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Colony stimulating factor-1 (CSF-1) regulates macrophage morphology and motility, as well as mononuclear phagocytic cell proliferation and differentiation. The CSF-1 receptor (CSF-1R) transduces these pleiotropic signals through autophosphorylation of eight intracellular tyrosine residues. We have used a novel bone-marrow-derived macrophage cell line system to examine specific signaling pathways activated by tyrosine-phosphorylated CSF-1R in macrophages. Screening of macrophages expressing a single species of CSF-1R with individual tyrosine-to-phenylalanine residue mutations revealed striking morphological alterations upon mutation of Y721. M⁻/⁻.Y721F cells were apolar and ruffled poorly in response to CSF-1. Y721-P-mediated CSF-1R signaling regulated adhesion and actin polymerization to control macrophage spreading and motility. Moreover, the reduced motility of M⁻/⁻.Y721F macrophages was associated with their reduced capacity to enhance carcinoma cell invasion. Y721 phosphorylation mediated the direct association of the p85 subunit of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) with the CSF-1R, but not that of phospholipase C (PLC) γ2, and induced polarized PtdIns(3,4,5)P₃ production at the putative leading edge, implicating PI3K as a major regulator of CSF-1-induced macrophage motility. The Y721-P-motif-based motility signaling was at least partially independent of both Akt and increased Rac and Cdc42 activation but mediated the rapid and transient association of an unidentified ~170 kDa phosphorylated protein with either Rac-GTP or Cdc42-GTP. These studies identify CSF-1R-Y721-P-PI3K signaling as a major pathway in CSF-1-regulated macrophage motility and provide a starting point for the discovery of the immediate downstream signaling events.

Original publication




Journal article


J Cell Sci

Publication Date





2021 - 2031


Animals, Cell Adhesion, Cell Differentiation, Cell Growth Processes, Cell Movement, Cells, Cultured, Coculture Techniques, Female, Gene Expression Regulation, Humans, Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor, Macrophages, Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental, Mice, Mice, Inbred BALB C, Mice, SCID, Neoplasm Invasiveness, Paxillin, Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases, Phosphorylation, Rats, Signal Transduction