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PLoS One. 2013;8(4):e59901. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059901. Epub 2013 Apr 3.

Fluxes of water through aquaporin 9 weaken membrane-cytoskeleton anchorage and promote formation of membrane protrusions.

Author information

1
Division of Medical Microbiology, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linkoping University, Linkoping, Sweden.

Abstract

All modes of cell migration require rapid rearrangements of cell shape, allowing the cell to navigate within narrow spaces in an extracellular matrix. Thus, a highly flexible membrane and a dynamic cytoskeleton are crucial for rapid cell migration. Cytoskeleton dynamics and tension also play instrumental roles in the formation of different specialized cell membrane protrusions, viz. lamellipodia, filopodia, and membrane blebs. The flux of water through membrane-anchored water channels, known as aquaporins (AQPs) has recently been implicated in the regulation of cell motility, and here we provide novel evidence for the role of AQP9 in the development of various forms of membrane protrusion. Using multiple imaging techniques and cellular models we show that: (i) AQP9 induced and accumulated in filopodia, (ii) AQP9-associated filopodial extensions preceded actin polymerization, which was in turn crucial for their stability and dynamics, and (iii) minute, local reductions in osmolarity immediately initiated small dynamic bleb-like protrusions, the size of which correlated with the reduction in osmotic pressure. Based on this, we present a model for AQP9-induced membrane protrusion, where the interplay of water fluxes through AQP9 and actin dynamics regulate the cellular protrusive and motile activity of cells.

PMID:
23573219
PMCID:
PMC3616121
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0059901
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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