Differential roles of Rho-kinase and myosin light chain kinase in regulating shape, adhesion, and migration of HT1080 fibrosarcoma cells

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006 May 5;343(2):602-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2006.03.022. Epub 2006 Mar 15.


We present evidence for differential roles of Rho-kinase and myosin light chain kinase (MLCK) in regulating shape, adhesion, migration, and chemotaxis of human fibrosarcoma HT1080 cells on laminin-coated surfaces. Pharmacological inhibition of Rho-kinase by Y-27632 or inhibition of MLCK by W-7 or ML-7 resulted in significant attenuation of constitutive myosin light chain phosphorylation. Rho-kinase inhibition resulted in sickle-shaped cells featuring long, thin F-actin-rich protrusions. These cells adhered more strongly to laminin and migrated faster. Inhibition of MLCK in contrast resulted in spherical cells and marked impairment of adhesion and migration. Inhibition of myosin II activation with blebbistatin resulted in a morphology similar to that induced by Y-27632 and enhanced migration and adhesion. Cells treated first with blebbistatin and then with ML-7 also rounded up, suggesting that effects of MLCK inhibition on HT1080 cell shape and motility are independent of inhibition of myosin activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement
  • Cell Size
  • Fibrosarcoma / pathology*
  • Fibrosarcoma / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Myosin-Light-Chain Kinase / metabolism*
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction
  • rho-Associated Kinases


  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • rho-Associated Kinases
  • Myosin-Light-Chain Kinase