During cell spreading, mammalian cells migrate using lamellipodia formed from a large dense branched actin network which produces the protrusive force required for leading edge advancement. The formation of lamellipodia is a dynamic process and is dependent on a variety of protein cofactors that mediate their local regulation, structural characteristics and dynamics. In the present study, we show that mRNAs encoding some structural and regulatory components of the WAVE [WASP (Wiskott–Aldrich syndrome protein) verprolin homologous] complex are localized to the leading edge of the cell and associated with sites of active translation. Furthermore, we demonstrate that steady-state levels of ArpC2 and Rac1 proteins increase at the leading edge during cell spreading, suggesting that localized protein synthesis has a pivotal role in controlling cell spreading and migration.

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