• Arp2/3 complex is essential for actin network treadmilling as well as for targeting of capping protein and cofilin.

      Koestler, Stefan A; Steffen, Anika; Nemethova, Maria; Winterhoff, Moritz; Luo, Ningning; Holleboom, J Margit; Krupp, Jessica; Jacob, Sonja; Vinzenz, Marlene; Schur, Florian; et al. (2013-09)
      Lamellipodia are sheet-like protrusions formed during migration or phagocytosis and comprise a network of actin filaments. Filament formation in this network is initiated by nucleation/branching through the actin-related protein 2/3 (Arp2/3) complex downstream of its activator, suppressor of cAMP receptor/WASP-family verprolin homologous (Scar/WAVE), but the relative relevance of Arp2/3-mediated branching versus actin filament elongation is unknown. Here we use instantaneous interference with Arp2/3 complex function in live fibroblasts with established lamellipodia. This allows direct examination of both the fate of elongating filaments upon instantaneous suppression of Arp2/3 complex activity and the consequences of this treatment on the dynamics of other lamellipodial regulators. We show that Arp2/3 complex is an essential organizer of treadmilling actin filament arrays but has little effect on the net rate of actin filament turnover at the cell periphery. In addition, Arp2/3 complex serves as key upstream factor for the recruitment of modulators of lamellipodia formation such as capping protein or cofilin. Arp2/3 complex is thus decisive for filament organization and geometry within the network not only by generating branches and novel filament ends, but also by directing capping or severing activities to the lamellipodium. Arp2/3 complex is also crucial to lamellipodia-based migration of keratocytes.
    • RhoA is dispensable for skin development, but crucial for contraction and directed migration of keratinocytes.

      Jackson, Ben; Peyrollier, Karine; Pedersen, Esben; Basse, Astrid; Karlsson, Richard; Wang, Zhipeng; Lefever, Tine; Ochsenbein, Alexandra M; Schmidt, Gudula; Aktories, Klaus; et al. (2011-03)
      RhoA is a small guanosine-5'-triphosphatase (GTPase) suggested to be essential for cytokinesis, stress fiber formation, and epithelial cell-cell contacts. In skin, loss of RhoA was suggested to underlie pemphigus skin blistering. To analyze RhoA function in vivo, we generated mice with a keratinocyte-restricted deletion of the RhoA gene. Despite a severe reduction of cofilin and myosin light chain (MLC) phosphorylation, these mice showed normal skin development. Primary RhoA-null keratinocytes, however, displayed an increased percentage of multinucleated cells, defective maturation of cell-cell contacts. Furthermore we observed increased cell spreading due to impaired RhoA-ROCK (Rho-associated protein kinase)-MLC phosphatase-MLC-mediated cell contraction, independent of Rac1. Rho-inhibiting toxins further increased multinucleation of RhoA-null cells but had no significant effect on spreading, suggesting that RhoB and RhoC have partially overlapping functions with RhoA. Loss of RhoA decreased directed cell migration in vitro caused by reduced migration speed and directional persistence. These defects were not related to the decreased cell contraction and were independent of ROCK, as ROCK inhibition by Y27632 increased directed migration of both control and RhoA-null keratinocytes. Our data indicate a crucial role for RhoA and contraction in regulating cell spreading and a contraction-independent function of RhoA in keratinocyte migration. In addition, our data show that RhoA is dispensable for skin development.
    • RhoA is dispensable for skin development, but crucial for contraction and directed migration of keratinocytes.

      Jackson, Ben; Peyrollier, Karine; Pedersen, Esben; Basse, Astrid; Karlsson, Richard; Wang, Zhipeng; Lefever, Tine; Ochsenbein, Alexandra M; Schmidt, Gudula; Aktories, Klaus; et al. (2011-03)
      RhoA is a small guanosine-5'-triphosphatase (GTPase) suggested to be essential for cytokinesis, stress fiber formation, and epithelial cell-cell contacts. In skin, loss of RhoA was suggested to underlie pemphigus skin blistering. To analyze RhoA function in vivo, we generated mice with a keratinocyte-restricted deletion of the RhoA gene. Despite a severe reduction of cofilin and myosin light chain (MLC) phosphorylation, these mice showed normal skin development. Primary RhoA-null keratinocytes, however, displayed an increased percentage of multinucleated cells, defective maturation of cell-cell contacts. Furthermore we observed increased cell spreading due to impaired RhoA-ROCK (Rho-associated protein kinase)-MLC phosphatase-MLC-mediated cell contraction, independent of Rac1. Rho-inhibiting toxins further increased multinucleation of RhoA-null cells but had no significant effect on spreading, suggesting that RhoB and RhoC have partially overlapping functions with RhoA. Loss of RhoA decreased directed cell migration in vitro caused by reduced migration speed and directional persistence. These defects were not related to the decreased cell contraction and were independent of ROCK, as ROCK inhibition by Y27632 increased directed migration of both control and RhoA-null keratinocytes. Our data indicate a crucial role for RhoA and contraction in regulating cell spreading and a contraction-independent function of RhoA in keratinocyte migration. In addition, our data show that RhoA is dispensable for skin development.