ABSTRACT: Chemokines such as SDF-1α play a crucial role in orchestrating T lymphocyte polarity and migration via polymerization and reorganization of the F-actin cytoskeleton, but the role of actin-associated proteins in this process is not well characterized. In this study, we have investigated a role for L-plastin, a leukocyte-specific F-actin-bundling protein, in SDF-1α-stimulated human T lymphocyte polarization and migration. We found that L-plastin colocalized with F-actin at the leading edge of SDF-1α-stimulated T lymphocytes and was also phosphorylated at Ser(5), a site that when phosphorylated regulates the ability of L-plastin to bundle F-actin. L-plastin phosphorylation was sensitive to pharmacological inhibitors of protein kinase C (PKC), and several PKC isoforms colocalized with L-plastin at the leading edge of SDF-1α-stimulated lymphocytes. However, PKC ζ, an established regulator of cell polarity, was the only isoform that regulated L-plastin phosphorylation. Knockdown of L-plastin expression with small interfering RNAs demonstrated that this protein regulated the localization of F-actin at the leading edge of chemokine-stimulated cells and was also required for polarization, lamellipodia formation, and chemotaxis. Knockdown of L-plastin expression also impaired the Rac1 activation cycle and Akt phosphorylation in response to SDF-1α stimulation. Furthermore, L-plastin also regulated SDF-1α-mediated lymphocyte migration on the integrin ligand ICAM-1 by influencing velocity and persistence, but in a manner that was independent of LFA-1 integrin activation or adhesion. This study, therefore, demonstrates an important role for L-plastin and the signaling pathways that regulate its phosphorylation in response to chemokines and adds L-plastin to a growing list of proteins implicated in T lymphocyte polarity and migration.
The Journal of Immunology 05/2012; 188(12):6357-70. · 5.79 Impact Factor