Integrin-linked kinase is required for epidermal and hair follicle morphogenesis.
ABSTRACT: Integrin-linked kinase (ILK) links integrins to the actin cytoskeleton and is believed to phosphorylate several target proteins. We report that a keratinocyte-restricted deletion of the ILK gene leads to epidermal defects and hair loss. ILK-deficient epidermal keratinocytes exhibited a pronounced integrin-mediated adhesion defect leading to epidermal detachment and blister formation, disruption of the epidermal-dermal basement membrane, and the translocation of proliferating, integrin-expressing keratinocytes to suprabasal epidermal cell layers. The mutant hair follicles were capable of producing hair shaft and inner root sheath cells and contained stem cells and generated proliferating progenitor cells, which were impaired in their downward migration and hence accumulated in the outer root sheath and failed to replenish the hair matrix. In vitro studies with primary ILK-deficient keratinocytes attributed the migration defect to a reduced migration velocity and an impaired stabilization of the leading-edge lamellipodia, which compromised directional and persistent migration. We conclude that ILK plays important roles for epidermis and hair follicle morphogenesis by modulating integrin-mediated adhesion, actin reorganization, and plasma membrane dynamics in keratinocytes.
Project description:PINCH-1 is a LIM-only domain protein that forms a ternary complex with integrin-linked kinase (ILK) and parvin (to form the IPP complex) downstream of integrins. Here, we demonstrate that PINCH-1 (also known as Lims1) gene ablation in the epidermis of mice caused epidermal detachment from the basement membrane, epidermal hyperthickening and progressive hair loss. PINCH-1-deficient keratinocytes also displayed profound adhesion, spreading and migration defects in vitro that were substantially more severe than those of ILK-deficient keratinocytes indicating that PINCH-1 also exerts functions in an ILK-independent manner. By isolating the PINCH-1 interactome, the LIM-domain-containing and actin-binding protein epithelial protein lost in neoplasm (EPLIN, also known as LIMA1) was identified as a new PINCH-1-associated protein. EPLIN localized, in a PINCH-1-dependent manner, to integrin adhesion sites of keratinocytes in vivo and in vitro and its depletion severely attenuated keratinocyte spreading and migration on collagen and fibronectin without affecting PINCH-1 levels in focal adhesions. Given that the low PINCH-1 levels in ILK-deficient keratinocytes were sufficient to recruit EPLIN to integrin adhesions, our findings suggest that PINCH-1 regulates integrin-mediated adhesion of keratinocytes through the interactions with ILK as well as EPLIN.
Project description:Integrin-linked kinase (ILK) is key for cell survival, migration, and adhesion, but little is known about its role in epidermal development and homeostasis in vivo. We generated mice with conditional inactivation of the Ilk gene in squamous epithelia. These mice die perinatally and exhibit skin blistering and severe defects in hair follicle morphogenesis, including greatly reduced follicle numbers, failure to progress beyond very early developmental stages, and pronounced defects in follicular keratinocyte proliferation. ILK-deficient epidermis shows abnormalities in adhesion to the basement membrane and in differentiation. ILK-deficient cultured keratinocytes fail to attach and spread efficiently and exhibit multiple abnormalities in actin cytoskeletal organization. Ilk gene inactivation in cultured keratinocytes causes impaired ability to form stable lamellipodia, to directionally migrate, and to polarize. These defects are accompanied by abnormal distribution of active Cdc42 to cell protrusions, as well as reduced activation of Rac1 upon induction of cell migration in scraped keratinocyte monolayers. Significantly, alterations in cell spreading and forward movement in single cells can be rescued by expression of constitutively active Rac1 or RhoG. Our studies underscore a central and distinct role for ILK in hair follicle development and in polarized cell movements, two key aspects of epithelial morphogenesis and function.
Project description:β1 integrin regulates multiple epithelial cell functions by connecting cells with the extracellular matrix (ECM). While β1 integrin-mediated signaling in murine epithelial stem cells is well-studied, its role in human adult epithelial progenitor cells (ePCs) in situ remains to be defined. Using microdissected, organ-cultured human scalp hair follicles (HFs) as a clinically relevant model for studying human ePCs within their natural topobiological habitat, β1 integrin-mediated signaling in ePC biology was explored by β1 integrin siRNA silencing, specific β1 integrin-binding antibodies and pharmacological inhibition of integrin-linked kinase (ILK), a key component of the integrin-induced signaling cascade. β1 integrin knock down reduced keratin 15 (K15) expression as well as the proliferation of outer root sheath keratinocytes (ORSKs). Embedding of HF epithelium into an ECM rich in β1 integrin ligands that mimic the HF mesenchyme significantly enhanced proliferation and migration of ORSKs, while K15 and CD200 gene and protein expression were inhibited. Employing ECM-embedded β1 integrin-activating or -inhibiting antibodies allowed to identify functionally distinct human ePC subpopulations in different compartments of the HF epithelium. The β1 integrin-inhibitory antibody reduced β1 integrin expression in situ and selectively enhanced proliferation of bulge ePCs, while the β1 integrin-stimulating antibody decreased hair matrix keratinocyte apoptosis and enhanced transferrin receptor (CD71) immunoreactivity, a marker of transit amplifying cells, but did not affect bulge ePC proliferation. That the putative ILK inhibitor QLT0267 significantly reduced ORSK migration and proliferation and induced massive ORSK apoptosis suggests a key role for ILK in mediating the ß1 integrin effects. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that ePCs in human HFs require β1 integrin-mediated signaling for survival, adhesion, and migration, and that different human HF ePC subpopulations differ in their response to β1 integrin signaling. These insights may be exploited for cell-based regenerative medicine strategies that employ human HF-derived ePCs.
