent on both contraction and F-actin turnover.
Project description:Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are suggested to be important progenitors of myofibroblasts in fibrosis. To understand the role of Rho GTPase signaling in TGFβ-induced myofibroblast differentiation of MSC, we generated a novel MSC line and its descendants lacking functional Rho GTPases and Rho GTPase signaling components. Unexpectedly, our data revealed that Rho GTPase signaling is required for TGFβ-induced expression of α-smooth muscle actin (αSMA) but not of collagen I α1 (col1a1). Whereas loss of RhoA and Cdc42 reduced αSMA expression, ablation of the Rac1 gene had the opposite effect. Although actin polymerization and MRTFa were crucial for TGFβ-induced αSMA expression, neither Arp2/3-dependent actin polymerization nor cofilin-dependent severing and depolymerization of F-actin were required. Instead, F-actin levels were dependent on cell contraction, and TGFβ-induced actin polymerization correlated with increased cell contraction mediated by RhoA and Cdc42. Finally, we observed impaired collagen I secretion in MSC lacking RhoA or Cdc42. These data give novel molecular insights into the role of Rho GTPases in TGFβ signaling and have implications for our understanding of MSC function in fibrosis.
Project description:Small RhoGTPases, such as Cdc42 and RhoA, are key players in integrating external cues and intracellular signaling pathways that regulate growth cone (GC) motility. Indeed, Cdc42 is involved in actin polymerization and filopodia formation, whereas RhoA induces GC collapse and neurite retraction through actomyosin contraction. In this study we employed Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) microscopy to study the spatio-temporal dynamics of Cdc42 and RhoA in GCs in response to local Semaphorin-3A (Sema3A) stimulation obtained with lipid vesicles filled with Sema3A and positioned near the selected GC using optical tweezers. We found that Cdc42 and RhoA were activated at the leading edge of NG108-15 neuroblastoma cells during spontaneous cycles of protrusion and retraction, respectively. The release of Sema3A brought to a progressive activation of RhoA within 30 s from the stimulus in the central region of the GC that collapsed and retracted. In contrast, the same stimulation evoked waves of Cdc42 activation propagating away from the stimulated region. A more localized stimulation obtained with Sema3A coated beads placed on the GC, led to Cdc42 active waves that propagated in a retrograde manner with a mean period of 70 s, and followed by GC retraction. Therefore, Sema3A activates both Cdc42 and RhoA with a complex and different spatial-temporal dynamics.
Project description:Phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) and its product phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate (PIP3) play an essential role in the regulation of neutrophil functions by the chemoattractant formylmethionyl-leucylphenylalanine (FMLP). Here we show that permeabilization of human neutrophils leads to loss of cytosolic components, including PI3Kgamma, and causes the loss of FMLP-dependent production of PIP3. FMLP-sensitive synthesis of PIP3 could be restored by reconstitution of permeabilized neutrophils with recombinant PI3Kgamma. Admixture of recombinant phosphatidylinositol transfer protein (PITP) to the reconstitution cocktail produced a further increase of PIP3 synthesis, whereas pertussis toxin suppressed the FMLP-dependent production of PIP3. We conclude that FMLP-sensitive PIP3 formation in human neutrophils involves the FMLP receptor, heterotrimeric G-proteins of the Gi type, PI3Kgamma and PITP.
Project description:Rho GTPases are versatile regulators of cell shape that act on the actin cytoskeleton. Studies using Rho GTPase mutants have shown that, in some cells, Rac1 and Cdc42 regulate the formation of lamellipodia and filopodia, respectively at the leading edge, whereas RhoA mediates contraction at the rear of moving cells. However, recent reports have described a zone of RhoA/ROCK activation at the front of cells undergoing motility. In this study, we use a FRET-based RhoA biosensor to show that RhoA activation localizes to the leading edge of EGF-stimulated cells. Inhibition of Rho or ROCK enhanced protrusion, yet markedly inhibited cell motility; these changes correlated with a marked activation of Rac-1 at the cell edge. Surprisingly, whereas EGF-stimulated protrusion in control MTLn3 cells is Rac-independent and Cdc42-dependent, the opposite pattern is observed in MTLn3 cells after inhibition of ROCK. Thus, Rho and ROCK suppress Rac-1 activation at the leading edge, and inhibition of ROCK causes a switch between Cdc42 and Rac-1 as the dominant Rho GTPase driving protrusion in carcinoma cells. These data describe a novel role for Rho in coordinating signaling by Rac and Cdc42.