Protein prenylation is a widespread post-translational modification in eukaryotes that plays a crucial role in membrane targeting and signal transduction. RabGTPases is the largest group of post-translationally C-terminally geranylgeranylated. All Rabs are processed by Rab geranylgeranyl-transferase and Rab escort protein (REP). Human genetic defects resulting in the loss one of two REP isoforms REP-1, lead to underprenylation of RabGTPases that manifests in retinal degradation and blindness known as choroideremia. In this study we used a combination of microinjections and chemo-enzymatic tagging to establish whether Rab GTPases are prenylated and delivered to their target cellular membranes with the same rate. We demonstrate that although all tested Rab GTPases display the same rate of membrane delivery, the extent of Rab prenylation in 5 hour time window vary by more than an order of magnitude. We found that Rab27a, Rab27b, Rab38 and Rab42 display the slowest prenylation in vivo and in the cell. Our work points to possible contribution of Rab38 to the emergence of choroideremia in addition to Rab27a and Rab27b.
Rab escort proteins (REP) 1 and 2 are closely related mammalian proteins required for prenylation of newly synthesized Rab GTPases by the cytosolic heterodimeric Rab geranylgeranyl transferase II complex (RabGG transferase). REP1 in mammalian cells is the product of the choroideremia gene (CHM). CHM/REP1 deficiency in inherited disease leads to degeneration of retinal pigmented epithelium and loss of vision. We now show that amino acid residues required for Rab recognition are critical for function of the yeast REP homologue Mrs6p, an essential protein that shows 50% homology to mammalian REPs. Mutant Mrs6p unable to bind Rabs failed to complement growth of a mrs6Δ null strain and were found to be dominant inhibitors of growth in a wild-type MRS6 strain. Mutants were identified that did not affect Rab binding, yet prevented prenylation in vitro and failed to support growth of the mrs6Δ null strain. These results suggest that in the absence of Rab binding, REP interaction with RabGG transferase is maintained through Rab-independent binding sites, providing a molecular explanation for the kinetic properties of Rab prenylation in vitro. Analysis of the effects of thermoreversible temperature-sensitive (mrs6ts) mutants on vesicular traffic in vivo showed prenylation activity is only transiently required to maintain normal growth, a result promising for therapeutic approaches to disease.
choroideremia; REP1; CHM; vesicle traffic; MRS6
Rab proteins are regulators of vesicular trafficking, requiring a lipid modification for proper function, prenylation of C-terminal cysteines. This is catalysed by a complex of a catalytic heterodimer (Rab Geranylgeranyl Transferase – RabGGTase) and an accessory protein (Rab Escort Protein. REP). Components of this complex display domain insertions relative to paralogous proteins. The function of these inserted domains is unclear.
We profiled the domain architecture of the components of the Rab prenylation complex in evolution. We identified the orthologues of the components of the Rab prenylation machinery in 43 organisms, representing the crown eukaryotic groups. We characterize in detail the domain structure of all these components and the phylogenetic relationships between the individual domains.
We found different domain insertions in different taxa, in α-subunits of RGGTase and REP. Our results suggest that there were multiple insertions, expansions and contractions in the evolution of this prenylation complex.
Prenylation of Rab GTPases regulating vesicle traffic by Rab geranylgeranyltransferase (RabGGTase) requires a complex formed by the association of newly synthesized Rab proteins with Rab-escort-protein (REP), the choroideremia-gene-product that is mutated in disease, leading to loss of vision. After delivery to the membrane by the REP–Rab complex, subsequent recycling to the cytosol requires the REP-related guanine-nucleotide-dissociation-inhibitor (GDI). Although REP and GDI share common Rab-binding properties, GDI cannot assist in Rab prenylation and REP cannot retrieve Rab proteins from the membranes. We have now isolated REP mutant proteins that are able to partially function as both REP and GDI. These results provide molecular insight into the functional and evolutionary organization of the REP/GDI superfamily.
