Walid Kuri Harcuch
Department of Cell Biology, Confocal Microscopy Unit, Centro de Investigacion y Estudios Avanzados del IPN. Apdo. Postal 14-740, México City, 07000
Human epidermal stem cells require the interaction of vimentin with keratin for migration.
Vimentin mechanism of action in epithelial cell migration is unknown. In migrating epidermal stem cells, we found vimentin co-localizing with keratin 14 at the cell leading edge. Vimentin was in the cytoplasm below the nucleus closest to the cell substrate. We demonstrated this interaction by co-immunoprecipitation of endogenous proteins with antibodies against vimentin and keratin 14. By loss-of-function experiments we found that vimentin is involved in cell migration and proliferation, and by site directed mutagenesis we showed that it interacts through its –YRKLLEGEE- sequence with keratins at the helical 2B domain for cell migration. Our data demonstrates that keratinocytes migrate through a mechanism requiring the interaction of vimentin and keratins in dipolid epithelial cells.