Cell migration is a fundamental biological process involving membrane polarization and cytoskeletal dynamics, both of which are regulated by Rho family GTPases. Among these molecules, Rac is crucial for generating the actin-rich lamellipodial protrusion, a principal part of the driving force for movement. The CDM family proteins, Caenorhabditis elegans CED-5, human DOCK180 and Drosophila melanogaster Myoblast City (MBC), are implicated to mediate membrane extension by functioning upstream of Rac. Although genetic analysis has shown that CED-5 and Myoblast City are crucial for migration of particular types of cells, physiological relevance of the CDM family proteins in mammals remains unknown. Here we show that DOCK2, a haematopoietic cell-specific CDM family protein, is indispensable for lymphocyte chemotaxis. DOCK2-deficient mice (DOCK2-/-) exhibited migration defects of T and B lymphocytes, but not of monocytes, in response to chemokines, resulting in several abnormalities including T lymphocytopenia, atrophy of lymphoid follicles and loss of marginal-zone B cells. In DOCK2-/- lymphocytes, chemokine-induced Rac activation and actin poly- merization were almost totally abolished. Thus, in lymphocyte migration DOCK2 functions as a central regulator that mediates cytoskeletal reorganization through Rac activation.
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