RhoA/ROCK-mediated switching between Cdc42- and Rac1-dependent protrusion in MTLn3 carcinoma cells.
ABSTRACT: 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.
Project description:Cdc42 plays a central role in regulating the actin cytoskeleton and maintaining cell polarity. Here, we show that Cdc42 is crucial for epidermal growth factor (EGF)-stimulated protrusion in MTLn3 carcinoma cells. When stimulated with EGF, carcinoma cells showed a rapid increase in activated Cdc42 that is primarily localized to the protruding edge of the cells. siRNA-mediated knockdown of Cdc42 expression caused a decrease in EGF-stimulated protrusion and reduced cell motility in time-lapse studies. These changes were correlated with a decrease in barbed-end formation and Arp2/3 localization at the cell edge, and a marked defect in actin filament branching, as revealed by rotary-shadowing scanning electron microscopy. Upstream of Arp2/3, Cdc42 knockdown inhibited EGF-stimulated activation of PI 3-kinase at early (within 1 minute) but not late (within 3 minutes) time points. Membrane targeting of N-WASP, WAVE2 and IRSp53 were also inhibited. Effects on WAVE2 were not owing to Rac1 inhibition, because WAVE2 recruitment is unaffected by Rac1 knockdown. Our data suggest that Cdc42 activation is crucial for the regulation of actin polymerization in carcinoma cells, and required for both EGF-stimulated protrusion and cell motility independently of effects on Rac.
Project description:Cell migration involves the localized extension of actin-rich protrusions, a process that requires Class I phosphoinositide 3-kinases (PI 3-kinases). Both Rac and Ras have been shown to regulate actin polymerization and activate PI 3-kinase. However, the coordination of Rac, Ras and PI 3-kinase activation during epidermal growth factor (EGF)-stimulated protrusion has not been analyzed. We examined PI 3-kinase-dependent protrusion in MTLn3 rat adenocarcinoma cells. EGF-stimulated phosphatidyl-inositol (3,4,5)-trisphosphate [PtdIns(3,4,5)P(3)] levels showed a rapid and persistent response, as PI 3-kinase activity remained elevated up to 3 minutes. The activation kinetics of Ras, but not Rac, coincided with those of leading-edge PtdIns(3,4,5)P(3) production. Small interfering RNA (siRNA) knockdown of K-Ras but not Rac1 abolished PtdIns(3,4,5)P(3) production at the leading edge and inhibited EGF-stimulated protrusion. However, Rac1 knockdown did inhibit cell migration, because of the inhibition of focal adhesion formation in Rac1 siRNA-treated cells. Our data show that in EGF-stimulated MTLn3 carcinoma cells, Ras is required for both PtdIns(3,4,5)P(3) production and lamellipod extension, whereas Rac1 is required for formation of adhesive structures. These data suggest an unappreciated role for Ras during protrusion, and a crucial role for Rac in the stabilization of protrusions required for cell motility.
Project description:The three canonical Rho GTPases RhoA, Rac1 and Cdc42 co-ordinate cytoskeletal dynamics. Recent studies indicate that all three Rho GTPases are activated at the leading edge of motile fibroblasts, where their activity fluctuates at subminute time and micrometer length scales. Here, we use a microfluidic chip to acutely manipulate fibroblast edge dynamics by applying pulses of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) or the Rho kinase inhibitor Y-27632 (which lowers contractility). This induces acute and robust membrane protrusion and retraction events, that exhibit stereotyped cytoskeletal dynamics, allowing us to fairly compare specific morphodynamic states across experiments. Using a novel Cdc42, as well as previously described, second generation RhoA and Rac1 biosensors, we observe distinct spatio-temporal signaling programs that involve all three Rho GTPases, during protrusion/retraction edge dynamics. Our results suggest that Rac1, Cdc42 and RhoA regulate different cytoskeletal and adhesion processes to fine tune the highly plastic edge protrusion/retraction dynamics that power cell motility.
