Integrin-mediated cell surface recruitment of autotaxin promotes persistent directional cell migration

Tao Wu, Craig Vander Kooi, Pritom Shah, Richard Charnigo, Cai Huang, Susan S. Smyth, Andrew J. Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Autotaxin (ATX) is a secreted lysophospholipase D (lysoPLD) that binds to integrin adhesion receptors. We dissected the roles of integrin binding and lysoPLD activity in stimulation of human breast cancer and mouse aortic vascular smooth muscle cell migration by ATX. We compared effects of wild-type human ATX, catalytically inactive ATX, an integrin binding-defective ATX variant with wild-type lysoPLD activity, the isolated ATX integrin binding N-terminal domain, and a potent ATX selective lysoPLD inhibitor on cell migration using transwell and single-cell tracking assays. Stimulation of transwell migration was reduced (18 or 27% of control, respectively) but not ablated by inactivation of integrin binding or inhibition of lyso- PLD activity. The N-terminal domain increased transwell migration (30% of control). ATX lysoPLD activity and integrin binding were necessary for a 3.8-fold increase in the fraction of migrating breast cancer cell step velocities >0.7 μm/min. ATX increased the persistent directionality of single-cell migration 2-fold. This effect was lysoPLD activity independent and recapitulated by the integrin binding N-terminal domain. Integrin binding enables uptake and intracellular sequestration of ATX, which redistributes to the front of migrating cells. ATX binding to integrins and lysoPLD activity therefore cooperate to promote rapid persistent directional cell migration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)861-870
Number of pages10
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • Cell adhesion
  • Cell motility
  • Lysophosphatidic acid
  • Lysophospholipase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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