Prolonged vasoconstriction of resistance arteries involves vascular smooth muscle actin polymerization leading to inward remodelling.
ABSTRACT: Inward remodelling of the resistance vasculature is predictive of hypertension and life-threatening cardiovascular events. We hypothesize that the contractile mechanisms responsible for maintaining a reduced diameter over time in response to prolonged stimulation with vasoconstrictor agonists are in part responsible for the initial stages of the remodelling process. Here we investigated the role of vascular smooth muscle (VSM) actin polymerization on agonist-induced vasoconstriction and development of inward remodelling.Experiments were conducted in Sprague-Dawley rat resistance vessels isolated from the cremaster and mesentery. Within blood vessels, actin dynamics of VSM were monitored by confocal microscopy after introduction of fluorescent actin monomers through electroporation and by differential centrifugation to probe globular (G) and filamentous (F) actin content. Results indicated that 4 h of agonist-dependent vasoconstriction induced inward remodelling and caused significant actin polymerization, elevating the F-/total-actin ratio. Inhibition of actin polymerization prevented vessels from maintaining prolonged vasoconstriction and developing inward remodelling. Activation of the small GTPases Rho/Rac/Cdc42 also increased the F-/total-actin ratio and induced inward remodelling, while inhibition of Rho kinase or Rac-1 prevented inward remodelling. Disruption of the actin cytoskeleton reversed the inward remodelling caused by prolonged vasoconstriction, but did not affect the passive diameter of freshly isolated vessels.These results indicate that vasoconstriction-induced inward remodelling is in part caused by the polymerization of actin within VSM cells through activation of small GTPases.
Project description:Cardiovascular diseases are the major challenge to modern medicine. Intervention to cardiovascular cells is crucial for treatment of the diseases. Here we report a novel intervention to vascular smooth muscle (VSM) cells by optogenetics. Channelrhodopsin in a tandem with YFP was selectively expressed in smooth muscle of transgenic mice in which YFP fluorescence was found in arterial walls of various tissues. In dissociated VSM cells from the mice blue light evoked inward currents, leading to depolarization and contraction. In isolated mesenteric arterial rings, optostimulation produced vasoconstriction that was reproducible, sustained, light intensity-dependent and comparable to popular vasoconstrictors. Blue light raised robustly coronary resistance without significant effects on heart rate and pulse pressure. Optostimulation produced renal vasoconstriction as well. The optical vasoconstriction had temporal resolutions less than 40s in these organs. These results indicate that optical vasoconstriction can be effectively produced in various organs with channelrhodopsin expression in VSM cells.
Project description:Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signalling plays an essential role in early vertebrate development. However, the response to FGF requires endocytosis of the activated FGF receptor (FGFR) that is in part dependent on remodelling of the actin cytoskeleton. Recently we showed that the extended synaptotagmin family plasma membrane protein, E-Syt2, is an essential endocytic adapter for FGFR1. Here we show E-Syt2 is also an interaction partner for the p21-GTPase Activated Kinase PAK1. The phospholipid binding C2C domain of E-Syt2 specifically binds a site adjacent to the CRIB/GBD of PAK1. PAK1 and E-Syt2 selectively complex with FGFR1 and functionally cooperate in the FGF signalling. E-Syt2 binding suppresses actin polymerization and inhibits the activation of PAK1 by the GTPases Cdc42 and Rac. Interestingly, the E-Syt2 binding site on PAK1 extensively overlaps a site recently suggested to bind phospholipids. Our data suggest that PAK1 interacts with phospholipid membrane domains via E-Syt2, where it may cooperate in the E-Syt2-dependent endocytosis of activated FGFR1 by modulating cortical actin stability.
Project description:The adaptor protein ASC contributes to innate immunity through the assembly of caspase-1-activating inflammasome complexes. We demonstrate that ASC plays an inflammasome-independent cell-intrinsic role in adaptive immune cells. Asc-/- mice displayed defective antigen presentation by dendritic cells and lymphocyte migration due to impaired Rac-mediated actin polymerization. Genome-wide analysis showed that ASC, but not Nlrp3 or caspase-1, controls mRNA stability and expression of DOCK2, a guanine nucleotide exchange factor that mediates Rac-dependent signaling in immune cells. DOCK2-deficient dendritic cells showed similar defective antigen uptake as Asc-/- cells. Ectopic expression of DOCK2 in ASC-deficient cells restored Rac-mediated actin polymerization, antigen uptake and chemotaxis. Thus, ASC shapes adaptive immunity independently of inflammasomes by modulating DOCK2-dependent Rac activation and F-actin polymerization in dendritic cells and lymphocytes. Three replicates of naïve WT and three replicates of Asc-/- bone marrow derived dendritic cells were analyzed on the Affymetrix HT MG-430 PM plate array.
