The Rottapel Lab


GEF-H1 is necessary for neutrophil shear stress-induced migration during inflammation.

Fine N, Dimitriou ID, Rullo J, Sandí MJ, Petri B, Haitsma J, Ibrahim H, La Rose J, Glogauer M, Kubes P, Cybulsky M, Rottapel R.

J Cell Biol. 2016 Oct 10;215(1):107-119. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201603109

Leukocyte crawling and transendothelial migration (TEM) are potentiated by shear stress caused by blood flow. The mechanism that couples shear stress to migration has not been fully elucidated. We found that mice lacking GEF-H1 (GEF-H1−/−), a RhoA-specific guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF), displayed limited migration and recruitment of neutrophils into inflamed tissues. GEF-H1−/− leukocytes were deficient in in vivo crawling and TEM in the postcapillary venules. We demonstrated that although GEF-H1 deficiency had little impact on the migratory properties of neutrophils under static conditions, shear stress triggered GEF-H1–dependent spreading and crawling of neutrophils and relocalization of GEF-H1 to flotillin-2–rich uropods. Our results identify GEF-H1 as a component of the shear stress response machinery in neutrophils required for a fully competent immune response to bacterial infection.