WASP-interacting protein is important for actin filament elongation and prompt pseudopod formation in response to a dynamic chemoattractant gradient.
The role of WASP-interacting protein (WIP) in the process of F-actin assembly during chemotaxis of Dictyostelium was examined. Mutations of the WH1 domain of WASP led to a reduction in binding to WIPa, a newly identified homolog of mammalian WIP, a reduction of F-actin polymerization at the leading edge, and a reduction in chemotactic efficiency. WIPa localizes to sites of new pseudopod protrusion and colocalizes with WASP at the leading edge. WIPa increases F-actin elongation in vivo and in vitro in a WASP-dependent manner. WIPa translocates to the cortical membrane upon uniform cAMP stimulation in a time course that parallels F-actin polymerization. WIPa-overexpressing cells exhibit multiple microspike formation and defects in chemotactic efficiency due to frequent changes of direction. Reduced expression of WIPa by expressing a hairpin WIPa (hp WIPa) construct resulted in more polarized cells that exhibit a delayed response to a new chemoattractant source due to delayed extension of pseudopod toward the new gradient. These results suggest that WIPa is required for new pseudopod protrusion and prompt reorientation of cells toward a new gradient by initiating localized bursts of actin polymerization and/or elongation.
Myers, SA; Leeper, LR; Chung, CY
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