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Optogenetic control of receptors reveals distinct roles for actin- and Cdc42-dependent negative signals in chemotactic signal processing.

Abstract

During chemotaxis, neutrophils use cell surface G Protein Coupled Receptors to detect chemoattractant gradients. The downstream signaling system is wired with multiple feedback loops that amplify weak inputs and promote spatial separation of cell front and rear activities. Positive feedback could promote rapid signal spreading, yet information from the receptors is transmitted with high spatial fidelity, enabling detection of small differences in chemoattractant concentration across the cell. How the signal transduction network achieves signal amplification while preserving spatial information remains unclear. The GTPase Cdc42 is a cell-front polarity coordinator that is predictive of cell turning, suggesting an important role in spatial processing. Here we directly measure information flow from receptors to Cdc42 by pairing zebrafish parapinopsina, an optogenetic G Protein Coupled Receptor with reversible ON/OFF control, with a spectrally compatible red/far red Cdc42 Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer biosensor. Using this toolkit, we show that positive and negative signals downstream of G proteins shape a rapid, dose-dependent Cdc42 response. Furthermore, F-actin and Cdc42 itself provide two distinct negative signals that limit the duration and spatial spread of Cdc42 activation, maintaining output signals local to the originating receptors.

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