Substance P induces rapid and transient membrane blebbing in U373MG cells in a p21-activated kinase-dependent manner.
ABSTRACT: U373MG astrocytoma cells endogenously express the full-length neurokinin 1 receptor (NK1R). Substance P (SP), the natural ligand for NK1R, triggers rapid and transient membrane blebbing and we report that these morphological changes have different dynamics and intracellular signaling as compared to the changes that we have previously described in HEK293-NK1R cells. In both cell lines, the SP-induced morphological changes are Gq-independent, and they require the Rho, Rho-associated coiled-coil kinase (ROCK) signaling pathway. Using confocal microscopy we have demonstrated that tubulin is phosphorylated subsequent to cell stimulation with SP and that tubulin accumulates inside the blebs. Colchicine, a tubulin polymerization inhibitor, blocked SP-induced blebbing in U373MG but not in HEK293-NK1R cells. Although p21-activated kinase (PAK) is expressed in both cell lines, SP induced rapid phosphorylation of PAK in U373MG, but failed to phosphorylate PAK in HEK293-NK1R cells. The cell-permeable Rho inhibitor C3 transferase inhibited SP-induced PAK phosphorylation, but the ROCK inhibitor Y27632 had no effect on PAK phosphorylation, suggesting that Rho activates PAK in a ROCK-independent manner. Our study demonstrates that SP triggers rapid changes in cell morphology mediated by distinct intracellular signaling mechanisms in U373MG versus HEK293-NK1R cells.
Project description:We have investigated the effect of neurokinin 1 receptor (NK1R) agonists on HEK293 cells transfected with the NK1R receptor. The NK1R receptor mediates dramatic shape changes that include contractions of the membrane cortex resulting in membrane bleb formation. We have found that the cell shape changes correlate with changes in electrical impedance measured in cellular monolayers. The shape and impedance changes were prevented after preincubation with NK1R antagonists aprepitant and L-73060. Although bleb formation usually heralds apoptotic cell death, we have found that NK1R-mediated cellular blebbing does not associate with apoptosis. Preincubation with a cell-permeable derivative of C3 transferase that blocks Rho or with the Rho-associated coiled-coil kinase inhibitor Y27632 completely prevented NK1R-induced shape and impedance changes. Blebbing was also completely inhibited by ML-9, a myosin light chain kinase inhibitor. Furthermore, the phospholipase C inhibitor U73,122 did not interfere with the effect of Substance P (SP) on cellular morphology and cellular impedance but completely blocked SP-induced intracellular calcium increase, indicating that the blebbing is a process independent of intracellular calcium elevations. Blebbing is a protein kinase C-independent process, since the nonselective protein kinase C inhibitor GF109203X did not interfere with SP-induced effects. Based on these results, we provide the first evidence that NK1R receptor-ligand interaction can cause apoptosis-independent cellular blebbing and that this process is mediated by the Rho/Rho-associated coiled-coil kinase pathway.
Project description:The 15-kDa selenoprotein (Sep15) has been implicated in etiology of some types of cancer. Herein, inducible RNAi cell lines were established and cell morphology and motility were analyzed. The majority of Sep15-deficient cells (>95%) formed membrane blebs in a dynamic manner. Blebbing cells transformed cell morphology from a normal flat spindle shape to a spherical morphology. In blebbing cells, actin fibers moved to the cell periphery, covering and obscuring visualization of ?-tubulin. Bleb formation was suppressed by the inhibitors of Rho-associated protein kinase (ROCK), RhoA or myosin light chain (MLC), restoring blebbing cells to wild-type morphology. RhoA activation and phosphorylation of myosin phosphatase target subunit 1 was induced by Sep15 knockdown. Sep15-deficient cells were non-apoptotic, and displayed a distinct relative localization of F-actin and ?-tubulin from typical apoptotic blebbing cells. Our data suggest that Sep15 in Chang liver cells regulates the pathway that antagonizes RhoA/ROCK/MLC-dependent non-apoptotic bleb formation.
Project description:In diabetic retinopathy, the exact mechanisms leading to retinal capillary closure and to retinal barriers breakdown remain imperfectly understood. Rho-associated kinase (ROCK), an effector of the small GTPase Rho, involved in cytoskeleton dynamic regulation and cell polarity is activated by hyperglycemia. In one year-old Goto Kakizaki (GK) type 2 diabetic rats retina, ROCK-1 activation was assessed by its cellular distribution and by phosphorylation of its substrates, MYPT1 and MLC. In both GK rat and in human type 2 diabetic retinas, ROCK-1 is activated and associated with non-apoptotic membrane blebbing in retinal vessels and in retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) that respectively form the inner and the outer barriers. Activation of ROCK-1 induces focal vascular constrictions, endoluminal blebbing and subsequent retinal hypoxia. In RPE cells, actin cytoskeleton remodeling and membrane blebs in RPE cells contributes to outer barrier breakdown. Intraocular injection of fasudil, significantly reduces both retinal hypoxia and RPE barrier breakdown. Diabetes-induced cell blebbing may contribute to ischemic maculopathy and represent an intervention target.
