DOCK9 induces membrane ruffles and Rac1 activity in cancer HeLa epithelial cells

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Abstract

Dedicator-of-cytokinesis (DOCK) proteins are a family of guanine-nucleotide exchange factors (GEF) for Rho GTPases. The DOCK-D homology subfamily comprises DOCK9, DOCK10, and DOCK11. DOCK9 and DOCK11 are GEFs for Cdc42 and induce filopodia, while DOCK10 is a dual GEF for Cdc42 and Rac1 and induces filopodia and ruffles. We provide data showing that DOCK9, the only one of the DOCK-D members that is not considered hematopoietic, is nevertheless expressed at high levels in T lymphocytes, as do DOCK10 and DOCK11, although unlike these, it is not expressed in B lymphocytes. To investigate DOCK9 function, we have created a stable HeLa clone with inducible expression of HA-DOCK9. Induction of expression of HA-DOCK9 produced loss of elongation and polygonal shape of HeLa cells. Regarding membrane protrusions, HA-DOCK9 prominently induced filopodia, but also an increase of membrane ruffles. The latter was consistent with an increase in the levels of activation of Rac1, suggesting that DOCK9 carries a secondary ability to induce ruffles through activation of Rac1.

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Ruiz-Lafuente, N., Minguela, A., & Parrado, A. (2018). DOCK9 induces membrane ruffles and Rac1 activity in cancer HeLa epithelial cells. Biochemistry and Biophysics Reports, 14, 178–181. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrep.2018.05.004

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