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J Cell Sci. 2008 Jul 15;121(Pt 14):2394-405. doi: 10.1242/jcs.026187. Epub 2008 Jun 24.

Phosphorylation of AFAP-110 affects podosome lifespan in A7r5 cells.

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The Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center and Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Cell Biology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506-9300, USA.


AFAP-110 is an actin-binding and -crosslinking protein that is enriched in Src and phorbol ester (PE)-induced podosomes. In vascular smooth muscle cells endogenous AFAP-110 localized to actin stress fibers and, in response to treatment with phorbol-12,13-dibutyrate (PDBu), to actin-rich podosomes. Since PEs can activate PKCalpha, AFAP-110 is a substrate of PKCalpha and PKCalpha-AFAP-110 interactions direct podosome formation, we sought to identify a PE-induced phosphorylation site in AFAP-110 and determine whether phosphorylation is linked to the formation of podosomes. Mutational analysis revealed Ser277 of AFAP-110 to be phosphorylated in PE-treated cells. The use of a newly generated, phospho-specific antibody directed against phosphorylated Ser277 revealed that PKCalpha activation is associated with PE-induced AFAP-110 phosphorylation. In PDBu-treated A7r5 rat vascular smooth muscle cells, immunolabeling using the phospho-specific antibody showed that phospho-AFAP-110 is primarily associated with actin in podosomes. Although mutation of Ser at position 277 to Ala (AFAP-110(S277A)) did not alter the ability of AFAP-110 to localize to podosomes, overexpression of AFAP-110(S277A) in treated and untreated A7r5 cells resulted in an increased number of cells that display podosomes. Video microscopy demonstrated that AFAP-110(S277A) expression correlates with an increased number of long-lived podosomes. Therefore, we hypothesize that AFAP-110 phosphorylation and/or dephosphorylation is involved in the regulation of podosome stability and lifespan.

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