Project description:The P2X7 ATP receptor mediates the cytotoxic effect of extracellular ATP. P2X7-dependent cell death is heralded by dramatic plasma membrane bleb formation. Membrane blebbing is a complex phenomenon involving as yet poorly characterized intracellular pathways. We have investigated the effect of extracellular ATP on HEK293 cells transfected with the cytotoxic/pore-forming P2X7 receptor. Addition of ATP to P2X7-transfected, but not to wt P2X7-less, HEK293 cells caused massive membrane blebbing within 1-2 min. UTP, a nucleotide incapable of activating P2X7, had no early effects on cell shape and bleb formation. Bleb formation triggered by ATP was reversible and required extracellular Ca2+ and an intact cytoskeleton. Furthermore, it was completely prevented by preincubation with the P2X blocker oxidized ATP. It was recently observed that the ROCK protein is a key determinant of bleb formation. Preincubation of HEK293-P2X7 cells with the ROCK blocker Y-27632 completely prevented P2X7-dependent blebbing. Although ATP triggered cleavage of the ROCK I isoform in P2X7-transfected HEK293 cells, the wide range caspase inhibitor z-VAD-fluoromethylketone had no effect. These observations suggest that P2X7-dependent plasma membrane blebbing depends on the activation of the serine/threonine kinase ROCK I.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Vasculogenic mimicry (VM), defined as a capability of aggressive tumor Cells to mimic embryonic vasculogenic networks, caused poor prognosis in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Rho kinases (ROCK), p21-activated kinase (PAK), hypoxia or epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) contributed to the VM potential. However, the details underlying these biological behaviors have not been completely elucidated. METHODS:Kaplan-Meier analysis was conducted to predict relationship with hypoxia Inducible factor (HIF-1?), EMT related markers: Vimentin and patient prognosis. CD34/periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) double staining was examined to differentiate VM-positive (VM+) and VM-negative (VM-) samples. Cells were cultured under controlled hypoxic environments (1% O2) or normoxic conditions. The effect of hypoxia on RhoA/ROCK, Rac1/PAK and EMT were evaluated by real time-qPCR and western blot. HIF-1? small interfering RNA (siRNA), overexpressed or short hairpin RNA (shRNA) of ROCK and kinase inhibitors were used to explore the effect of HIF-1?, RhoA/ROCK, Rac1/PAK and Vimentin on VM. RESULTS:HIF-1? or Vimentin was upregulated in VM+ HCC tissues, compared to non-cancerous tissues (P?<?0.01), and patients with high expression of HIF-1? or Vimentin had worse prognosis (P?<?0.001). We showed hypoxia induced RhoA/ROCK and Rac1/PAK signaling transduction, and EMT could be repressed by HIF-1? siRNA. Notably, RhoA/ROCK or Rac1/PAK stabilized HIF-1? in hypoxia, whereas HIF-1? did not significantly altered RhoA/ROCK or Rac1/PAK signaling in hypoxia. Moreover, we found distinct roles of ROCK1, ROCK2 and PAK in regulating Vimentin phosphorylation. CONCLUSIONS:RhoA/ROCK and Rac/PAK signaling played crucial roles in hypoxia-induced VM via Ser72 and Ser56 Vimentin phosphorylation in HCC.
Project description:Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS) is a malformation syndrome with neurocognitive deficits due to mutations of DHCR7 that impair the reduction of 7-dehydrocholesterol to cholesterol. To investigate the pathological processes underlying the neurocognitive deficits, we compared protein expression in Dhcr7(+/+) and Dhcr7(Delta3-5/Delta3-5) brain tissue. One of the proteins identified was cofilin-1, an actin depolymerizing factor which regulates neuronal dendrite and axon formation. Differential expression of cofilin-1 was due to increased phosphorylation. Phosphorylation of cofilin-1 is regulated by Rho GTPases through Rho-Rock-Limk-Cofilin-1 and Rac/Cdc42-Pak-Limk-Cofilin-1 pathways. Pull-down assays were used to demonstrate increased activation of RhoA, Rac1 and Cdc42 in Dhcr7(Delta3-5/Delta3-5) brains. Consistent with increased activation of these Rho GTPases, we observed increased phosphorylation of both Limk and Pak in mutant brain tissue. Altered Rho/Rac signaling impairs normal dendritic and axonal formation, and mutations in genes encoding regulators and effectors of the Rho GTPases underlie other human mental retardation syndromes. Thus, we hypothesized that aberrant activation of Rho/Rac could have functional consequences for dendrite and axonal growth. In vitro analysis of Dhcr7(Delta3-5/Delta3-5) hippocampal neurons demonstrated both axonal and dendritic abnormalities. Developmental abnormalities of neuronal process formation may contribute to the neurocognitive deficits found in SLOS and may represent a potential target for therapeutic intervention.
