Recruitment and activation of Rac1 by the formation of E-cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion sites

Masato Nakagawa, Masaki Fukata, Masaki Yamaga, Naohiro Itoh, Kozo Kaibuchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

230 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Rac1, a member of the Rho family small GTPases, regulates E-cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion. However, it remains to be clarified how the localization and activation of Rac1 are regulated at sites of cell-cell contact. Here, using enhanced green fluorescence protein (EGFP)-tagged Rac1, we demonstrate that EGFP-Rac1 is colocalized with E-cadherin at sites of cell-cell contact and translocates to the cytosol during disruption of E-cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion by Ca2+ chelation. Re-establishment of cell-cell adhesion by restoration of Ca2+ caused EGFP-Rac1 to become relocalized, together with E-cadherin, at sites of cell-cell contact. Engagement of E-cadherin to the apical membrane by anti-E-cadherin antibody (ECCD-2) recruited EGFP-Rac1. We also investigated whether E-cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion induced Rac1 activation by measuring the amounts of GTP-bound Rac1 based on its specific binding to the Cdc42/Rac1 interactive binding region of p21-activated kinase. The formation of E-cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion induced Rac1 activation. This activation was inhibited by treatment of cells with a neutralizing antibody (DECMA-1) against E-cadherin, or with wortmannin, an inhibitor of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase). IQGAP1, an effector of Rac1, and EGFP-Rac1 behaved in a similar manner during the formation of E-cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion. Rac1 activation was also confirmed by measuring the amounts of coimmunoprecipitated Rac1 with IQGAP1 during the establishment of cell-cell adhesion. Taken together, these results suggest that Rac1 is recruited at sites of E-cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion and then activated, possibly through PI 3-kinase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1829-1838
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of cell science
Volume114
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cell Biology

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