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

Ena/VASP proteins mediate repulsion from ephrin ligands.

Ena/VASP proteins negatively regulate cell motility and contribute to repulsion from several guidance cues; however, there is currently no evidence for a role downstream of Eph receptors. Eph receptors mediate repulsion from ephrins at sites of intercellular contact during several developmental migrations. For example, the expression of ephrin-Bs in posterior halves of somites restricts neural crest cell migration to the anterior halves. Here we show that ephrin-B2 destabilises neural crest cell lamellipodia when presented in a substrate-bound or soluble form. Our timelapse studies show that repulsive events are associated with the rearward collapse and subsequent loss of lamellipodia as membrane ruffles. We hypothesise that Ena/VASP proteins contribute to repulsion from ephrins by destabilising cellular protrusions and show that Ena/VASP-deficient fibroblasts exhibit reduced repulsion from both ephrin-A and ephrin-B stripes compared to wild-type controls. Moreover, when EphB4 and ephrin-B2 were expressed in neighbouring Swiss 3T3 fibroblasts, VASP and Mena co-accumulated with activated Eph receptors at protrusions formed by EphB4-expressing cells. Sequestration of Ena/VASP proteins away from the periphery of these cells inhibited Eph receptor internalisation, a process that facilitates repulsion. Our results suggest that Ena/VASP proteins regulate ephrin-induced Eph receptor signalling events, possibly by destabilising lamellipodial protrusions.[1]


  1. Ena/VASP proteins mediate repulsion from ephrin ligands. Evans, I.R., Renne, T., Gertler, F.B., Nobes, C.D. J. Cell. Sci. (2007) [Pubmed]
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