Vesicular trafficking is crucial for bone resorption by osteoclasts, in particular for formation of the ruffled border membrane and for removal of the resultant bone degradation products by transcytosis. These processes are regulated by Rab family GTPases, whose activity is dependent on post-translational prenylation by Rab geranylgeranyl transferase (RGGT). Specific pharmacological inhibition of RGGT inhibits bone resorption in vitro and in vivo, illustrating the importance of Rab prenylation for osteoclast function. The gunmetal (gm/gm) mouse bears a mutation in the catalytic subunit of RGGT, causing a loss of 75% of the activity of this enzyme and hence hypoprenylation of several Rabs in melanocytes, platelets and cytotoxic T cells. We have now found that prenylation of several Rab proteins is also defective in gm/gm osteoclasts. Moreover, while osteoclast formation and cytoskeletal polarization occurs normally, gm/gm osteoclasts exhibit a substantial reduction in resorptive activity in vitro compared with osteoclasts from +/gm mice, which do not have a prenylation defect. Surprisingly, rather than the osteosclerosis that would be expected to result from defective osteoclast function in vivo, gm/gm mice exhibited a slightly lower bone mass than +/gm mice, indicating that defects in other cell types, such as osteoblasts, in which hypoprenylation of Rabs was also detected, may contribute to the phenotype. However, gm/gm mice were partially protected from ovariectomy-induced bone loss, suggesting that levels of Rab prenylation in gm/gm osteoclasts may be sufficient to maintain normal physiological levels of activity, but not pathological levels of bone resorption in vivo.
osteoclast; bone resorption; bone; Rab; small GTPase; prenylation; gunmetal
The majority of Rab proteins are posttranslationally modified with two geranylgeranyl lipid moieties that enable their stable association with membranes. In this study, we present evidence to demonstrate that there is a specific lipid requirement for Rab protein localization and function. Substitution of different prenyl anchors on Rab GTPases does not lead to correct function. In the case of YPT1 and SEC4, two essential Rab genes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, alternative lipid tails cannot support life when present as the sole source of YPT1 and SEC4. Furthermore, our data suggest that double geranyl-geranyl groups are required for Rab proteins to correctly localize to their characteristic organelle membrane. We have identified a factor, Yip1p that specifically binds the di-geranylgeranylated Rab and does not interact with mono-prenylated Rab proteins. This is the first demonstration that the double prenylation modification of Rab proteins is an important feature in the function of this small GTPase family and adds specific prenylation to the already known determinants of Rab localization.
Rab27a activity is affected in several mouse models of human disease including Griscelli (ashen mice) and Hermansky-Pudlak (gunmetal mice) syndromes. A loss of function mutation occurs in the Rab27a gene in ashen (ash), whereas in gunmetal (gm) Rab27a dysfunction is secondary to a mutation in the α subunit of Rab geranylgeranyl transferase, an enzyme required for prenylation and activation of Rabs. We show here that Rab27a is normally expressed in cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), but absent in ashen homozygotes (ash/ash). Cytotoxicity and secretion assays show that ash/ash CTLs are unable to kill target cells or to secrete granzyme A and hexosaminidase. By immunofluorescence and electron microscopy, we show polarization but no membrane docking of ash/ash lytic granules at the immunological synapse. In gunmetal CTLs, we show underprenylation and redistribution of Rab27a to the cytosol, implying reduced activity. Gunmetal CTLs show a reduced ability to kill target cells but retain the ability to secrete hexosaminidase and granzyme A. However, only some of the granules polarize to the immunological synapse, and many remain dispersed around the periphery of the CTLs. These results demonstrate that Rab27a is required in a final secretory step and that other Rab proteins also affected in gunmetal are likely to be involved in polarization of the granules to the immunological synapse.
