Annexin 2 has an essential role in actin-based macropinocytic rocketing

Christien J. Merrifield, Ursula Rescher, Wolfhard Almers, Jezabel Proust, Volker Gerke, Antonio S. Sechi, Stephen E. Moss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


Annexin 2 is a Ca2+ binding protein that binds to and aggregates secretory vesicles at physiological Ca2+ levels [1] and that also associates Ca2+ independently with early endosomes [2, 3]. These properties suggest roles in both exocytosis and endocytosis, but little is known of the dynamics of Annexin 2 distribution in live cells during these processes. We have used evanescent field microscopy to image Annexin 2-GFP in live, secreting rat basophilic leukemia cells and in cells performing pinocytosis. Although we found no evidence of Annexin 2 involvement in exocytosis, we observed an enrichment of Annexin 2-GFP in actin tails propeling macropinosomes. The association of Annexin 2-GFP with rocketing macropinosomes was specific because Annexin 2-GFP was absent from the actin tails of rocketing Listeria. This finding suggests that the association of Annexin 2 with macropinocytic rockets requires native pinosomal membrane. Annexin 2 is necessary for the formation of macropinocytic rockets since overexpression of a dominant-negative Annexin 2 construct abolished the formation of these structures. The same construct did not prevent the movement of Listeria in infected cells. These results show that recruitment of Annexin 2 to nascent macropinosome membranes is an essential prerequisite for actin polymerization-dependent vesicle locomotion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1136-1141
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Biology
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 24 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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