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Different translation dynamics of β- and γ-actin regulates cell migration

By Pavan Vedula, Satoshi Kurosaka, Brittany MacTaggart, Qin Ni, Garegin Papoian, Yi Jiang, Dawei Dong, Anna Kashina

Posted 06 Jan 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.01.05.425467

{beta}- and {gamma}-cytoplasmic actins are ubiquitously expressed in every cell type and are nearly identical at the amino acid level but play vastly different roles in vivo. Their essential roles in embryogenesis and cell migration critically depend on the nucleotide sequences of their genes, rather than their amino acid sequence. However it is unclear which gene elements underlie this effect. Here we address the specific role of the coding sequence in {beta}- and {gamma}-cytoplasmic actins intracellular functions, using stable cell lines with exogenously expressed actin isoforms and their "codon-switched" variants. When targeted to the cell periphery using the {beta}-actin 3'UTR, {beta}-actin and {gamma}-actin have differential effects on cell migration. These effects directly depend on the coding sequence. Single molecule measurements of actin isoform translation, combined with fluorescence recovery after photobleaching, demonstrate a pronounced difference in {beta}- and {gamma}-actins translation elongation rates, leading to changes in their dynamics at focal adhesions, impairments in actin bundle formation, and reduced cell anchoring to the substrate during migration. Our results demonstrate that coding sequence-mediated differences in actin translation play a key role in cell migration.

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