ERK reinforces actin polymerization to power persistent edge protrusion during motility

Michelle C. Mendoza, Marco Vilela, Jesus E. Juarez, John Blenis, Gaudenz Danuser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cells move through perpetual protrusion and retraction cycles at the leading edge. These cycles are coordinated with substrate adhesion and retraction of the cell rear. We tracked spatial and temporal fluctuations in the molecular activities of individual moving cells to elucidate how extracellular signal- regulated kinase (ERK) signaling controlled the dynamics of protrusion and retraction cycles. ERK is activated by many cell surface receptors, and we found that ERK signaling specifically reinforced cellular protrusions so that they translated into rapid, sustained forward motion of the leading edge. Using quantitative fluorescent speckle microscopy and cross-correlation analysis, we showed that ERK controlled the rate and timing of actin polymerization by promoting the recruitment of the actin nucleator Arp2/3 to the leading edge. These findings support a model in which surges in ERK activity induced by extracellular cues enhance Arp2/3-mediated actin polymerization to generate protrusion power phases with enough force to counteract increasing membrane tension and to promote sustained motility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)ra47
JournalScience Signaling
Volume8
Issue number377
DOIs
StatePublished - May 19 2015

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Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases
Polymerization
Actins
Cell Surface Extensions
Cell Surface Receptors
Speckle
Cell Adhesion
Cues
Microscopy
Microscopic examination
Adhesion
Cells
Power (Psychology)
Membranes
Substrates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology

Cite this

ERK reinforces actin polymerization to power persistent edge protrusion during motility. / Mendoza, Michelle C.; Vilela, Marco; Juarez, Jesus E.; Blenis, John; Danuser, Gaudenz.

In: Science Signaling, Vol. 8, No. 377, 19.05.2015, p. ra47.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Mendoza, Michelle C. ; Vilela, Marco ; Juarez, Jesus E. ; Blenis, John ; Danuser, Gaudenz. / ERK reinforces actin polymerization to power persistent edge protrusion during motility. In: Science Signaling. 2015 ; Vol. 8, No. 377. pp. ra47.
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