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A role for MARCKS protein in directed migration of macrophages toward a chemoattractant was investigated. A peptide identical to the N-terminus of MARCKS (the MANS peptide), shown previously to inhibit the function of MARCKS in various cell types, was used. We investigated whether this MARCKS-related peptide could affect migration of macrophages, using the mouse macrophage-like J774A.1 cell line and primary murine macrophages. Both of these cell types migrated in response to the chemoattractants macrophage/MCPs, MCP-1 (25-100 ng/ml) or C5a (5-20 ng/ml). Cells were preincubated (15 min) with MANS or a mis-sense control peptide (RNS), both at 50 μM, and effects on migration determined 3 h after addition of chemoattractants. The movement and interactions of MARCKS and actin also were followed visually via confocal microscopy using a fluorescently labeled antibody to MARCKS and fluorescently tagged phalloidin to identify actin. MANS, but not RNS, attenuated migration of J774A.1 cells and primary macrophages in response to MCP-1 or C5a, implicating MARCKS in the cellular mechanism of directed migration. Exposure of cells to MCP-1 resulted in rapid phosphorylation and translocation of MARCKS from plasma membrane to cytosol, whereas actin appeared to spread through the cell and into cell protrusions; there was visual and biochemical evidence of a transient interaction between MARCKS and actin during the process of migration. These results suggest that MARCKS is involved in directed migration of macrophages via a process involving its phosphorylation, cytoplasmic translocation, and interaction with actin.


Teresa D Green, Joungjoa Park, Qi Yin, Shijing Fang, Anne L Crews, Samuel L Jones, Kenneth B Adler. Directed migration of mouse macrophages in vitro involves myristoylated alanine-rich C-kinase substrate (MARCKS) protein. Journal of leukocyte biology. 2012 Sep;92(3):633-9

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PMID: 22623357

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