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1.  ARL4D Recruits Cytohesin-2/ARNO to Modulate Actin Remodeling 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2007;18(11):4420-4437.
ARL4D is a developmentally regulated member of the ADP-ribosylation factor/ARF-like protein (ARF/ARL) family of Ras-related GTPases. Although the primary structure of ARL4D is very similar to that of other ARF/ARL molecules, its function remains unclear. Cytohesin-2/ARF nucleotide-binding-site opener (ARNO) is a guanine nucleotide-exchange factor (GEF) for ARF, and, at the plasma membrane, it can activate ARF6 to regulate actin reorganization and membrane ruffling. We show here that ARL4D interacts with the C-terminal pleckstrin homology (PH) and polybasic c domains of cytohesin-2/ARNO in a GTP-dependent manner. Localization of ARL4D at the plasma membrane is GTP- and N-terminal myristoylation-dependent. ARL4D(Q80L), a putative active form of ARL4D, induced accumulation of cytohesin-2/ARNO at the plasma membrane. Consistent with a known action of cytohesin-2/ARNO, ARL4D(Q80L) increased GTP-bound ARF6 and induced disassembly of actin stress fibers. Expression of inactive cytohesin-2/ARNO(E156K) or small interfering RNA knockdown of cytohesin-2/ARNO blocked ARL4D-mediated disassembly of actin stress fibers. Similar to the results with cytohesin-2/ARNO or ARF6, reduction of ARL4D suppressed cell migration activity. Furthermore, ARL4D-induced translocation of cytohesin-2/ARNO did not require phosphoinositide 3-kinase activation. Together, these data demonstrate that ARL4D acts as a novel upstream regulator of cytohesin-2/ARNO to promote ARF6 activation and modulate actin remodeling.
PMCID: PMC2043562  PMID: 17804820
2.  Functional analysis of TbARL1, an N-myristoylated Golgi protein essential for viability in bloodstream trypanosomes 
Journal of cell science  2005;118(Pt 4):831-841.
Myristoyl-CoA:protein N-myristoyltransferase (NMT), an essential protein in Trypanosoma brucei and Leishmania major, catalyses the covalent attachment of the fatty acid myristate to the N-terminus of a range of target proteins. In order to define the essential targets contributing to lethality in the absence of NMT activity, we have focused on the ADP-ribosylation factor (Arf) family of GTP-binding proteins, as growth arrest in Saccharomyces cerevisiae mutants with reduced NMT activity correlates with a decrease in N-myristoylated Arf proteins. We have identified nine Arf/Arls in the T. brucei and T. cruzi genomes and ten in L. major. Characterization of the T. brucei ARL1 homologue has revealed that the protein is localized in the Golgi apparatus and is expressed only in the mammalian bloodstream form of the parasite and not in the insect procyclic stage. This is the only reported example to date of a differentially expressed ARL1 homologue in any species. We have used RNA interference to demonstrate that ARL1 is essential for viability in T. brucei bloodstream parasites. Prior to cell death, depletion of ARL1 protein in bloodstream parasites results in abnormal morphology, including disintegration of the Golgi structure, multiple flagella and nuclei, and the presence of large numbers of vesicles. The cells have only a minor apparent defect in endocytosis but exocytosis of variant surface glycoprotein to the parasite surface is significantly delayed. RNA interference of ARL1 in procyclic cells has no effect on parasite growth or morphology. Our results suggest that there may be different pathways regulating Golgi structure and function in the two major life cycle stages of T. brucei.
PMCID: PMC2705012  PMID: 15687105
Trypanosoma; ADP-ribosylation factor; RNA interference; Golgi proteins
3.  GTP-Binding-Defective ARL4D Alters Mitochondrial Morphology and Membrane Potential 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):e43552.
