Dynamic rearrangements of the actin cytoskeleton play a key role in numerous cellular processes. In Drosophila, fusion between a muscle founder cell and a fusion competent myoblast (FCM) is mediated by an invasive, F-actin-enriched podosome-like structure (PLS). Here, we show that the dynamics of the PLS is controlled by Blown fuse (Blow), a cytoplasmic protein required for myoblast fusion but whose molecular function has been elusive. We demonstrate that Blow is an FCM-specific protein that colocalizes with WASP, WIP/Solitary, and the actin focus within the PLS. Biochemically, Blow modulates the stability of the WASP-WIP complex by competing with WASP for WIP binding, leading to a rapid exchange of WASP, WIP and G-actin within the PLS, which, in turn, actively invades the adjacent founder cell to promote fusion pore formation. These studies identify a regulatory protein that modulates the actin cytoskeletal dynamics by controlling the stability of the WASP-WIP complex.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Developmental Biology
- Cell Biology