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J Cell Sci. 2005 Nov 15;118(Pt 22):5369-79.

A WAVE2-Abi1 complex mediates CSF-1-induced F-actin-rich membrane protrusions and migration in macrophages.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York City, NY 10461, USA.


Colony-stimulating factor 1 (CSF-1) is an important physiological chemoattractant for macrophages. The mechanisms by which CSF-1 elicits the formation of filamentous actin (F-actin)-rich membrane protrusions and induces macrophage migration are not fully understood. In particular, very little is known regarding the contribution of the different members of the Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome protein (WASP) family of actin regulators in response to CSF-1. Although a role for WASP itself in macrophage chemotaxis has been previously identified, no data was available regarding the function of WASP family verprolin-homologous (WAVE) proteins in this cell type. We found that WAVE2 was the predominant isoform to be expressed in primary macrophages and in cells derived from the murine monocyte/macrophage RAW264.7 cell line (RAW/LR5). CSF-1 treatment of macrophages resulted in WAVE2 accumulation in F-actin-rich protrusions induced by CSF-1. Inhibition of WAVE2 function by expressing a dominant-negative mutant or introducing anti-WAVE2 antibodies in RAW/LR5 cells, as well as reduction of endogenous WAVE2 expression by RNA-mediated interference (RNAi), resulted in a significant reduction of CSF-1-elicited F-actin protrusions. WAVE2 was found in a protein complex together with Abelson kinase interactor 1 (Abi1) in resting or stimulated cells. Both WAVE2 and Abi1 were recruited to and necessary for the formation of F-actin protrusions in response to CSF-1. Reducing the levels of WAVE2, directly or by targeting Abi1, resulted in an impaired cell migration to CSF-1. Altogether these data identify a WAVE2-Abi1 complex crucial for the normal actin cytoskeleton reorganization and migration of macrophages in response to CSF-1.

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