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Effects of microinjected small GTPases on the actin cytoskeleton of human neutrophils

Bird, MM; Lopez-Lluch, G; Ridley, AJ; Segal, AW; (2003) Effects of microinjected small GTPases on the actin cytoskeleton of human neutrophils. J ANAT , 203 (4) 379 - 389.

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This paper describes a method for microinjection of proteins (Rho GTPases) into neutrophils and observations on the responses of the cells to these injections. Neutrophils are extremely difficult to inject because of their small size, complex morphology and fragility. To allow microinjections they must be cultured on a substrate that enables them to settle, adhere and spread. We determined that fibronectin- and/or collagen-coated coverslips are the best substrates and we used very fine needles and short microinjection times to minimize cell damage. These methods permitted us to inject up to 100 cells in a single preparation over a period of 30 min. Effects of microinjection were assessed by using tetramethylrhodamine isothiocyanate (TRITC)-phalloidin to label F-actin filaments, and observation by fluorescence and confocal scanning microscopy. Microinjection alone resulted in cell rounding and some changes in the F-actin cytoskeleton but injected cells remained adherent at the substrate, were able to respond to microinjected GTPases (V12Rac, V14RhoA, V12Cdc42) and continued to be responsive to activation by exposure to fMet-Leu-Phe (fMLP) or O-tetradecanoylphorbal 13-acetate (TPA). V12Rac caused an increase in neutrophil membrane ruffling and short protrusions from the cell membrane, whereas V14RhoA induced a large increase in punctate F-actin structures. V12Cdc42 produced focal condensation of F-actin and induced the formation of small microspikes. The differences between these responses of neutrophils and those of other similarly treated cell types are discussed. Our findings demonstrate that microinjection is a valuable technique for studying the role of individual proteins in neutrophils.

Type: Article
Title: Effects of microinjected small GTPases on the actin cytoskeleton of human neutrophils
Keywords: actin cytoskeleton, cell culture, GTPases, immunofluorescence, microinjection, BINDING PROTEIN, RHO GTPASES, CELL MOTILITY, STRESS FIBERS, RAC, FILOPODIA, CDC42, LOCOMOTION, MIGRATION, ADHESION
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/190691
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