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Immunol Cell Biol. 2014 Mar;92(3):275-86. doi: 10.1038/icb.2013.90. Epub 2013 Dec 17.

The Rho GTPase Rac1 is required for recycling endosome-mediated secretion of TNF in macrophages.

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Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Institute of Medical Biology, Immunos, Singapore.
College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK.
Pulmonary Research Group, Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.


Rho GTPases are required for many cellular events such as adhesion, motility, and membrane trafficking. Here we show that in macrophages, the Rho GTPases Rac1 and Cdc42 are involved in lamellipodia and filopodia formation, respectively, and that both of these Rho GTPases are essential for the efficient surface delivery of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) to the plasma membrane following TLR4 stimulation. We have previously demonstrated intracellular trafficking of TNF via recycling endosomes in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated macrophages. Here, we further define a specific role for Rac1 in intracellular TNF trafficking, demonstrating impairment in TNF release following TLR4 stimulation in the presence of a Rac inhibitor, in cells expressing a dominant negative (DN) form of Rac1, and following small interfering RNA (siRNA) knockdown of Rac1. Rac1 activity was required for TNF trafficking but not for TLR4 signaling following LPS stimulation. Reduced TNF secretion was due to a defect in Rac1 activity, but not of the closely related Rho GTPase Rac2, demonstrated by the additional use of macrophages derived from Rac2-deficient mice. Labeling recycling endosomes by the uptake of fluorescent transferrin enabled us to show that Rac1 was required for the final stages of TNF trafficking and delivery from recycling endosomes to the plasma membrane. Thus, actin remodeling by the Rho GTPase Rac1 is required for TNF cell surface delivery and release from macrophages.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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