Intact F-actin dynamics and myosin II function are essential for NET formation
Neutrophils from patients with rare inherited actin polymerization defects are impaired in NETosis
Neutrophils are important effector cells in the host defense against invading micro-organisms. One of the mechanisms they employ to eliminate pathogens is the release of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). Although NET release and subsequent cell death known as NETosis have been intensively studied, the cellular components and factors determining or facilitating the formation of NETs remain incompletely understood. Using various actin polymerization and myosin II modulators on neutrophils from healthy individuals, we show that intact F-actin dynamics and myosin II function are essential for NET formation when induced by different stimuli, i.e. phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate, monosodium urate crystals and Candida albicans. The role of actin polymerization in NET formation could not be explained by the lack of reactive oxygen species production or granule release, which were normal or enhanced under the given conditions. Neutrophils from patients with very rare inherited actin polymerization defects by either ARPC1B- or MKL1-deficiency also failed to show NETosis. We found that upon inhibition of actin dynamics there is a lack of translocation of NE to the nucleus, which may well explain the impaired NET formation. Collectively, our data illustrate the essential requirement of an intact and active actin polymerization process, as well as active myosin II to enable the release of nuclear DNA by neutrophils during NET formation.