Interaction of N-WASP with hnRNPK and its role in filopodia formation and cell spreading

Youngdong Yoo, Xiaoyang Wu, Coumaran Egile, Rong Li, Jun Lin Guan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


N-WASP is amember of the WASP family of proteins, which play essential roles in actin dynamics during cell adhesion and migration. hnRNPK is amember of the heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein complex, which has also been implicated in the regulation of cell spreading. Here, we identify a direct interaction between N-WASP and hnRNPK. We show that this interaction is mediated by the N-terminal WH1 domain of N-WASP and the segment of hnRNPK containing its K interaction (KI) domain. Furthermore, these two proteins are co-localized at the cell periphery in the spreading initiation center during the early stage of cell spreading. We found that co-expression of hnRNPK with N-WASP reverses the stimulation of cell spreading by N-WASP, and this effect is correlated with hnRNPK binding to N-WASP. Expression of hnRNPK does not affect subcellular localization of N-WASP protein. However, co-expression of hnRNPK with N-WASP reduced filopodia formation stimulated by N-WASP in spreading cells. Together, these results identify hnRNPK as a new negative regulator of N-WASP and suggest that hnRNPK may regulate the initial stage of cell spreading by direct association with N-WASP in the spreading initiation center.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15352-15360
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number22
StatePublished - Jun 2 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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