Calmodulin downregulation in conditional knockout HeLa cells inhibits cell migration

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The study of calmodulin (CaM) functions in living cells has been tackled up to date using cell-permeant CaM inhibitors or interference-RNA methods. CaM inhibitors may lack specificity and the siRNA interference approach is challenging, as all three CaM genes expressing an identical protein in mammals have to be blocked. Therefore, we recently introduced a novel genetic system using CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene deletion and conditional CaM expression to study the function of CaM in HeLa cells. Here, we describe the effect of CaM downregulation on the basal and epidermal growth factor (EGF)-dependent 2D- and 3D-migration in HeLa cells. CaM downregulation inhibited cell migration on a 2D-surface in the absence but not in the presence of EGF. In contrast, CaM downregulation led to inhibition of 3D-migration across a porous membrane both in the absence and presence of EGF. CaM downregulation decreased the expression of Rac1, Cdc42 and RhoA, all known to play crucial roles in cell migration. These results show that EGF-dependent 2D- and 3D-migration utilize distinct CaM-regulated systems and identify several essential migratory proteins directly or indirectly regulated by CaM.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108680
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Research areas

  • Calmodulin, Cdc42, Cell migration, Conditional knock-out cells, Rac1, RhoA

ID: 254778611