Pak1 regulates the orientation of apical polarization and lumen formation by distinct pathways.
SourcePLoS One, 7, 7, (2012), article e41039
Article / Letter to editor
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Cell Biology (UMC)
SubjectNCMLS 5: Membrane transport and intracellular motility ONCOL 3: Translational research
The development of the basic architecture of branching tubules enclosing a central lumen that characterizes most epithelial organs crucially depends on the apico-basolateral polarization of epithelial cells. Signals from the extracellular matrix control the orientation of the apical surface, so that it faces the lumen interior, opposite to cell-matrix adhesion sites. This orientation of the apical surface is thought to be intrinsically linked to the formation of single lumens. We previously demonstrated in three-dimensional cyst cultures of Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells that signaling by beta1 integrins regulates the orientation of the apical surface, via a mechanism that depends on the activity of the small GTPase Rac1. Here, we investigated whether the Rac1 effector Pak1 is a downstream effector in this pathway. Expression of constitutive active Pak1 phenocopies the effect of beta1 integrin inhibition in that it misorients the apical surface and induces a multilumen phenotype. The misorientation of apical surfaces depends on the interaction of active Pak1 with PIX proteins and is linked to defects in basement membrane assembly. In contrast, the multilumen phenotype was independent of PIX and the basement membrane. Therefore, Pak1 likely regulates apical polarization and lumen formation by two distinct pathways.
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