Browsing by Subject "RhoA"

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  • Anttonen, Tommi; Belevich, Ilya; Laos, Maarja; Herranen, Anni; Jokitalo, Eija; Brakebusch, Cord; Pirvola, Ulla (2017)
    Wound healing in the inner ear sensory epithelia is performed by the apical domains of supporting cells (SCs). Junctional F-actin belts of SCs are thin during development but become exceptionally thick during maturation. The functional significance of the thick belts is not fully understood. We have studied the role of F-actin belts during wound healing in the developing and adult cochlea of mice in vivo. We show that the thick belts serve as intracellular scaffolds that preserve the positions of surviving cells in the cochlear sensory epithelium. Junctions associated with the thick F-actin belts did not readily disassemble during wound healing. To compensate for this, basolateral membranes of SCs participated in the closure of surface breach. Because not only neighboring but also distant SCs contributed to wound healing by basolateral protrusions, this event appears to be triggered by contact-independent diffusible signals. In the search for regulators of wound healing, we inactivated RhoA in SCs, which, however, did not limit wound healing. RhoA inactivation in developing outer hair cells (OHCs) caused myosin II delocalization from the perijunctional domain and apical cell-surface enlargement. These abnormalities led to the extrusion of OHCs from the epithelium. These results demonstrate the importance of stability of the apical domain, both in wound repair by SCs and in development of OHCs, and that only this latter function is regulated by RhoA. Because the correct cytoarchitecture of the cochlear sensory epithelium is required for normal hearing, the stability of cell apices should be maintained in regenerative and protective interventions.
  • Alkasalias, Twana; Alexeyenko, Andrey; Hennig, Katharina; Danielsson, Frida; Lebbink, Robert Jan; Fielden, Matthew; Turunen, S. Pauliina; Lehti, Kaisa; Kashuba, Vladimir; Madapura, Harsha S.; Bozoky, Benedek; Lundberg, Emma; Balland, Martial; Guven, Hayrettin; Klein, George; Gad, Annica K. B.; Pavlova, Tatiana (2017)
    Fibroblasts are a main player in the tumor-inhibitory microenvironment. Upon tumor initiation and progression, fibroblasts can lose their tumor-inhibitory capacity and promote tumor growth. The molecular mechanisms that underlie this switch have not been defined completely. Previously, we identified four proteins over-expressed in cancer-associated fibroblasts and linked to Rho GTPase signaling. Here, we show that knocking out the Ras homolog family member A (RhoA) gene in normal fibroblasts decreased their tumor-inhibitory capacity, as judged by neighbor suppression in vitro and accompanied by promotion of tumor growth in vivo. This also induced PC3 cancer cell motility and increased colony size in 2D cultures. RhoA knockout in fibroblasts induced vimentin intermediate filament reorganization, accompanied by reduced contractile force and increased stiffness of cells. There was also loss of wide F-actin stress fibers and large focal adhesions. In addition, we observed a significant loss of a-smooth muscle actin, which indicates a difference between RhoA knockout fibroblasts and classic cancer-associated fibroblasts. In 3D collagen matrix, RhoA knockout reduced fibroblast branching and meshwork formation and resulted in more compactly clustered tumor-cell colonies in coculture with PC3 cells, which might boost tumor stem-like properties. Coculturing RhoA knockout fibroblasts and PC3 cells induced expression of proinflammatory genes in both. Inflammatory mediators may induce tumor cell stemness. Network enrichment analysis of transcriptomic changes, however, revealed that the Rho signaling pathway per se was significantly triggered only after coculturing with tumor cells. Taken together, our findings in vivo and in vitro indicate that Rho signaling governs the inhibitory effects by fibroblasts on tumor-cell growth.
  • Jiu, Yaming; Peränen, Johan; Schaible, Niccole; Cheng, Fang; Eriksson, John E.; Krishnan, Ramaswamy; Lappalainen, Pekka (2017)
    The actin and intermediate filament cytoskeletons contribute to numerous cellular processes, including morphogenesis, cytokinesis and migration. These two cytoskeletal systems associate with each other, but the underlying mechanisms of this interaction are incompletely understood. Here, we show that inactivation of vimentin leads to increased actin stress fiber assembly and contractility, and consequent elevation of myosin light chain phosphorylation and stabilization of tropomyosin-4.2 (see Geeves et al., 2015). The vimentin-knockout phenotypes can be rescued by re-expression of wild-type vimentin, but not by the non-filamentous ` unit length form' vimentin, demonstrating that intact vimentin intermediate filaments are required to facilitate the effects on the actin cytoskeleton. Finally, we provide evidence that the effects of vimentin on stress fibers are mediated by activation of RhoA through its guanine nucleotide exchange factor GEF-H1 (also known as ARHGEF2). Vimentin depletion induces phosphorylation of the microtubule-associated GEF-H1 on Ser886, and thereby promotes RhoA activity and actin stress fiber assembly. Taken together, these data reveal a new mechanism by which intermediate filaments regulate contractile actomyosin bundles, and may explain why elevated vimentin expression levels correlate with increased migration and invasion of cancer cells.