A novel agent, methylophiopogonanone B, promotes Rho activation and tubulin depolymerization



Cytoskeletal reorganization, including reconstruction of actin fibers and microtubules, is essential for various biological processes, such as cell migration, proliferation and dendrite formation. We show here that methylophiopogonanone B (MOPB) induces cell morphological change via melanocyte dendrite retraction and stress fiber formation. Since members of the Rho family of small GTP-binding proteins act as master regulators of dendrite formation and actin cytoskeletal reorganization, and activated Rho promotes dendrite retraction and stress fiber formation, we studied the effects of MOPB on the small GTPases using normal human epidermal melanocytes and HeLa cells. In in vitro binding assay, MOPB significantly increased GTP-Rho, but not GTP-Rac or GTP-CDC42. Furthermore, a Rho inhibitor, a Rho kinase inhibitor and a small GTPase inhibitor each blocked MOPB-induced stress fiber formation. The effect of MOPB on actin reorganization was blocked in a Rho dominant negative mutant. These results suggest MOPB acts via the Rho signaling pathway, and it may directly or indirectly activate Rho. Quantitative Western blot analysis indicated that MOPB also induced microtubule destabilization and tubulin depolymerization. Thus, MOPB appears to induce Rho activation, resulting in actin cytoskeletal reorganization, including dendrite retraction and stress fiber formation.


actin cell morphology methylophiopogonanone B Rho tubulin 



methylophiopogonanone B


normal human epidermal melanocytes


Rho kinase


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.POLA LaboratoriesPOLA Chemical Industries, Inc.Totsuka-ku, YokohamaJapan

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