ARL4D, ARL4A, and ARL4C are closely related members of the ADP-ribosylation factor/ARF-like protein (ARF/ARL) family of GTPases. All three ARL4 proteins contain nuclear localization signals (NLSs) at their C-termini and are primarily found at the plasma membrane, but they are also present in the nucleus and cytoplasm. ARF function and localization depends on their controlled binding and hydrolysis of GTP. Here we show that GTP-binding-defective ARL4D is targeted to the mitochondria, where it affects mitochondrial morphology and function. We found that a portion of endogenous ARL4D and the GTP-binding-defective ARL4D mutant ARL4D(T35N) reside in the mitochondria. The N-terminal myristoylation of ARL4D(T35N) was required for its localization to mitochondria. The localization of ARL4D(T35N) to the mitochondria reduced the mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) and caused mitochondrial fragmentation. Furthermore, the C-terminal NLS region of ARL4D(T35N) was required for its effect on the mitochondria. This study is the first to demonstrate that the dysfunctional GTP-binding-defective ARL4D is targeted to mitochondria, where it subsequently alters mitochondrial morphology and membrane potential.
PMCID: PMC3424131  PMID: 22927989
4.  Dysregulated Arl1, a regulator of post-Golgi vesicle tethering, can inhibit endosomal transport and cell proliferation in yeast 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2011;22(13):2337-2347.
The yeast protein Gcs1 is a GTPase-activating protein (GAP) for Arf and Arl1 G-proteins that regulate distinct steps of vesicular transport. Absence of a GAP-independent function of Gcs1 results in dysregulated Arl1, which in turn impairs cell growth and endosomal transport. Impairing vesicle-tethering pathways removes dysregulated Arl1 and alleviates these defects.
Small monomeric G proteins regulated in part by GTPase-activating proteins (GAPs) are molecular switches for several aspects of vesicular transport. The yeast Gcs1 protein is a dual-specificity GAP for ADP-ribosylation factor (Arf) and Arf-like (Arl)1 G proteins, and also has GAP-independent activities. The absence of Gcs1 imposes cold sensitivity for growth and endosomal transport; here we present evidence that dysregulated Arl1 may cause these impairments. We show that gene deletions affecting the Arl1 or Ypt6 vesicle-tethering pathways prevent Arl1 activation and membrane localization, and restore growth and trafficking in the absence of Gcs1. A mutant version of Gcs1 deficient for both ArfGAP and Arl1GAP activity in vitro still allows growth and endosomal transport, suggesting that the function of Gcs1 that is required for these processes is independent of GAP activity. We propose that, in the absence of this GAP-independent regulation by Gcs1, the resulting dysregulated Arl1 prevents growth and impairs endosomal transport at low temperatures. In cells with dysregulated Arl1, an increased abundance of the Arl1 effector Imh1 restores growth and trafficking, and does so through Arl1 binding. Protein sequestration at the trans-Golgi membrane by dysregulated, active Arl1 may therefore be the mechanism of inhibition.
PMCID: PMC3128535  PMID: 21562219
5.  Role for Gcs1p in Regulation of Arl1p at Trans-Golgi CompartmentsD⃞ 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2005;16(9):4024-4033.
ADP-ribosylation factor (ARF) and ARF-like (ARL) proteins are members of the ARF family, which are critical components of several different vesicular trafficking pathways. ARFs have little or no detectable GTPase activity without the assistance of a GTPase-activating protein (GAP). Here, we demonstrate that yeast Gcs1p exhibits GAP activity toward Arl1p and Arf1p in vitro, and Arl1p can interact with Gcs1p in a GTP-dependent manner. Arl1p was observed both on trans-Golgi and in cytosol and was recruited from cytosol to membranes in a GTP-dependent manner. In gcs1 mutant cells, the fraction of Arl1p in cytosol relative to trans-Golgi was less than it was in wild-type cells. Increasing Gcs1p levels returned the distribution toward that of wild-type cells. Both Arl1p and Gcs1p influenced the distribution of Imh1p, an Arl1p effector. Our data are consistent with the conclusion that Arl1p moves in a dynamic equilibrium between trans-Golgi and cytosol, and the release of Arl1p from membranes in cells requires the hydrolysis of bound GTP, which is accelerated by Gcs1p.
