Experimental cell research

Signaling pathways involved in dephosphorylation and localization of the actin-binding protein cofilin in stimulated human neutrophils.

PMID 9367627


We have studied activation-induced dephosphorylation of proteins in human neutrophils loaded with [32P]orthophosphate using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and autoradiography. A major phosphoprotein of 20 kDa in resting neutrophils was markedly dephosphorylated upon activation of cells with chemotactic peptide or phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA), an activator of protein kinase C (PKC). Using a monoclonal anti-cofilin antibody, this phosphoprotein could be shown to be identical with cofilin, a protein implicated in actin filament remodeling. Signaling pathways leading to this dephosphorylation were further characterized. To define the role of PKC isoforms in cofilin dephosphorylation, we used different PKC inhibitors. Gö 6976 (10 microM), which inhibits preferentially PKC alpha and beta, did not prevent PMA-induced dephosphorylation of cofilin, whereas Ro 31-8220 and CGP 41,251 (10 microM), which act also on Ca(2+)-independent PKC isoforms, almost completely suppressed this event. The lack of effect of Gö 6976 was not due to insufficient entry into the cells, as this drug suppressed PMA-induced increases in protein phosphorylation. Ca(2+)-independent PKC isoforms, rather than PKC alpha or beta, may thus be involved in PMA-induced cofilin dephosphorylation. In contrast, Ro 31-8220 did not inhibit chemotactic peptide-induced cofilin dephosphorylation, suggesting here a PKC-independent pathway. The phosphatase inhibitor okadaic acid (1-2 microM) attenuated phosphorylation of cofilin in resting cells. This reduced level was not further attenuated by PMA. Phosphatases 1 and/or 2A may thus control cofilin phosphorylation in resting cells and contribute to PMA-induced cofilin dephosphorylation. Dephosphorylation of cofilin induced by PMA, chemotactic peptide, or okadaic acid was always accompanied by a shift of cofilin to the cell periphery into F-actin-rich areas. These findings suggest a role of cofilin in stimulus-dependent actin remodeling in motile neutrophils.