Rab27a; cytotoxic T lymphocyte; secretory lysosomes; immunological synapse; Arp2/3
C-terminal lipid modifications are essential for the interaction of Ras-related proteins with membranes. While all Ras proteins are farnesylated and some palmitoylated, the majority of other Ras-related proteins are geranylgeranylated. One such protein, Rab6, is associated with the Golgi apparatus and has a C-terminal CXC motif that is geranylgeranylated on both cysteines. We show here that farnesylation alone cannot substitute for geranylgeranylation in targeting Rab6 to the Golgi apparatus and that whereas Ras proteins that are farnesylated and palmitoylated are targeted to the plasma membrane, mutant Rab proteins that are both farnesylated and palmitoylated associate with the Golgi apparatus. Using chimeric Ras-Rab proteins, we find that there are sequences in the N-terminal 71 amino acids of Rab6 which are required for Golgi complex localization and show that these sequences comprise or include the effector domain. The C-terminal hypervariable domain is not essential for the Golgi complex targeting of Rab6 but is required to prevent prenylated and palmitoylated Rab6 from localizing to the plasma membrane. Functional analysis of these mutant Rab6 proteins in Saccharomyces cerevisiae shows that wild-type Rab6 and C-terminal mutant Rab6 proteins which localize to the Golgi apparatus in mammalian cells can complement the temperature-sensitive phenotype of ypt6 null mutants. Interestingly, therefore, the C-terminal hypervariable domain of Rab6 is not required for this protein to function in S. cerevisiae.
Posttranslational modification of Rab proteins by geranylgeranyltransferase type II requires that they first bind to Rab escort protein (REP). Following prenylation, REP is postulated to accompany the modified GTPase to its specific target membrane. REP binds preferentially to Rab proteins that are in the GDP state, but the specific structural domains involved in this interaction have not been defined. In p21 Ras, the α2 helix of the Switch 2 domain undergoes a major conformational change upon GTP hydrolysis. Therefore, we hypothesized that the corresponding region in Rab1B might play a key role in the interaction with REP. Introduction of amino acid substitutions (I73N, Y78D, and A81D) into the putative α2 helix of Myc-tagged Rab1B prevented prenylation of the recombinant protein in cell-free assays, whereas mutations in the α3 and α4 helices did not. Additionally, upon transient expression in transfected HEK-293 cells, the Myc-Rab1B α2 helix mutants were not efficiently prenylated as determined by incorporation of [3H]mevalonate. Metabolic labeling studies using [32P]orthophosphate indicated that the poor prenylation of the Rab1B α2 helix mutants was not directly correlated with major disruptions in guanine nucleotide binding or intrinsic GTPase activity. Finally, gel filtration analysis of cytosolic fractions from 293 cells that were coexpressing T7 epitope-tagged REP with various Myc-Rab1B constructs revealed that mutations in the α2 helix of Rab1B prevented the association of nascent (i.e., nonprenylated) Rab1B with REP. These data indicate that the Switch 2 domain of Rab1B is a key structural determinant for REP interaction and that nucleotide-dependent conformational changes in this region are largely responsible for the selective interaction of REP with the GDP-bound form of the Rab substrate.
Rab geranylgeranyl transferase (RGGT) catalyzes the post-translational
geranylgeranyl (GG) modification of (usually) two C-terminal cysteines in Rab
GTPases. Here we studied the mechanism of the Rab geranylgeranylation reaction
by bisphosphonate analogs in which one phosphonate group is replaced by a
carboxylate (phosphonocarboxylate, PC). The phosphonocarboxylates used were
3-PEHPC, which was previously reported, and
acid ((+)-3-IPEHPC), a >25-fold more potent related compound as measured by
both IC50 and Ki.(+)-3-IPEHPC behaves as a
mixed-type inhibitor with respect to GG pyrophosphate (GGPP) and an
uncompetitive inhibitor with respect to Rab substrates. We propose that
phosphonocarboxylates prevent only the second GG transfer onto Rabs based on
the following evidence. First, geranylgeranylation of Rab proteins ending with
a single cysteine motif such as CAAX, is not affected by the
inhibitors, either in vitro or in vivo. Second, the addition
of an -AAX sequence onto Rab-CC proteins protects the substrate from
inhibition by the inhibitors. Third, we demonstrate directly that in the
presence of (+)-3-IPEHPC, Rab-CC and Rab-CXC proteins are modified by
only a single GG addition. The presence of (+)-3-IPEHPC resulted in a
preference for the Rab N-terminal cysteine to be modified first, suggesting an
order of cysteine geranylgeranylation in RGGT catalysis. Our results further
suggest that the inhibitor binds to a site distinct from the GGPP-binding site
on RGGT. We suggest that phosphonocarboxylate inhibitors bind to a GG-cysteine
binding site adjacent to the active site, which is necessary to align the
mono-GG-Rab for the second GG addition. These inhibitors may represent a novel
therapeutic approach in Rab-mediated diseases.
