• Fat2 polarizes the WAVE complex in trans to align cell protrusions for collective migration.

Fat2 polarizes the WAVE complex in trans to align cell protrusions for collective migration.

eLife (2022-09-27)
Audrey Miller Williams, Seth Donoughe, Edwin Munro, Sally Horne-Badovinac

For a group of cells to migrate together, each cell must couple the polarity of its migratory machinery with that of the other cells in the cohort. Although collective cell migrations are common in animal development, little is known about how protrusions are coherently polarized among groups of migrating epithelial cells. We address this problem in the collective migration of the follicular epithelial cells in Drosophila melanogaster. In this epithelium, the cadherin Fat2 localizes to the trailing edge of each cell and promotes the formation of F-actin-rich protrusions at the leading edge of the cell behind. We show that Fat2 performs this function by acting in trans to concentrate the activity of the WASP family verprolin homolog regulatory complex (WAVE complex) at one long-lived region along each cell's leading edge. Without Fat2, the WAVE complex distribution expands around the cell perimeter and fluctuates over time, and protrusive activity is reduced and unpolarized. We further show that Fat2's influence is very local, with sub-micron-scale puncta of Fat2 enriching the WAVE complex in corresponding puncta just across the leading-trailing cell-cell interface. These findings demonstrate that a trans interaction between Fat2 and the WAVE complex creates stable regions of protrusive activity in each cell and aligns the cells' protrusions across the epithelium for directionally persistent collective migration.

Product Number
Product Description

Rac1 Inhibitor, Rac1 Inhibitor, CAS 1177865-17-6, is a cell-permeable, reversible inhibitor of Rac1 GDP/GTP exchange. Interferes with the interaction between Rac1 and Rac-specific GEFs Trio and Tiam1 (IC₅₀ ~50 µM).