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      Roles of Microtubule Dynamics and Small GTPase Rac in Endothelial Cell Migration and Lamellipodium Formation under Flow

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          Abstract

          Endothelial cell (EC) migration is required for vascular development and wound healing. We investigated the roles of microtubule (MT) dynamics and the small GTPase Rac in the fluid shear stress-induced protrusion of lamellipodia and enhancement of migration of bovine aortic ECs (BAECs). Shear stress increased lamellipodial protrusion and cell migration. Treating BAECs with paclitaxel (Taxol), an MT-stabilizing agent, inhibited lamellipodial protrusion and reduced migration speed in both the static and sheared groups. After Taxol washout, both lamellipodial protrusion and cell migration increased in the flow direction. Taxol treatment also decreased the shear-induced Rac activation. Transfection of BAECs with a dominant negative mutant of Rac1 inhibited lamellipodial protrusion and cell migration under static and shear conditions. Transfection with an activated mutant of Rac1 induced lamellipodia in all directions and attenuated the shear-induced migration, suggesting that an appropriate level of Rac activity and a polarized lamellipodial protrusion are important for cell migration under static and shear conditions. Our findings suggest that MT dynamics and optimum Rac activation are required for the polarized protrusion of lamellipodia that drives the directional EC migration under flow.

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          Most cited references 10

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          Integrin-ligand binding properties govern cell migration speed through cell-substratum adhesiveness.

          Migration of cells in higher organisms is mediated by adhesion receptors, such as integrins, that link the cell to extracellular-matrix ligands, transmitting forces and signals necessary for locomotion. Whether cells will migrate or not on a given substratum, and also their speed, depends on several variables related to integrin-ligand interactions, including ligand levels, integrin levels, and integrin-ligand binding affinities. These and other factors affect the way molecular systems integrate to effect and regulate cell migration. Here we show that changes in cell migration speed resulting from three separate variables-substratum ligand level, cell integrin expression level, and integrin-ligand binding affinity-are all quantitatively predictable through the changes they cause in a single unifying parameter: short-term cell-substratum adhesion strength. This finding is consistent with predictions of a mathematical model for cell migration. The ligand concentration promoting maximum migration speed decreases reciprocally as integrin expression increases. Increases in integrin-ligand affinity similarly result in maximal migration at reciprocally lower ligand concentrations. The maximum speed attainable, however, remains unchanged as ligand concentration, integrin expression, or integrin-ligand affinity vary, suggesting that integrin coupling with intracellular motors remains unaltered.
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            Microtubule growth activates Rac1 to promote lamellipodial protrusion in fibroblasts.

            Microtubules are involved in actin-based protrusion at the leading-edge lamellipodia of migrating fibroblasts. Here we show that the growth of microtubules induced in fibroblasts by removal of the microtubule destabilizer nocodazole activates Rac1 GTPase, leading to the polymerization of actin in lamellipodial protrusions. Lamellipodial protrusions are also activated by the rapid growth of a disorganized array of very short microtubules induced by the microtubule-stabilizing drug taxol. Thus, neither microtubule shortening nor long-range microtubule-based intracellular transport is required for activating protrusion. We suggest that the growth phase of microtubule dynamic instability at leading-edge lamellipodia locally activates Rac1 to drive actin polymerization and lamellipodial protrusion required for cell migration.
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              Adhesion to the extracellular matrix regulates the coupling of the small GTPase Rac to its effector PAK.

              The small GTPase Rac regulates cytoskeletal organization, cell cycle progression, gene expression and oncogenic transformation, processes that depend upon both soluble growth factors and adhesion to the extracellular matrix (ECM). We now show that growth factors and adhesion to the ECM both contribute independently and approximately equally to Rac activation. However, activated Rac in non-adherent cells failed to stimulate the Rac effector PAK. V12 Rac or Rac activated by serum translocated to the membrane fraction of adherent cells but remained mainly cytoplasmic in suspended cells. An activated Rac mutant lacking a membrane-targeting sequence did not activate PAK in adherent cells, while mutations that forced membrane targeting restored PAK activation in suspended cells. In vitro, V12 Rac showed greater binding to membranes from adherent relative to suspended cells, indicating that cell adhesion regulated membrane binding sites for Rac. These results show that ECM regulates the ability of Rac to couple with PAK via an effect on membrane binding sites that facilitate their interaction.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                JVR
                J Vasc Res
                10.1159/issn.1018-1172
                Journal of Vascular Research
                S. Karger AG
                1018-1172
                1423-0135
                2002
                December 2002
                17 January 2003
                : 39
                : 6
                : 465-476
                Affiliations
                aDepartment of Bioengineering and Whitaker Institute of Biomedical Engineering, University of California, SanDiego, and bDepartment of Vascular Biology, Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, Calif., USA
                Article
                67202 J Vasc Res 2002;39:465–476
                10.1159/000067202
                12566972
                © 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Figures: 7, References: 51, Pages: 12
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