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BACKGROUND - Chemotaxis is essential for a number of physiological processes including leukocyte recruitment. Chemokines initiate intracellular signaling pathways necessary for chemotaxis through binding seven transmembrane G protein-couple receptors. Little is known about the proteins that interact with the intracellular domains of chemokine receptors to initiate cellular signaling upon ligand binding. CXCR2 is a major chemokine receptor expressed on several cell types, including endothelial cells and neutrophils. We hypothesize that multiple proteins interact with the intracellular domains of CXCR2 upon ligand stimulation and these interactions comprise a "chemosynapse", and play important roles in transducing CXCR2 mediated signaling processes.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS - In an effort to define the complex of proteins that assemble upon CXCR2 activation to relay signals from activated chemokine receptors, a proteomics approach was employed to identify proteins that co-associate with CXCR2 with or without ligand stimulation. The components of the CXCR2 "chemosynapse" are involved in processes ranging from intracellular trafficking to cytoskeletal modification. IQ motif containing GTPase activating protein 1 (IQGAP1) was among the novel proteins identified to interact directly with CXCR2. Herein, we demonstrate that CXCR2 co-localizes with IQGAP1 at the leading edge of polarized human neutrophils and CXCR2 expressing differentiated HL-60 cells. Moreover, amino acids 1-160 of IQGAP1 directly interact with the carboxyl-terminal domain of CXCR2 and stimulation with CXCL8 enhances IQGAP1 association with Cdc42.
CONCLUSIONS - Our studies indicate that IQGAP1 is a novel essential component of the CXCR2 "chemosynapse".
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by a progressive cognitive decline and accumulation of neurotoxic oligomeric peptides amyloid-β (Aβ). Although the molecular events are not entirely known, it has become evident that inflammation, environmental and other risk factors may play a causal, disruptive and/or protective role in the development of AD. The present study investigated the ability of the chemokines, macrophage inflammatory protein-2 (MIP-2) and stromal cell-derived factor-1α (SDF-1α), the respective ligands for chemokine receptors CXCR2 and CXCR4, to suppress Aβ-induced neurotoxicity in vitro and in vivo. Pretreatment with MIP-2 or SDF-1α significantly protected neurons from Aβ-induced dendritic regression and apoptosis in vitro through activation of Akt, ERK1/2 and maintenance of metalloproteinase ADAM17 especially with SDF-1α. Intra-cerebroventricular (ICV) injection of Aβ led to reduction in dendritic length and spine density of pyramidal neurons in the CA1 area of the hippocampus and increased oxidative damage 24h following the exposure. The Aβ-induced morphometric changes of neurons and increase in biomarkers of oxidative damage, F(2)-isoprostanes, were significantly inhibited by pretreatment with the chemokines MIP-2 or SDF-1α. Additionally, MIP-2 or SDF-1α was able to suppress the aberrant mislocalization of p21-activated kinase (PAK), one of the proteins involved in the maintenance of dendritic spines. Furthermore, MIP-2 also protected neurons against Aβ neurotoxicity in CXCR2-/- mice, potentially through observed up regulation of CXCR1 mRNA. Understanding the neuroprotective potential of chemokines is crucial in defining the role for their employment during the early stages of neurodegeneration.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Rapid mobilization of neutrophils from vasculature to the site of bacterial/viral infections and tissue injury is a critical step in successful resolution of inflammation. The chemokine CXCL8 plays a central role in recruiting neutrophils. A characteristic feature of CXCL8 is its ability to reversibly exist as both monomers and dimers, but whether both forms exist in vivo, and if so, the relevance of each form for in vivo function is not known. In this study, using a 'trapped' non-associating monomer and a non-dissociating dimer, we show that (i) wild type (WT) CXCL8 exists as both monomers and dimers, (ii) the in vivo recruitment profiles of the monomer, dimer, and WT are distinctly different, and (iii) the dimer is essential for initial robust recruitment and the WT is most active for sustained recruitment. Using a microfluidic device, we also observe that recruitment is not only dependent on the total amount of CXCL8 but also on the steepness of the gradient, and the gradients created by different CXCL8 variants elicit different neutrophil migratory responses. CXCL8 mediates its function by binding to CXCR2 receptor on neutrophils and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) on endothelial cells. On the basis of our data, we propose that dynamic equilibrium between CXCL8 monomers and dimers and their differential binding to CXCR2 and GAGs mediates and regulates in vivo neutrophil recruitment. Our finding that both CXCL8 monomer and dimer are functional in vivo is novel, and indicates that the CXCL8 monomer-dimer equilibrium and neutrophil recruitment are intimately linked in health and disease.
