Phosphorylation of nephrin induces phase separated domains that move through actomyosin contraction

Soyeon Kim, Joseph M. Kalappurakkal, Satyajit Mayor, Michael K. Rosen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The plasma membrane of eukaryotic cells is organized into lipid and protein microdomains, whose assembly mechanisms and functions are incompletely understood. We demonstrate that proteins in the nephrin/Nck/N-WASP actin-regulatory pathway cluster into micron-scale domains at the basal plasma membrane upon triggered phosphorylation of transmembrane protein nephrin. The domains are persistent but readily exchange components with their surroundings, and their formation is dependent on the number of Nck SH3 domains, suggesting they are phase separated polymers assembled through multivalent interactions among the three proteins. The domains form independent of the actin cytoskeleton, but acto-myosin contractility induces their rapid lateral movement. Nephrin phosphorylation induces larger clusters at the cell periphery, which are associated with extensive actin assembly and dense filopodia. Our studies illustrate how multivalent interactions between proteins at the plasma membrane can produce micron-scale organization of signaling molecules, and how the resulting clusters can both respond to and control the actin cytoskeleton.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2996-3012
Number of pages17
JournalMolecular biology of the cell
Issue number24
StatePublished - Nov 15 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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