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09 2017 The Journal of cell biology

Adenomatous polyposis coli nucleates actin assembly to drive cell migration and microtubule-induced focal adhesion turnover.


Juanes MA, Bouguenina H, Eskin JA, Jaiswal R, Badache A, Goode BL


Cell motility depends on tight coordination between the microtubule (MT) and actin cytoskeletons, but the mechanisms underlying this MT-actin cross talk have remained poorly understood. Here, we show that the tumor suppressor protein adenomatous polyposis coli (APC), which is a known MT-associated protein, directly nucleates actin assembly to promote directed cell migration. By changing only two residues in APC, we generated a separation-of-function mutant, APC (m4), that abolishes actin nucleation activity without affecting MT interactions. Expression of full-length APC carrying the m4 mutation (APC (m4)) rescued cellular defects in MT organization, MT dynamics, and mitochondrial distribution caused by depletion of endogenous APC but failed to restore cell migration. Wild-type APC and APC (m4) localized to focal adhesions (FAs), and APC (m4) was defective in promoting actin assembly at FAs to facilitate MT-induced FA turnover. These results provide the first direct evidence for APC-mediated actin assembly in vivo and establish a role for APC in coordinating MTs and actin at FAs to direct cell migration.

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