The formin family of proteins contributes to spatiotemporal control of actin cytoskeletal rearrangements during motile cell activities. The FMNL subfamily exhibits multiple mechanisms of linear actin filament formation and organization. Here we report novel actin-modifying functions of FMNL1 in breast adenocarcinoma migration models. FMNL1 is required for efficient cell migration and its three isoforms exhibit distinct localization. Suppression of FMNL1 protein expression results in a significant impairment of cell adhesion, migration, and invasion. Overexpression of FMNL1ɣ, but not FMNL1β or FMNL1α, enhances cell adhesion independent of the FH2 domain and FMNL1ɣ rescues migration in cells depleted of all three endogenous isoforms. While FMNL1ɣ inhibits actin assembly in vitro, it facilitates bundling of filamentous actin independent of the FH2 domain. The unique interactions of FMNL1ɣ with filamentous actin provide a new understanding of formin domain functions and its effect on motility of diverse cell types suggest a broader role than previously realized.
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