Project description:Intermediate filaments (IFs) form a dense and dynamic network that is functionally associated with microtubules and actin filaments. We used the GFP-tagged vimentin mutant Y117L to study vimentin-cytoskeletal interactions and transport of vimentin filament precursors. This mutant preserves vimentin interaction with other components of the cytoskeleton, but its assembly is blocked at the unit-length filament (ULF) stage. ULFs are easy to track, and they allow a reliable and quantifiable analysis of movement. Our results show that in cultured human vimentin-negative SW13 cells, 2% of vimentin-ULFs move along microtubules bidirectionally, while the majority are stationary and tightly associated with actin filaments. Rapid motor-dependent transport of ULFs along microtubules is enhanced ? 5-fold by depolymerization of actin cytoskeleton with latrunculin B. The microtubule-dependent transport of vimentin ULFs is further regulated by Rho-kinase (ROCK) and p21-activated kinase (PAK): ROCK inhibits ULF transport, while PAK stimulates it. Both kinases act on microtubule transport independently of their effects on actin cytoskeleton. Our study demonstrates the importance of the actin cytoskeleton to restrict IF transport and reveals a new role for PAK and ROCK in the regulation of IF precursor transport.-Robert, A., Herrmann, H., Davidson, M. W., and Gelfand, V. I. Microtubule-dependent transport of vimentin filament precursors is regulated by actin and by the concerted action of Rho- and p21-activated kinases.
Project description:Membrane blebbing-dependent (blebby) amoeboid migration can be employed by lymphoid and cancer cells to invade 3D-environments. Here, we reveal a mechanism by which the small GTPase RhoB controls membrane blebbing and blebby amoeboid migration. Interestingly, while all three Rho isoforms (RhoA, RhoB and RhoC) regulated amoeboid migration, each controlled motility in a distinct manner. In particular, RhoB depletion blocked membrane blebbing in ALL (acute lymphoblastic leukaemia), melanoma and lung cancer cells as well as ALL cell amoeboid migration in 3D-collagen, while RhoB overexpression enhanced blebbing and 3D-collagen migration in a manner dependent on its plasma membrane localization and down-stream effectors ROCK and Myosin II RhoB localization was controlled by endosomal trafficking, being internalized via Rab5 vesicles and then trafficked either to late endosomes/lysosomes or to Rab11-positive recycling endosomes, as regulated by KIF13A. Importantly, KIF13A depletion not only inhibited RhoB plasma membrane localization, but also cell membrane blebbing and 3D-migration of ALL cells. In conclusion, KIF13A-mediated endosomal trafficking modulates RhoB plasma membrane localization to control membrane blebbing and blebby amoeboid migration.
Project description:Rho GTPase proteins play a central role in regulating the dynamics of the platelet actin cytoskeleton. Yet, little is known regarding how Rho GTPase activation coordinates platelet activation and function. In this study, we aimed to characterize the role of the Rho GTPase effector, p21 activated kinase (PAK), in platelet activation, lamellipodia formation, and aggregate formation under shear.Stimulation of platelets with the glycoprotein receptor VI agonist, collagen-related peptide, rapidly activated PAK in a time course preceding phosphorylation of PAK substrates, LIM domain kinase LIMK1 and the MAPK/ERK kinase MEK, and the subsequent activation of MAPKs and Akt. Pharmacological inhibitors of PAK blocked signaling events downstream of PAK and prevented platelet secretion as well as platelet aggregation in response to collagen-related peptide. PAK inhibitors also prevented PAK activation and platelet spreading on collagen surfaces. PAK was also required for the formation of platelet aggregates and to maintain aggregate stability under physiological shear flow conditions.These results suggest that PAK serves as an orchestrator of platelet functional responses after activation downstream of the platelet collagen receptor, glycoprotein receptor VI.
Project description:The Rho-associated kinases ROCK1 and ROCK2 are critical for cancer cell migration and invasion, suggesting they may be useful therapeutic targets. In this study, we describe the discovery and development of RKI-1447, a potent small molecule inhibitor of ROCK1 and ROCK2. Crystal structures of the RKI-1447/ROCK1 complex revealed that RKI-1447 is a Type I kinase inhibitor that binds the ATP binding site through interactions with the hinge region and the DFG motif. RKI-1447 suppressed phosphorylation of the ROCK substrates MLC-2 and MYPT-1 in human cancer cells, but had no effect on the phosphorylation levels of the AKT, MEK, and S6 kinase at concentrations as high as 10 ?mol/L. RKI-1447 was also highly selective at inhibiting ROCK-mediated cytoskeleton re-organization (actin stress fiber formation) following LPA stimulation, but does not affect PAK-meditated lamellipodia and filopodia formation following PDGF and Bradykinin stimulation, respectively. RKI-1447 inhibited migration, invasion and anchorage-independent tumor growth of breast cancer cells. In contrast, RKI-1313, a much weaker analog in vitro, had little effect on the phosphorylation levels of ROCK substrates, migration, invasion or anchorage-independent growth. Finally, RKI-1447 was highly effective at inhibiting the outgrowth of mammary tumors in a transgenic mouse model. In summary, our findings establish RKI-1447 as a potent and selective ROCK inhibitor with significant anti-invasive and antitumor activities and offer a preclinical proof-of-concept that justify further examination of RKI-1447 suitability as a potential clinical candidate.