Role of Proteins of the Ena/VASP Family in Actin-based Motility of Listeria monocytogenes


Intracellular propulsion of Listeria monocytogenes is the best understood form of motility dependent on actin polymerization. We have used in vitro motility assays of Listeria in platelet and brain extracts to elucidate the function of the focal adhesion proteins of the Ena (Drosophila Enabled)/VASP (vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein) family in actin-based motility. Immunodepletion of VASP from platelet extracts and of Evl (Ena/VASP-like protein) from brain extracts of Mena knockout (-/-) mice combined with add-back of recombinant (bacterial or eukaryotic) VASP and Evl show that VASP, Mena, and Evl play interchangeable roles and are required to transform actin polymerization into active movement and propulsive force. The EVH1 (Ena/VASP homology 1) domain of VASP is in slow association-dissociation equilibrium high-affinity binding to the zyxin-homologous, proline-rich region of ActA. VASP also interacts with F-actin via its COOH-terminal EVH2 domain. Hence VASP/ Ena/Evl link the bacterium to the actin tail, which is required for movement. The affinity of VASP for F-actin is controlled by phosphorylation of serine 157 by cAMP-dependent protein kinase. Phospho-VASP binds with high affinity (0.5 x 10(8) M-1); dephospho-VASP binds 40-fold less tightly. We propose a molecular ratchet model for insertional polymerization of actin, within which frequent attachment-detachment of VASP to F-actin allows its sliding along the growing filament.

Extracted Key Phrases

10 Figures and Tables

Citations per Year

945 Citations

Semantic Scholar estimates that this publication has 945 citations based on the available data.

See our FAQ for additional information.

Cite this paper

@article{Laurent1999RoleOP, title={Role of Proteins of the Ena/VASP Family in Actin-based Motility of Listeria monocytogenes }, author={Val{\'e}rie M. Laurent and Thomas P. Loisel and Birgit Harbeck and Ann Marie Wehman and Lothar Groebe and Brigitte M . Jockusch and J{\"{u}rgen Wehland and Frank B. Gertler and M F Carlier}, journal={The Journal of Cell Biology}, year={1999}, volume={144}, pages={1245 - 1258} }