To control their movement, cells need to coordinate actin assembly with the geometric features of their substrate. Here, we uncover a role for the actin regulator WASP in the 3D migration of neutrophils. We show that WASP responds to substrate topology by enriching to sites of inward, substrate-induced membrane deformation. Superresolution imaging reveals that WASP preferentially enriches to the necks of these substrate-induced invaginations, a distribution that could support substrate pinching. WASP facilitates recruitment of the Arp2/3 complex to these sites, stimulating local actin assembly that couples substrate features with the cytoskeleton. Surprisingly, WASP only enriches to membrane deformations in the front half of the cell, within a permissive zone set by WASP's front-biased regulator Cdc42. While WASP KO cells exhibit relatively normal migration on flat substrates, they are defective at topology-directed migration. Our data suggest that WASP integrates substrate topology with cell polarity by selectively polymerizing actin around substrate-induced membrane deformations in the front half of the cell.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology