Centrosome defines the rear of cells during mesenchymal migration.
ABSTRACT: The importance of centrosome in directional cell migration has long been recognized. However, the conventional view that centrosome determines cell's front, based on its often-observed position in front of the nucleus, has been challenged by contradictory observations. Here we show that centrosome defines the rear instead of the front, using cells plated on micropatterned adhesive strips to facilitate directional migration. We found that centrosome is always located proximal to the future rear before polarity is established through symmetry breaking or reversed as the cell reaches a dead end. In addition, using microsurgery to alter the distance of centrosomes from cells' ends, we show that centrosomal proximity is predictive of the placement of the rear. Removal of centrosome impairs directional cell migration, whereas the removal of nucleus alone makes no difference in most cells. Computer modeling under the framework of a local-enhancement/global-inhibition mechanism further demonstrates that positioning of rear retraction, mediated by signals concentrated near the centrosome, recapitulates all the experimental observations. Our results resolve a long-standing controversy and explain how cells use centrosome and microtubules to maintain directional migration.
Project description:Cell migration is essential during development, regeneration, homeostasis, and disease. Depending on the microenvironment, cells use different mechanisms to migrate. Yet, all modes of migration require the establishment of an intracellular front-rear polarity axis for directional movement. Although front-rear polarity can be easily identified in in vitro conditions, its assessment in vivo by live-imaging is challenging due to tissue complexity and lack of reliable markers. Here, we describe a novel and unique double fluorescent reporter mouse line to study front-rear cell polarity in living tissues, called GNrep. This mouse line simultaneously labels Golgi complexes and nuclei allowing the assignment of a nucleus-to-Golgi axis to each cell, which functions as a readout for cell front-rear polarity. As a proof-of-principle, we validated the efficiency of the GNrep line using an endothelial-specific Cre mouse line. We show that the GNrep labels the nucleus and the Golgi apparatus of endothelial cells with very high efficiency and high specificity. Importantly, the features of fluorescent intensity and localization for both mCherry and eGFP fluorescent intensity and localization allow automated segmentation and assignment of polarity vectors in complex tissues, making GNrep a great tool to study cell behavior in large-scale automated analyses. Altogether, the GNrep mouse line, in combination with different Cre recombinase lines, is a novel and unique tool to study of front-rear polarity in mice, both in fixed tissues or in intravital live imaging. This new line will be instrumental to understand cell migration and polarity in development, homeostasis, and disease.
Project description:In development, wound healing, and cancer metastasis, vertebrate cells move through 3D interstitial matrix, responding to chemical and physical guidance cues. Protrusion at the cell front has been extensively studied, but the retraction phase of the migration cycle is not well understood. Here, we show that fast-moving cells guided by matrix cues establish positive feedback control of rear retraction by sensing membrane tension. We reveal a mechanism of rear retraction in 3D matrix and durotaxis controlled by caveolae, which form in response to low membrane tension at the cell rear. Caveolae activate RhoA-ROCK1/PKN2 signaling via the RhoA guanidine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) Ect2 to control local F-actin organization and contractility in this subcellular region and promote translocation of the cell rear. A positive feedback loop between cytoskeletal signaling and membrane tension leads to rapid retraction to complete the migration cycle in fast-moving cells, providing directional memory to drive persistent cell migration in complex matrices.
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:Efficient chemotaxis requires rapid coordination between different parts of the cell in response to changing directional cues. Here, we investigate the mechanism of front-rear coordination in chemotactic neutrophils. We find that changes in the protrusion rate at the cell front are instantaneously coupled to changes in retraction at the cell rear, while myosin II accumulation at the rear exhibits a reproducible 9-15-s lag. In turning cells, myosin II exhibits dynamic side-to-side relocalization at the cell rear in response to turning of the leading edge and facilitates efficient turning by rapidly re-orienting the rear. These manifestations of front-rear coupling can be explained by a simple quantitative model incorporating reversible actin-myosin interactions with a rearward-flowing actin network. Finally, the system can be tuned by the degree of myosin regulatory light chain (MRLC) phosphorylation, which appears to be set in an optimal range to balance persistence of movement and turning ability.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Sprouting angiogenesis is a key process driving blood vessel growth in ischemic tissues and an important drug target in a number of diseases, including wet macular degeneration and wound healing. Endothelial cells forming the sprout must develop front-rear polarity to allow sprout extension. The adaptor proteins Nck1 and 2 are known regulators of cytoskeletal dynamics and polarity, but their function in angiogenesis is poorly understood. Here, we show that the Nck adaptors are required for endothelial cell front-rear polarity and migration downstream of the angiogenic growth factors VEGF-A and Slit2. METHODS AND RESULTS:Mice carrying inducible, endothelial-specific Nck1/2 deletions fail to develop front-rear polarized vessel sprouts and exhibit severe angiogenesis defects in the postnatal retina and during embryonic development. Inactivation of NCK1 and 2 inhibits polarity by preventing Cdc42 and Pak2 activation by VEGF-A and Slit2. Mechanistically, NCK binding to ROBO1 is required for both Slit2- and VEGF-induced front-rear polarity. Selective inhibition of polarized endothelial cell migration by targeting Nck1/2 prevents hypersprouting induced by Notch or Bmp signaling inhibition, and pathological ocular neovascularization and wound healing, as well. CONCLUSIONS:These data reveal a novel signal integration mechanism involving NCK1/2, ROBO1/2, and VEGFR2 that controls endothelial cell front-rear polarity during sprouting angiogenesis.
