Actin-cytoskeleton rearrangement modulates proton-induced uptake

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Abstract

Recently it has been shown that elevating proton concentration at the cell surface stimulates the formation of membrane invaginations and vesicles accompanied by an enhanced uptake of macromolecules. While the initial induction of inward membrane curvature was rationalized in terms of proton-based increase of charge asymmetry across the membrane, the mechanisms underlying vesicle formation and its scission are still unknown. In light of the critical role of actin in vesicle formation during endocytosis, the present study addresses the involvement of cytoskeletal actin in proton-induced uptake (PIU). The uptake of dextran-FITC is used as a measure for the factual fraction of inward invaginations that undergo scission from the cell's plasma membrane. Our findings show that the rate of PIU in suspended cells is constant, whereas the rate of PIU in adherent cells is gradually increased in time, saturating at the level possessed by suspended cells. This is consistent with pH induced gradual degradation of stress-fibers in adherent cells. Wortmannin and calyculin-A are able to elevate PIU by 25% in adherent cells but not in suspended cells, while cytochalasin-D, rapamycin and latrunculin-A elevate PIU both in adherent and suspended cells. However, extensive actin depolymerization by high concentrations of latrunculin-A is able to inhibit PIU. We conclude that proton-induced membrane vesiculation is restricted by the actin structural resistance to the plasma membrane bending. Nevertheless, a certain degree of cortical actin restructuring is required for the completion of the scission process.

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