Rac1 recruits the adapter protein CMS/CD2AP to cell-cell contacts

Trynette J. Van Duijn, Eloise C. Anthony, Paul J. Hensbergen, André M. Deelder, Peter L. Hordijk

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Rac1 is a member of the Rho family of small GTPases, which regulate cell adhesion and migration through their control of the actin cytoskeleton. Rho-GTPases are structurally very similar, with the exception of a hypervariable domain in the C terminus. Using peptide-based pulldown assays in combination with mass spectrometry, we previously showed that the hyper-variable domain in Rac1 mediates specific protein-protein interactions. Most recently, we found that the Rac1 C terminus associates to the ubiquitously expressed adapter protein CMS/ CD2AP.CD2APis critical for the formation and maintenance of a specialized cell-cell contact between kidney podocyte foot processes, the slit diaphragm. Here, CD2AP links the cell adhesion protein nephrin to the actin cytoskeleton. In addition, CMS/ CD2AP binds actin-regulating proteins, such as CAPZ and cortactin, and has been implicated in the internalization of growth factor receptors. We found that CD2AP specifically interacts with the C-terminal domain of Rac1 but not with that of other Rho family members. Efficient interaction between Rac1 and CD2AP requires both the proline-rich domain and the polybasic region in the Rac1 C terminus, and at least two of the three N-terminal SH3 domains of CD2AP. CD2AP co-localizes with Rac1 to membrane ruffles, and small interfering RNA-based experiments showed that CD2AP links Rac1 to CAPZ and cortactin. Finally, expression of constitutive active Rac1 recruits CD2AP to cell-cell contacts in epithelial cells, where we found CD2AP to participate in the control of the epithelial barrier function. These data identify CD2AP as a novel Rac1-associated adapter protein that participates in the regulation of epithelial cell-cell contact.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20137-20146
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of biological chemistry
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2010

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