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Scrib regulates HGF-mediated epithelial morphogenesis and is stabilized by Sgt1–HSP90

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Scribble was originally identified as a Drosophila protein that regulates epithelial polarity and formation of the basolateral surface. The mammalian orthologue, Scrib, is evolutionarily conserved, but does not appear to be necessary for apical-basolateral epithelial polarity. Instead, it is implicated in the regulation of cell survival, protein trafficking, adhesion and migration. A key issue is to understand the molecular pathway by which Scrib participates in these processes. We have investigated Scrib using a three-dimensional epithelial cell culture system. We show a novel association between the leucine-rich repeat domain of Scrib and the co-chaperone Sgt1 and demonstrate that these proteins are necessary for epithelial morphogenesis and tubulogenesis following hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) stimulation. The molecular chaperone HSP90 is also required for Sgt1 association with Scrib, and both Sgt1 and HSP90 are needed to ensure proper Scrib protein levels. Furthermore, reduced Scrib stability, following inhibition of Sgt1-HSP90, lowers the cellular abundance of the Scrib-βPix-PAK complex. Inhibition of any member of this complex, Scrib, βPix or PAK, is sufficient to block HGF-mediated epithelial morphogenesis. The identification of Scrib as an Sgt1-HSP90 client protein required for three-dimensional cell migration suggests that chaperone-mediated regulation of polarity protein stability and homeostasis is an unappreciated mechanism underlying dynamic rearrangements during morphogenesis.

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