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

A complex of Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein with mammalian verprolins plays an important role in monocyte chemotaxis.

The Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP) is a product of the gene defective in an Xid disorder, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome. WASP expression is limited to hemopoietic cells, and WASP regulates the actin cytoskeleton. It has been reported that monocytes/macrophages from WASP-deficient Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome patients are severely defective in chemotaxis, resulting in recurrent infection. However, the molecular basis of such chemotactic defects is not understood. Recently, the WASP N-terminal region was found to bind to the three mammalian verprolin homologs: WASP interacting protein (WIP); WIP and CR16 homologous protein (WICH)/WIP-related protein (WIRE); and CR16. Verprolin was originally found to play an important role in the regulation of actin cytoskeleton in yeast. We have shown that WASP, WIP, and WICH/WIRE are expressed predominantly in the human monocyte cell line THP-1 and that WIP and WICH/WIRE are involved in monocyte chemotaxis. When WASP binding to verprolins was blocked, chemotactic migration of monocytes was impaired in both THP-1 cells and primary human monocytes. Increased expression of WASP and WIP enhanced monocyte chemotaxis. Blocking WASP binding to verprolins impaired cell polarization but not actin polymerization. These results indicate that a complex of WASP with mammalian verprolins plays an important role in chemotaxis of monocytes. Our results suggest that WASP and mammalian verprolins function as a unit in monocyte chemotaxis and that the activity of this unit is critical to establish cell polarization. In addition, our results also indicate that the WASP-verprolin complex is involved in other functions such as podosome formation and phagocytosis.[1]


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