Growth arrest-specific (Gas2) protein has been shown to be a component of the microfilament system, that is highly expressed in growth arrested mouse and human fibroblasts and is hyperphosphorylated upon serum stimulation of quiescent cells. (Brancolini, C., S. Bottega, and C. Schneider. 1992. J. Cell Biol. 117:1251-1261). In this study we demonstrate that the kinetics of Gas2 phosphorylation, during Go-->G1 transition, as induced by addition of 20% FCS to serum starved NIH 3T3 cells, is temporally coupled to the reorganization of actin cytoskeleton. To better dissect the relationship between Gas2 phosphorylation and the modification of the microfilament architecture we used specific stimuli for both membrane ruffling (PDGF and PMA) and stress fiber formation (L-alpha-lysophosphatidic acid LPA) (Ridley, A. J., and A. Hall. 1992. Cell. 70:389-399). All of them, similarly to 20% FCS, are able to downregulate Gas2 biosynthesis. PDGF and PMA induce Gas2 hyperphosphorylation that is temporally coupled with the appearance of membrane ruffling where Gas2 localizes. On the other hand LPA, a specific stimulus for stress fiber formation, fails to induce a detectable Gas2 hyperphosphorylation. Thus, Gas2 hyperphosphorylation is specifically correlated with the formation of membrane ruffling possibly implying a role of Gas2 in this process.

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