Context-Dependent Role of Vinculin in Neutrophil Adhesion, Motility and Trafficking.
ABSTRACT: Neutrophils are innate immune effector cells that traffic from the circulation to extravascular sites of inflammation. ?2 integrins are important mediators of the processes involved in neutrophil recruitment. Although neutrophils express the cytoskeletal protein vinculin, they do not form mature focal adhesions. Here, we characterize the role of vinculin in ?2 integrin-dependent neutrophil adhesion, migration, mechanosensing, and recruitment. We observe that knockout of vinculin attenuates, but does not completely abrogate, neutrophil adhesion, spreading, and crawling under static conditions. However, we also found that vinculin deficiency does not affect these behaviors in the presence of forces from fluid flow. In addition, we identify a role for vinculin in mechanosensing, as vinculin-deficient neutrophils exhibit attenuated spreading on stiff, but not soft, substrates. Consistent with these findings, we observe that in vivo neutrophil recruitment into the inflamed peritoneum of mice remains intact in the absence of vinculin. Together, these data suggest that while vinculin regulates some aspects of neutrophil adhesion and spreading, it may be dispensable for ?2 integrin-dependent neutrophil recruitment in vivo.
Project description:Focal adhesions (FAs) link the extracellular matrix to the actin cytoskeleton to mediate cell adhesion, migration, mechanosensing and signalling. FAs have conserved nanoscale protein organization, suggesting that the position of proteins within FAs regulates their activity and function. Vinculin binds different FA proteins to mediate distinct cellular functions, but how vinculin's interactions are spatiotemporally organized within FAs is unknown. Using interferometric photoactivation localization super-resolution microscopy to assay vinculin nanoscale localization and a FRET biosensor to assay vinculin conformation, we found that upward repositioning within the FA during FA maturation facilitates vinculin activation and mechanical reinforcement of FAs. Inactive vinculin localizes to the lower integrin signalling layer in FAs by binding to phospho-paxillin. Talin binding activates vinculin and targets active vinculin higher in FAs where vinculin can engage retrograde actin flow. Thus, specific protein interactions are spatially segregated within FAs at the nanoscale to regulate vinculin activation and function.
Project description:The link between extracellular-matrix-bound integrins and intracellular F-actin is essential for cell spreading and migration. Here, we demonstrate how the actin-binding proteins talin and vinculin cooperate to provide this link. By expressing structure-based talin mutants in talin null cells, we show that while the C-terminal actin-binding site (ABS3) in talin is required for adhesion complex assembly, the central ABS2 is essential for focal adhesion (FA) maturation. Thus, although ABS2 mutants support cell spreading, the cells lack FAs, fail to polarize and exert reduced force on the surrounding matrix. ABS2 is inhibited by the preceding mechanosensitive vinculin-binding R3 domain, and deletion of R2R3 or expression of constitutively active vinculin generates stable force-independent FAs, although cell polarity is compromised. Our data suggest a model whereby force acting on integrin-talin complexes via ABS3 promotes R3 unfolding and vinculin binding, activating ABS2 and locking talin into an actin-binding configuration that stabilizes FAs.
Project description:Proper regulation of the formation and stabilization of epithelial cell-cell adhesion is crucial in embryonic morphogenesis and tissue repair processes. Defects in this process lead to organ malformation and defective epithelial barrier function. A combination of chemical and mechanical cues is used by cells to drive this process. We have investigated the role of the actomyosin cytoskeleton and its connection to cell-cell junction complexes in the formation of an epithelial barrier in MDCK cells. We find that the E-cadherin complex is sufficient to mediate a functional link between cell-cell contacts and the actomyosin cytoskeleton. This link involves the actin binding capacity of ?-catenin and the recruitment of the mechanosensitive protein Vinculin to tensile, punctate cell-cell junctions that connect to radial F-actin bundles, which we name Focal Adherens Junctions (FAJ). When cell-cell adhesions mature, these FAJs disappear and linear junctions are formed that do not contain Vinculin. The rapid phase of barrier establishment (as measured by Trans Epithelial Electrical Resistance (TER)) correlates with the presence of FAJs. Moreover, the rate of barrier establishment is delayed when actomyosin contraction is blocked or when Vinculin recruitment to the Cadherin complex is prevented. Enhanced presence of Vinculin increases the rate of barrier formation. We conclude that E-cadherin-based FAJs connect forming cell-cell adhesions to the contractile actomyosin cytoskeleton. These specialized junctions are sites of Cadherin mechanosensing, which, through the recruitment of Vinculin, is a driving force in epithelial barrier formation.
