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Membrane blebs are specialized cellular protrusions that play diverse roles in processes such as cell division and cell migration. Blebbing can be divided into three distinct phases: bleb nucleation, bleb growth, and bleb retraction. Following nucleation and bleb growth, the actin cortex, comprising actin, cross-linking proteins, and nonmuscle myosin II (MII), begins to reassemble on the membrane. MII then drives the final phase, bleb retraction, which results in reintegration of the bleb into the cellular cortex. There are three MII paralogues with distinct biophysical properties expressed in mammalian cells: MIIA, MIIB, and MIIC. Here we show that MIIA specifically drives bleb retraction during cytokinesis. The motor domain and regulation of the nonhelical tailpiece of MIIA both contribute to its ability to drive bleb retraction. These experiments have also revealed a relationship between faster turnover of MIIA at the cortex and its ability to drive bleb retraction.
The sarcomere is the contractile unit within cardiomyocytes driving heart muscle contraction. We sought to test the mechanisms regulating actin and myosin filament assembly during sarcomere formation. Therefore, we developed an assay using human cardiomyocytes to monitor sarcomere assembly. We report a population of muscle stress fibers, similar to actin arcs in non-muscle cells, which are essential sarcomere precursors. We show sarcomeric actin filaments arise directly from muscle stress fibers. This requires formins (e.g., FHOD3), non-muscle myosin IIA and non-muscle myosin IIB. Furthermore, we show short cardiac myosin II filaments grow to form ~1.5 μm long filaments that then 'stitch' together to form the stack of filaments at the core of the sarcomere (i.e., the A-band). A-band assembly is dependent on the proper organization of actin filaments and, as such, is also dependent on FHOD3 and myosin IIB. We use this experimental paradigm to present evidence for a unifying model of sarcomere assembly.
© 2018, Fenix et al.
IMPACT STATEMENT - Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is associated with vasospasm that is refractory to traditional vasodilators, and inhibition of vasospasm after SAH remains a large unmet clinical need. SAH causes changes in the phosphorylation state of the small heat shock proteins (HSPs), HSP20 and HSP27, in the vasospastic vessels. In this study, the levels of HSP27 and HSP20 were manipulated using nanotechnology to mimic the intracellular phenotype of SAH-induced vasospasm, and the effect of this manipulation was tested on vasomotor responses in intact tissues. This work provides insight into potential therapeutic targets for the development of more effective treatments for SAH induced vasospasm.
In , cytokinesis requires the assembly and constriction of an actomyosin-based contractile ring (CR). A single essential formin, Cdc12, localizes to the cell middle upon mitotic onset and nucleates the F-actin of the CR. Cdc12 medial recruitment is mediated in part by its direct binding to the F-BAR scaffold Cdc15. Given that Cdc12 is hyperphosphorylated in M phase, we explored whether Cdc12 phosphoregulation impacts its association with Cdc15 during mitosis. We found that Cdk1, a major mitotic kinase, phosphorylates Cdc12 on six N-terminal residues near the Cdc15-binding site, and phosphorylation on these sites inhibits its interaction with the Cdc15 F-BAR domain. Consistent with this finding, a mutant with all six Cdk1 sites changed to phosphomimetic residues () displays phenotypes similar to , in which the Cdc15-binding motif is disrupted; both show reduced Cdc12 at the CR and delayed CR formation. Together, these results indicate that Cdk1 phosphorylation of formin Cdc12 antagonizes its interaction with Cdc15 and thereby opposes Cdc12's CR localization. These results are consistent with a general role for Cdk1 in inhibiting cytokinesis until chromosome segregation is complete.
© 2018 Willet et al. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
Flow of fluids through the gut, such as milk from a neonatal diet, generates a shear stress on the unilaminar epithelium lining the lumen. We report that exposure to physiological levels of fluid shear stress leads to the formation of large vacuoles, containing extracellular contents within polarizing intestinal epithelial cell monolayers. These observations lead to two questions: how can cells lacking primary cilia transduce shear stress, and what molecular pathways support the formation of vacuoles that can exceed 80% of the cell volume? We find that shear forces are sensed by actin-rich microvilli that eventually generate the apical brush border, providing evidence that these structures possess mechanosensing ability. Importantly, we identified the molecular pathway that regulates large vacuole formation downstream from mechanostimulation to involve central components of the autophagy pathway, including ATG5 and LC3, but not Beclin. Together our results establish a novel link between the actin-rich microvilli, the macroscopic transport of fluids across cells, and the noncanonical autophagy pathway in organized epithelial monolayers.