Rab21, a member of the Rab GTPase family, is known to be involved in membrane trafficking, but its implication in macropinocytosis is unclear. We analyzed the spatiotemporal localization of Rab21 in M-CSF-stimulated RAW264 macrophages by the live-cell imaging of fluorescent protein-fused Rab21. It was demonstrated that wild-type Rab21 was transiently associated with macropinosomes. Rab21 was recruited to the macropinosomes after a decrease in PI(4,5)P2 and PI(3,4,5)P3 levels. Although Rab21 was largely colocalized with Rab5, the recruitment of Rab21 to the macropinosomes lagged a minute behind that of Rab5, and preceded that of Rab7. Then, Rab21 was dissociated from the macropinosomes prior to the accumulation of Lamp1, a late endosomal/lysosomal marker. Our analysis of Rab21 mutants revealed that the GTP-bound mutant, Rab21-Q78L, was recruited to the macropinosomes, similarly to wild-type Rab21. However, the GDP-bound mutant, Rab21-T33N, did not localize on the formed macropinosomes, suggesting that the binding of GTP to Rab21 is required for the proper recruitment of Rab21 onto the macropinosomes. However, neither mutation of Rab21 significantly affected the rate of macropinosome formation. These data indicate that Rab21 is a transient component of early and intermediate stages of macropinocytosis, and probably functions in macropinosome maturation before fusing with lysosomal compartments.
Rab5 is a Ras-related GTP-binding protein that is post-translationally modified by prenylation. We report here that an N-terminal domain contained within the first 22 amino acids of Rab5 is critical for efficient geranylgeranylation of the protein's C-terminal cysteines. This domain is immediately upstream from the "phosphate binding loop" common to all GTP-binding proteins and contains a highly conserved sequence recognized among members of the Rab family, referred to here as the YXYLFK motif. A truncation mutant that lacks this domain (Rab5(23-215) fails to become prenylated. However, a chimeric peptide with the conserved motif replacing cognate Rab5 sequence (MAYDYLFKRab5(23-215) does become post-translationally modified, demonstrating that the presence of this simple six amino acid N-terminal element enables prenylation at Rab5's C-terminus. H-Ras/Rab5 chimeras that include the conserved YXYLFK motif at the N-terminus do not become prenylated, indicating that, while this element may be necessary for prenylation of Rab proteins, it alone is not sufficient to confer properties to a heterologous protein to enable substrate recognition by the Rab geranylgeranyl transferase. Deletion analysis and studies of point mutants further reveal that the lysine residue of the YXYLFK motif is an absolute requirement to enable geranylgeranylation of Rab proteins. Functional studies support the idea that this domain is not required for guanine nucleotide binding since prenylation-defective mutants still bind GDP and are protected from protease digestion in the presence of GTP gamma S. We conclude that the mechanism of Rab geranylgeranylation involves key elements of the protein's tertiary structure including a conserved N-terminal amino acid motif (YXYLFK) that incorporates a critical lysine residue.
Transgenic mice have proven to be a powerful system to study normal and pathological gene functions. Here we describe an attempt to generate a transgenic mouse model for choroideremia (CHM), a slow-onset X-linked retinal degeneration caused by mutations in the Rab Escort Protein-1 (REP1) gene. REP1 is part of the Rab geranylgeranylation machinery, a modification that is essential for Rab function in membrane traffic. The loss of REP1 in CHM patients may trigger retinal degeneration through its effects on Rab proteins. We have previously reported that Rab27a is the Rab most affected in CHM lymphoblasts and hypothesised that the selective dysfunction of Rab27a (and possibly a few other Rab GTPases) plays an essential role in the retinal degenerative process.
