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J Leukoc Biol. 1999 Sep;66(3):521-7.

Localization of p21-activated kinase 1 (PAK1) to pseudopodia, membrane ruffles, and phagocytic cups in activated human neutrophils.

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Department of Immunology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.


Leukocyte chemoattractants are known to stimulate signaling pathways that involve Rho family GTPases. Direct evidence for the regulation of the leukocyte cytoskeleton by Rho GTPases and their effector targets is limited. The p21-activated kinases (PAKs) are specific targets of activated GTP-bound Rac and Cdc42, and have been proposed as regulators of chemoattractant-driven actin cytoskeletal changes in fibroblasts. PAK1 colocalizes with F-actin to cortical actin structures in stimulated fibroblasts, and activated PAK1 mutants induce membrane ruffling and polarized cytoskeletal rearrangements. We investigated whether PAK1 was associated with remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton in activated human neutrophils. We monitored the redistribution of PAK1 and F-actin into the actin cytoskeleton after stimulation of human neutrophils with the chemoattractant N-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (fMLP) or the particulate stimulus, opsonized zymosan (OZ). PAK1 exhibited a similar distribution as F-actin in fMLP-stimulated leukocytes, localizing in membrane ruffles and to lamellipodia at the leading edge of polarized cells. Addition of OZ induced phagocytic uptake of this particulate stimulus, and PAK1 re-localized to the F-actin-rich pseudopodia and phagocytic cups associated with this process. Once the OZ was internalized, there was little PAK1 localized around the ingested particles, suggesting that PAK1 may be regulating the cytoskeletal extensions and events required for engulfment of bacteria, but not the subsequent steps of internalization. Localization of PAK1 and F-actin in cytoskeletal structures was abolished by the actin polymerization inhibitor cytochalasin D and the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor wortmannin. Our data suggest that PAK1 may regulate a subset of cytoskeletal dynamics initiated by chemoattractant and phagocytic stimuli in human neutrophils.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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