© 2017 Kim et al. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
Evidence suggests European American (EA) women have two- to five-fold increased odds of having pelvic organ prolapse (POP) when compared with African American (AA) women. However, the role of genetic ancestry in relation to POP risk is not clear. Here we evaluate the association between genetic ancestry and POP in AA women from the Women's Health Initiative Hormone Therapy trial. Women with grade 1 or higher classification, and grade 2 or higher classification for uterine prolapse, cystocele or rectocele at baseline or during follow-up were considered to have any POP (N = 805) and moderate/severe POP (N = 156), respectively. Women with at least two pelvic exams with no indication for POP served as controls (N = 344). We performed case-only, and case-control admixture-mapping analyses using multiple logistic regression while adjusting for age, BMI, parity and global ancestry. We evaluated the association between global ancestry and POP using multiple logistic regression. European ancestry at the individual level was not associated with POP risk. Case-only and case-control local ancestry analyses identified two ancestry-specific loci that may be associated with POP. One locus (Chromosome 15q26.2) achieved empirically-estimated statistical significance and was associated with decreased POP odds (considering grade ≥2 POP) with each unit increase in European ancestry (OR: 0.35; 95% CI: 0.30, 0.57; p-value = 1.48x10-5). This region includes RGMA, a potent regulator of the BMP family of genes. The second locus (Chromosome 1q42.1-q42.3) was associated with increased POP odds with each unit increase in European ancestry (Odds ratio [OR]: 1.69; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.28, 2.22; p-value = 1.93x10-4). Although this region did not reach statistical significance after considering multiple comparisons, it includes potentially relevant genes including TBCE, and ACTA1. Unique non-overlapping European and African ancestry-specific susceptibility loci may be associated with increased POP risk.
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a common complication of premature birth. The histopathology of BPD is characterized by an arrest of alveolarization with fibroblast activation. The Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway is important in early lung development. When Wnt signaling is active, phosphorylation of β-catenin by tyrosine kinases at activating sites, specifically at tyrosine 489 (Y489), correlates with nuclear localization of β-catenin. We examined fetal lung tissue, lung tissue from term newborns, and lung tissue from infants who died with BPD; we found nuclear β-catenin phosphorylation at Y489 in epithelial and mesenchymal cells in fetal tissue and BPD tissue, but not in the lungs of term infants. Using a 3D human organoid model, we found increased nuclear localization of β-catenin phosphorylated at Y489 (p-β-catenin) after exposure to alternating hypoxia and hyperoxia compared with organoids cultured in normoxia. Exogenous stimulation of the canonical Wnt pathway in organoids was sufficient to cause nuclear localization of p-β-catenin in normoxia and mimicked the pattern of α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) expression seen with fibroblastic activation from oxidative stress. Treatment of organoids with a tyrosine kinase inhibitor prior to cyclic hypoxia-hyperoxia inhibited nuclear localization of p-β-catenin and prevented α-SMA expression by fibroblasts. Posttranslational phosphorylation of β-catenin is a transient feature of normal lung development. Moreover, the persistence of p-β-catenin is a durable marker of fibroblast activation in BPD and may play an important role in BPD disease pathobiology.
Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.
Unconventional myosins are actin-based molecular motors that serve a multitude of roles within the cell. One group of myosin motors, the MyTH4-FERM myosins, play an integral part in building and maintaining finger-like protrusions, which allow cells to interact with their external environment. Suggested to act primarily as transporters, these motor proteins enrich adhesion molecules, actin-regulatory proteins and other factors at the tips of filopodia, microvilli, and stereocilia. Below we review data from biophysical, biochemical, and cell biological studies, which implicate these myosins as central players in the assembly, maintenance and function of actin-based protrusions.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Class III myosins (MYO3A and MYO3B) are proposed to function as transporters as well as length and ultrastructure regulators within stable actin-based protrusions such as stereocilia and calycal processes. MYO3A differs from MYO3B in that it contains an extended tail domain with an additional actin-binding motif. We examined how the properties of the motor and tail domains of human class III myosins impact their ability to enhance the formation and elongation of actin protrusions. Direct examination of the motor and enzymatic properties of human MYO3A and MYO3B revealed that MYO3A is a 2-fold faster motor with enhanced ATPase activity and actin affinity. A chimera in which the MYO3A tail was fused to the MYO3B motor demonstrated that motor activity correlates with formation and elongation of actin protrusions. We demonstrate that removal of individual exons (30-34) in the MYO3A tail does not prevent filopodia tip localization but abolishes the ability to enhance actin protrusion formation and elongation in COS7 cells. Interestingly, our results demonstrate that MYO3A slows filopodia dynamics and enhances filopodia lifetime in COS7 cells. We also demonstrate that MYO3A is more efficient than MYO3B at increasing formation and elongation of stable microvilli on the surface of cultured epithelial cells. We propose that the unique features of MYO3A, enhanced motor activity, and an extended tail with tail actin-binding motif, allow it to play an important role in stable actin protrusion length and ultrastructure maintenance.
© 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
Exosomes are extracellular vesicles that influence cellular behavior and enhance cancer aggressiveness by carrying bioactive molecules. The mechanisms that regulate exosome secretion are poorly understood. Here, we show that the actin cytoskeletal regulatory protein cortactin promotes exosome secretion. Knockdown or overexpression of cortactin in cancer cells leads to a respective decrease or increase in exosome secretion, without altering exosome cargo content. Live-cell imaging revealed that cortactin controls both trafficking and plasma membrane docking of multivesicular late endosomes (MVEs). Regulation of exosome secretion by cortactin requires binding to the branched actin nucleating Arp2/3 complex and to actin filaments. Furthermore, cortactin, Rab27a, and coronin 1b coordinately control stability of cortical actin MVE docking sites and exosome secretion. Functionally, the addition of purified exosomes to cortactin-knockdown cells rescued defects of those cells in serum-independent growth and invasion. These data suggest a model in which cortactin promotes exosome secretion by stabilizing cortical actin-rich MVE docking sites.
© 2016 Sinha et al.