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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17798

Title: Effective Neutrophil Activation During Innate Immunity: Understanding the Specific Roles of Rac1 and Rac2
Authors: Magalhaes, Marco Antonio de Oliveira
Advisor: Ellen, Richard P.
Glogauer, Michael
Department: Dentistry
Keywords: Neutrophil biology
Innate immunity
Inflammation
small GTPases
Issue Date: 24-Sep-2009
Abstract: Neutrophils migrate rapidly towards a site of inflammation and mediate bacterial killing through highly regulated pathways that involve the phagocytosis of bacteria and the generation of reactive oxygen species by the NADPH oxidase complex. The Rac small GTPases have prominent roles in the regulation of neutrophil signaling pathways but the research strategies used to analyze their functions in live cells have been limited, since neutrophils are terminally differentiated and difficult to manipulate genetically. In this thesis, I describe a novel high efficiency protocol for transiently transfecting neutrophils that allowed me to investigate the roles of Rac1 and Rac2 in neutrophils in a completely new way, in real time. Using this technique, I show that a bacterial protein known to inhibit chemotaxis in vitro, selectively inhibits Rac1 activation downstream of fMLP stimulation and inhibits neutrophils polarization. Further dissecting the roles of Rac isoforms, I used various approaches to show that Rac1 and Rac2 differentially regulate free-barbed end (FBE) formation downstream of the fMLP receptor. Rac1 is responsible for ~30% of FBE whereas Rac2 is the regulator of FBE formation (~70%) through the activation of cofilin and Arp2/3. Finally, these observations led to the analysis of the mechanisms underlying the Rac1 and Rac2 functions. I show that membrane charge determines Rac1 and Rac2 differential localization during phagocytosis and chemotaxis iii based on their different aminoacid residues in the polybasic domain. This mechanism depends on lipid metabolism and the accumulation of negatively charged lipids at cellular membranes. During chemotaxis, neutrophils have a polarized accumulation of negatively charged lipids at the leading edge membrane that selectively recruit Rac1. In contrast, the lipid metabolism that occurs at the phagosome membrane decreases its negativity and selectively recruits Rac2. All together, this thesis describes the study of primary neutrophil functions from a new angle and adds some valuable information to the comprehension of effective neutrophil activation based on the analysis of Rac isoforms.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17798
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Faculty of Dentistry - Doctoral theses

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Magalhaes_Marco_AO_200904_PhD_Thesis.pdfThesis manuscript4.59 MBAdobe PDF
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Magalhaes_Marco_AO_200604_PhD_supplemental movie 1.movchapter 5, movie S13.59 MBVideo Quicktime
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Magalhaes_Marco_AO_200604_PhD_supplemental movie 2.movchapter 5, movie S2408.82 kBVideo Quicktime
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Magalhaes_Marco_AO_200604_PhD_supplemental movie 3.movchapter 5, movie S3893.06 kBVideo Quicktime
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