Post-translational modification-regulated leukocyte adhesion and migration

Jia Tong Loh and I-hsin Su _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:37347-37360. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.8135

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Jia Tong Loh1 and I-hsin Su1

1 School of Biological Sciences, College of Science, Nanyang Technological University, Republic of Singapore

Correspondence to:

I-hsin Su, email:

Keywords: adhesion, migration, dendritic cells, EZH2, post-translational modifications

Received: October 21, 2015 Accepted: February 28, 2016 Published: March 16, 2016


Leukocytes undergo frequent phenotypic changes and rapidly infiltrate peripheral and lymphoid tissues in order to carry out immune responses. The recruitment of circulating leukocytes into inflamed tissues depends on integrin-mediated tethering and rolling of these cells on the vascular endothelium, followed by transmigration into the tissues. This dynamic process of migration requires the coordination of large numbers of cytosolic and transmembrane proteins whose functional activities are typically regulated by post-translational modifications (PTMs). Our recent studies have shown that the lysine methyltransferase, Ezh2, critically regulates integrin signalling and governs the adhesion dynamics of leukocytes via direct methylation of talin, a key molecule that controls these processes by linking integrins to the actin cytoskeleton. In this review, we will discuss the various modes of leukocyte migration and examine how PTMs of cytoskeletal/adhesion associated proteins play fundamental roles in the dynamic regulation of leukocyte migration. Furthermore, we will discuss molecular details of the adhesion dynamics controlled by Ezh2-mediated talin methylation and the potential implications of this novel regulatory mechanism for leukocyte migration, immune responses, and pathogenic processes, such as allergic contact dermatitis and tumorigenesis.

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