Rab5 induces Rac-independent lamellipodia formation and cell migration

M. Spaargaren, J. L. Bos

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Rab5 is a regulatory GTPase of vesicle docking and fusion that is involved in receptor-mediated endocytosis and pinocytosis. Introduction of active Rab5 in cells stimulates the rate of endocytosis and vesicle fusion, resulting in the formation of large endocytic vesicles, whereas dominant negative Rab5 inhibits vesicle fusion. Here we show that introduction of active Rab5 in fibroblasts also induced reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton but not of microtubule filaments, resulting in prominent lamellipodia formation. The Rab5-induced lamellipodia formation did not require activation of PI3-K or the GTPases Ras, Rac, Cdc42, or Rho, which are all strongly implicated in cytoskeletal reorganization. Furthermore, lamellipodia formation by insulin, Ras, or Rac was not affected by expression of dominant negative Rab5. In addition, cells expressing active Rab5 displayed a dramatic stimulation of cell migration, with the lamellipodia serving as the leading edge. Both lamellipodia formation and cell migration were dependent on actin polymerization but not on microtubules. These results demonstrate that Rab5 induces lamellipodia formation and cell migration and that the Rab5-induced lamellipodia formation occurs by a novel mechanism independent of, and distinct from, PI3-K, Ras, or Rho-family GTPases. Thus, Rab5 can control not only endocytosis but also actin cytoskeleton reorganization and cell migration, which provides strong support for an intricate relationship between these processes
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3239-3250
JournalMolecular Biology of the Cell
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1999

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