Profilin regulates F-actin network homeostasis by favoring formin over Arp2/3 complex.
ABSTRACT: Fission yeast cells use Arp2/3 complex and formin to assemble diverse filamentous actin (F-actin) networks within a common cytoplasm for endocytosis, division, and polarization. Although these homeostatic F-actin networks are usually investigated separately, competition for a limited pool of actin monomers (G-actin) helps to regulate their size and density. However, the mechanism by which G-actin is correctly distributed between rival F-actin networks is not clear. Using a combination of cell biological approaches and in vitro reconstitution of competition between actin assembly factors, we found that the small G-actin binding protein profilin directly inhibits Arp2/3 complex-mediated actin assembly. Profilin is therefore required for formin to compete effectively with excess Arp2/3 complex for limited G-actin and to assemble F-actin for contractile ring formation in dividing cells.
Project description:Controlling the quantity and size of organelles through competition for a limited supply of components is quickly emerging as an important cellular regulatory mechanism. Cells assemble diverse actin filament (F-actin) networks for fundamental processes including division, motility, and polarization. F-actin polymerization is tightly regulated by activation of assembly factors such as the Arp2/3 complex and formins at specific times and places. We directly tested an additional hypothesis that diverse F-actin networks are in homeostasis, whereby competition for actin monomers (G-actin) is critical for regulating F-actin network size. Here we show that inhibition of Arp2/3 complex in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe not only depletes Arp2/3-complex-mediated endocytic actin patches, but also induces a dramatic excess of formin-assembled F-actin. Conversely, disruption of formin increases the density of Arp2/3-complex-mediated patches. Furthermore, modification of actin levels significantly perturbs the fission yeast actin cytoskeleton. Increasing actin favors Arp2/3-complex-mediated actin assembly, whereas decreasing actin favors formin-mediated contractile rings. Therefore, the specific actin concentration in a cell is critical, and competition for G-actin helps regulate the proper amount of F-actin assembly for diverse processes.
Project description:Cells contain multiple F-actin assembly pathways, including the Arp2/3 complex, formins, and Ena/VASP, which have largely been analyzed separately. They collectively generate the bulk of F-actin from a common pool of G-actin; however, the interplay and/or competition between these pathways remains poorly understood. Using fibroblast lines derived from an Arpc2 conditional knockout mouse, we established matched-pair cells with and without the Arp2/3 complex. Arpc2(-/-) cells lack lamellipodia and migrate more slowly than WT cells but have F-actin levels indistinguishable from controls. Actin assembly in Arpc2(-/-) cells was resistant to cytochalasin-D and was highly dependent on profilin-1 and Ena/VASP but not formins. Profilin-1 depletion in WT cells increased F-actin and Arp2/3 complex in lamellipodia. Conversely, addition of exogenous profilin-1 inhibited Arp2/3 complex actin nucleation in vitro and in vivo. Antagonism of the Arp2/3 complex by profilin-1 in cells appears to maintain actin homeostasis by balancing Arp2/3 complex-dependent and -independent actin assembly pathways.
Project description:Within the cytoplasm of a single cell, several actin networks can coexist with distinct sizes, geometries, and protein compositions. These actin networks assemble in competition for a limited pool of proteins present in a common cellular environment. To predict how two distinct networks of actin filaments control this balance, the simultaneous assembly of actin-related protein 2/3 (Arp2/3)-branched networks and formin-linear networks of actin filaments around polystyrene microbeads was investigated with a range of actin accessory proteins (profilin, capping protein, actin-depolymerizing factor [ADF]/cofilin, and tropomyosin). Accessory proteins generally affected actin assembly rates for the distinct networks differently. These effects at the scale of individual actin networks were surprisingly not always correlated with corresponding loss-of-function phenotypes in cells. However, our observations agreed with a global interpretation, which compared relative actin assembly rates of individual actin networks. This work supports a general model in which the size of distinct actin networks is determined by their relative capacity to assemble in a common and competing environment.
