Spatiotemporal dynamics of GEF-H1 activation controlled by microtubule- And Src-mediated pathways

Mihai L. Azoitei, Jungsik Noh, Daniel J. Marston, Philippe Roudot, Christopher B. Marshall, Timothy A. Daugird, Sidney L. Lisanza, María José Sandí, Mitsu Ikura, John Sondek, Robert Rottapel, Klaus M. Hahn, Gaudenz Danuser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Rho family GTPases are activated with precise spatiotemporal control by guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs). Guanine exchange factor H1 (GEF-H1), a RhoA activator, is thought to act as an integrator of microtubule (MT) and actin dynamics in diverse cell functions. Here we identify a GEF-H1 autoinhibitory sequence and exploit it to produce an activation biosensor to quantitatively probe the relationship between GEF-H1 conformational change, RhoA activity, and edge motion in migrating cells with micrometer- and second-scale resolution. Simultaneous imaging of MT dynamics and GEF-H1 activity revealed that autoinhibited GEF-H1 is localized to MTs, while MT depolymerization subadjacent to the cell cortex promotes GEF-H1 activation in an ~5-µm-wide peripheral band. GEF-H1 is further regulated by Src phosphorylation, activating GEF-H1 in a narrower band ~0–2 µm from the cell edge, in coordination with cell protrusions. This indicates a synergistic intersection between MT dynamics and Src signaling in RhoA activation through GEF-H1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3077-3097
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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