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J Cell Biol. 2000 Dec 11;151(6):1269-80.

Spatial sensing in fibroblasts mediated by 3' phosphoinositides.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.


The directed movement of fibroblasts towards locally released platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) is a critical event in wound healing. Although recent studies have implicated polarized activation of phosphoinositide (PI) 3-kinase in G protein-mediated chemotaxis, the role of 3' PI lipids in tyrosine kinase-triggered chemotaxis is not well understood. Using evanescent wave microscopy and green fluorescent protein-tagged Akt pleckstrin homology domain (GFP-AktPH) as a molecular sensor, we show that application of a shallow PDGF gradient triggers a markedly steeper gradient in 3' PI lipids in the adhesion zone of fibroblasts. Polar GFP-AktPH gradients, as well as a new type of radial gradient, were measured from front to rear and from the periphery to the center of the adhesion zone, respectively. A strong spatial correlation between polarized 3' PI production and rapid membrane spreading implicates 3' PI lipids as a direct mediator of polarized migration. Analysis of the temporal changes of 3' PI gradients in the adhesion zone revealed a fast diffusion coefficient (0.5 microm(2)/s) and short lifetime of 3' PIs of <1 min. Together, this study suggests that the tyrosine kinase-coupled directional movement of fibroblasts and their radial membrane activity are controlled by local generation and rapid degradation of 3' PI second messengers.

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