Involvement of the cytoskeleton in controlling leading-edge function during chemotaxis

Susan Lee, Zhouxin Shen, Douglas N. Robinson, Steven Briggs, Richard A. Firtel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


In response to directional stimulation by a chemoattractant, cells rapidly activate a series of signaling pathways at the site closest to the chemoattractant source that leads to F-actin polymerization, pseudopod formation, and directional movement up the gradient. Ras proteins are major regulators of chemotaxis in Dictyostelium; they are activated at the leading edge, are required for chemoattractant-mediated activation of PI3K and TORC2, and are one of the most rapid responders, with activity peaking at ∼3 s after stimulation. We demonstrate that in myosin II (MyoII) null cells, Ras activation is highly extended and is not restricted to the site closest to the chemoattractant source. This causes elevated, extended, and spatially misregulated activation of PI3K and TORC2 and their effectors Akt/PKB and PKBR1, as well as elevated F-actin polymerization. We further demonstrate that disruption of specific IQGAP/cortexillin complexes, which also regulate cortical mechanics, causes extended activation of PI3K and Akt/PKB but not Ras activation. Our findings suggest that MyoII and IQGAP/cortexillin play key roles in spatially and temporally regulating leading-edge activity and, through this, the ability of cells to restrict the site of pseudopod formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1810-1824
Number of pages15
JournalMolecular biology of the cell
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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