• Essential role for Abi1 in embryonic survival and WAVE2 complex integrity.

      Dubielecka, Patrycja M; Ladwein, Kathrin I; Xiong, Xiaoling; Migeotte, Isabelle; Chorzalska, Anna; Anderson, Kathryn V; Sawicki, Janet A; Rottner, Klemens; Stradal, Theresia E; Kotula, Leszek; et al. (2011-04-26)
      Abl interactor 1 (Abi1) plays a critical function in actin cytoskeleton dynamics through participation in the WAVE2 complex. To gain a better understanding of the specific role of Abi1, we generated a conditional Abi1-KO mouse model and MEFs lacking Abi1 expression. Abi1-KO cells displayed defective regulation of the actin cytoskeleton, and this dysregulation was ascribed to altered activity of the WAVE2 complex. Changes in motility of Abi1-KO cells were manifested by a decreased migration rate and distance but increased directional persistence. Although these phenotypes did not correlate with peripheral ruffling, which was unaffected, Abi1-KO cells exhibited decreased dorsal ruffling. Western blotting analysis of Abi1-KO cell lysates indicated reduced levels of the WAVE complex components WAVE1 and WAVE2, Nap1, and Sra-1/PIR121. Although relative Abi2 levels were more than doubled in Abi1-KO cells, the absolute Abi2 expression in these cells amounted only to a fifth of Abi1 levels in the control cell line. This finding suggests that the presence of Abi1 is critical for the integrity and stability of WAVE complex and that Abi2 levels are not sufficiently increased to compensate fully for the loss of Abi1 in KO cells and to restore the integrity and function of the WAVE complex. The essential function of Abi1 in WAVE complexes and their regulation might explain the observed embryonic lethality of Abi1-deficient embryos, which survived until approximately embryonic day 11.5 and displayed malformations in the developing heart and brain. Cells lacking Abi1 and the conditional Abi1-KO mouse will serve as critical models for defining Abi1 function.
    • Free Brick1 is a trimeric precursor in the assembly of a functional wave complex.

      Derivery, Emmanuel; Fink, Jenny; Martin, Davy; Houdusse, Anne; Piel, Matthieu; Stradal, Theresia E; Louvard, Daniel; Gautreau, Alexis; Institut Curie, Centre de Recherche, Morphogenesis and Cell Signaling laboratory, Paris, France. (2008)
      BACKGROUND: The Wave complex activates the Arp2/3 complex, inducing actin polymerization in lamellipodia and membrane ruffles. The Wave complex is composed of five subunits, the smallest of which, Brick1/Hspc300 (Brk1), is the least characterized. We previously reported that, unlike the other subunits, Brk1 also exists as a free form. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we report that this free form of Brk1 is composed of homotrimers. Using a novel assay in which purified free Brk1 is electroporated into HeLa cells, we were able to follow its biochemical fate in cells and to show that free Brk1 becomes incorporated into the Wave complex. Importantly, incorporation of free Brk1 into the Wave complex was blocked upon inhibition of protein synthesis and incorporated Brk1 was found to associate preferentially with neosynthesized subunits. Brk1 depleted HeLa cells were found to bleb, as were Nap1, Wave2 or ARPC2 depleted cells, suggesting that this blebbing phenotype of Brk1 depleted cells is due to an impairment of the Wave complex function rather than a specific function of free Brk1. Blebs of Brk1 depleted cells were emitted at sites where lamellipodia and membrane ruffles were normally emitted. In Brk1 depleted cells, the electroporation of free Brk1 was sufficient to restore Wave complex assembly and to rescue the blebbing phenotype. CONCLUSION: Together these results establish that the free form of Brk1 is an essential precursor in the assembly of a functional Wave complex.