To investigate this hypothesis, we generated several lines of dominant-negative, constitutively-active and wild-type Rab27a (and Rab27b) transgenic mice whose expression was driven either by the pigment cell-specific tyrosinase promoter or the ubiquitous β-actin promoter. High levels of mRNA and protein were observed in transgenic lines expressing wild-type or constitutively active Rab27a and Rab27b. However, only modest levels of transgenic protein were expressed. Pulse-chase experiments suggest that the dominant-negative proteins, but not the constitutively-active or wild type proteins, are rapidly degraded. Consistently, no significant phenotype was observed in our transgenic lines. Coat-colour was normal, indicating normal Rab27a activity. Retinal function as determined by fundoscopy, angiography, electroretinography and histology was also normal.
We suggest that the instability of the dominant-negative mutant Rab27 proteins in vivo precludes the use of this approach to generate mouse models of disease caused by Rab27 GTPases.
Rab proteins are thought to function in the processes by which transport vesicles identify and/or fuse with their respective target membranes. The bulk of these proteins are membrane associated, but a measurable fraction can be found in the cytosol. The cytosolic forms of rab3A, rab11, and Sec4 occur as equimolar complexes with a class of proteins termed "GDIs," or "GDP dissociation inhibitors." We show here that the cytosolic form of rab9, a protein required for transport between late endosomes and the trans Golgi network, also occurs as a complex with a GDI-like protein, with an apparent mass of approximately 80 kD. Complex formation could be reconstituted in vitro using recombinant rab9 protein, cytosol, ATP, and geranylgeranyl diphosphate, and was shown to require an intact rab9 carboxy terminus, as well as rab9 geranylgeranylation. Monoprenylation was sufficient for complex formation because a mutant rab9 protein bearing the carboxy terminal sequence, CLLL, was prenylated in vitro by geranylgeranyl transferase I and was efficiently incorporated into 80-kD complexes. Purified, prenylated rab9 could also assemble into 80-kD complexes by addition of purified, rab3A GDI. Finally, rab3A-GDI had the capacity to solubilize rab9GDP, but not rab9GTP, from cytoplasmic membranes. These findings support the proposal that GDI proteins serve to recycle rab proteins from their target membranes after completion of a rab protein-mediated, catalytic cycle. Thus GDI proteins have the potential to regulate the availability of specific intracellular transport factors.
The RAB-5 and RAB-7 GTPases regulate endosome to lysosome trafficking. Here, we show that Caenorhabditis elegans TBC-2 functions as a RAB-5 GAP. TBC-2 colocalizes with RAB-7 on late endosomes, and requires RAB-7 for membrane localization where TBC-2 could function to antagonize RAB-5 activity during early to late endosome maturation.
During endosome maturation the early endosomal Rab5 GTPase is replaced with the late endosomal Rab7 GTPase. It has been proposed that active Rab5 can recruit and activate Rab7, which in turn could inactivate and remove Rab5. However, many of the Rab5 and Rab7 regulators that mediate endosome maturation are not known. Here, we identify Caenorhabditis elegans TBC-2, a conserved putative Rab GTPase-activating protein (GAP), as a regulator of endosome to lysosome trafficking in several tissues. We show that tbc-2 mutant animals accumulate enormous RAB-7–positive late endosomes in the intestine containing refractile material. RAB-5, RAB-7, and components of the homotypic fusion and vacuole protein sorting (HOPS) complex, a RAB-7 effector/putative guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF), are required for the tbc-2(−) intestinal phenotype. Expression of activated RAB-5 Q78L in the intestine phenocopies the tbc-2(−) large late endosome phenotype in a RAB-7 and HOPS complex-dependent manner. TBC-2 requires the catalytic arginine-finger for function in vivo and displays the strongest GAP activity on RAB-5 in vitro. However, TBC-2 colocalizes primarily with RAB-7 on late endosomes and requires RAB-7 for membrane localization. Our data suggest that TBC-2 functions on late endosomes to inactivate RAB-5 during endosome maturation.
