SLIT2/ROBO1-signaling inhibits macropinocytosis by opposing cortical cytoskeletal remodeling

Vikrant K. Bhosle, Tapas Mukherjee, Yi Wei Huang, Sajedabanu Patel, Bo Wen (Frank) Pang, Guang Ying Liu, Michael Glogauer, Jane Y. Wu, Dana J. Philpott, Sergio Grinstein, Lisa A. Robinson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Macropinocytosis is essential for myeloid cells to survey their environment and for growth of RAS-transformed cancer cells. Several growth factors and inflammatory stimuli are known to induce macropinocytosis, but its endogenous inhibitors have remained elusive. Stimulation of Roundabout receptors by Slit ligands inhibits directional migration of many cell types, including immune cells and cancer cells. We report that SLIT2 inhibits macropinocytosis in vitro and in vivo by inducing cytoskeletal changes in macrophages. In mice, SLIT2 attenuates the uptake of muramyl dipeptide, thereby preventing NOD2-dependent activation of NF-κB and consequent secretion of pro-inflammatory chemokine, CXCL1. Conversely, blocking the action of endogenous SLIT2 enhances CXCL1 secretion. SLIT2 also inhibits macropinocytosis in RAS-transformed cancer cells, thereby decreasing their survival in nutrient-deficient conditions which resemble tumor microenvironment. Our results identify SLIT2 as a physiological inhibitor of macropinocytosis and challenge the conventional notion that signals that enhance macropinocytosis negatively regulate cell migration, and vice versa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4112
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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