Lipid products of PI(3)Ks maintain persistent cell polarity and directed motility in neutrophils

Nat Cell Biol. 2002 Jul;4(7):513-8. doi: 10.1038/ncb810.


In gradients of external chemo-attractant, mammalian neutrophilic leukocytes (neutrophils) and Dictyostelium discoideum amoebae adopt a polarized morphology and selectively accumulate lipid products of phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinases (PI(3)Ks), including PtdIns(3,4,5)P(3), at their up-gradient edges; the internal PtdIns(3,4,5)P(3) gradient substantially exceeds that of the external attractant. An accompanying report presents evidence for a positive feedback loop that amplifies the gradient of internal signal: PtdIns(3,4,5)P(3) at the leading edge stimulates its own accumulation by inducing activation of one or more Rho GTPases (Rac, Cdc42, and/or Rho), which in turn increase PtdIns(3,4,5)P(3) accumulation. Here we show that interruption of this feedback by treatment with PI(3)K inhibitors reduces the size and stability of pseudopods and causes cells to migrate in jerky trajectories that deviate more from the up-gradient direction than do those of controls. Moreover, amplification of the internal PtdIns(3,4,5)P(3) gradient is markedly impaired by latrunculin or jasplakinolide, toxins that inhibit polymerization or depolymerization of actin, respectively. Thus reciprocal interplay between PtdIns(3,4,5)P(3) and polymerized actin initiates and maintains the asymmetry of intracellular signals responsible for cell polarity and directed motility.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bridged Bicyclo Compounds, Heterocyclic / pharmacology
  • Cell Movement*
  • Cell Polarity*
  • Chemotaxis / drug effects
  • Depsipeptides*
  • Dictyostelium
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Feedback, Physiological
  • HL-60 Cells
  • Humans
  • Marine Toxins / pharmacology
  • Neutrophils / cytology*
  • Peptides, Cyclic / pharmacology
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / metabolism*
  • Phosphatidylinositol Phosphates / metabolism*
  • Pseudopodia / drug effects
  • Thiazoles / pharmacology
  • Thiazolidines


  • Bridged Bicyclo Compounds, Heterocyclic
  • Depsipeptides
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Marine Toxins
  • Peptides, Cyclic
  • Phosphatidylinositol Phosphates
  • Thiazoles
  • Thiazolidines
  • phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-triphosphate
  • jasplakinolide
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • latrunculin B