Project description:Arachidonic acid stimulates cell adhesion by activating ?2?1 integrins in a process that depends on protein kinases, including p38 mitogen activated protein kinase. Here, we describe the interaction of cytoskeletal components with key signaling molecules that contribute to the spreading of, and morphological changes in, arachidonic acid-treated MDA-MB-435 human breast carcinoma cells. Arachidonic acid-treated cells showed increased attachment and spreading on collagen type IV, as measured by electric cell-substrate impedance sensing. Fatty acid-treated cells displayed short cortical actin filaments associated with an increased number of ?1 integrin-containing pseudopodia, whereas untreated cells displayed elongated stress fibers and fewer clusters of ?1 integrins. Confocal microscopy of arachidonic acid-treated cells showed that vinculin and phospho-p38 both appeared enriched in pseudopodia and at the tips of actin filaments, and fluorescence ratio imaging indicated the increase was specific for the phospho-(active) form of p38. Immunoprecipitates of phospho-p38 from extracts of arachidonic acid-treated cells contained vinculin, and GST-vinculin fusion proteins carrying the central region of vinculin bound phospho-p38, whereas fusion proteins expressing the terminal portions of vinculin did not. These data suggest that phospho-p38 associates with particular domains on critical focal adhesion proteins that are involved in tumor cell adhesion and spreading, and that this association can be regulated by factors in the tumor microenvironment.
Project description:Focal adhesions mediate force transfer between ECM-integrin complexes and the cytoskeleton. Although vinculin has been implicated in force transmission, few direct measurements have been made, and there is little mechanistic insight. Using vinculin-null cells expressing vinculin mutants, we demonstrate that vinculin is not required for transmission of adhesive and traction forces but is necessary for myosin contractility-dependent adhesion strength and traction force and for the coupling of cell area and traction force. Adhesion strength and traction forces depend differentially on vinculin head (V(H)) and tail domains. V(H) enhances adhesion strength by increasing ECM-bound integrin-talin complexes, independently from interactions with vinculin tail ligands and contractility. A full-length, autoinhibition-deficient mutant (T12) increases adhesion strength compared with VH, implying roles for both vinculin activation and the actin-binding tail. In contrast to adhesion strength, vinculin-dependent traction forces absolutely require a full-length and activated molecule; V(H) has no effect. Physical linkage of the head and tail domains is required for maximal force responses. Residence times of vinculin in focal adhesions, but not T12 or V(H), correlate with applied force, supporting a mechanosensitive model for vinculin activation in which forces stabilize vinculin's active conformation to promote force transfer.
Project description:?T (Testes)-catenin, a critical factor regulating cell-cell adhesion in the heart, directly couples the cadherin-catenin complex to the actin cytoskeleton at the intercalated disk (ICD), a unique cell-cell junction that couples cardiomyocytes. Loss of ?T-catenin in mice reduces plakophilin2 and connexin 43 recruitment to the ICD. Since ?T-catenin is subjected to mechanical stretch during actomyosin contraction in cardiomyocytes, its activity could be regulated by mechanical force. To provide insight in how force regulates ?T-catenin function, we investigated the mechanical stability of the putative, force-sensing middle (M) domain of ?T-catenin and determined how force impacts vinculin binding to ?T-catenin. We show that 1) physiological levels of force, <15 pN, are sufficient to unfold the three M domains; 2) the M1 domain that harbors the vinculin-binding site is unfolded at ?6 pN; and 3) unfolding of the M1 domain is necessary for high-affinity vinculin binding. In addition, we quantified the binding kinetics and affinity of vinculin to the mechanically exposed binding site in M1 and observed that ?T-catenin binds vinculin with low nanomolar affinity. These results provide important new insights into the mechanosensing properties of ?T-catenin and how ?T-catenin regulates cell-cell adhesion at the cardiomyocyte ICD.
Project description:The translational machinery of the cell relocalizes to focal adhesions following the activation of integrin receptors. This response allows for rapid, local production of components needed for adhesion complex assembly and signaling. Vinculin links focal adhesions to the actin cytoskeleton following its activation by integrin signaling, which severs intramolecular interactions of vinculin's head and tail (Vt) domains. Our vinculin:raver1 crystal structures and binding studies show that activated Vt selectively interacts with one of the three RNA recognition motifs of raver1, that the vinculin:raver1 complex binds to F-actin, and that raver1 binds selectively to RNA, including a sequence found in vinculin mRNA. Further, mutation of residues that mediate interaction of raver1 with vinculin abolish their colocalization in cells. These findings suggest a feed-forward model where vinculin activation at focal adhesions provides a scaffold for recruitment of raver1 and its mRNA cargo to facilitate the production of components of adhesion complexes.