PMCID: PMC1196316  PMID: 15975906
6.  ARL2 and BART Enter Mitochondria and Bind the Adenine Nucleotide Transporter 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2002;13(1):71-83.
The ADP-ribosylation factor-like 2 (ARL2) GTPase and its binding partner binder of ARL2 (BART) are ubiquitously expressed in rodent and human tissues and are most abundant in brain. Both ARL2 and BART are predominantly cytosolic, but a pool of each was found associated with mitochondria in a protease-resistant form. ARL2 was found to lack covalent N-myristoylation, present on all other members of the ARF family, thereby preserving the N-terminal amphipathic α-helix as a potential mitochondrial import sequence. An overlay assay was developed to identify binding partners for the BART·ARL2·GTP complex and revealed a specific interaction with a protein in bovine brain mitochondria. Purification and partial microsequencing identified the protein as an adenine nucleotide transporter (ANT). The overlay assay was performed on mitochondria isolated from five different tissues from either wild-type or transgenic mice deleted for ANT1. Results confirmed that ANT1 is the predominant binding partner for the BART·ARL2·GTP complex and that the structurally homologous ANT2 protein does not bind the complex. Cardiac and skeletal muscle mitochondria from ant1−/ant1− mice had increased levels of ARL2, relative to that seen in mitochondria from wild-type animals. We conclude that the amount of ARL2 in mitochondria is subject to regulation via an ANT1-sensitive pathway in muscle tissues.
PMCID: PMC65073  PMID: 11809823
7.  Bardet-Biedl Syndrome-associated Small GTPase ARL6 (BBS3) Functions at or near the Ciliary Gate and Modulates Wnt Signaling* 
The Journal of Biological Chemistry  2010;285(21):16218-16230.
The expansive family of metazoan ADP-ribosylation factor and ADP-ribosylation factor-like small GTPases is known to play essential roles in modulating membrane trafficking and cytoskeletal functions. Here, we present the crystal structure of ARL6, mutations in which cause Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS3), and reveal its unique ring-like localization at the distal end of basal bodies, in proximity to the so-called ciliary gate where vesicles carrying ciliary cargo fuse with the membrane. Overproduction of GDP- or GTP-locked variants of ARL6/BBS3 in vivo influences primary cilium length and abundance. ARL6/BBS3 also modulates Wnt signaling, a signal transduction pathway whose association with cilia in vertebrates is just emerging. Importantly, this signaling function is lost in ARL6 variants containing BBS-associated point mutations. By determining the structure of GTP-bound ARL6/BBS3, coupled with functional assays, we provide a mechanistic explanation for such pathogenic alterations, namely altered nucleotide binding. Our findings therefore establish a previously unknown role for ARL6/BBS3 in mammalian ciliary (dis)assembly and Wnt signaling and provide the first structural information for a BBS protein.
PMCID: PMC2871489  PMID: 20207729
Diseases; Protein/Structure; Centriole; Signal Transduction; Subcellular Organelles; ARL6; BBS3; Bardet-Biedl Syndrome; Cilia; Small GTPase
8.  The small GTPase ARL2 is required for cytokinesis in Trypanosoma brucei 
Graphical abstract
The Trypanosoma brucei orthologue of Arl2 is essential for viability in bloodstream form parasites. RNA interference causes inhibition of cleavage furrow formation and loss of acetylated α-tubulin.
The Arf-like (Arl) small GTPases have a diverse range of functions in the eukaryotic cell. Metazoan Arl2 acts as a regulator of microtubule biogenesis, binding to the tubulin-specific chaperone cofactor D. Arl2 also has a mitochondrial function through its interactions with BART and ANT-1, the only member of the Ras superfamily to be found in this organelle to date. In the present study, we describe characterization of the Arl2 orthologue in the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma brucei. Modulation of TbARL2 expression in bloodstream form parasites by RNA interference (RNAi) causes inhibition of cleavage furrow formation, resulting in a severe defect in cytokinesis and the accumulation of multinucleated cells. RNAi of TbARL2 also results in loss of acetylated α-tubulin but not of total α-tubulin from cellular microtubules. While overexpression of TbARL2myc also leads to a defect in cytokinesis, an excess of untagged protein has no effect on cell division, demonstrating the importance of the extreme C-terminus in correct function. TbARL2 overexpressing cells (either myc-tagged or untagged) have an increase in acetylated α-tubulin. Our data indicate that Arl2 has a fundamentally conserved role in trypanosome microtubule biogenesis that correlates with α-tubulin acetylation.