Project description:Hair follicle morphogenesis requires coordination of multiple signals and communication between its epithelial and mesenchymal constituents. Cell adhesion protein platforms, which include integrins and integrin-linked kinase (ILK), are critical for hair follicle formation. However, their precise contribution to this process is poorly understood. We show that in the absence of ILK, the hair follicle matrix lineage fails to develop, likely due to abnormalities in development of apical-basal cell polarity, as well as in laminin-511 and basement membrane assembly at the tip of the hair bud. These defects also result in impaired specification of hair matrix and absence of precortex and inner sheath root cell lineages. The molecular pathways affected in ILK-deficient follicles are similar to those in the absence of epidermal integrin ?1 and include Wnt, but not sonic hedgehog, signaling. ILK-deficient hair buds also show abnormalities in the dermal papilla. Addition of exogenous laminin-511 restores morphological and molecular markers associated with hair matrix formation, indicating that ILK regulates hair bud cell polarity and functions upstream from laminin-511 assembly to regulate the developmental progression of hair follicles beyond the germ stage.
Project description:Epidermal morphogenesis and hair follicle (HF) development depend on the ability of keratinocytes to adhere to the basement membrane (BM) and migrate along the extracellular matrix. Integrins are cell-matrix receptors that control keratinocyte adhesion and migration, and are recognized as major regulators of epidermal homeostasis. How integrins regulate the behavior of keratinocytes during epidermal morphogenesis remains insufficiently understood. Here, we show that ?-parvin (?-pv), a focal adhesion protein that couples integrins to actin cytoskeleton, is indispensable for epidermal morphogenesis and HF development. Inactivation of the murine ?-pv gene in basal keratinocytes results in keratinocyte-BM detachment, epidermal thickening, ectopic keratinocyte proliferation and altered actin cytoskeleton polarization. In vitro, ?-pv-null keratinocytes display reduced adhesion to BM matrix components, aberrant spreading and stress fibers formation, and impaired directed migration. Together, our data demonstrate that ?-pv controls epidermal homeostasis by facilitating integrin-mediated adhesion and actin cytoskeleton organization in keratinocytes.
Project description:Migration of epithelial cells is critical for normal homeostasis in gut and skin, but the factors regulating this process are not completely understood. The zinc finger transcription factor Klf5 (IKLF; BTEB2) is highly expressed in proliferating cells of esophagus, skin, and other organs. We hypothesized that Klf5 regulates keratinocyte migration via the integrin-linked kinase (ILK), which, like Klf5, is localized to basal keratinocytes. We stably transduced mouse primary esophageal keratinocytes to overexpress Klf5 or small interfering RNA against Klf5. Klf5 overexpression in keratinocytes increased migration and correlated directly with ILK expression and activation. ILK expression restored migratory capacity in keratinocytes with suppression of Klf5, whereas ILK small interfering RNA blocked the increased migration resulting from Klf5 overexpression. By chromatin immunoprecipitation, electromobility shift assay, and luciferase reporter assays, we confirmed that ILK was a direct target for Klf5. In addition, Klf5 induced the activation of the ILK targets Cdc42 and myosin light chain, which are critical for cell migration and motility but not Rac1, AKT, or GSK3beta. Overall, these results demonstrate that Klf5 is a key regulator of cell migration via ILK and provide new insight into the regulation of epithelial cell migration.
