Chemotaxis Signaling Section, Laboratory of Immunogenetics, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health; Rockville, MD 20852, USA.
* These authors contributed equally to this work.
Diverse chemokines bind to G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) to activate the small GTPase Rac to regulate F-actin dynamics during chemotaxis. ELMO and Dock proteins form complexes that function as guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) for Rac activation. However, the linkage between GPCR activation and the ELMO/Dock-mediated Rac activation is not fully understood. In the present study, we show that chemoattractants induce dynamic membrane translocation of ELMO1 in mammalian cells. ELMO1 plays an important role in GPCR-mediated chemotaxis. We also reveal that ELMO1 and Dock1 form a stable complex. Importantly, activation of chemokine GPCR promotes the interaction between ELMO1 and Gβγ. The ELMO1-Gβγ interaction is through the N-terminus of ELMO1 protein and is important for the membrane translocation of ELMO1. ELMO1 is required for Rac1 activation upon chemoattractant stimulation. Our results suggest that chemokine GPCR-mediated interaction between Gβγ and ELMO1/Dock1 complex might serve as an evolutionarily conserved mechanism for Rac activation to regulate actin cytoskeleton for chemotaxis of human cells.
Keywords: chemotaxis, G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), heterotrimeric G protein, small GTPase Rho, guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs), ELMO/Dock complex, Rac activation.