Endosomal spatio-temporal modulation of the cortical RhoA zone conditions epithelial cell organization

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
C. GastonDelphine Delacour


At the basis of cell shape and behavior, actomyosin organization and force-generating property are widely studied, however very little is known about the regulation of the contractile network in space and time. Here we study the role of the epithelial-specific protein EpCAM, a contractility modulator, in cell shape and motility, and we show that it is required for the maturation of stress fibers and front-rear polarity acquisition at the single cell level. There, EpCAM ensures the remodeling of a transient active RhoA zone in the cortex of spreading epithelial cells. GTP-RhoA follows the endosomal pathway mediated by Rab35 and EHD1, where it co-evolves together with EpCAM. In fact, EpCAM balances GTP-RhoA turnover in order to tune actomyosin remodeling for cell shape, polarity and mechanical property acquisition. Impairment of GTP-RhoA endosomal trafficking either by EpCAM silencing or Rab35 / EHD1 mutant expression prevents correct myosin-II activity, stress fiber formation, and ultimately cell polarization. Collectively, this work shows that the coupling of EpCAM/RhoA co-trafficking to actomyosin rearrangement is critical for spreading, and advances our understanding of how biochemical and mechanical properties can be coupled...Continue Reading

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