Mannose 6-phosphate receptors (MPRs) are transported from endosomes to the trans-Golgi via a transport process that requires the Rab9 GTPase and the cargo adaptor TIP47. We have generated green fluorescent protein variants of Rab9 and determined their localization in cultured cells. Rab9 is localized primarily in late endosomes and is readily distinguished from the trans-Golgi marker galactosyltransferase. Coexpression of fluorescent Rab9 and Rab7 revealed that these two late endosome Rabs occupy distinct domains within late endosome membranes. Cation-independent mannose 6-phosphate receptors are enriched in the Rab9 domain relative to the Rab7 domain. TIP47 is likely to be present in this domain because it colocalizes with the receptors in fixed cells, and a TIP47 mutant disrupted endosome morphology and sequestered MPRs intracellularly. Rab9 is present on endosomes that display bidirectional microtubule-dependent motility. Rab9-positive transport vesicles fuse with the trans-Golgi network as followed by video microscopy of live cells. These data provide the first indication that Rab9-mediated endosome to trans-Golgi transport can use a vesicle (rather than a tubular) intermediate. Our data suggest that Rab9 remains vesicle associated until docking with the Golgi complex and is rapidly removed concomitant with or just after membrane fusion.
endosome; Rab9; Golgi complex; Rab7; TIP47
Rab GTPases are important determinants of organelle identity and regulators of vesicular transport pathways. Consequently, each Rab occupies a highly specific subcellular localization. However, the precise mechanisms governing Rab targeting remain unclear. Guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs), putative membrane-resident targeting factors and effector binding have all been implicated as critical regulators of Rab targeting. Here, we address these issues using Rab27a targeting to melanosomes as a model system. Rab27a regulates motility of lysosome-related organelles and secretory granules. Its effectors have been characterized extensively, and we have identified Rab3GEP as the non-redundant Rab27a GEF in melanocytes (Figueiredo AC et al. Rab3GEP is the non-redundant guanine nucleotide exchange factor for Rab27a in melanocytes. J Biol Chem 2008;283:23209–23216). Using Rab27a mutants that show impaired binding to representatives of all four Rab27a effector subgroups, we present evidence that effector binding is not essential for targeting of Rab27a to melanosomes. In contrast, we observed that knockdown of Rab3GEP resulted in mis-targeting of Rab27a, suggesting that Rab3GEP activity is required for correct targeting of Rab27a. However, the identification of Rab27a mutants that undergo efficient GDP/GTP exchange in the presence of Rab3GEP in vitro but are mis-targeted in a cellular context indicates that nucleotide loading is not the sole determinant of subcellular targeting of Rab27a. Our data support a model in which exchange activity, but not effector binding, represents one essential factor that contributes to membrane targeting of Rab proteins.
effectors; guanine nucleotide exchange factor; melanosome; Rab; targeting
A growing body of evidence implicates essential roles for small molecular weight G-proteins (e.g., Cdc42, Rac1, Arf6 and Rab3A and Rab27A) in islet β-cell function including glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS). One of the known mechanisms for optimal activation of small G-proteins involves post-translational prenylation, which is mediated by farnesyltransferase (FTase) and geranylgeranyl transferases (GGTases I and II). The FTase catalyzes incorporation of a 15-carbon farnesyl group while the GGTase mediates incorporation of a 20-carbon geranylgeranyl group into the C-terminal cysteines of G-proteins. The FTase, GGTase I and GGTase II prenylate Ras, Cdc42/Rac1, and Rab G-proteins, respectively. While considerable evidence exists on FTase/GGTase I-mediated regulation of GSIS, very little is known about GGTase II (also referred to as Rab GGTase; RGGT) and its regulatory proteins in the cascade of events leading to GSIS. Herein, we provide the first immunological evidence to suggest expression of α- and β-subunits of RGGT in clonal INS 832/13 β-cells, normal rat islets and human islets. Furthermore, Rab escort protein1 (REP1), which has been shown to be critical for prenylation of Rab G-proteins, is also expressed in these cells. Furthermore, evidence is presented to suggest that siRNA-mediated knockdown of α- or β-subunits of RGGT and REP1 markedly attenuates GSIS in INS 832/13 cells. These findings provide the first evidence in support of key roles for RGGT and its regulatory proteins in GSIS.
