Ena/VASP proteins have an anti-capping independent function in filopodia formation
Applewhite, Derek A.
Svitkina, Tatyana M.
Gertler, Frank B.
Borisy, Gary G.
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Filopodia have been implicated in a number of diverse cellular processes including growth-cone path finding, wound healing, and metastasis. The Ena/VASP family of proteins has emerged as key to filopodia formation but the exact mechanism for how they function has yet to be fully elucidated. Using cell spreading as a model system in combination with small interfering RNA depletion of Capping Protein, we determined that Ena/VASP proteins have a role beyond anticapping activity in filopodia formation. Analysis of mutant Ena/VASP proteins demonstrated that the entire EVH2 domain was the minimal domain required for filopodia formation. Fluorescent recovery after photobleaching data indicate that Ena/VASP proteins rapidly exchange at the leading edge of lamellipodia, whereas virtually no exchange occurred at filopodial tips. Mutation of the G-actin–binding motif (GAB) partially compromised stabilization of Ena/VASP at filopodia tips. These observations led us to propose a model where the EVH2 domain of Ena/VASP induces and maintains clustering of the barbed ends of actin filaments, which putatively corresponds to a transition from lamellipodial to filopodial localization. Furthermore, the EVH1 domain, together with the GAB motif in the EVH2 domain, helps to maintain Ena/VASP at the growing barbed ends.
Author Posting. © American Society for Cell Biology, 2007. This article is posted here by permission of American Society for Cell Biology for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Molecular Biology of the Cell 18 (2007): 2579-2591, doi:10.1091/mbc.E06-11-0990.