Rho kinase differentially regulates phosphorylation of nonmuscle myosin II isoforms A and B during cell rounding and migration.
The actin-myosin cytoskeleton is generally accepted to produce the contractile forces necessary for cellular processes such as cell rounding and migration. All vertebrates examined to date are known to express at least two isoforms of non-muscle myosin II, referred to as myosin IIA and myosin IIB. Studies of myosin IIA and IIB in cultured cells and null mice suggest that these isoforms perform distinct functions. However, how each myosin II isoform contributes individually to all the cellular functions attributed to "myosin II" has yet to be fully characterized. Using isoform-specific small-interfering RNAs, we found that depletion of either isoform resulted in opposing migration phenotypes, with myosin IIA- and IIB-depleted cells exhibiting higher and lower wound healing migration rates, respectively. In addition, myosin IIA-depleted cells demonstrated impaired thrombin-induced cell rounding and undertook a more motile morphology, exhibiting decreased amounts of stress fibers and focal adhesions, with concomitant increases in cellular protrusions. Cells depleted of myosin IIB, however, were efficient in thrombin-induced cell rounding, displayed a more retractile phenotype, and maintained focal adhesions but only in the periphery. Last, we present evidence that Rho kinase preferentially regulates phosphorylation of the regulatory light chain associated with myosin IIA. Our data suggest that the myosin IIA and IIB isoforms are regulated by different signaling pathways to perform distinct cellular activities and that myosin IIA is preferentially required for Rho-mediated contractile functions.
Sandquist, JC; Swenson, KI; Demali, KA; Burridge, K; Means, AR
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