Geranylgeranylation; Rab G-proteins; Rab escort proteins; insulin secretion; pancreatic β-cells
Small GTPases of the rab family are crucial elements of the machinery
that controls membrane traffic. In the present study, we examined the
distribution and function of rab11. Rab11 was shown by confocal
immunofluorescence microscopy and EM to colocalize with internalized
transferrin in the pericentriolar recycling compartment of CHO and BHK
cells. Expression of rab11 mutants that are preferentially in the GTP- or
GDP-bound state caused opposite effects on the distribution of
transferrin-containing elements; rab11-GTP expression caused accumulation
of labeled elements in the perinuclear area of the cell, whereas rab11-GDP
caused a dispersion of the transferrin labeling. Functional studies showed
that the early steps of uptake and recycling for transferrin were not
affected by overexpression of rab11 proteins. However, recycling from the
later recycling endosome was inhibited in cells overexpressing the
rab11-GDP mutant. Rab5, which regulates early endocytic trafficking, acted
before rab11 in the transferrin-recycling pathway as expression of rab5-GTP
prevented transport to the rab11- positive recycling endosome. These
results suggest a novel role for rab11 in controlling traffic through the
The extent to which Rab GTPases, Rab-interacting proteins, and cargo molecules cooperate in the dynamic organization of membrane architecture remains to be clarified. Langerin, a recycling protein accumulating in the Rab11-positive compartments of Langerhans cells, induces the formation of Birbeck granules (BGs), which are membrane subdomains of the endosomal recycling network. We investigated the role of Rab11A and two members of the Rab11 family of interacting proteins, Rip11 and RCP, in Langerin traffic and the biogenesis of BGs. The overexpression of a dominant-negative Rab11A mutant or Rab11A depletion strongly influenced Langerin traffic and stability and the formation of BGs, whereas modulation of other Rab proteins involved in dynamic regulation of the endocytic-recycling pathway had no effect. Impairment of Rab11A function led to a missorting of Langerin to lysosomal compartments, but inhibition of Langerin degradation by chloroquine did not restore the formation of BGs. Loss of RCP, but not of Rip11, also had a modest, but reproducible effect on Langerin stability and BG biogenesis, pointing to a role for Rab11A–RCP complexes in these events. Our results show that Rab11A and Langerin are required for BG biogenesis, and they illustrate the role played by a Rab GTPase in the formation of a specialized subcompartment within the endocytic-recycling system.
Rab20 is a member of the Rab GTPase family, but its implication in macropinocytosis is unclear. We examined the spatiotemporal localization of Rab20 in RAW264 macrophages by the live-cell imaging of fluorescent protein-fused Rab20. It was shown that Rab20 was transiently associated with macropinosomal membranes. During the early stage of macropinosome formation, Rab20 was slightly localized on the circular ruffles (macropinocytic cups), the precursor forms of macropinosomes, and was increasingly recruited to the newly formed macropinosomes. Although Rab20 was colocalized with Rab5 and Rab21 on macropinosomal membranes, the association of Rab20 with macropinosomes persisted even after the dissociations of Rab5 and Rab21 from macropinosomal membranes. Rab20 was then colocalized with Rab7 and Lamp1, late endosomal/lysosomal markers, on macropinosomes for a while. Our data indicate that Rab20 is a novel component of macropinocytic pathway and functions at long-standing stages from early to late macropinosome maturation.
Rab20; macropinocytosis; macrophage; live-cell imaging; endocytosis
Rab GTPases are regulators of intracellular membrane traffic. We report a possible function of Rab27a, a protein implicated in several diseases, including Griscelli syndrome, choroideremia, and the Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome mouse model, gunmetal. We studied endogenous Rab27a and overexpressed enhanced GFP-Rab27a fusion protein in several cultured melanocyte and melanoma-derived cell lines. In pigmented cells, we observed that Rab27a decorates melanosomes, whereas in nonpigmented cells Rab27a colocalizes with melanosome-resident proteins. When dominant interfering Rab27a mutants were expressed in pigmented cells, we observed a redistribution of pigment granules with perinuclear clustering. This phenotype is similar to that observed by others in melanocytes derived from the ashen and dilute mutant mice, which bear mutations in the Rab27a and MyoVa loci, respectively. We also found that myosinVa coimmunoprecipitates with Rab27a in extracts from melanocytes and that both Rab27a and myosinVa colocalize on the cytoplasmic face of peripheral melanosomes in wild-type melanocytes. However, the amount of myosinVa in melanosomes from Rab27a-deficient ashen melanocytes is greatly reduced. These results, together with recent data implicating myosinVa in the peripheral capture of melanosomes, suggest that Rab27a is necessary for the recruitment of myosinVa, so allowing the peripheral retention of melanosomes in melanocytes.
