Publications by authors named "Kathryn T Applegate"

5 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Tumor suppressor NF2/Merlin is a microtubule stabilizer.

Cancer Res 2014 Jan 26;74(1):353-62. Epub 2013 Nov 26.

Authors' Affiliations: Institute of Molecular Health Sciences, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland; and Department of Cell Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California.

Cancer-associated mutations in oncogene products and tumor suppressors contributing to tumor progression manifest themselves, at least in part, by deregulating microtubule-dependent cellular processes that play important roles in many cell biological pathways, including intracellular transport, cell architecture, and primary cilium and mitotic spindle organization. An essential characteristic of microtubules in the performance of these varied cell processes is their ability to continuously remodel, a phenomenon known as dynamic instability. It is therefore conceivable that part of the normal function of certain cancer-causing genes is to regulate microtubule dynamic instability. Here, we report the results of a high-resolution live-cell image-based RNA interference screen targeting a collection of 70 human tumor suppressor genes to uncover cancer genes affecting microtubule dynamic instability. Extraction and computational analysis of microtubule dynamics from EB3-GFP time-lapse image sequences identified the products of the tumor suppressor genes NF1 and NF2 as potent microtubule-stabilizing proteins. Further in-depth characterization of NF2 revealed that it binds to and stabilizes microtubules through attenuation of tubulin turnover by lowering both rates of microtubule polymerization and depolymerization as well as by reducing the frequency of microtubule catastrophes. The latter function appears to be mediated, in part, by inhibition of hydrolysis of tubulin-bound GTP on the growing microtubule plus end.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-13-1334DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3929585PMC
January 2014

plusTipTracker: Quantitative image analysis software for the measurement of microtubule dynamics.

J Struct Biol 2011 Nov 29;176(2):168-84. Epub 2011 Jul 29.

The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.

Here we introduce plusTipTracker, a Matlab-based open source software package that combines automated tracking, data analysis, and visualization tools for movies of fluorescently-labeled microtubule (MT) plus end binding proteins (+TIPs). Although +TIPs mark only phases of MT growth, the plusTipTracker software allows inference of additional MT dynamics, including phases of pause and shrinkage, by linking collinear, sequential growth tracks. The algorithm underlying the reconstruction of full MT trajectories relies on the spatially and temporally global tracking framework described in Jaqaman et al. (2008). Post-processing of track populations yields a wealth of quantitative phenotypic information about MT network architecture that can be explored using several visualization modalities and bioinformatics tools included in plusTipTracker. Graphical user interfaces enable novice Matlab users to track thousands of MTs in minutes. In this paper, we describe the algorithms used by plusTipTracker and show how the package can be used to study regional differences in the relative proportion of MT subpopulations within a single cell. The strategy of grouping +TIP growth tracks for the analysis of MT dynamics has been introduced before (Matov et al., 2010). The numerical methods and analytical functionality incorporated in plusTipTracker substantially advance this previous work in terms of flexibility and robustness. To illustrate the enhanced performance of the new software we thus compare computer-assembled +TIP-marked trajectories to manually-traced MT trajectories from the same movie used in Matov et al. (2010).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsb.2011.07.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3298692PMC
November 2011

Distinct ECM mechanosensing pathways regulate microtubule dynamics to control endothelial cell branching morphogenesis.

J Cell Biol 2011 Jan;192(2):321-34

Cell Biology and Physiology Center, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.

During angiogenesis, cytoskeletal dynamics that mediate endothelial cell branching morphogenesis during vascular guidance are thought to be regulated by physical attributes of the extracellular matrix (ECM) in a process termed mechanosensing. Here, we tested the involvement of microtubules in linking mechanosensing to endothelial cell branching morphogenesis. We used a recently developed microtubule plus end-tracking program to show that specific parameters of microtubule assembly dynamics, growth speed and growth persistence, are globally and regionally modified by, and contribute to, ECM mechanosensing. We demonstrated that engagement of compliant two-dimensional or three-dimensional ECMs induces local differences in microtubule growth speed that require myosin II contractility. Finally, we found that microtubule growth persistence is modulated by myosin II-mediated compliance mechanosensing when cells are cultured on two-dimensional ECMs, whereas three-dimensional ECM engagement makes microtubule growth persistence insensitive to changes in ECM compliance. Thus, compliance and dimensionality ECM mechanosensing pathways independently regulate specific and distinct microtubule dynamics parameters in endothelial cells to guide branching morphogenesis in physically complex ECMs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1083/jcb.201006009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3172168PMC
January 2011

Myosin II contributes to cell-scale actin network treadmilling through network disassembly.

Nature 2010 May;465(7296):373-7

Department of Biochemistry and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305, USA.

Crawling locomotion of eukaryotic cells is achieved by a process dependent on the actin cytoskeleton: protrusion of the leading edge requires assembly of a network of actin filaments, which must be disassembled at the cell rear for sustained motility. Although ADF/cofilin proteins have been shown to contribute to actin disassembly, it is not clear how activity of these locally acting proteins could be coordinated over the distance scale of the whole cell. Here we show that non-muscle myosin II has a direct role in actin network disassembly in crawling cells. In fish keratocytes undergoing motility, myosin II is concentrated in regions at the rear with high rates of network disassembly. Activation of myosin II by ATP in detergent-extracted cytoskeletons results in rear-localized disassembly of the actin network. Inhibition of myosin II activity and stabilization of actin filaments synergistically impede cell motility, suggesting the existence of two disassembly pathways, one of which requires myosin II activity. Our results establish the importance of myosin II as an enzyme for actin network disassembly; we propose that gradual formation and reorganization of an actomyosin network provides an intrinsic destruction timer, enabling long-range coordination of actin network treadmilling in motile cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature08994DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3662466PMC
May 2010

Differential transmission of actin motion within focal adhesions.

Science 2007 Jan;315(5808):111-5

Department of Cell Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.

Cell migration requires the transmission of motion generated in the actin cytoskeleton to the extracellular environment through a complex assembly of proteins in focal adhesions. We developed correlational fluorescent speckle microscopy to measure the coupling of focal-adhesion proteins to actin filaments. Different classes of focal-adhesion structural and regulatory molecules exhibited varying degrees of correlated motions with actin filaments, indicating hierarchical transmission of actin motion through focal adhesions. Interactions between vinculin, talin, and actin filaments appear to constitute a slippage interface between the cytoskeleton and integrins, generating a molecular clutch that is regulated during the morphodynamic transitions of cell migration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1135085DOI Listing
January 2007