α4β1 integrin regulates lamellipodia protrusion via a focal complex/focal adhesion-independent mechanism

Karen A. Pinco, Wei He, Joy T. Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

α4β1 integrin plays an important role in cell migration. We show that when ectopically expressed in Chinese hamster ovary cells, α4β1 is sufficient and required for promoting protrusion of broad lamellipodia in response to scratch-wounding, whereas α5β1 does not have this effect. By time-lapse microscopy of cells expressing an α4/green fluorescent protein fusion protein, we show that α4β1 forms transient puncta at the leading edge of cells that begin to protrude lamellipodia in response to scratch-wounding. The cells expressing a mutant α4/green fluorescent protein that binds paxillin at a reduced level had a faster response to scratch-wounding, forming α4-positive puncta and protruding lamellipodia much earlier. While enhancing lamellipodia protrusion, this mutation reduces random motility of the cells in Transwell assays, indicating that lamellipodia protrusion and random motility are distinct types of motile activities that are differentially regulated by interactions between α4β1 and paxillin. Finally, we show that, at the leading edge, α4-positive puncta and paxillin-positive focal complexes/adhesions do not colocalize, but α4β1 and paxillin colocalize partially in ruffles. These findings provide evidence for a specific role of α4β1 in lamellipodia protrusion that is distinct from the motility-promoting functions of α5β1 and other integrins that mediate cell adhesion and signaling events through focal complexes and focal adhesions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3203-3217
Number of pages15
JournalMolecular Biology of the Cell
Volume13
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology

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