Formin-like2 (FMNL2) is a member of the diaphanous-related formins family, which act as effectors and upstream modulators of Rho GTPases signaling and control the actin-dependent processes, such as cell motility or invasion. FMNL2 has been identified as promoting the motility and metastasis in colorectal carcinoma (CRC). However, whether FMNL2 regulates Rho signaling to promote cancer cell invasion remains unclear. In this study, we demonstrated an essential role for FMNL2 in the activations of Rho/ROCK pathway, SRF transcription or actin assembly, and subsequent CRC cell invasion. FMNL2 could activate Rho/ROCK pathway, and required ROCK to promote CRC cell invasion. Moreover, FMNL2 promoted the formation of filopodia and stress fiber, and activated the SRF transcription in a Rho-dependent manner. We also demonstrated that FMNL2 was necessary for LPA-induced invasion, RhoA/ROCK activation, actin assembly and SRF activation. FMNL2 was an essential component of LPA signal transduction toward RhoA by directly interacting with LARG. LARG silence inhibited RhoA/ROCK pathway and CRC cell invasion. Collectively, these data indicate that FMNL2, acting as upstream of RhoA by interacting with LARG, can promote actin assembly and CRC cell invasion through a Rho/ROCK-dependent mechanism.
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