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Dev Cell. 2003 Oct;5(4):595-609.

Differential roles of WAVE1 and WAVE2 in dorsal and peripheral ruffle formation for fibroblast cell migration.

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Department of Biochemistry, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, 108-8639, Japan.


Cell migration is driven by actin polymerization at the leading edge of lamellipodia, where WASP family verprolin-homologous proteins (WAVEs) activate Arp2/3 complex. When fibroblasts are stimulated with PDGF, formation of peripheral ruffles precedes that of dorsal ruffles in lamellipodia. Here, we show that WAVE2 deficiency impairs peripheral ruffle formation and WAVE1 deficiency impairs dorsal ruffle formation. During directed cell migration in the absence of extracellular matrix (ECM), cells migrate with peripheral ruffles at the leading edge and WAVE2, but not WAVE1, is essential. In contrast, both WAVE1 and WAVE2 are essential for invading migration into ECM, suggesting that the leading edge in ECM has characteristics of both ruffles. WAVE1 is colocalized with ECM-degrading enzyme MMP-2 in dorsal ruffles, and WAVE1-, but not WAVE2-, dependent migration requires MMP activity. Thus, WAVE2 is essential for leading edge extension for directed migration in general and WAVE1 is essential in MMP-dependent migration in ECM.

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