The PI3K-mediated activation of CRAC independently regulates adenylyl cyclase activation and chemotaxis.
The ability of a cell to detect an external chemical signal and initiate a program of directed migration along a gradient comprises the fundamental process called chemotaxis. Investigations in Dictyostelium discoideum and neutrophils have established that pleckstrin homology (PH) domain-containing proteins that bind to the PI3K products PI(3,4)P2 and PI(3,4,5)P3, such as CRAC (cytosolic regulator of adenylyl cyclase) and Akt/PKB, translocate specifically to the leading edge of chemotaxing cells. CRAC is essential for the chemoattractant-mediated activation of the adenylyl cyclase ACA, which converts ATP into cAMP, the primary chemoattractant for D. discoideum. The mechanisms by which CRAC activates ACA remain to be determined. We now show that in addition to its essential role in the activation of ACA, CRAC is involved in regulating chemotaxis. Through mutagenesis, we show that these two functions are independently regulated downstream of PI3K. A CRAC mutant that has lost the capacity to bind PI3K products does not support chemotaxis and shows minimal ACA activation. Finally, overexpression of CRAC and various CRAC mutants show strong effects on ACA activation with little effect on chemotaxis. These findings establish that chemoattractant-mediated activation of PI3K is important for the CRAC-dependent regulation of both chemotaxis and adenylyl cyclase activation.