Reconstitution of Actin-Based Motility by VASP Depends on the Recruitment of F-Actin Seeds from the Solution Produced by Cofilin [Cell Biology]

September 22nd, 2014 by Siton, O., Bernheim-Groswasser, A.

VASP is active in many filopodia-based and cytoskeleton reorganization processes. It is not fully understood how VASP directly functions in actin-based motility and how regulatory proteins affect its function. Here we combine bead motility assay and single filament experiments. In the presence of a bundling component, actin bundles that grow from the surface of WT-VASP-coated beads induced movement of the beads. VASP promotes actin-based movement alone, in the absence of other actin nucleators. We propose that at physiological salt conditions VASP nucleation activity is too weak to promote motility and bundle formation. Rather, VASP recruits F-actin seeds from the solution and promotes their elongation. Cofilin has a crucial role in the nucleation of these F-actin seeds, notably under conditions of unfavorable spontaneous actin nucleation. We explored the role of multiple VASP variants. We found that the VASP-FAB domain is required for the recruitment of F-actin seeds from the solution. We also found that the interaction of profilin-actin complexes with the VASP-Proline-rich domain and the binding of the VASP-FAB domain to the side of growing filaments is critical for transforming actin polymerization into motion. At the single filament level, profilin mediates both filament elongation rate and VASP anti-capping activity. Binding of profilin-actin complexes increases the polymerization efficiency by VASP but decreases its efficiency as an anti-capper; binding of free profilin creates the opposite effect. Finally, we found that an additional component such as methylcellulose or fascin is required for actin bundle formation and motility mediated by VASP.
  • Posted in Journal of Biological Chemistry, Publications
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