Project description:Cell motility and actin homeostasis depend on the control of polarized growth of actin filaments. Profilin, an abundant regulator of actin dynamics, supports filament assembly at barbed ends by binding G-actin. Here, we demonstrate how, by binding and destabilizing filament barbed ends at physiological concentrations, profilin also controls motility, cell migration, and actin homeostasis. Profilin enhances filament length fluctuations. Profilin competes with Capping Protein at barbed ends, which generates a lower amount of profilin-actin than expected if barbed ends were tightly capped. Profilin competes with barbed end polymerases, such as formins and VopF, and inhibits filament branching by WASP-Arp2/3 complex by competition for filament barbed ends, accounting for its as-yet-unknown effects on motility and metastatic cell migration observed in this concentration range. In conclusion, profilin is a major coordinator of polarized growth of actin filaments, controlled by competition between barbed end cappers, trackers, destabilizers, and filament branching machineries.
Project description:Formins are major regulators of actin networks. They enhance actin filament dynamics by remaining processively bound to filament barbed ends. How biochemical and mechanical factors affect formin processivity are open questions. Monitoring individual actin filaments in a microfluidic flow, we report that formins mDia1 and mDia2 dissociate faster under higher ionic strength and when actin concentration is increased. Profilin, known to increase the elongation rate of formin-associated filaments, surprisingly decreases the formin dissociation rate, by bringing formin FH1 domains in transient contact with the barbed end. In contrast, piconewton tensile forces applied to actin filaments accelerate formin dissociation by orders of magnitude, largely overcoming profilin-mediated stabilization. We developed a model of formin conformations showing that our data indicates the existence of two different dissociation pathways, with force favoring one over the other. How cells limit formin dissociation under tension is now a key question for future studies.
Project description:The evolutionarily conserved small actin-monomer binding protein profilin is believed to be a housekeeping factor that maintains a general pool of unassembled actin. However, despite similar primary sequences, structural folds, and affinities for G-actin and poly-L-proline, budding yeast profilin ScPFY fails to complement fission yeast profilin SpPRF temperature-sensitive mutant cdc3-124 cells. To identify profilin's essential properties, we built a combinatorial library of ScPFY variants containing either WT or SpPRF residues at multiple positions and carried out a genetic selection to isolate variants that support life in fission yeast. We subsequently engineered ScPFY(9-Mut), a variant containing nine substitutions in the actin-binding region, which complements cdc3-124 cells. ScPFY(9-Mut), but not WT ScPFY, suppresses severe cytokinesis defects in cdc3-124 cells. Furthermore, the major activity rescued by ScPFY(9-Mut) is the ability to enhance cytokinesis formin Cdc12-mediated actin assembly in vitro, which allows cells to assemble functional contractile rings. Therefore an essential role of profilin is to specifically facilitate formin-mediated actin assembly for cytokinesis in fission yeast.
Project description:The regulated assembly of multiple filamentous actin (F-actin) networks from an actin monomer pool is important for a variety of cellular processes. Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is a unicellular green alga expressing a conventional and divergent actin that is an emerging system for investigating the complex regulation of actin polymerization. One actin network that contains exclusively conventional F-actin in Chlamydomonas is the fertilization tubule, a mating structure at the apical cell surface in gametes. In addition to two actin genes, Chlamydomonas expresses a profilin (PRF1) and four formin genes (FOR1-4), one of which (FOR1) we have characterized for the first time. We found that unlike typical profilins, PRF1 prevents unwanted actin assembly by strongly inhibiting both F-actin nucleation and barbed-end elongation at equimolar concentrations to actin. However, FOR1 stimulates the assembly of rapidly elongating actin filaments from PRF1-bound actin. Furthermore, for1 and prf1-1 mutants, as well as the small molecule formin inhibitor SMIFH2, prevent fertilization tubule formation in gametes, suggesting that polymerization of F-actin for fertilization tubule formation is a primary function of FOR1. Together, these findings indicate that FOR1 and PRF1 cooperate to selectively and rapidly assemble F-actin at the right time and place.
