Human Macrophages Utilize the Podosome Formin FMNL1 for Adhesion and Migration


Macrophages play a crucial role in detecting, regulating, and resolving immune crises, requiring migration through complex extracellular matrices. Unwarranted macrophage inflammatory activity potentiates kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and transplant rejection. Proper remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton, especially at adhesion structures, is essential to the translocation of macrophages. Macrophages form actin-rich adhesions termed “podosomes”, giving them the capacity to make contacts with the substratum for traction through interstitial tissues. Macrophages express multiple formins, including FMNL1, Dia1, and Fhod1, with potential to impact actin remodeling involved in migration. Formins are a family of proteins that are best known for modifying the actin cytoskeleton via nucleation, elongation, bundling, and/or severing actin filaments. In this study we demonstrate that the formin FMNL1 is a key regulator of podosomes and is required for normal macrophage migration. Additionally, this is the first study to demonstrate defects in primary human cell migration resulting from specific formin silencing. Pharmacologic inhibition of all formin activity results in a significant decrease in podosome formation and normal macrophage migration. Furthermore, targeted suppression of FMNL1 results in decreases in macrophage migration similar to inhibition of all expressed macrophage formins. These novel findings suggest FMNL1 as a possible chemotherapeutic target to hinder macrophage migration, which could offer an innovative method for limiting unnecessary macrophage-mediated inflammation. We hypothesize that formins are required in podosome actin dynamics to support macrophage migration.

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R. Miller, M. and Blystone, S. (2015) Human Macrophages Utilize the Podosome Formin FMNL1 for Adhesion and Migration. CellBio, 4, 1-11. doi: 10.4236/cellbio.2015.41001.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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