Lovastatin-induced cytoskeletal reorganization in lens epithelial cells: role of Rho GTPases.
PURPOSE: To understand the involvement of isoprenylated small guanosine triphosphatases (GTPases) in lovastatin-induced cataractogenesis, Rho- and Rac-mediated cell adhesion and actin cytoskeletal reorganization were investigated in lovastatin-treated lens epithelial cells. METHODS: The effects of lovastatin on F-actin reorganization (phalloidin staining), focal adhesion formation (paxillin or vinculin), cell-cell adhesions (cadherin and beta-catenin), and protein tyrosine phosphorylation were evaluated in human and porcine lens epithelial cells by immunocytochemical staining with specific antibodies. To explore the involvement of the Rho and Rac GTPases in lovastatin-mediated effects, changes in distribution of Rho and Rac GTPases were analyzed by Western blot analysis, and the effects of C3-exoenzyme on lovastatin-induced cytoskeletal changes were evaluated by immunocytochemical analysis. RESULTS: Lovastatin induced drastic changes in cell shape in both human and porcine lens epithelial cells, including a profound loss of actin stress fibers, focal adhesions, protein phosphotyrosine, and cell-cell adhesions. Lovastatin treatment also led to the accumulation of nonisoprenylated Rho and Rac GTPases in cytosolic fraction. Supplementation of culture media with geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate dramatically reversed the lovastatin-induced morphologic and cytoskeletal changes, whereas farnesyl pyrophosphate was ineffective. Treatment of cells with C3-exoenzyme (a Rho GTPase-specific inhibitor), however, abolished the geranylgeranyl-supplementation-induced recovery from the morphologic and cytoskeletal effects of lovastatin. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that inhibition of protein prenylation by lovastatin leads to disruption of actin cytoskeletal organization, and to loss of integrin-mediated focal adhesions and cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesions in lens epithelial cells. Based on isoprenoid supplementation studies, it could be concluded that impairment of geranylgeranylated Rho and Rac GTPase function is most likely responsible for lovastatin-induced cytoskeletal changes in lens epithelial cells.
Maddala, RL; Reddy, VN; Rao, PV
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