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Mol Biol Cell. 2010 Dec;21(23):4120-9. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E10-05-0459. Epub 2010 Oct 6.

The roles of two distinct regions of PINCH-1 in the regulation of cell attachment and spreading.

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Division of Cancer Biology, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Showa-ku, Nagoya 466-8550, Japan.


Cells attach to the extracellular matrix (ECM) through integrins to form focal adhesion complexes, and this process is followed by the extension of lamellipodia to enable cell spreading. PINCH-1, an adaptor protein essential for the regulation of cell-ECM adhesion, consists of five tandem LIM domains and a small C-terminal region. PINCH-1 is known to interact with integrin-linked kinase (ILK) and Ras suppressor protein 1 (Rsu-1); however, the precise mechanism by which this complex regulates cell-ECM adhesion is not fully understood. We report here that the LIM1 domain of PINCH-1, which associates with ILK to stabilize the expression of this protein, is sufficient for cell attachment but not for cell spreading. In contrast, the C-terminal region of PINCH-1, which binds to Rsu-1, plays a pivotal role in cell spreading but not in cell attachment. We also show that PINCH-1 associates with Rsu-1 to activate Rac1 and that Rac1 activation is necessary for cell spreading. Thus, these data reveal how specific domains of PINCH-1 direct two independent pathways: one utilizing ILK to allow cell attachment, and the other recruiting Rsu-1 to activate Rac1 in order to promote cell spreading.

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