Septins guide noncentrosomal microtubules to promote focal adhesion disassembly in migrating cells

Endothelial cell migration is critical for vascular angiogenesis and is compromised to facilitate tumor metastasis. The migratory process requires the coordinated assembly and disassembly of focal adhesions (FA), actin, and microtubules (MT). MT dynamics at FAs deliver vesicular cargoes and enhance actomyosin contractility to promote FA turnover and facilitate cell advance. Noncentrosomal (NC) MTs regulate FA dynamics and are sufficient to drive cell polarity, but how NC MTs target FAs to control FA turnover is not understood. Here, we show that Rac1 induces the assembly of FA-proximal septin filaments that promote NC MT growth into FAs and inhibit mitotic centromere-associated kinesin (MCAK)-associated MT disassembly, thereby maintaining intact MT plus ends proximal to FAs. Septin-associated MT rescue is coupled with accumulation of Aurora-A kinase and cytoplasmic linker-associated protein (CLASP) localization to the MT between septin and FAs. In this way, NC MTs are strategically positioned to undergo MCAK- and CLASP-regulated bouts of assembly and disassembly into FAs, thereby regulating FA turnover and cell migration.