A Rho-dependent signaling pathway operating through myosin localizes β-actin mRNA in fibroblasts

Vaughan M. Latham, Edward H.S. Yu, Antonella N. Tullio, Robert S. Adelstein, Robert H. Singer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Background: The sorting of mRNA is a determinant of cell asymmetry. The cellular signals that direct specific RNA sequences to a particular cellular compartment are unknown. In fibroblasts, β-actin mRNA has been shown to be localized toward the leading edge, where it plays a role in cell motility and asymmetry. Results: We demonstrate that a signaling pathway initiated by extracellular receptors acting through Rho GTPase and Rho-kinase regulates this spatial aspect of gene expression in fibroblasts by localizing β-actin mRNA via actomyosin interactions. Consistent with the role of Rho as an activator of myosin, we found that inhibition of myosin ATPase, myosin light chain kinase (MLCK), and the knockout of myosin II-B in mouse embryonic fibroblasts all inhibited β-actin mRNA from localizing in response to growth factors. Conclusions: We therefore conclude that the sorting of β-actin mRNA in fibroblasts requires a Rho mediated pathway operating through a myosin II-B-dependent step and postulate that polarized actin bundles direct the mRNA to the leading edge of the cell.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1010-1016
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Biology
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 10 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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