- Metastatic lung cancer is a major cause of death worldwide. Dissemination of cancer cells can be facilitated by various agonists within the tumor microenvironment, including by lysophosphatidic acid (LPA). We postulate that Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factors (RhoGEFs), which integrate signaling cues driving cell migration, are critical effectors in metastatic cancer. Specifically, we addressed the hypothetical role of ARHGEF17, a RhoGEF, as a potential effector of Gβγ in metastatic lung cancer cells responding to LPA.
- Gα proteins promote dynamic adjustments of cell shape directed by actin-cytoskeleton reorganization via their respective RhoGEF effectors. For example, Gα13 binding to the RGS-homology (RH) domains of several RH-RhoGEFs allosterically activates these proteins, causing them to expose their catalytic Dbl-homology (DH)/pleckstrin-homology (PH) regions, which triggers downstream signals. However, whether additional Gα proteins might directly regulate the RH-RhoGEFs was not known. To explore this question, we first examined the morphological effects of expressing shortened RH-RhoGEF DH/PH constructs of p115RhoGEF/ARHGEF1, PDZ-RhoGEF (PRG)/ARHGEF11, and LARG/ARHGEF12.
- Regulatory subunits of protein kinase A (PKA) inhibit its kinase subunits. Intriguingly, their potential as cAMP-dependent signal transducers remains uncharacterized. We recently reported that type I PKA regulatory subunits (RIα) interact with phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate–dependent Rac exchange factor 1 (P-REX1), a chemotactic Rac guanine exchange factor (RacGEF). Because P-REX1 is known to be phosphorylated and inhibited by PKA, its interaction with RIα suggests that PKA regulatory and catalytic subunits may fine-tune P-REX1 activity or those of its target pools.
- G protein–coupled receptors stimulate Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factors that promote mammalian cell migration. Rac and Rho GTPases exert opposing effects on cell morphology and are stimulated downstream of Gβγ and Gα12/13 or Gαq, respectively. These Gα subunits might in turn favor Rho pathways by preventing Gβγ signaling to Rac. Here, we investigated whether Gβγ signaling to phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate–dependent Rac exchange factor 1 (P-REX1), a key Gβγ chemotactic effector, is directly controlled by Rho-activating Gα subunits.
- Developmental angiogenesis and the maintenance of the blood–brain barrier involve endothelial cell adhesion, which is linked to cytoskeletal dynamics. GPR124 (also known as TEM5/ADGRA2) is an adhesion G protein–coupled receptor family member that plays a pivotal role in brain angiogenesis and in ensuring a tight blood–brain barrier. However, the signaling properties of GPR124 remain poorly defined. Here, we show that ectopic expression of GPR124 promotes cell adhesion, additive to extracellular matrix–dependent effect, coupled with filopodia and lamellipodia formation and an enrichment of a pool of the G protein–coupled receptor at actin-rich cellular protrusions containing VASP, a filopodial marker.
- Morphology of migrating cells is regulated by Rho GTPases and fine-tuned by protein interactions and phosphorylation. PKA affects cell migration potentially through spatiotemporal interactions with regulators of Rho GTPases. Here we show that the endogenous regulatory (R) subunit of type I PKA interacts with P-Rex1, a Rac guanine nucleotide exchange factor that integrates chemotactic signals. Type I PKA holoenzyme interacts with P-Rex1 PDZ domains via the CNB B domain of RIα, which when expressed by itself facilitates endothelial cell migration.