The dual effect of Rac2 on phospholipase D2 regulation that explains both the onset and termination of chemotaxis

Hong Juan Peng, Karen M. Henkels, Madhu Mahankali, Christophe Marchal, Paula Bubulya, Mary C. Dinauer, Julian Gomez-Cambronero

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21 Scopus citations


We document a biphasic effect of Rac2 on the activation and inhibition of PLD2. Cells overexpressing Rac2 and PLD2 simultaneously show a robust initial (<10 min) response toward a chemoattractant that is later (>30 min) greatly diminished over PLD2-only controls. The first phase is due to the presence of a Rac2-PLD2 positive-feedback loop. To explain the mechanism for the Rac2-led PLD2 inhibition (the second phase), we used leukocytes from wild-type (WT) and Rac2-/- knockout mice. Rac2-/- cells displayed an enhanced PLD2 (but not PLD1) enzymatic activity, confirming the inhibitory role of Rac2. Late inhibitory responses on PLD2 due to Rac2 were reversed in the presence of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) both in vitro (purified GST-PH-PLD2, where GST is glutathione S-transferase and PH is pleckstrin homology) and in vivo. Coimmunoprecipitation and immunofluorescence microscopy indicated that PLD2 and Rac2 remain together. The presence of an "arc" of Rac2 at the leading edge of leukocyte pseudopodia and PLD2 physically posterior to this wave of Rac2 was observed in late chemotaxis. We propose Rac-led inhibition of PLD2 function is due to sterical interference of Rac with PLD2's PH binding site to the membrane and deprivation of the PIP2. This work supports the importance of functional interactions between PLD and Rac in the biological response of cell migration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2227-2240
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 2011


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