Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Effects of brefeldin A-inhibited guanine nucleotide-exchange (BIG) 1 and KANK1 proteins on cell polarity and directed migration during wound healing.

PMID 22084092


Brefeldin A-inhibited guanine nucleotide-exchange protein (BIG) 1 activates class I ADP ribosylation factors (ARFs) by accelerating the replacement of bound GDP with GTP to initiate recruitment of coat proteins for membrane vesicle formation. Among proteins that interact with BIG1, kinesin family member 21A (KIF21A), a plus-end-directed motor protein, moves cargo away from the microtubule-organizing center (MTOC) on microtubules. Because KANK1, a protein containing N-terminal KN, C-terminal ankyrin-repeat, and intervening coiled-coil domains, has multiple actions in cells and also interacts with KIF21A, we explored a possible interaction between it and BIG1. We obtained evidence for a functional and physical association between these proteins, and found that the effects of BIG1 and KANK1 depletion on cell migration in wound-healing assays were remarkably similar. Treatment of cells with BIG1- or KANK1-specific siRNA interfered significantly with directed cell migration and initial orientation of Golgi/MTOC toward the leading edge, which was not mimicked by KIF21A depletion. Although colocalization of overexpressed KANK1 and endogenous BIG1 in HeLa cells was not clear microscopically, their reciprocal immunoprecipitation (IP) is compatible with the presence of small percentages of each protein in the same complexes. Depletion or overexpression of BIG1 protein appeared not to affect KANK1 distribution. Our data identify actions of both BIG1 and KANK1 in regulating cell polarity during directed migration; these actions are consistent with the presence of both BIG1 and KANK1 in dynamic multimolecular complexes that maintain Golgi/MTOC orientation, differ from those that might contain all three proteins (BIG1, KIF21A, and KANK1), and function in directed transport along microtubules.