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:Formin proteins were recognized as effectors of Rho GTPases some 15 years ago. They contribute to different cellular actin cytoskeleton structures by their ability to polymerize straight actin filaments at the barbed end. While not all formins necessarily interact with Rho GTPases, a subgroup of mammalian formins, termed Diaphanous-related formins or DRFs, were shown to be activated by small GTPases of the Rho superfamily. DRFs are autoinhibited in the resting state by an N- to C-terminal interaction that renders the central actin polymerization domain inactive. Upon the interaction with a GTP-bound Rho, Rac, or Cdc42 GTPase, the C-terminal autoregulation domain is displaced from its N-terminal recognition site and the formin becomes active to polymerize actin filaments. In this review we discuss the current knowledge on the structure, activation, and function of formin-GTPase interactions for the mammalian formin families Dia, Daam, FMNL, and FHOD. We describe both direct and indirect interactions of formins with GTPases, which lead to formin activation and cytoskeletal rearrangements. The multifaceted function of formins as effector proteins of Rho GTPases thus reflects the diversity of the actin cytoskeleton in cells.
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:Chemotaxis requires localized F-actin polymerization at the site of the plasma membrane closest to the chemoattractant source, a process controlled by Rac/Cdc42 GTPases. We identify Dictyostelium RacB as an essential mediator of this process. RacB is activated upon chemoattractant stimulation, exhibiting biphasic kinetics paralleling F-actin polymerization. racB null cells have strong chemotaxis and morphogenesis defects and a severely reduced chemoattractant-mediated F-actin polymerization and PAKc activation. RacB activation is partly controlled by the PI3K pathway. pi3k1/2 null cells and wild-type cells treated with LY294002 exhibit a significantly reduced second peak of RacB activation, which is linked to pseudopod extension, whereas a PTEN hypomorph exhibits elevated RacB activation. We identify a RacGEF, RacGEF1, which has specificity for RacB in vitro. racgef1 null cells exhibit reduced RacB activation and cells expressing mutant RacGEF1 proteins display chemotaxis and morphogenesis defects. RacGEF1 localizes to sites of F-actin polymerization. Inhibition of this localization reduces RacB activation, suggesting a feedback loop from RacB via F-actin polymerization to RacGEF1. Our findings provide a critical linkage between chemoattractant stimulation, F-actin polymerization, and chemotaxis in Dictyostelium.
Project description:Activation of c-Met, the hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)/scatter factor receptor induces reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton, which drives epithelial cell scattering and motility and is exploited by pathogenic Listeria monocytogenes to invade nonepithelial cells. However, the precise contributions of distinct Rho-GTPases, the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases, and actin assembly regulators to c-Met-mediated actin reorganization are still elusive. Here we report that HGF-induced membrane ruffling and Listeria invasion mediated by the bacterial c-Met ligand internalin B (InlB) were significantly impaired but not abrogated upon genetic removal of either Cdc42 or pharmacological inhibition of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3-kinase). While loss of Cdc42 or PI3-kinase function correlated with reduced HGF- and InlB-triggered Rac activation, complete abolishment of actin reorganization and Rac activation required the simultaneous inactivation of both Cdc42 and PI3-kinase signaling. Moreover, Cdc42 activation was fully independent of PI3-kinase activity, whereas the latter partly depended on Cdc42. Finally, Cdc42 function did not require its interaction with the actin nucleation-promoting factor N-WASP. Instead, actin polymerization was driven by Arp2/3 complex activation through the WAVE complex downstream of Rac. Together, our data establish an intricate signaling network comprising as key molecules Cdc42 and PI3-kinase, which converge on Rac-mediated actin reorganization essential for Listeria invasion and membrane ruffling downstream of c-Met.
Project description:Subversion of the eukaryotic cell cytoskeleton is a virulence strategy employed by many bacterial pathogens. Due to the pivotal role of Rho GTPases in actin dynamics they are common targets of bacterial effector proteins and toxins. IpgB1, IpgB2 (Shigella), SifA, SifB (Salmonella) and Map and EspM (attaching and effacing pathogens) constitute a family of type III secretion system effectors that subverts small GTPase signalling pathways. In this study we identified and characterized EspT from Citrobacter rodentium that triggers formation of lamellipodia on Swiss 3T3 and membrane ruffles on HeLa cells, which are reminiscent of the membrane ruffles induced by IpgB1. Ectopic expression of EspT and IpgB1, but not EspM, resulted in a mitochondrial localization. Using dominant negative constructs we found that EspT-induced actin remodelling is dependent on GTP-bound Rac-1 and Cdc42 but not ELMO or Dock180, which are hijacked by IpgB1 in order to form a Rac-1 specific guanine nucleotide exchange factor. Using pull-down assays with the Rac-1 and Cdc42 binding domains of Pak and WASP we demonstrate that EspT is capable of activating both Rac-1 and Cdc42. These results suggest that EspT modulates the host cell cytoskeleton through coactivation of Rac-1 and Cdc42 by a distinct mechanism.
Project description:Filamin and Cortexillin are F-actin crosslinking proteins in Dictyostelium discoideum allowing actin filaments to form three-dimensional networks. GAPA, an IQGAP related protein, is required for cytokinesis and localizes to the cleavage furrow during cytokinesis. Here we describe a novel interaction with Filamin which is required for cytokinesis and regulation of the F-actin content. The interaction occurs through the actin binding domain of Filamin and the GRD domain of GAPA. A similar interaction takes place with Cortexillin I. We further report that Filamin associates with Rac1a implying that filamin might act as a scaffold for small GTPases. Filamin and activated Rac associate with GAPA to regulate actin remodelling. Overexpression of filamin and GAPA in the various strains suggests that GAPA regulates the actin cytoskeleton through interaction with Filamin and that it controls cytokinesis through association with Filamin and Cortexillin.