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The actin cytoskeleton is a dynamic array of filaments that undergoes rapid remodeling to drive many cellular processes. An essential feature of filament remodeling is the spatio-temporal regulation of actin filament nucleation. One family of actin filament nucleators, the Diaphanous-related formins, is activated by the binding of small G-proteins such as RhoA. However, RhoA only partially activates formins, suggesting that additional factors are required to fully activate the formin. Here we identify one such factor, IQ motif containing GTPase activating protein-1 (IQGAP1), which enhances RhoA-mediated activation of the Diaphanous-related formin (DIAPH1) and targets DIAPH1 to the plasma membrane. We find that the inhibitory intramolecular interaction within DIAPH1 is disrupted by the sequential binding of RhoA and IQGAP1. Binding of RhoA and IQGAP1 robustly stimulates DIAPH1-mediated actin filament nucleation in vitro In contrast, the actin capping protein Flightless-I, in conjunction with RhoA, only weakly stimulates DIAPH1 activity. IQGAP1, but not Flightless-I, is required to recruit DIAPH1 to the plasma membrane where actin filaments are generated. These results indicate that IQGAP1 enhances RhoA-mediated activation of DIAPH1 in vivo Collectively these data support a model where the combined action of RhoA and an enhancer ensures the spatio-temporal regulation of actin nucleation to stimulate robust and localized actin filament production in vivo. © 2020 Chen et al.


Anan Chen, Pam D Arora, Christine C Lai, John W Copeland, Trevor F Moraes, Christopher A McCulloch, Brigitte D Lavoie, Andrew Wilde. The scaffold-protein IQGAP1 enhances and spatially restricts the actin-nucleating activity of Diaphanous-related formin 1 (DIAPH1). The Journal of biological chemistry. 2020 Mar 06;295(10):3134-3147

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PMID: 32005666

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