Project description:Cell polarity refers to the intrinsic asymmetry of cells, including the orientation of the cytoskeleton. It affects cell shape and structure as well as the distribution of proteins and organelles. In migratory cells, front-rear polarity is essential and dictates movement direction. While the link between the cytoskeleton and nucleus is well-studied, we aim to investigate if front-rear polarity can be transmitted to the nucleus. We show that the knock-down of emerin, an integral protein of the nuclear envelope, abolishes preferential localization of several nuclear proteins. We propose that the frontally biased localization of the endoplasmic reticulum, through which emerin reaches the nuclear envelope, is sufficient to generate its observed bias. In primary emerin-deficient myoblasts, its expression partially rescues the polarity of the nucleus. Our results demonstrate that front-rear cell polarity is transmitted to the nucleus and that emerin is an important determinant of nuclear polarity.
Project description:Directed migration of smooth muscle cells (SMCs) from the media to the intima in arteries occurs during atherosclerotic plaque formation and during restenosis after angioplasty or stent application. The polarized orientation of the microtubule-organizing center (MTOC) is a key determinant of this process, and we therefore investigated factors that regulate MTOC polarity in vascular SMCs. SMCs migrating in vivo from the medial to the intimal layer of the rat carotid artery following balloon catheter injury were rear polarized, with the MTOC located posterior of the nucleus. In tissue culture, migrating neointimal cells maintained rear polarization, whereas medial cells were front polarized. Using phosphoproteomic screening and mass spectrometry, we identified ARPC5 and RHAMM as protein kinase C (PKC)-phosphorylated proteins associated with rear polarization of the MTOC in neointimal SMCs. RNA silencing of ARPC5 and RHAMM, PKC inhibition, and transfection with a mutated nonphosphorylatable ARPC5 showed that these proteins regulate rear polarization by organizing the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons in neointimal SMCs. Both ARPC5 and RHAMM, in addition to PKC, were required for migration of neointimal SMCs.
Project description:Attractive and repulsive cell guidance is essential for animal life and important in disease. Cell migration toward attractants dominates studies [1-8], but migration away from repellents is important in biology yet relatively little studied [5, 9, 10]. It is widely held that cells initiate migration by protrusion of their front [11-15], yet this has not been explicitly tested for cell guidance because cell margin displacement at opposite ends of the cell has not been distinguished for any cue. We argue that protrusion of the front, retraction of the rear, or both together could in principle break cell symmetry and start migration in response to guidance cues . Here, we find in the Dictyostelium model  that an attractant-cAMP-breaks symmetry by causing protrusion of the front of the cell, whereas its repellent analog-8CPT-breaks symmetry by causing retraction of the rear. Protrusion of the front of these cells in response to cAMP starts with local actin filament assembly, while the delayed retraction of the rear is independent of both myosin II polarization and of motor-based contractility. On the contrary, myosin II accumulates locally in the rear of the cell in response to 8CPT, anticipating retraction and required for it, while local actin assembly is delayed and couples to delayed protrusion at the front. These data reveal an important new concept in the understanding of cell guidance.
Project description:In contrast to events at the cell leading edge, rear-polarized mechanisms that control directional cell migration are poorly defined. Previous work described a new intracellular complex, the Wnt5a-receptor-actomyosin polarity (WRAMP) structure, which coordinates the polarized localization of MCAM, actin, and myosin IIB in a Wnt5a-induced manner. However, the polarity and function for the WRAMP structure during cell movement were not determined. Here we characterize WRAMP structures during extended cell migration using live-cell imaging. The results demonstrate that cells undergoing prolonged migration show WRAMP structures stably polarized at the rear, where they are strongly associated with enhanced speed and persistence of directional movement. Strikingly, WRAMP structures form transiently, with cells displaying directional persistence during periods when they are present and cells changing directions randomly when they are absent. Cells appear to pause locomotion when WRAMP structures disassemble and then migrate in new directions after reassembly at a different location, which forms the new rear. We conclude that WRAMP structures represent a rear-directed cellular mechanism to control directional migration and that their ability to form dynamically within cells may control changes in direction during extended migration.
Project description:Cell migration is driven by the establishment of disparity between the cortical properties of the softer front and the more rigid rear allowing front extension and actomyosin-based rear contraction. However, how the cortical actin meshwork in the rear is generated remains elusive. Here we identify the mDia1-like formin A (ForA) from Dictyostelium discoideum that generates a subset of filaments as the basis of a resilient cortical actin sheath in the rear. Mechanical resistance of this actin compartment is accomplished by actin crosslinkers and IQGAP-related proteins, and is mandatory to withstand the increased contractile forces in response to mechanical stress by impeding unproductive blebbing in the rear, allowing efficient cell migration in two-dimensional-confined environments. Consistently, ForA supresses the formation of lateral protrusions, rapidly relocalizes to new prospective ends in repolarizing cells and is required for cortical integrity. Finally, we show that ForA utilizes the phosphoinositide gradients in polarized cells for subcellular targeting.