PMCID: PMC2913242  PMID: 20653091
ANT-1, adenine nucleotide transporter 1; Arf, ADP-ribosylation factor; Arl, ADP-ribosylation factor-like; BART, ARF-like 2-binding protein; BSF, bloodstream form; dsRNA, double-stranded RNA; ELMO, Engulfment and Cell Motility; ELMOD, Engulfment and Cell Motility Domain; ER, endoplasmic reticulum; FAZ, flagellum attachment zone; GAP, GTPase activating protein; HRG4, human retinal gene 4; NMT, myristoyl-CoA:protein N-myristoyltransferase; PP2A, protein phosphatase 2A; RNAi, RNA interference; RP2, retinitis pigmentosa 2; Trypanosoma brucei; Arl2; Cytokinesis; Tubulin acetylation
9.  Adp Ribosylation Factor-like Protein 2 (Arl2) Regulates the Interaction of Tubulin-Folding Cofactor D with Native Tubulin 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2000;149(5):1087-1096.
The ADP ribosylation factor-like proteins (Arls) are a family of small monomeric G proteins of unknown function. Here, we show that Arl2 interacts with the tubulin-specific chaperone protein known as cofactor D. Cofactors C, D, and E assemble the α/β- tubulin heterodimer and also interact with native tubulin, stimulating it to hydrolyze GTP and thus acting together as a β-tubulin GTPase activating protein (GAP). We find that Arl2 downregulates the tubulin GAP activity of C, D, and E, and inhibits the binding of D to native tubulin in vitro. We also find that overexpression of cofactors D or E in cultured cells results in the destruction of the tubulin heterodimer and of microtubules. Arl2 specifically prevents destruction of tubulin and microtubules by cofactor D, but not by cofactor E. We generated mutant forms of Arl2 based on the known properties of classical Ras-family mutations. Experiments using these altered forms of Arl2 in vitro and in vivo demonstrate that it is GDP-bound Arl2 that interacts with cofactor D, thereby averting tubulin and microtubule destruction. These data establish a role for Arl2 in modulating the interaction of tubulin-folding cofactors with native tubulin in vivo.
PMCID: PMC2174823  PMID: 10831612
Arls; G proteins; chaperones; microtubules; cytoskeleton
10.  The Leishmania ARL-1 and Golgi Traffic 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(2):e1620.
We present here the characterisation of the Leishmania small G protein ADP-Ribosylation Factor-Like protein 1 (ARL-1). The ARL-1 gene is present in one copy per haploid genome and conserved among trypanosomatids. It encodes a protein of 20 kDa, which is equally expressed in the insect promastigote and mammalian amastigote forms of the parasite. ARL-1 localises to the Trans-Golgi Network (TGN); N-terminal myristoylation is essential for TGN localisation. In vivo expression of the LdARL-1/Q74L and LdARL-1/T51N mutants (GTP- and GDP-bound blocked forms respectively) shows that GDP/GTP cycling occurs entirely within the TGN. This is contrary to previous reports in yeast and mammals, where the mutant empty form devoid of nucleotide has been considered as the GDP-blocked form. The dominant-negative empty form mutant LdARL-1/T34N inhibits endocytosis and intracellular trafficking from the TGN to the Lysosome/Multivesicular Tubule and to the acidocalcisomes; these defects are probably related to a mislocalisation of the GRIP domain-containing vesicle tethering factors which cannot be recruited to the TGN by the cytoplasmic LdARL-1/T34N. Thus, besides the functional characterization of a new mutant and a better understanding of ARL-1 GDP/GTP cycling, this work shows that Leishmania ARL-1 is a key component of an essential pathway worth future study.