Project description:A major function of Rho-family GTPases is to regulate the organization of the actin cytoskeleton; filopodia, lamellipodia, and stress fiber are regarded as typical phenotypes of the activated Cdc42, Rac, and Rho, respectively. Using probes based on fluorescent resonance energy transfer, we report on the spatiotemporal regulation of Rac1 and Cdc42 at lamellipodia and membrane ruffles. In epidermal growth factor (EGF)-stimulated Cos1 and A431 cells, both Rac1 and Cdc42 were activated diffusely at the plasma membrane, followed by lamellipodial protrusion and membrane ruffling. Although Rac1 activity subsided rapidly, Cdc42 activity was sustained at lamellipodia. A critical role of Cdc42 in these EGF-induced morphological changes was demonstrated as follows. First, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate, which activated Rac1 but not Cdc42, could not induce full-grown lamellipodia in Cos1 cells. Second, a GTPase-activating protein for Cdc42, KIAA1204/CdGAP, inhibited lamellipodial protrusion and membrane ruffling without interfering with Rac1 activation. Third, expression of the Cdc42-binding domain of N-WASP inhibited the EGF-induced morphological changes. Therefore, Rac1 and Cdc42 seem to synergistically induce lamellipodia and membrane ruffles in EGF-stimulated Cos1 cells and A431 cells.
Project description:Tumor cells exhibit two interconvertible modes of cell motility referred to as mesenchymal and amoeboid migration. Mesenchymal mode is characterized by elongated morphology that requires high GTPase Rac activation, whereas amoeboid mode is dependent on actomyosin contractility induced by Rho/Rho-associated protein kinase (ROCK) signaling. While elongated morphology is driven by Rac-induced protrusion at the leading edge, how Rho/ROCK signaling controls amoeboid movement is not well understood. We identified FilGAP, a Rac GTPase-activating protein (GAP), as a mediator of Rho/ROCK-dependent amoeboid movement of carcinoma cells. We show that depletion of endogenous FilGAP in carcinoma cells induced highly elongated mesenchymal morphology. Conversely, forced expression of FilGAP induced a round/amoeboid morphology that requires Rho/ROCK-dependent phosphorylation of FilGAP. Moreover, depletion of FilGAP impaired breast cancer cell invasion through extracellular matrices and reduced tumor cell extravasation in vivo. Thus phosphorylation of FilGAP by ROCK appears to promote amoeboid morphology of carcinoma cells, and FilGAP contributes to tumor invasion.
Project description:We examined the spatio-temporal activity of RhoA in migrating cells and growth factor-stimulated cells by using probes based on the principle of fluorescence resonance energy transfer. In HeLa cells migrating at a low cell density, RhoA was activated both at the contractile tail and at the leading edge. However, RhoA was activated only at the leading edge in MDCK cells migrating as a monolayer sheet. In growth factor-stimulated Cos1 and NIH3T3 cells, the activity of RhoA was greatly decreased at the plasma membrane, but remained high at the membrane ruffles in nascent lamellipodia. These observations are in agreement with the proposed role played by RhoA in stress fiber formation, but they also implicated RhoA in the regulation of membrane ruffling, the induction of which is a typical phenotype of activated Rac. In agreement with this view, dominant negative RhoA was found to inhibit membrane ruffling induced by active Rac. Furthermore, we found that Cdc42 activity was also required for high RhoA activity in membrane ruffles. Finally, we found that mDia1, but not ROCK, was stably associated with membrane ruffles. In conclusion, these results suggested that RhoA cooperates with Rac1 and Cdc42 to induce membrane ruffles via the recruitment of mDia.
Project description:Cancer patients are known to be highly susceptible to Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa) infection, but it remains unknown whether alterations at the tumor cell level can contribute to infection. This study explored how cellular changes associated with tumor metastasis influence Pa infection using highly metastatic MTLn3 cells and non-metastatic MTC cells as cell culture models. MTLn3 cells were found to be more sensitive to Pa infection than MTC cells based on increased translocation of the type III secretion effector, ExoS, into MTLn3 cells. Subsequent studies found that higher levels of ExoS translocation into MTLn3 cells related to Pa entry and secretion of ExoS within MTLn3 cells, rather than conventional ExoS translocation by external Pa. ExoS includes both Rho GTPase activating protein (GAP) and ADP-ribosyltransferase (ADPRT) enzyme activities, and differences in MTLn3 and MTC cell responsiveness to ExoS were found to relate to the targeting of ExoS-GAP activity to Rho GTPases. MTLn3 cell migration is mediated by RhoA activation at the leading edge, and inhibition of RhoA activity decreased ExoS translocation into MTLn3 cells to levels similar to those of MTC cells. The ability of Pa to be internalized and transfer ExoS more efficiently in association with Rho activation during tumor metastasis confirms that alterations in cell migration that occur in conjunction with tumor metastasis contribute to Pa infection in cancer patients. This study also raises the possibility that Pa might serve as a biological tool for dissecting or detecting cellular alterations associated with tumor metastasis.
