Cell Migration: GSK3 beta Steers the Cytoskeleton's Tip
ABSTRACT Directed cell migration polarizes the cytoskeleton, allowing the cell to move toward migratory cues. In this issue, Wu et al. (2011) demonstrate that the glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) controls microtubule architecture and polarized movement of skin stem cells during wound healing in mammals by regulating the microtubule crosslinking protein ACF7.
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ABSTRACT: Plexin transmembrane receptors and their semaphorin ligands, as well as their co-receptors (Neuropilin, Integrin, VEGFR2, ErbB2, and Met kinase) are emerging as key regulatory proteins in a wide variety of developmental, regenerative, but also pathological processes. The diverse arenas of plexin function are surveyed, including roles in the nervous, cardiovascular, bone and skeletal, and immune systems. Such different settings require considerable specificity among the plexin and semaphorin family members which in turn are accompanied by a variety of cell signaling networks. Underlying the latter are the mechanistic details of the interactions and catalytic events at the molecular level. Very recently, dramatic progress has been made in solving the structures of plexins and of their complexes with associated proteins. This molecular level information is now suggesting detailed mechanisms for the function of both the extracellular as well as the intracellular plexin regions. Specifically, several groups have solved structures for extracellular domains for plexin-A2, -B1, and -C1, many in complex with semaphorin ligands. On the intracellular side, the role of small Rho GTPases has been of particular interest. These directly associate with plexin and stimulate a GTPase activating (GAP) function in the plexin catalytic domain to downregulate Ras GTPases. Structures for the Rho GTPase binding domains have been presented for several plexins, some with Rnd1 bound. The entire intracellular domain structure of plexin-A1, -A3, and -B1 have also been solved alone and in complex with Rac1. However, key aspects of the interplay between GTPases and plexins remain far from clear. The structural information is helping the plexin field to focus on key questions at the protein structural, cellular, as well as organism level that collaboratoria of investigations are likely to answer.Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS 06/2012; 69(22):3765-805. DOI:10.1007/s00018-012-1019-0 · 5.86 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Based on classical colchicine site ligands and a computational model of the colchicine binding site on beta tubulin, two classes of chalcone derivatives were designed, synthesized and evaluated for inhibition of tubulin assembly and toxicity in human cancer cell lines. Docking studies suggested that the chalcone scaffold could fit the colchicine site on tubulin in an orientation similar to that of the natural product. In particular, a 3,4,5-trimethoxyphenyl ring adjacent to the carbonyl group appeared to benefit the ligand-tubulin interaction, occupying the same subcavity as the corresponding moiety in colchicine. Consistent with modeling predictions, several 3,4,5-trimethoxychalcones showed improved cytotoxicity to murine acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells compared with a previously described parent compound, and inhibited tubulin assembly in vitro as potently as colchicine. The most potent chalcones inhibited the growth of human leukemia cell lines at nanomolar concentrations, caused microtubule destabilization and mitotic arrest in human cervical cancer cells, and inhibited human breast cancer cell migration in scratch wound and Boyden chamber assays.European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 03/2013; 63C:501-510. DOI:10.1016/j.ejmech.2013.02.037 · 3.43 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Abstract: The semaphorins, discovered over 20 years ago, are a large family of secreted or transmembrane and glycophosphatidylinositol-anchored proteins initially identified as axon guidance molecules crucial for the development of the nervous system. It has now been established that they also play important roles in organ development and function, especially involving the immune, respiratory, and cardiovascular systems, and in pathological disorders, including cancer. During tumor progression, semaphorins can have both pro- and anti-tumor functions, and this has created complexities in our understanding of these systems. Semaphorins may affect tumor growth and metastases by directly targeting tumor cells, as well as indirectly by interacting with and influencing cells from the micro-environment and vasculature. Mechanistically, semaphorins, through binding to their receptors, neuropilins and plexins, affect pathways involved in cell adhesion, migration, invasion, proliferation, and survival. Importantly, neuropilins also act as co-receptors for several growth factors and enhance their signaling activities, while class 3 semaphorins may interfere with this. In this review, we focus on the secreted class 3 semaphorins and their neuropilin co-receptors in cancer, including aspects of their signaling that may be clinically relevant.OncoTargets and Therapy 09/2014; 7:1663—1687. DOI:10.2147/OTT.S37744 · 2.31 Impact Factor