|Upregulation of PIP3-dependent Rac exchanger 1 (P-Rex1) promotes prostate cancer metastasis. |
Qin, J, et al.
Oncogene, 28: 1853-63 (2009)
Excessive activation of G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) and receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) pathways has been linked to prostate cancer metastasis. Rac activation by guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) plays an important role in directional cell migration, a critical step of tumor metastasis cascades. We found that the upregulation of P-Rex1, a Rac-selective GEF synergistically activated by Gbetagamma freed during GPCR signaling, and PIP3, generated during either RTK or GPCR signaling, strongly correlates with metastatic phenotypes in both prostate cancer cell lines and human prostate cancer specimens. Silencing endogenous P-Rex1 in metastatic prostate cancer PC-3 cells selectively inhibited Rac activity and reduced cell migration and invasion in response to ligands of both epidermal growth factor receptor and G-protein-coupled CXC chemokine receptor 4. Conversely, expression of recombinant P-Rex1, but not its 'GEF-dead' mutant, in non-metastatic prostate cancer cells, such as CWR22Rv1, increased cell migration and invasion through Rac-dependent lamellipodia formation. More importantly, using a mouse xenograft model, we showed that the expression of P-Rex1, but not its mutant, induced lymph node metastasis of CWR22Rv1 cells without an effect on primary tumor growth. Thus, by functioning as a coincidence detector of chemotactic signals from both GPCRs and RTKs, P-Rex1-dependent activation of Rac promotes prostate cancer metastasis.
|P-Rex2 regulates Purkinje cell dendrite morphology and motor coordination. |
Donald, Sarah, et al.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 105: 4483-8 (2008)
The small GTPase Rac controls cell morphology, gene expression, and reactive oxygen species formation. Manipulations of Rac activity levels in the cerebellum result in motor coordination defects, but activators of Rac in the cerebellum are unknown. P-Rex family guanine-nucleotide exchange factors activate Rac. We show here that, whereas P-Rex1 expression within the brain is widespread, P-Rex2 is specifically expressed in the Purkinje neurons of the cerebellum. We have generated P-Rex2(-/-) and P-Rex1(-/-)/P-Rex2(-/-) mice, analyzed their Purkinje cell morphology, and assessed their motor functions in behavior tests. The main dendrite is thinned in Purkinje cells of P-Rex2(-/-) pups and dendrite structure appears disordered in Purkinje cells of adult P-Rex2(-/-) and P-Rex1(-/-)/P-Rex2(-/-) mice. P-Rex2(-/-) mice show a mild motor coordination defect that progressively worsens with age and is more pronounced in females than in males. P-Rex1(-/-)/P-Rex2(-/-) mice are ataxic, with reduced basic motor activity and abnormal posture and gait, as well as impaired motor coordination even at a young age. We conclude that P-Rex1 and P-Rex2 are important regulators of Purkinje cell morphology and cerebellar function.
|P-Rex1 regulates neutrophil function. |
Welch, Heidi C E, et al.
Curr. Biol., 15: 1867-73 (2005)
Rac GTPases regulate cytoskeletal structure, gene expression, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Rac2-deficient neutrophils cannot chemotax, produce ROS, or degranulate upon G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) activation. Deficiency in PI3Kgamma, an upstream regulator of Rac, causes a similar phenotype. P-Rex1, a guanine-nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) for Rac, is believed to link GPCRs and PI3Kgamma to Rac-dependent neutrophil responses. We have investigated the functional importance of P-Rex1 by generating a P-Rex1(-/-) mouse. P-Rex1(-/-) mice are viable and healthy, with apparently normal leukocyte development, but with mild neutrophilia. In neutrophils from P-Rex1(-/-) mice, GPCR-dependent Rac2 activation is impaired, whereas Rac1 activation is less compromised. GPCR-dependent ROS formation is absent in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-primed P-Rex1(-/-) neutrophils, but less affected in unprimed or TNFalpha-primed cells. Recruitment of P-Rex1(-/-) neutrophils to inflammatory sites is impaired. Surprisingly, chemotaxis of isolated neutrophils is only slightly reduced, with a mild defect in cell speed, but normal polarization and directionality. Secretion of azurophil granules is unaffected. In conclusion, P-Rex1 is an important regulator of neutrophil function by mediating a subset of Rac-dependent neutrophil responses. However, P-Rex1 is not an essential regulator of neutrophil chemotaxis and degranulation.