Holst MR, Vidal-Quadras M, Larsson E, Song J, Hubert M, Blomberg J, Lundborg M, Landström M, Lundmark R
Cell Reports 20 (8) 1893-1905 [2017-08-22; online 2017-08-24]
Cellular blebbing, caused by local alterations in cell-surface tension, has been shown to increase the invasiveness of cancer cells. However, the regulatory mechanisms balancing cell-surface dynamics and bleb formation remain elusive. Here, we show that an acute reduction in cell volume activates clathrin-independent endocytosis. Hence, a decrease in surface tension is buffered by the internalization of the plasma membrane (PM) lipid bilayer. Membrane invagination and endocytosis are driven by the tension-mediated recruitment of the membrane sculpting and GTPase-activating protein GRAF1 (GTPase regulator associated with focal adhesion kinase-1) to the PM. Disruption of this regulation by depleting cells of GRAF1 or mutating key phosphatidylinositol-interacting amino acids in the protein results in increased cellular blebbing and promotes the 3D motility of cancer cells. Our data support a role for clathrin-independent endocytic machinery in balancing membrane tension, which clarifies the previously reported role of GRAF1 as a tumor suppressor.