Research Papers:

Synaptopodin-2 induces assembly of peripheral actin bundles and immature focal adhesions to promote lamellipodia formation and prostate cancer cell migration

FuiBoon Kai, James P. Fawcett and Roy Duncan _

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:11162-11174. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.3578

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FuiBoon Kai1, James P. Fawcett4,5 and Roy Duncan1,2,3

1 Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

2 Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

3 Department of Pediatrics, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

4 Department of Pharmacology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

5 Department of Surgery, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Correspondence to:

Roy Duncan, email:

Keywords: Synpo2, myopodin, membrane protrusions, cancer cell migration, actin cytoskeleton

Received: January 07, 2015 Accepted: February 10, 2015 Published: March 14, 2015


Synaptopodin-2 (Synpo2), an actin-binding protein and invasive cancer biomarker, induces formation of complex stress fiber networks in the cell body and promotes PC3 prostate cancer cell migration in response to serum stimulation. The role of these actin networks in enhanced cancer cell migration is unknown. Using time-course analysis and live cell imaging of mock- and Synpo2-transduced PC3 cells, we now show that Synpo2 induces assembly of actin fibers near the cell periphery and Arp2/3-dependent lamellipodia formation. Lamellipodia formed in a non-directional manner or repeatedly changed direction, explaining the enhanced chemokinetic activity of PC3 cells in response to serum stimulation. Myosin contraction promotes retrograde flow of the Synpo2-associated actin filaments at the leading edge and their merger with actin networks in the cell body. Enhanced PC3 cell migration correlates with Synpo2-induced formation of lamellipodia and immature focal adhesions (FAs), but is not dependent on myosin contraction or FA maturation. The previously reported correlation between Synpo2-induced stress fiber assembly and enhanced PC3 cell migration therefore reflects the role of Synpo2 as a newly identified regulator of actin bundle formation and nascent FA assembly near the leading cell edge.

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