N-Wasp involvement in dorsal ruffle formation in mouse embryonic fibroblasts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • G Bompard
  • Hannah Morris
  • N Andrew
  • L Cooper
  • SA Johnston
  • G Tramountanis

Colleges, School and Institutes


The Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP) family activates the Arp2/3 complex leading to the formation of new actin filaments. Here, we study the involvement of Scar1, Scar2, N-WASP, and Arp2/3 complex in dorsal ruffle formation in mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs). Using platelet-derived growth factor to stimulate circular dorsal ruffle assembly in primary E13 and immortalized E9 Scar1(+/+) and Scar1 null MEFs, we establish that Scar1 loss does not impair the formation of dorsal ruffles. Reduction of Scar2 protein levels via small interfering RNA (siRNA) also did not affect dorsal ruffle production. In contrast, wiskostatin, a chemical inhibitor of N-WASP, potently suppressed dorsal ruffle formation in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, N-WASP and Arp2 siRNA treatment significantly decreased the formation of dorsal ruffles in MEFs. In addition, the expression of an N-WASP truncation mutant that cannot bind Arp2/3 complex blocked the formation of these structures. Finally, N-WASP(-/-) fibroblast-like cells generated aberrant dorsal ruffles. These ruffles were highly unstable, severely depleted of Arp2/3 complex, and diminished in size. We hypothesize that N-WASP and Arp2/3 complex are part of a multiprotein assembly important for the generation of dorsal ruffles and that Scar1 and Scar2 are dispensable for this process.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)678-687
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Biology of the Cell
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2006