PMCID: PMC2237903  PMID: 18286177
11.  Bayesian classification of residues associated with protein functional divergence: Arf and Arf-like GTPases 
Biology Direct  2010;5:66.
Certain residues within proteins are highly conserved across very distantly related organisms, yet their (presumably critical) structural or mechanistic roles are completely unknown. To obtain clues regarding such residues within Arf and Arf-like (Arf/Arl) GTPases--which function as on/off switches regulating vesicle trafficking, phospholipid metabolism and cytoskeletal remodeling--I apply a new sampling procedure for comparative sequence analysis, termed multiple category Bayesian Partitioning with Pattern Selection (mcBPPS).
The mcBPPS sampler classified sequences within the entire P-loop GTPase class into multiple categories by identifying those evolutionarily-divergent residues most likely to be responsible for functional specialization. Here I focus on categories of residues that most distinguish various Arf/Arl GTPases from other GTPases. This identified residues whose specific roles have been previously proposed (and in some cases corroborated experimentally and that thus serve as positive controls), as well as several categories of co-conserved residues whose possible roles are first hinted at here. For example, Arf/Arl/Sar GTPases are most distinguished from other GTPases by a conserved aspartate residue within the phosphate binding loop (P-loop) and by co-conserved residues nearby that, together, can form a network of salt-bridge and hydrogen bond interactions centered on the GTPase active site. Residues corresponding to an N-[VI] motif that is conserved within Arf/Arl GTPases may play a role in the interswitch toggle characteristic of the Arf family, whereas other, co-conserved residues may modulate the flexibility of the guanine binding loop. Arl8 GTPases conserve residues that strikingly diverge from those typically found in other Arf/Arl GTPases and that form structural interactions suggestive of a novel interswitch toggle mechanism.
This analysis suggests specific mutagenesis experiments to explore mechanisms underlying GTP hydrolysis, nucleotide exchange and interswitch toggling within Arf/Arl GTPases. More generally, it illustrates how the mcBPPS sampler can complement traditional evolutionary analyses by providing an objective, quantitative and statistically rigorous way to explore protein functional-divergence in molecular detail. Because the sampler classifies the input sequences at the same time, it can be used to generate subgroup profiles, in which functionally-divergent categories of residues are annotated automatically.
This article was reviewed by Frank Eisenhaber, L Aravind and Daniel Gaston (nominated by Eric Bapteste). For the full reviews, go to the Reviewers' comments section.
PMCID: PMC3012027  PMID: 21129209
12.  A role for the vesicle-associated tubulin binding protein ARL6 (BBS3) in flagellum extension in Trypanosoma brucei 
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta  2012;1823(7):1178-1191.
The small GTPase Arl6 is implicated in the ciliopathic human genetic disorder Bardet–Biedl syndrome, acting at primary cilia in recruitment of the octomeric BBSome complex, which is required for specific trafficking events to and from the cilium in eukaryotes. Here we describe functional characterisation of Arl6 in the flagellated model eukaryote Trypanosoma brucei, which requires motility for viability. Unlike human Arl6 which has a ciliary localisation, TbARL6 is associated with electron-dense vesicles throughout the cell body following co-translational modification by N-myristoylation. Similar to the related protein ARL-3A in T. brucei, modulation of expression of ARL6 by RNA interference does not prevent motility but causes a significant reduction in flagellum length. Tubulin is identified as an ARL6 interacting partner, suggesting that ARL6 may act as an anchor between vesicles and cytoplasmic microtubules. We provide evidence that the interaction between ARL6 and the BBSome is conserved in unicellular eukaryotes. Overexpression of BBS1 leads to translocation of endogenous ARL6 to the site of exogenous BBS1 at the flagellar pocket. Furthermore, a combination of BBS1 overexpression and ARL6 RNAi has a synergistic inhibitory effect on cell growth. Our findings indicate that ARL6 in trypanosomes contributes to flagellum biogenesis, most likely through an interaction with the BBSome.
