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Cytoskeleton (Hoboken). 2010 Oct;67(10):666-75. doi: 10.1002/cm.20479.

The Abl and Arg non-receptor tyrosine kinases regulate different zones of stress fiber, focal adhesion, and contractile network localization in spreading fibroblasts.

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Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.


Directed cell migration requires precise spatial control of F-actin-based leading edge protrusion, focal adhesion (FA) dynamics, and actomyosin contractility. In spreading fibroblasts, the Abl family kinases, Abl and Arg, primarily localize to the nucleus and cell periphery, respectively. Here we provide evidence that Abl and Arg exert different spatial regulation on cellular contractile and adhesive structures. Loss of Abl function reduces FA, F-actin, and phosphorylated myosin light chain (pMLC) staining at the cell periphery, shifting the distribution of these elements more to the center of the cell than in wild-type (WT) and arg(-/-) cells. Conversely, loss of Arg function shifts the distribution of these contractile and adhesion elements more to the cell periphery relative to WT and abl(-/-) cells. Abl/Arg-dependent phosphorylation of p190RhoGAP (p190) promotes its binding to p120RasGAP (p120) to form a functional RhoA GTPase inhibitory complex, which attenuates RhoA activity and downstream pMLC and FA formation. p120 and p190 colocalize both in the central region and at the cell periphery in WT cells. This p120:p190 colocalization redistributes to a more peripheral distribution in abl(-/-) cells and to a more centralized distribution in arg(-/-) cells, and these altered distributions can be restored to WT patterns via re-expression of Abl or Arg, respectively. Thus, the altered p120:p190 distribution in the mutant cells correlates inversely with the redistribution in adhesions, actin, and pMLC staining in these cells. Our studies suggest that Abl and Arg exert different spatial regulation on actomyosin contractility and focal adhesions within cells.

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