The Journal of cell biology

APC binds intermediate filaments and is required for their reorganization during cell migration.

PMID 23382461


Intermediate filaments (IFs) are components of the cytoskeleton involved in most cellular functions, including cell migration. Primary astrocytes mainly express glial fibrillary acidic protein, vimentin, and nestin, which are essential for migration. In a wound-induced migration assay, IFs reorganized to form a polarized network that was coextensive with microtubules in cell protrusions. We found that the tumor suppressor adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) was required for microtubule interaction with IFs and for microtubule-dependent rearrangements of IFs during astrocyte migration. We also show that loss or truncation of APC correlated with the disorganization of the IF network in glioma and carcinoma cells. In migrating astrocytes, vimentin-associated APC colocalized with microtubules. APC directly bound polymerized vimentin via its armadillo repeats. This binding domain promoted vimentin polymerization in vitro and contributed to the elongation of IFs along microtubules. These results point to APC as a crucial regulator of IF organization and confirm its fundamental role in the coordinated regulation of cytoskeletons.

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