Project description:Expression of human profilin-I does not complement the temperature-sensitive cdc3-124 mutation of the single profilin gene in fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, resulting in death from cytokinesis defects. Human profilin-I and S. pombe profilin have similar affinities for actin monomers, the FH1 domain of fission yeast formin Cdc12p and poly-L-proline (Lu, J., and Pollard, T. D. (2001) Mol. Biol. Cell 12, 1161-1175), but human profilin-I does not stimulate actin filament elongation by formin Cdc12p like S. pombe profilin. Two crystal structures of S. pombe profilin and homology models of S. pombe profilin bound to actin show how the two profilins bind to identical surfaces on animal and yeast actins even though 75% of the residues on the profilin side of the interaction differ in the two profilins. Overexpression of human profilin-I in fission yeast expressing native profilin also causes cytokinesis defects incompatible with viability. Human profilin-I with the R88E mutation has no detectable affinity for actin and does not have this dominant overexpression phenotype. The Y6D mutation reduces the affinity of human profilin-I for poly-l-proline by 1000-fold, but overexpression of Y6D profilin in fission yeast is lethal. The most likely hypotheses to explain the incompatibility of human profilin-I with Cdc12p are differences in interactions with the proline-rich sequences in the FH1 domain of Cdc12p and wider "wings" that interact with actin.
Project description:Diverse intracellular pathogens subvert the host actin-polymerization machinery to drive movement within and between cells during infection. Rickettsia in the spotted fever group (SFG) are Gram-negative, obligate intracellular bacterial pathogens that undergo actin-based motility and assemble distinctive 'comet tails' that consist of long, unbranched actin filaments. Despite this distinct organization, it was proposed that actin in Rickettsia comet tails is nucleated by the host Arp2/3 complex and the bacterial protein RickA, which assemble branched actin networks. However, a second bacterial gene, sca2, was recently implicated in actin-tail formation by R. rickettsii. Here, we demonstrate that Sca2 is a bacterial actin-assembly factor that functionally mimics eukaryotic formin proteins. Sca2 nucleates unbranched actin filaments, processively associates with growing barbed ends, requires profilin for efficient elongation, and inhibits the activity of capping protein, all properties shared with formins. Sca2 localizes to the Rickettsia surface and is sufficient to promote the assembly of actin filaments in cytoplasmic extract. These results suggest that Sca2 mimics formins to determine the unique organization of actin filaments in Rickettsia tails and drive bacterial motility, independently of host nucleators.
Project description:In the Saccharomyces cerevisiae actin-profilin interface, Ala(167) of the actin barbed end W-loop and His(372) near the C terminus form a clamp around a profilin segment containing residue Arg(81) and Tyr(79). Modeling suggests that altering steric packing in this interface regulates actin activity. An actin A167E mutation could increase interface crowding and alter actin regulation, and A167E does cause growth defects and mitochondrial dysfunction. We assessed whether a profilin Y79S mutation with its decreased mass could compensate for actin A167E crowding and rescue the mutant phenotype. Y79S profilin alone caused no growth defect in WT actin cells under standard conditions in rich medium and rescued the mitochondrial phenotype resulting from both the A167E and H372R actin mutations in vivo consistent with our model. Rescue did not result from effects of profilin on actin nucleotide exchange or direct effects of profilin on actin polymerization. Polymerization of A167E actin was less stimulated by formin Bni1 FH1-FH2 fragment than was WT actin. Addition of WT profilin to mixtures of A167E actin and formin fragment significantly altered polymerization kinetics from hyperbolic to a decidedly more sigmoidal behavior. Substitution of Y79S profilin in this system produced A167E behavior nearly identical to that of WT actin. A167E actin caused more dynamic actin cable behavior in vivo than observed with WT actin. Introduction of Y79S restored cable movement to a more normal phenotype. Our studies implicate the importance of the actin-profilin interface for formin-dependent actin and point to the involvement of formin and profilin in the maintenance of mitochondrial integrity and function.