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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The WAVE complex associates with sites of saddle membrane curvature.

  • Author(s): Pipathsouk, Anne
  • Brunetti, Rachel M
  • Town, Jason P
  • Graziano, Brian R
  • Breuer, Artù
  • Pellett, Patrina A
  • Marchuk, Kyle
  • Tran, Ngoc-Han T
  • Krummel, Matthew F
  • Stamou, Dimitrios
  • Weiner, Orion D
  • et al.

How local interactions of actin regulators yield large-scale organization of cell shape and movement is not well understood. Here we investigate how the WAVE complex organizes sheet-like lamellipodia. Using super-resolution microscopy, we find that the WAVE complex forms actin-independent 230-nm-wide rings that localize to regions of saddle membrane curvature. This pattern of enrichment could explain several emergent cell behaviors, such as expanding and self-straightening lamellipodia and the ability of endothelial cells to recognize and seal transcellular holes. The WAVE complex recruits IRSp53 to sites of saddle curvature but does not depend on IRSp53 for its own localization. Although the WAVE complex stimulates actin nucleation via the Arp2/3 complex, sheet-like protrusions are still observed in ARP2-null, but not WAVE complex-null, cells. Therefore, the WAVE complex has additional roles in cell morphogenesis beyond Arp2/3 complex activation. Our work defines organizing principles of the WAVE complex lamellipodial template and suggests how feedback between cell shape and actin regulators instructs cell morphogenesis.

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