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Abstract

14-3-3 is an adaptor protein that localizes to the leading edge of spreading cells, returning to the cytoplasm as spreading ceases. Previously, we showed that integrin-induced Rac1 activation and spreading were inhibited by sequestration of 14-3-3ζ and restored by its overexpression. Here, we determined whether 14-3-3 mediates integrin signaling by localizing a guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) to Rac1-activating integrin complexes. We showed that GST-14-3-3ζ recruited the Rac1-GEF, Tiam1, from cell lysates through Tiam1 residues 1–182 (N1–182 Tiam1). The physiological relevance of this interaction was examined in serum-starved Hela cells plated on fibronectin. Both Tiam1 and N1–182 Tiam1 were recruited to 14-3-3-containing β1-integrin complexes, as shown by co-localization and co-immunoprecipitation. Integrin-induced Rac1 activation was inhibited when Tiam1 was depleted with siRNA or by overexpression of catalytically inactive N1–182 Tiam1, which was incorporated into 14-3-3/β1-integrin complexes and inhibited spreading in a manner that was overcome by constitutively active Rac1. Integrin-induced Rac1 activation, spreading, and migration were also inhibited by overexpression of 14-3-3ζ S58D, which was unable to recruit Tiam1 from lysates, co-immunoprecipitate with Tiam1, or mediate its incorporation into β1-integrin complexes. Taken together, these findings suggest a previously unrecognized mechanism of integrin-induced Rac1 activation in which 14-3-3 dimers localize Tiam1 to integrin complexes, where it mediates integrin-dependent Rac1 activation, thus initiating motility-inducing pathways. Moreover, since Tiam1 is recruited to other sites of localized Rac1 activation through its PH-CC-EX domain, the present findings show that a mechanism involving its N-terminal 182 residues is utilized to recruit Tiam1 to motility-inducing integrin complexes. J. Cell. Physiol. 226: 2965–2978, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.