Amplification of F-Actin Disassembly and Cellular Repulsion by Growth Factor Signaling

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21 Scopus citations


Extracellular cues that regulate cellular shape, motility, and navigation are generally classified as growth promoting (i.e., growth factors/chemoattractants and attractive guidance cues) or growth preventing (i.e., repellents and inhibitors). Yet, these designations are often based on complex assays and undefined signaling pathways and thus may misrepresent direct roles of specific cues. Here, we find that a recognized growth-promoting signaling pathway amplifies the F-actin disassembly and repulsive effects of a growth-preventing pathway. Focusing on Semaphorin/Plexin repulsion, we identified an interaction between the F-actin-disassembly enzyme Mical and the Abl tyrosine kinase. Biochemical assays revealed Abl phosphorylates Mical to directly amplify Mical Redox-mediated F-actin disassembly. Genetic assays revealed that Abl allows growth factors and Semaphorin/Plexin repellents to combinatorially increase Mical-mediated F-actin disassembly, cellular remodeling, and repulsive axon guidance. Similar roles for Mical in growth factor/Abl-related cancer cell behaviors further revealed contexts in which characterized positive effectors of growth/guidance stimulate such negative cellular effects as F-actin disassembly/repulsion. Semaphorin/plexin signaling repels cellular growth and promotes actin disassembly. Surprisingly, Yoon et al. find that these effects are amplified by growth-promoting factors acting via Abl tyrosine kinase. These results reveal a role for chemoattractant cues in promoting the effects of chemorepellents and suggest complex interactions among growth-suppressing and -promoting pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-129.e8
JournalDevelopmental cell
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 24 2017


  • Gleevec
  • attraction
  • cytoskeleton
  • guidance cues
  • kinase
  • oxidation
  • phosphorylation
  • post-translational modification
  • redox enzyme
  • repulsion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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