Mammalian diaphanous-related formin 1 (mDia1) coordinates mast cell migration and secretion through its actin-nucleating activity

Ofir Klein, Rebecca A. Krier-Burris, Pia Lazki-Hagenbach, Yaara Gorzalczany, Yang Mei, Peng Ji, Bruce S. Bochner, Ronit Sagi-Eisenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Actin remodeling is a key regulator of mast cell (MC) migration and secretion. However, the precise mechanism underlying the coordination of these processes has remained obscure. Objective: We sought to characterize the actin rearrangements that occur during MC secretion or chemotactic migration and identify the underlying mechanism of their coordination. Methods: Using high-resolution microscopy, we analyzed the dynamics of actin rearrangements in MCs triggered to migration by IL-8 or prostaglandin E2 or to FcεRI-stimulated secretion. Results: We show that a major feature of the actin skeleton in MCs stimulated to migration is the buildup of pericentral actin clusters that prevent cell flattening and converge the secretory granules (SGs) in the cell center. This migratory phenotype is replaced on encounter of an IgE cross-linking antigen that stimulates secretion through a secretory phenotype characterized by cell flattening, reduction of actin mesh density, ruffling of cortical actin, and mobilization of SGs. Furthermore, we show that knockdown of mammalian diaphanous-related formin 1 (mDia1) inhibits chemotactic migration and its typical actin rearrangements, whereas expression of an active mDia1 mutant recapitulates the migratory actin phenotype and enhances cell migration while inhibiting FcεRI-triggered secretion. However, mice deficient in mDia1 appear to have normal numbers of MCs in various organs at baseline. Conclusion: Our results demonstrate a unique role of actin rearrangements in clustering the SGs and inhibiting their secretion during MC migration. We identify mDia1 as a novel regulator of MC response that coordinates MC chemotaxis and secretion through its actin-nucleating activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1074-1090
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2019


  • Mast cells
  • actin
  • chemotaxis
  • exocytosis
  • mammalian diaphanous-related formin 1


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