Graphical abstract
► The BBSome-associated protein ARL6 localises to vesicles in Trypanosoma brucei. ► T. brucei ARL6 is N-myristoylated. ► RNAi knockdown causes a decrease in flagellum length but does not affect motility. ► TbARL6 binds to tubulin and has a relatively low affinity for guanine nucleotides. ► The BBSome subunit BBS1 and ARL6 are functionally linked in trypanosomes.
PMCID: PMC3793860  PMID: 22609302
Arf, ADP-ribosylation factor; Arl, ADP-ribosylation factor-like; Arl6ip, Arl6 interacting protein; BBS, Bardet–Biedl syndrome; BBS1, Bardet–Biedl syndrome 1 protein; BSF, bloodstream form; ConA, Concanavalin A; GEF, guanine nucleotide exchange factor; GPCR, G-protein coupled receptor; HRG4, human retinal gene 4; IFT, intraflagellar transport; ITC, isothermal titration calorimetry; MANT, N-methylanthraniloyl; MAP2, microtubule associated protein 2; NES, nuclear export signal; NLS, nuclear localisation signal; NMT, myristoyl-CoA:protein N-myristoyltransferase; PCF, procyclic form; PCM1, pericentriolar material 1; PFR, paraflagellar rod; PM, plasma membrane; RNAi, RNA interference; RP2, retinitis pigmentosa protein 2; TAP, tandem affinity purification; TiEM, transmission immuno-electron microscopy; Trypanosoma brucei; Arl6; BBSome; BBS1; Flagellum; Tubulin
13.  Analysis of Arf GTP-binding Protein Function in Cells 
This unit describes techniques and approaches that can be used to study the functions of the ADP-ribosylation factor (Arf) GTP-binding proteins in cells. There are 6 mammalian Arfs and many more Arf-like proteins (Arls) and these proteins are conserved in eukaryotes from yeast to man. Like all GTPases, Arfs cycle between GDP-bound, inactive and GTP-bound active conformations, facilitated by guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) and GTPase activating proteins (GAPs) that catalyze GTP binding and hydrolysis respectively. Here we describe approaches that can be taken to examine the localization and function of Arf and Arl proteins in cells (Protocol 1). We also provide a simple protocol for measuring activation (GTP-binding) of specific Arf proteins in cells using a pull-down assay (Protocol 2). We then discuss approaches that can be taken to assess function of GEFs and GAPs in cells (Protocol 3).
PMCID: PMC2969170  PMID: 20853342
Arf; GTP-binding proteins; guanine nucleotide exchange factors; GTPase activating proteins
14.  Deficiency of osteoblastic Arl6ip5 impaired osteoblast differentiation and enhanced osteoclastogenesis via disturbance of ER calcium homeostasis and induction of ER stress-mediated apoptosis 
Wu, Y | Yang, M | Fan, J | Peng, Y | Deng, L | Ding, Y | Yang, R | Zhou, J | Miao, D | Fu, Q
Cell Death & Disease  2014;5(10):e1464-.
ADP-ribosylation-like factor 6 interacting protein 5 (Arl6ip5), which belongs to the prenylated rab-acceptor-family, has an important role in exocytic protein trafficking, glutathione metabolism and involves in cancer progression. However, its expression pattern and functional role in bone are unknown. Here we demonstrate that Arl6ip5 knock-out mice (Arl6ip5 Δ2/Δ2) show marked decrease of bone mineral density, trabecular bone volume and trabecular thickness. Histomorphometric studies reveal that bone formation parameters are decreased but bone resorption parameters and mRNA level of osteoclast-specific markers are increased in Arl6ip5Δ2/Δ2 mice. In osteoblast, we demonstrate that Arl6ip5 abundantly expresses in osteoblastic cells and is regulated by bone metabolism-related hormones and growth factors. In vitro analysis reveals that osteoblast proliferation and differentiation are impaired in Arl6ip5 knocked-down and deficient primary osteoblast. Arl6ip5 is also found to function as an ER calcium regulator and control calmodulin signaling for osteoblast proliferation. Moreover, Arl6ip5 insufficiency in osteoblast induces ER stress and enhances ER stress-mediated apoptosis. CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein homologous protein (Chop) is involved in the regulation of apoptosis and differentiation in Arl6ip5 knocked-down osteoblasts. For osteoclastogenesis, Arl6ip5 insufficiency in osteoclast precursors has no effect on osteoclast formation. However, knocked-down osteoblastic Arl6ip5 induces receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL) expression and enhances osteoclastogenesis. In addition, ER stress and Chop are involved in the RANKL expression in Arl6ip5 knocked-down osteoblasts. In conclusion, we demonstrate that Arl6ip5 is a novel regulator of bone formation in osteoblasts.