BACKGROUND - The chemokine receptor CXCR2 plays a pivotal role in migration of neutrophils, macrophages and endothelial cells, modulating several biological responses such as angiogenesis, wound healing and acute inflammation. CXCR2 is also involved in pathogenesis of chronic inflammation, sepsis and atherosclerosis. The ability of CXCR2 to associate with a variety of proteins dynamically is responsible for its effects on directed cell migration or chemotaxis. The dynamic network of such CXCR2 binding proteins is termed as "CXCR2 chemosynapse". Proteomic analysis of proteins that co-immunoprecipitated with CXCR2 in neutrophil-like dHL-60 cells revealed a novel protein, LIM and SH3 protein 1 (LASP-1), binds CXCR2 under both basal and ligand activated conditions. LASP-1 is an actin binding cytoskeletal protein, involved in the cell migration.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS - We demonstrate that CXCR2 and LASP-1 co-immunoprecipitate and co-localize at the leading edge of migrating cells. The LIM domain of LASP-1 directly binds to the carboxy-terminal domain (CTD) of CXCR2. Moreover, LASP-1 also directly binds the CTD of CXCR1, CXCR3 and CXCR4. Using a site-directed and deletion mutagenesis approach, Iso323-Leu324 of the conserved LKIL motif on CXCR2-CTD was identified as the binding site for LASP-1. Interruption of the interaction between CXCR2-CTD and LIM domain of LASP-1 by dominant negative and knock down approaches inhibited CXCR2-mediated chemotaxis. Analysis for the mechanism for inhibition of CXCR2-mediated chemotaxis indicated that LASP-1/CXCR2 interaction is essential for cell motility and focal adhesion turnover involving activation of Src, paxillin, PAK1, p130CAS and ERK1/2.
CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE - We demonstrate here for the first time that LASP-1 is a key component of the "CXCR2 chemosynapse" and LASP-1 interaction with CXCR2 is critical for CXCR2-mediated chemotaxis. Furthermore, LASP-1 also directly binds the CTD of CXCR1, CXCR3 and CXCR4, suggesting that LASP-1 is a general mediator of CXC chemokine mediated chemotaxis. Thus, LASP-1 may serve as a new link coordinating the flow of information between chemokine receptors and nascent focal adhesions, especially at the leading edge. Thus the association between the chemokine receptors and LASP-1 suggests to the presence of a CXC chemokine receptor-LASP-1 pro-migratory module in cells governing the cell migration.
Chemokine-receptor signaling is initiated upon ligand binding to the receptor and continues through the process of endocytic trafficking by the association of a variety of adaptor proteins with the chemokine receptor. In order to define the adaptor proteins that associate with CXCR2 before and after ligand activation, a protocol was developed using differentiated HL-60 cells transfected to express CXCR2 stimulated or not stimulated with ligand for one minute. CXCR2-associating proteins were isolated by immunoprecipitation with CXCR2 antibody and the eluted proteins were electrophoretically run into the separating gel directly without a stacking gel. The stained single band was subjected to in-gel trypsin digestion. The tryptic peptides were subjected to, LC/MS/MS proteomic analysis. Proteins identified in a minimum of three of four separate experiments with multiple peptides were then validated as CXCR2 adaptor proteins by coimmunoprecipitation, GST pull-down studies, and immunocytochemical CXCR2-colocalization experiments using dHL-60-CXCR2 cells. Subsequently, a functional analysis of the interaction between CXCR2 and CXCR2 interacting proteins was performed. This approach can be used to characterize chemokine receptor-associating proteins over time both before and after ligand stimulation, allowing definition of the dynamic spatial and temporal formation of a "chemosynapse."
Chemotaxis regulates the recruitment of leukocytes, which is integral for a number of biological processes and is mediated through the interaction of chemokines with seven transmembrane G-protein-coupled receptors. Several studies have indicated that chemotactic signaling pathways might be activated via G-protein-independent mechanisms, perhaps through novel receptor-interacting proteins. CXCR2 is a major chemokine receptor expressed on neutrophils. We used a proteomics approach to identify unique ligand-dependent CXCR2-interacting proteins in differentiated neutrophil-like HL-60 cells. Using this approach, vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP) was identified as a CXCR2-interacting protein. The interaction between CXCR2 and VASP is direct and enhanced by CXCL8 stimulation, which triggers VASP phosphorylation via PKA- and PKCdelta-mediated pathways. The interaction between CXCR2 and VASP requires free F-actin barbed ends to recruit VASP to the leading edge. Finally, knockdown of VASP in HL-60 cells results in severely impaired CXCR2-mediated chemotaxis and polarization. These data provide the first demonstration that direct interaction of VASP with CXCR2 is essential for proper CXCR2 function and demonstrate a crucial role for VASP in mediating chemotaxis in leukocytes.
