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The actin cytoskeleton is involved in the regulation of cell morphology and migration. Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome proteins (WASPs) play an important role in controlling actin polymerization by activating the Arp2/3 complex. The present study investigated the roles of WasC, one of the 3 WASPs in Dictyostelium, in cellular processes. Cells lacking WasC displayed strong cell adhesion and approximately 1.5-fold increase in F-actin levels as compared to the wild-type cells. Loss of wasC caused defects in phagocytosis and decreased the migration speed in chemoattractant-mediated cell migration but did not affect directionality. WasC was localized to the protruding region in migrating cells and, transiently and rapidly translocated to the cell cortex in response to chemoattractant stimulation, in an F-actin dependent manner. Our results suggest that WasC is involved in cell adhesion and migration by regulating F-actin polymerization at the leading edge of migrating cells, probably as a negative regulator. The increased strength of adhesion in wasC null cells is likely to decrease the migration speed but not the directionality.


Pyeonghwa Jeon, Taeck Joong Jeon. WasC, a WASP family protein, is involved in cell adhesion and migration through regulation of F-actin polymerization in Dictyostelium. Journal of microbiology (Seoul, Korea). 2020 Aug;58(8):696-702

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PMID: 32524343

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