The lamellipodium is an important structure for cell migration containing branched actin nucleated via the Arp2/3 complex. The formation of branched actin is relatively well studied, but less is known about its disassembly and how this influences migration. GMF is implicated in both Arp2/3 debranching and inhibition of Arp2/3 activation. Modulation of GMFβ, a ubiquitous GMF isoform, by depletion or overexpression resulted in changes in lamellipodial dynamics, branched actin content, and migration. Acute pharmacological inhibition of Arp2/3 by CK-666, coupled to quantitative live-cell imaging of the complex, showed that depletion of GMFβ decreased the rate of branched actin disassembly. These data, along with mutagenesis studies, suggest that debranching (not inhibition of Arp2/3 activation) is a primary activity of GMFβ in vivo. Furthermore, depletion or overexpression of GMFβ disrupted the ability of cells to directionally migrate to a gradient of fibronectin (haptotaxis). These data suggest that debranching by GMFβ plays an important role in branched actin regulation, lamellipodial dynamics, and directional migration.
© 2015 Haynes et al.