BMC cell biology

Phosphorylated guanine nucleotide exchange factor C3G, induced by pervanadate and Src family kinases localizes to the Golgi and subcortical actin cytoskeleton.

PMID 15320955


The guanine nucleotide exchange factor C3G (RapGEF1) along with its effector proteins participates in signaling pathways that regulate eukaryotic cell proliferation, adhesion, apoptosis and embryonic development. It activates Rap1, Rap2 and R-Ras members of the Ras family of GTPases. C3G is activated upon phosphorylation at tyrosine 504 and therefore, determining the localization of phosphorylated C3G would provide an insight into its site of action in the cellular context. C3G is phosphorylated in vivo on Y504 upon coexpression with Src or Hck, two members of the Src family tyrosine kinases. Here we have determined the subcellular localization of this protein using antibodies specific to C3G and Tyr 504 phosphorylated C3G (pY504 C3G). While exogenously expressed C3G was present mostly in the cytosol, pY504 C3G formed upon Hck or Src coexpression localized predominantly at the cell membrane and the Golgi complex. Tyrosine 504-phosphorylated C3G showed colocalization with Hck and Src. Treatment of Hck and C3G transfected cells with pervanadate showed an increase in the cytosolic staining of pY504 C3G suggesting that tyrosine phosphatases may be involved in dephosphorylating cytosolic phospho-C3G. Expression of Src family kinases or treatment of cells with pervanadate resulted in an increase in endogenous pY504 C3G, which was localized predominantly at the Golgi and the cell periphery. Endogenous pY504 C3G at the cell periphery colocalized with F-actin suggesting its presence at the subcortical actin cytoskeleton. Disruption of actin cytoskeleton by cytochalasin D abolished phospho-C3G staining at the periphery of the cell without affecting its Golgi localization. These findings show that tyrosine kinases involved in phosphorylation of C3G are responsible for regulation of its localization in a cellular context. We have demonstrated the localization of endogenous C3G modified by tyrosine phosphorylation to defined subcellular domains where it may be responsible for restricted activation of signaling pathways.