Wound healing requires a complex series of reactions and interactions among cells and their mediators, resulting in an overlapping series of events including coagulation, inflammation, epithelialization, formation of granulation tissue, matrix and scar formation. Cytokines and chemokines promote inflammation, angiogenesis, facilitate the passage of leukocytes from circulation into the tissue, and contribute to the regulation of epithelialization. They integrate inflammatory events and reparative processes that are important for modulating wound healing. Thus both cytokines and chemokines are important targets for therapeutic intervention. The chemokine-mediated regulation of angiogenesis is highly sophisticated, fine tuned, and involves pro-angiogenic chemokines, including CXCL1-3, 5-8 and their receptors, CXCR1 and CXCR2. CXCL1 and CXCR2 are expressed in normal human epidermis and are further induced during the wound healing process of human burn wounds, especially during the inflammatory, epithelialization and angiogenic processes. Human skin explant studies also show CXCR2 is expressed in wounded keratinocytes and Th/1/Th2 cytokine modulation of CXCR2 expression correlates with proliferation of epidermal keratinocytes. Murine excision wound healing, chemical burn wounds and skin organ culture systems are valuable models for examining the role of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines in wound healing.
Adaptor protein interaction with specific peptide motifs found within the intracellular, carboxyl terminus of chemokine receptor CXCR2 has been shown to modulate intracellular trafficking and receptor function. Efficient ligand-induced internalization of this receptor is dependent on the binding of adaptor protein 2 to the specific LLKIL motif found within the carboxyl terminus (1). In this study we show that the carboxyl-terminal type 1 PDZ ligand motif (-STTL) of CXCR2 plays an essential role in both proper intracellular receptor trafficking and efficient cellular chemotaxis. First, we show that CXCR2 is sorted to and degraded in the lysosome upon long-term ligand stimulation. We also show that receptor degradation is not dependent upon receptor ubiquitination, but is instead modulated by the carboxyl-terminal type I PDZ ligand of CXCR2. Deletion of this ligand results in increased degradation, earlier co-localization with the lysosome, and enhanced sorting to the Rab7-positive late endosome. We also show that deletion of this ligand effects neither receptor internalization nor receptor recycling. Furthermore, we demonstrate that deletion of the PDZ ligand motif results in impaired chemotactic response. The data presented here demonstrate that the type I PDZ ligand of CXCR2 acts to both delay lysosomal sorting and facilitate proper chemotactic response.
The requirement for phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) in the establishment of cell polarity and motility in a number of cell types has recently come into question. In this study, we demonstrate that inhibition of PI3K by wortmannin in neutrophil-like differentiated HL60 cells expressing CXCR2 resulted in reduced cell motility but normal chemotaxis in response to a gradient of CXCL8. However, wortmannin inhibition of PI3K did impair the ability of cells to re-orient their polarity and respond quickly to a change in the direction of the CXCL8 gradient. We hypothesized that Src-regulated ELMO-Dock2-Rac2 activation mediates chemotaxis in the absence of PI3K activity. Inhibition of Src with the small molecule inhibitor, PP2, or inhibition of Dock2 by shRNA knockdown confirmed the functional role of Src and Dock2 in regulating chemotaxis when PI3K was inhibited. Moreover, neutrophils isolated from bone marrow of hck(-/-)fgr(-/-)lyn(-/-) mice exhibited much more severe inhibition of chemotaxis when PI3K was blocked with wortmannin as compared with neutrophils isolated from bone marrow of wild-type mice. Thus, PI3K and Src-ELMO-Dock2 pathways work in parallel to activate Rac2 and modulate chemotaxis in response to a CXCL8 gradient in neutrophils.
CXCR2 plays an important role during cutaneous wound healing. Transgenic mice were generated using the keratin-14 promoter/enhancer to direct expression of wild-type human CXCR2 (K14hCXCR2 WT) or mutant CXCR2, in which the carboxyl-terminal domain (CTD) was truncated at Ser 331 and the dileucine AP-2 binding motif was mutated to alanine (K14hCXCR2 331T/LL/AA/IL/AA). Our results indicate that K14hCXCR2WT transgenic mice exhibited a normal phenotype, while K14hCXCR2 331T/LL/AA/IL/AA transgenic mice were born with tails of normal length, but three to eight days after birth their tails degenerated, leaving only a short tail stub. The tissue degeneration in the tail started between caudal somites with degeneration of bone and connective tissue distal to the constriction, which was replaced with stromal tissue heavily infiltrated with inflammatory cells. The tail lesion site revealed coagulation in enlarged vessels and marked edema that eventually led to loss of the distal tail. Moreover, 66% of the mice exhibited focal skin blemishes and inflammation that exhibited an increase in the number of sebaceous glands and blood vessels, enlargement of the hair follicles due to increased number of keratinocytes, reduction in the connective tissue content, and a thickening of the epidermis. Furthermore, immunohistochemical staining of the epidermis from tail tissue in the transgenic mice indicated a loss of the cell adhesion markers E-cadherin and desmoplakin. These data suggest that keratinocyte expression of a CTD mutant of CXCR2 has effects on homeostasis of the connective tissue in the tail, as well as the maintenance of the epidermis and its appendages.