Product(s) used in this publication: PepSpots™ Peptides on Cellulose
Filopodia are dynamic structures found at the leading edges of most migrating cells. IRSp53 plays a role in filopodium dynamics by coupling actin elongation with membrane protrusion. IRSp53 is a Cdc42 effector protein that contains an N-terminal inverse-BAR (Bin-amphipysin-Rvs) domain (IRSp53/MIM homology domain [IMD]) and an internal SH3 domain that associates with actin regulatory proteins, including Eps8. We demonstrate that the SH3 domain functions to localize IRSp53 to lamellipodia and that IRSp53 mutated in its SH3 domain fails to induce filopodia. Through SH3 domain-swapping experiments, we show that the related IRTKS SH3 domain is not functional in lamellipodial localization. IRSp53 binds to 14-3-3 after phosphorylation in a region that lies between the CRIB and SH3 domains. This association inhibits binding of the IRSp53 SH3 domain to proteins such as WAVE2 and Eps8 and also prevents Cdc42-GTP interaction. The antagonism is achieved by phosphorylation of two related 14-3-3 binding sites at T340 and T360. In the absence of phosphorylation at these sites, filopodium lifetimes in cells expressing exogenous IRSp53 are extended. Our work does not conform to current views that the inverse-BAR domain or Cdc42 controls IRSp53 localization but provides an alternative model of how IRSp53 is recruited (and released) to carry out its functions at lamellipodia and filopodia.