Rab27a; GTP-binding proteins; vesicular transport; melanosome; myosinVa
The Rab7 GTPase promotes membrane fusion reactions between late endosomes and lysosomes. In previous studies, we demonstrated that Rab7 inactivation blocks growth factor withdrawal-induced cell death. These results led us to hypothesize that growth factor withdrawal activates Rab7. Here, we show that growth factor deprivation increased both the fraction of Rab7 that was associated with cellular membranes and the percentage of Rab7 bound to guanosine triphosphate (GTP). Moreover, expressing a constitutively GTP-bound mutant of Rab7, Rab7-Q67L, was sufficient to trigger cell death even in the presence of growth factors. This activated Rab7 mutant was also able to reverse the growth factor-independent cell survival conferred by protein kinase C (PKC) δ inhibition. PKCδ is one of the most highly induced proteins after growth factor withdrawal and contributes to the induction of apoptosis. To evaluate whether PKCδ regulates Rab7, we first examined lysosomal morphology in cells with reduced PKCδ activity. Consistent with a potential role as a Rab7 activator, blocking PKCδ function caused profound lysosomal fragmentation comparable to that observed when Rab7 was directly inhibited. Interestingly, PKCδ inhibition fragmented the lysosome without decreasing Rab7-GTP levels. Taken together, these results suggest that Rab7 activation by growth factor withdrawal contributes to the induction of apoptosis and that Rab7-dependent fusion reactions may be targeted by signaling pathways that limit growth factor-independent cell survival.
The Rab escort protein (REP) is an essential component of the heterotrimeric enzyme Rab geranylgeranyl transferase that modifies the carboxy-terminal cysteines of the Ras-like small G proteins belonging to the Rab/Ypt family. Deletions in the human CHM locus, encoding one of the two REPs known in humans, result in a retinal degenerative syndrome called choroideremia. The only known yeast homologue of the choroideremia gene product is encoded by an essential gene called MRS6. Besides three structurally conserved regions (SCRs) previously detected in the amino-terminal half of REPs and RabGDIs, three other regions in the carboxy-terminal domain (RCR 1-3) are here identified as being characteristic of REPs alone. We have performed the first mutational analysis of a REP protein to experimentally define the regions functionally important for Rab/Ypt protein binding, making use of the genetic system of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This analysis has shown that the SCRs are necessary but not sufficient for Ypt1p binding by the yeast REP, the carboxy-terminal region also being required.
Analysis of three different Rab-RabGEF pairs reveals that RabGEFs contain the minimal targeting machinery for recruiting Rabs to specific membranes.
Eukaryotic cells critically depend on the correct regulation of intracellular vesicular trafficking to transport biological material. The Rab subfamily of small guanosine triphosphatases controls these processes by acting as a molecular on/off switch. To fulfill their function, active Rab proteins need to localize to intracellular membranes via posttranslationally attached geranylgeranyl lipids. Each member of the manifold Rab family localizes specifically to a distinct membrane, but it is unclear how this specific membrane recruitment is achieved. Here, we demonstrate that Rab-activating guanosine diphosphate/guanosine triphosphate exchange factors (GEFs) display the minimal targeting machinery for recruiting Rabs from the cytosol to the correct membrane using the Rab-GEF pairs Rab5A–Rabex-5, Rab1A-DrrA, and Rab8-Rabin8 as model systems. Specific mistargeting of Rabex-5/DrrA/Rabin8 to mitochondria led to catalytic recruitment of Rab5A/Rab1A/Rab8A in a time-dependent manner that required the catalytic activity of the GEF. Therefore, RabGEFs are major determinants for specific Rab membrane targeting.