Document Type


Publication Date

February 2011


Dendritic cells (DCs) play central roles in innate and adaptive immunity. Upon maturation, DCs assemble numerous veil-like membrane protrusions, disassemble podosomes, and travel from the peripheral tissues to lymph nodes to present Ags to T cells. These alterations in morphology and motility are closely linked to the primary function of DCs, Ag presentation. However, it is unclear how and what cytoskeletal proteins control maturation-associated alterations, in particular, the change in cell migration. Fascin1, an actin-bundling protein, is specifically and greatly induced upon maturation, suggesting a unique role for fascin1 in mature DCs. To determine the physiological roles of fascin1, we characterized bone marrow-derived, mature DCs from fascin1 knockout mice. We found that fascin1 is critical for cell migration: fascin1-null DCs exhibit severely decreased membrane protrusive activity. Importantly, fascin1-null DCs have lower chemotactic activity toward CCL19 (a chemokine for mature DCs) in vitro, and in vivo, Langerhans cells show reduced emigration into draining lymph nodes. Morphologically, fascin1-null mature DCs are flatter and fail to disassemble podosomes, a specialized structure for cell-matrix adhesion. Expression of exogenous fascin1 in fascin1-null DCs rescues the defects in membrane protrusive activity, as well as in podosome disassembly. These results indicate that fascin1 positively regulates migration of mature DCs into lymph nodes, most likely by increasing dynamics of membrane protrusions, as well as by disassembling podosomes.