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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Critical roles of phosphorylation and actin binding motifs, but not the central proline-rich region, for Ena/vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP) function during cell migration.

The Ena/vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP) protein family is implicated in the regulation of a number of actin-based cellular processes, including lamellipodial protrusion necessary for whole cell translocation. A growing body of evidence derived largely from in vitro biochemical experiments using purified proteins, cell-free extracts, and pathogen motility has begun to suggest various mechanistic roles for Ena/VASP proteins in the control of actin dynamics. Using complementation of phenotypes in Ena/VASP-deficient cells and overexpression in normal fibroblasts, we have assayed the function of a panel of mutants in one member of this family, Mena, by mutating highly conserved sequence elements found in this protein family. Surprisingly, deletion of sites required for binding of the actin monomer-binding protein profilin, a known ligand of Ena/VASP proteins, has no effect on the ability of Mena to regulate random cell motility. Our analysis revealed two features essential for Ena/VASP function in cell movement, cyclic nucleotide-dependent kinase phosphorylation sites and an F-actin binding motif. Interestingly, expression of the C-terminal EVH2 domain alone is sufficient to complement loss of Ena/VASP function in random cell motility.[1]


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