To study the function of the endogenous ARF6 GTP binding protein in cells, we generated an antibody which specifically recognizes ARF6, and not the other ARF proteins. Using this antibody, ARF6 was detected in all mouse organs tested and in a variety of cultured cell lines including RBL, MDCK, NRK, BHK, COS, and HeLa cells. In NRK cells, by immunofluorescence, ARF6 localized to the plasma membrane, especially at regions exhibiting membrane ruffling, and was also concentrated in a fine punctate distribution in the juxtanuclear region. This pattern of localization of the endogenous protein was similar to the localization of ARF6 when overexpressed in NRK, or HeLa, cells. Treatments which perturb cortical actin in NRK cells, such as replating of cells after trypsinization or treatment with phorbol ester, resulted in the recruitment of endogenous ARF6 to the regions of cortical actin rearrangement. ARF6 activation and subsequent membrane recycling was required for cell spreading activity since expression of the dominant-negative, GTP-binding defective mutant of ARF6, T27N, previously shown to inhibit ARF6-regulated membrane recycling, inhibited cell attachment and spreading in HeLa cells. Furthermore, phorbol ester treatment enhanced the cell spreading activities in NRK cells, and in HeLa cells, but was not observed in cells expressing T27N. Taken together, these observations support a role for endogenous ARF6 in modeling the plasma membrane and cortical actin cytoskeleton.
- © 1998 by Company of Biologists