PMCID: PMC4237252  PMID: 25321471
15.  The small G protein Arl5 contributes to endosome-to-Golgi traffic by aiding the recruitment of the GARP complex to the Golgi 
Biology Open  2015;4(4):474-481.
The small G proteins of the Arf family play critical roles in membrane trafficking and cytoskeleton organization. However, the function of some members of the family remains poorly understood including Arl5 which is widely conserved in eukaryotes. Humans have two closely related Arl5 paralogues (Arl5a and Arl5b), and both Arl5a and Arl5b localize to the trans-Golgi with Arl5b being involved in retrograde traffic from endosomes to the Golgi apparatus. To investigate the function of Arl5, we have used Drosophila melanogaster as a model system. We find that the single Arl5 orthologue in Drosophila also localizes to the trans-Golgi, but flies lacking the Arl5 gene are viable and fertile. By using both liposome and column based affinity chromatography methods we find that Arl5 interacts with the Golgi-associated retrograde protein (GARP) complex that acts in the tethering of vesicles moving from endosomes to the trans-Golgi network (TGN). In Drosophila tissues the GARP complex is partially displaced from the Golgi when Arl5 is absent, and the late endosomal compartment is enlarged. In addition, in HeLa cells GARP also becomes cytosolic upon depletion of Arl5b. These phenotypes are consistent with a role in endosome-to-Golgi traffic, but are less severe than loss of GARP itself. Thus it appears that Arl5 is one of the factors that directs the recruitment of the GARP complex to the trans-Golgi, and this function is conserved in both flies and humans.
PMCID: PMC4400590  PMID: 25795912
Membrane traffic; Golgi apparatus; Arf family GTPase
16.  Arl13b regulates ciliogenesis and the dynamic localization of Shh signaling proteins 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2011;22(23):4694-4703.
We show Arl13b is localized to the ciliary membrane and regulates tubulin modifications and ciliary length in vitro. Significantly, we found that Smoothened is enriched in Arl13b null fibroblasts, even without Sonic hedgehog stimulation, but that Glis are not similarly enriched.
Arl13b, a ciliary protein within the ADP-ribosylation factor family and Ras superfamily of GTPases, is required for ciliary structure but has poorly defined ciliary functions. In this paper, we further characterize the role of Arl13b in cilia by examining mutant cilia in vitro and determining the localization and dynamics of Arl13b within the cilium. Previously, we showed that mice lacking Arl13b have abnormal Sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling; in this study, we show the dynamics of Shh signaling component localization to the cilium are disrupted in the absence of Arl13b. Significantly, we found Smoothened (Smo) is enriched in Arl13b-null cilia regardless of Shh pathway stimulation, indicating Arl13b regulates the ciliary entry of Smo. Furthermore, our analysis defines a role for Arl13b in regulating the distribution of Smo within the cilium. These results suggest that abnormal Shh signaling in Arl13b mutant embryos may result from defects in protein localization and distribution within the cilium.
PMCID: PMC3226485  PMID: 21976698
17.  Structural Basis for Membrane Targeting of the BBSome by ARL6 
Nature structural & molecular biology  2014;21(12):1035-1041.
