Focal adhesion (FA) turnover depends on microtubules and actin. Microtubule ends are captured at FAs, where they induce rapid FA disassembly. However, actin’s roles are less clear. Here, we use polarization-resolved microscopy, FRAP, live cell imaging, and a mutant of Adenomatous polyposis coli (APC-m4) defective in actin nucleation to investigate the role of actin assembly in FA turnover. We show that APC-mediated actin assembly is critical for maintaining normal F-actin levels, organization, and dynamics at FAs, along with organization of FA components. In WT cells, microtubules are captured repeatedly at FAs as they mature, but once a FA reaches peak maturity, the next microtubule capture event leads to delivery of an autophagosome, triggering FA disassembly. In APC-m4 cells, microtubule capture frequency and duration are altered, and there are long delays between autophagosome delivery and FA disassembly. Thus, APC-mediated actin assembly is required for normal feedback between microtubules and FAs, and maintaining FAs in a state “primed” for microtubule-induced turnover.

This article is distributed under the terms of an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike–No Mirror Sites license for the first six months after the publication date (see http://www.rupress.org/terms/). After six months it is available under a Creative Commons License (Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 4.0 International license, as described at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/).
You do not currently have access to this content.