Project description:Melanosomes are melanin-containing organelles that provide pigmentation and protection from solar UV radiation to the skin. In melanocytes, melanosomes mature and traffic to dendritic tips, where they are transferred to adjacent epidermal keratinocytes through pathways that involve microtubule networks and the actin cytoskeleton. However, the role of scaffold proteins in these processes is poorly understood. Integrin-linked kinase (ILK) is a scaffold protein that regulates microtubule stability and F-actin dynamics. Here we show that ILK is necessary for normal trafficking of melanosomes along microtubule tracks. In the absence of ILK, immature melanosomes are not retained in perinuclear regions, and mature melanosome trafficking along microtubule tracks is impaired. These deficits can be attenuated by microtubule stabilization. Microtubules are also necessary for the formation of dendrites in melanocytes, and Ilk inactivation reduces melanocyte dendricity. Activation of glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) interferes with microtubule assembly. Significantly, inhibition of GSK-3 activity or exogenous expression of the GSK-3 substrate collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2) in ILK-deficient melanocytes restored dendricity. ILK is also required for normal melanin transfer, and GSK-3 inhibition in melanocytes partially restored melanin transfer to neighboring keratinocytes. Thus, our work shows that ILK is a central modulator of melanosome movements in primary epidermal melanocytes and identifies ILK and GSK-3 as important modulators of melanin transfer to keratinocytes, a key process for epidermal UV photoprotection.
Project description:Epidermal growth factor (EGF) is a potent chemotactic and mitogenic factor for epidermal keratinocytes, and these properties are central for normal epidermal regeneration after injury. The involvement of mitogen-activated protein kinases as mediators of the proliferative effects of EGF is well established. However, the molecular mechanisms that mediate motogenic responses to this growth factor are not clearly understood. An obligatory step for forward cell migration is the development of front-rear polarity and formation of lamellipodia at the leading edge. We show that stimulation of epidermal keratinocytes with EGF, but not with other growth factors, induces development of front-rear polarity and directional migration through a pathway that requires integrin-linked kinase (ILK), Engulfment and Cell Motility-2 (ELMO2), integrin ?1, and Rac1. Furthermore, EGF induction of front-rear polarity and chemotaxis require the tyrosine kinase activity of the EGF receptor and are mediated by complexes containing active RhoG, ELMO2, and ILK. Our findings reveal a novel link between EGF receptor stimulation, ILK-containing complexes, and activation of small Rho GTPases necessary for acquisition of front-rear polarity and forward movement.
Project description:ELMO2 belongs to a family of scaffold proteins involved in phagocytosis and cell motility. ELMO2 can simultaneously bind integrin-linked kinase (ILK) and RhoG, forming tripartite ERI complexes. These complexes are involved in promoting ?1 integrin-dependent directional migration in undifferentiated epidermal keratinocytes. ELMO2 and ILK have also separately been implicated in microtubule regulation at integrin-containing focal adhesions. During differentiation, epidermal keratinocytes cease to express integrins, but ERI complexes persist. Here we show an integrin-independent role of ERI complexes in modulation of microtubule dynamics in differentiated keratinocytes. Depletion of ERI complexes by inactivating the Ilk gene in these cells reduces microtubule growth and increases the frequency of catastrophe. Reciprocally, exogenous expression of ELMO2 or RhoG stabilizes microtubules, but only if ILK is also present. Mechanistically, activation of Rac1 downstream from ERI complexes mediates their effects on microtubule stability. In this pathway, Rac1 serves as a hub to modulate microtubule dynamics through two different routes: 1) phosphorylation and inactivation of the microtubule-destabilizing protein stathmin and 2) phosphorylation and inactivation of GSK-3?, which leads to the activation of CRMP2, promoting microtubule growth. At the cellular level, the absence of ERI species impairs Ca(2+)-mediated formation of adherens junctions, critical to maintaining mechanical integrity in the epidermis. Our findings support a key role for ERI species in integrin-independent stabilization of the microtubule network in differentiated keratinocytes.
Project description:In murine mammary epithelial cancer cells, galectin-3 binding to ?1,6-acetylglucosaminyltransferase V (Mgat5)-modified N-glycans restricts epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor mobility in the plasma membrane and acts synergistically with phospho-caveolin-1 to promote integrin-dependent matrix remodeling and cell migration. We show that EGF signaling to RhoA is galectin-3 and phospho-caveolin-1 dependent and promotes the formation of transient, actin-rich, circular dorsal ruffles (CDRs), cell migration, and fibronectin fibrillogenesis via Src- and integrin-linked kinase (ILK)-dependent signaling. ILK, Src, and galectin-3 also mediate EGF stimulation of caveolin-1 phosphorylation. Direct activation of integrin with Mn2+ induces galectin-3, ILK, and Src-dependent RhoA activation and caveolin-1 phosphorylation. This suggests that in response to EGF, galectin-3 enables outside-in integrin signaling stimulating phospho-caveolin-1-dependent RhoA activation, actin reorganization in CDRs, cell migration, and fibronectin remodeling. Similarly, caveolin-1/galectin-3-dependent EGF signaling induces motility, peripheral actin ruffling, and RhoA activation in MDA-MB-231 human breast carcinoma cells, but not HeLa cells. These studies define a galectin-3/phospho-caveolin-1/RhoA signaling module that mediates integrin signaling downstream of growth factor activation, leading to actin and matrix remodeling and tumor cell migration in metastatic cancer cells.