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Mol Biol Cell. 2010 Apr 15;21(8):1409-22. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E09-06-0451. Epub 2010 Feb 24.

h3/Acidic calponin: an actin-binding protein that controls extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 activity in nonmuscle cells.

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Department of Health Sciences and Whitaker Imaging Facility, Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


Migration of fibroblasts is important in wound healing. Here, we demonstrate a role and a mechanism for h3/acidic calponin (aCaP, CNN3) in REF52.2 cell motility, a fibroblast line rich in actin filaments. We show that the actin-binding protein h3/acidic calponin associates with stress fibers in the absence of stimulation but is targeted to the cell cortex and podosome-like structures after stimulation with a phorbol ester, phorbol-12,13-dibutyrate (PDBu). By coimmunoprecipitation and colocalization, we show that extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 and protein kinase C (PKC)alpha constitutively associate with h3/acidic calponin and are cotargeted with h3/acidic calponin in the presence of PDBu. This targeting can be blocked by a PKC inhibitor but does not require phosphorylation of h3/acidic calponin at the PKC sites S175 or T184. Knockdown of h3/acidic calponin results in a loss of PDBu-mediated ERK1/2 targeting, whereas PKCalpha targeting is unaffected. Caldesmon is an actin-binding protein that regulates actomyosin interactions and is a known substrate of ERK1/2. Both ERK1/2 activity and nonmuscle l-caldesmon phosphorylation are blocked by h3/acidic calponin knockdown. Furthermore, h3/acidic calponin knockdown inhibits REF52.2 migration in an in vitro wound healing assay. Our findings are consistent with a model whereby h3/acidic calponin controls fibroblast migration by regulation of ERK1/2-mediated l-caldesmon phosphorylation.

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