The low density lipoprotein receptor–related protein (LRP-1) binds and mediates the endocytosis of multiple ligands, transports the urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) and other membrane proteins into endosomes, and binds intracellular adaptor proteins involved in cell signaling. In this paper, we show that in murine embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and L929 cells, LRP-1 functions as a major regulator of Rac1 activation, and that this activity depends on uPAR. LRP-1–deficient MEFs demonstrated increased Rac1 activation compared with LRP-1–expressing MEFs, and this property was reversed by expressing the VLDL receptor, a member of the same gene family as LRP-1, with overlapping ligand-binding specificity. Neutralizing the activity of LRP-1 with receptor-associated protein (RAP) increased Rac1 activation and cell migration in MEFs and L929 cells. The same parameters were unaffected by RAP in uPAR MEFs, prepared from uPAR gene knockout embryos, and in uPAR-deficient LM-TK cells. Untreated uPAR MEFs demonstrated substantially increased Rac1 activation compared with uPAR MEFs. In addition to Rac1, LRP-1 suppressed activation of extracellular signal– regulated kinase (ERK) in MEFs; however, it was Rac1 (and not ERK) that was responsible for the effects of LRP-1 on MEF migration. Thus, LRP-1 regulates two signaling proteins in the same cell (Rac1 and ERK), both of which may impact on cell migration. In uPAR-negative cells, LRP-1 neutralization does not affect Rac1 activation, and other mechanisms by which LRP-1 may regulate cell migration are not unmasked.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/anamaria_salicioni/1/