Cell Physiology

Common Signal for Phagocytosis and Cell Migration

Science's STKE  14 Mar 2000:
Vol. 2000, Issue 23, pp. tw3
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2000.23.tw3

Phagocytosis and cell migration are processes that both involve reorganization of the cytoskeleton. Reddien and Horvitz have demonstrated that migration of the distal tip cells of the Caenorhabditis elegans gonad and the phagocytosis of apoptotic cells involve a similar signal transduction pathway. Mutations in three genes, ced-2, -5, and -10, produce defects in apoptotic cell removal and gonad cell migration. Overexpression of Ced-10 restores normal phagocytosis of apoptotic cells and partially rescues gonad cell migration to ced-2 or ced-5 mutants. Cloning of the genes, the in vivo genetic interactions, and the in vitro protein interactions suggest a pathway whereby Ced-2 (a homolog of the adaptor protein CrkII) localizes Ced-5 (a homolog of DOCK180) to the plasma membrane, which leads to the targeted activation of Ced-10, a Rac GTPase, which, in turn, regulates the cytoskeleton in both phagocytosis and cell migration.

Reddien, P.W. and Horvitz, H.R. (2000) CED-2/CrkII and CED-10/Rac control phagocytosis and cell migration in Caenorhabditis elegans. Nature Cell Biol. 2: 131-136. [Online Journal]