RhoA function in lamellae formation and migration is regulated by the α6β4 integrin and cAMP metabolism

Kathleen L. O'Connor, Bao Kim Nguyen, Arthur M. Mercurio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

185 Scopus citations


Clone A colon carcinoma cells develop fan-shaped lamellae and exhibit random migration when plated on laminin, processes that depend on the ligation of the α6β4 integrin. Here, we report that expression of a dominant negative RhoA (N19RhoA) in clone A cells inhibited α6β4-dependent membrane ruffling, lamellae formation, and migration. In contrast, expression of a dominant negative Rac (N17Rac1) had no effect on these processes. Using the Rhotekin binding assay to assess RhoA activation, we observed that engagement of α6β4 by either antibody-mediated clustering or laminin attachment resulted in a two- to threefold increase in RhoA activation, compared with cells maintained in suspension or plated on collagen. Antibody- mediated clustering of β1 integrins, however, actually suppressed Rho A activation. The α6β4-mediated interaction of clone A cells with laminin promoted the translocation of RhoA from the cytosol to membrane ruffles at the edges of lamellae and promoted its colocalization with β1 integrins, as assessed by immunofluorescence microscopy. In addition, RhoA translocation was blocked by inhibiting phosphodiesterase activity and enhanced by inhibiting the activity of cAMP-dependent protein kinase. Together, these results establish a specific integrin-mediated pathway of RhoA activation that is regulated by cAMP and that functions in lamellae formation and migration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-258
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 24 2000


  • Carcinoma
  • Cytoskeleton
  • G-protein
  • Phosphodiesterase
  • Protein kinase A

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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