Project description:Integrin-mediated adhesion is a critical regulator of cell migration. Here we demonstrate that integrin-mediated adhesion to high fibronectin concentrations induces a stop signal for cell migration by inhibiting cell polarization and protrusion. On fibronectin, the stop signal is generated through alpha 5 beta 1 integrin-mediated signaling to the Rho family of GTPases. Specifically, Cdc42 and Rac1 activation exhibits a biphasic dependence on fibronectin concentration that parallels optimum cell polarization and protrusion. In contrast, RhoA activity increases with increasing substratum concentration. We find that cross talk between Cdc42 and Rac1 is required for substratum-stimulated protrusion, whereas RhoA activity is inhibitory. We also show that Cdc42 activity is inhibited by Rac1 activation, suggesting that Rac1 activity may down-regulate Cdc42 activity and promote the formation of stabilized rather than transient protrusion. Furthermore, expression of RhoA down-regulates Cdc42 and Rac1 activity, providing a mechanism whereby RhoA may inhibit cell polarization and protrusion. These findings implicate adhesion-dependent signaling as a mechanism to stop cell migration by regulating cell polarity and protrusion via the Rho family of GTPases.
Project description:Directed cell migration requires cell polarization and adhesion turnover, in which the actin cytoskeleton and microtubules work critically. The Rho GTPases induce specific types of actin cytoskeleton and regulate microtubule dynamics. In migrating cells, Cdc42 regulates cell polarity and Rac works in membrane protrusion. However, the role of Rho in migration is little known. Rho acts on two major effectors, ROCK and mDia1, among which mDia1 produces straight actin filaments and aligns microtubules. Here we depleted mDia1 by RNA interference and found that mDia1 depletion impaired directed migration of rat C6 glioma cells by inhibiting both cell polarization and adhesion turnover. Apc and active Cdc42, which work together for cell polarization, localized in the front of migrating cells, while active c-Src, which regulates adhesion turnover, localized in focal adhesions. mDia1 depletion impaired localization of these molecules at their respective sites. Conversely, expression of active mDia1 facilitated microtubule-dependent accumulation of Apc and active Cdc42 in the polar ends of the cells and actin-dependent recruitment of c-Src in adhesions. Thus, the Rho-mDia1 pathway regulates polarization and adhesion turnover by aligning microtubules and actin filaments and delivering Apc/Cdc42 and c-Src to their respective sites of action.
Project description:Cell repulsion responses to Eph receptor activation are linked to rapid actin cytoskeletal reorganizations, which in turn are partially mediated by Rho-ROCK (Rho kinase) signalling, driving actomyosin contractility. In the present study, we show that Rho alone is not sufficient for this repulsion response. Rather, Cdc42 (cell division cycle 42) and its effector MRCK (myotonic dystrophy kinase-related Cdc42-binding kinase) are also critical for ephrinB-induced cell retraction. Stimulation of endothelial cells with ephrinB2 triggers rapid, but transient, cell retraction. We show that, although membrane retraction is fully blocked by blebbistatin (a myosin-II ATPase inhibitor), it is only partially blocked by inhibiting Rho-ROCK signalling, suggesting that there is ROCK-independent signalling to actomyosin contractility downstream of EphBs. We find that a combination of either Cdc42 or MRCK inhibition with ROCK inhibition completely abolishes the repulsion response. Additionally, endocytosis of ephrin-Eph complexes is not required for initial cell retraction, but is essential for subsequent Rac-mediated re-spreading of cells. Our data reveal a complex interplay of Rho, Rac and Cdc42 in the process of EphB-mediated cell retraction-recovery responses.