ZBP1 enhances cell polarity and reduces chemotaxis

Kyle Lapidus, Jeffrey Wyckoff, Ghassan Mouneimne, Mike Lorenz, Lillian Soon, John S. Condeelis, Robert H. Singer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The interaction of β-actin mRNA with zipcode-binding protein 1 (ZBP1) is necessary for its localization to the lamellipod of fibroblasts and plays a crucial role in cell polarity and motility. Recently, we have shown that low ZBP1 levels correlate with tumor-cell invasion and metastasis. In order to establish a cause and effect relationship, we expressed ZBP1 in a metastatic rat mammary adenocarcinoma cell line (MTLn3) that has low endogenous ZBP1 levels and delocalized β-actin mRNA. This leads to localization of β-actin mRNA, and eventually reduces the chemotactic potential of the cells as well as their ability to move and orient towards vessels in tumors. To determine how ZBP1 leads to these two apparently contradictory aspects of cell behavior-increased cell motility but decreased chemotaxis-we examined cell motility in detail, both in cell culture and in vivo in tumors. We found that ZBP1 expression resulted in tumor cells with a stable polarized phenotype, and reduced their ability to move in response to a gradient in culture. To connect these results on cultured cells to the reduced metastatic ability of these cells, we used multiphoton imaging in vivo to examine tumor cell behavior in primary tumors. We found that ZBP1 expression actually reduced tumor cell motility and chemotaxis, presumably mediating their decreased metastatic potential by reducing their ability to respond to signals necessary for invasion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3173-3178
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of cell science
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 15 2007


  • Chemotaxis
  • Intravital imaging
  • Invasion
  • Motility
  • ZBP1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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