Project description:Vinculin localizes to membrane adhesion junctions where it links actin filaments to the extracellular matrix by binding to the integrin-binding protein talin at its head domain (Vh) and to actin filaments at its tail domain (Vt). Vinculin can assume an inactive (closed) conformation in which Vh and Vt bind to each other, masking the binding sites for actin and talin, and an active (open) conformation in which the binding sites for talin and actin are exposed. We hypothesized that the contractile activation of smooth muscle tissues might regulate the activation of vinculin and thereby contribute to the regulation of contractile tension. Stimulation of tracheal smooth muscle tissues with acetylcholine (ACh) induced the recruitment of vinculin to cell membrane and its interaction with talin and increased the phosphorylation of membrane-localized vinculin at the C-terminal Tyr-1065. Expression of recombinant vinculin head domain peptide (Vh) in smooth muscle tissues, but not the talin-binding deficient mutant head domain, VhA50I, inhibited the ACh-induced recruitment of endogenous vinculin to the membrane and the interaction of vinculin with talin and also inhibited vinculin phosphorylation. Expression of Vh peptide also inhibited ACh-induced smooth muscle contraction and inhibited ACh-induced actin polymerization; however, it did not affect myosin light chain phosphorylation, which is necessary for cross-bridge cycling. Inactivation of RhoA inhibited vinculin activation in response to ACh. We conclude that ACh stimulation regulates vinculin activation in tracheal smooth muscle via RhoA and that vinculin activation contributes to the regulation of active tension by facilitating connections between actin filaments and talin-integrin adhesion complexes and by mediating the initiation of actin polymerization.
Project description:Integrin-dependent cell adhesion and spreading are critical for morphogenesis, tissue regeneration, and immune defense but also tumor growth. However, the mechanisms that induce integrin-mediated cell spreading and provide mechanosensing on different extracellular matrix conditions are not fully understood. By expressing ?3-GFP-integrins with enhanced talin-binding affinity, we experimentally uncoupled integrin activation, clustering, and substrate binding from its function in cell spreading. Mutational analysis revealed Tyr747, located in the first cytoplasmic NPLY(747) motif, to induce spreading and paxillin adapter recruitment to substrate- and talin-bound integrins. In addition, integrin-mediated spreading, but not focal adhesion localization, was affected by mutating adjacent sequence motifs known to be involved in kindlin binding. On soft, spreading-repellent fibronectin substrates, high-affinity talin-binding integrins formed adhesions, but normal spreading was only possible with integrins competent to recruit the signaling adapter protein paxillin. This proposes that integrin-dependent cell-matrix adhesion and cell spreading are independently controlled, offering new therapeutic strategies to modify cell behavior in normal and pathological conditions.
Project description:Focal adhesions (FAs), integrin-mediated macromolecular complexes located at the cell membrane extracellular interface, have been shown to regulate cell adhesion and migration. Our previous studies have indicated that HAb18G/CD147 (CD147) is involved in cytoskeleton reorganization and FA formation in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells. However, the precise mechanisms underlying these processes remain unclear. In the current study, we determined that CD147 was involved in vinculin-mediated FA focal adhesion formation in HCC cells. We also found that deletion of CD147 led to reduced vinculin-mediated FA areas (P<0.0001), length/width ratios (P<0.0001), and mean intensities (P<0.0001). CD147 promoted lamellipodia formation by localizing Arp2/3 to the leading edge of the cell. Deletion of CD147 significantly reduced the fluorescence (t1/2) recovery times (22.7±3.3 s) of vinculin-mediated focal adhesions (P<0.0001). In cell-spreading assays, CD147 was found to be essential for dynamic focal adhesion enlargement and disassembly. Furthermore, the current data showed that CD147 reduced tyrosine phosphorylation in vinculin-mediated focal adhesions, and enhanced the accumulation of the acidic phospholipid phosphatidylinositol-4, 5-bisphosphate (PIP2). Together, these results revealed that CD147 is involved in vinculin-mediated focal adhesion formation, which subsequently promotes cytoskeleton reorganization to facilitate invasion and migration of human HCC cells.