The BBSome is a coat-like ciliary trafficking complex composed of proteins mutated in Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS). A critical step in BBSome-mediated sorting is recruitment of the BBSome to membranes by the GTP-bound Arf-like GTPase ARL6. We have determined crystal structures of C.reinhardtii ARL6-GDP, ARL6-GTP and the ARL6-GTP-BBS1 complex. The structures demonstrate how ARL6-GTP binds the BBS1 β-propeller at blades 1 and 7 and explain why GTP–but not GDP–bound ARL6 can recruit the BBSome to membranes. Single point mutations in the ARL6-GTP-BBS1 interface abolish the interaction of ARL6 with the BBSome and prevent the import of BBSomes into cilia. Furthermore, we show that BBS1 with the M390R mutation, responsible for 30% of all reported BBS disease cases, fails to interact with ARL6-GTP providing a molecular rationale for patient pathologies.
PMCID: PMC4255524  PMID: 25402481
18.  Structural Basis for Membrane Targeting of the BBSome by ARL6 
Nature structural & molecular biology  2014;21(12):1035-1041.
The BBSome is a coat-like ciliary trafficking complex composed of proteins mutated in Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS). A critical step in BBSome-mediated sorting is recruitment of the BBSome to membranes by the GTP–bound Arf-like GTPase ARL6. We have determined crystal structures of C. reinhardtii ARL6–GDP, ARL6–GTP and the ARL6–GTP–BBS1 complex. The structures demonstrate how ARL6–GTP binds the BBS1 β-propeller at blades 1 and 7 and explain why GTP– but not GDP–bound ARL6 can recruit the BBSome to membranes. Single point mutations in the ARL6–GTP–BBS1 interface abolish the interaction of ARL6 with the BBSome and prevent the import of BBSomes into cilia. Furthermore, we show that BBS1 with the M390R mutation, responsible for 30% of all reported BBS disease cases, fails to interact with ARL6–GTP providing a molecular rationale for patient pathologies.
PMCID: PMC4255524  PMID: 25402481
19.  Arf-like GTPase Arl8b regulates lytic granule polarization and natural killer cell–mediated cytotoxicity 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2013;24(23):3721-3735.
By exploiting NK cell LROs (known as lytic granules) as a model, a new role is defined for Arl8b in regulating motility and exocytosis of lytic granules of NK cells. Not only lytic granules but also the MTOC is unable to polarize toward the immune synapse formed between the NK cell and its target in Arl8b-depleted NK cells.
Natural killer (NK) lymphocytes contain lysosome-related organelles (LROs), known as lytic granules, which upon formation of immune synapse with the target cell, polarize toward the immune synapse to deliver their contents to the target cell membrane. Here, we identify a small GTP-binding protein, ADP-ribosylation factor-like 8b (Arl8b), as a critical factor required for NK cell–mediated cytotoxicity. Our findings indicate that Arl8b drives the polarization of lytic granules and microtubule-organizing centers (MTOCs) toward the immune synapse between effector NK lymphocytes and target cells. Using a glutathione S-transferase pull-down approach, we identify kinesin family member 5B (KIF5B; the heavy chain of kinesin-1) as an interaction partner of Arl8b from NK cell lysates. Previous studies showed that interaction between kinesin-1 and Arl8b is mediated by SifA and kinesin-interacting protein (SKIP) and the tripartite complex drives the anterograde movement of lysosomes. Silencing of both KIF5B and SKIP in NK cells, similar to Arl8b, led to failure of MTOC-lytic granule polarization to the immune synapse, suggesting that Arl8b and kinesin-1 together control this critical step in NK cell cytotoxicity.
PMCID: PMC3842998  PMID: 24088571
20.  MicroRNA-195 targets ADP-ribosylation factor-like protein 2 to induce apoptosis in human embryonic stem cell-derived neural progenitor cells 
Zhou, Y | Jiang, H | Gu, J | Tang, Y | Shen, N | Jin, Y
Cell Death & Disease  2013;4(6):e695-.
Neural progenitor cells (NPCs) derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) have great potential in cell therapy, drug screening and toxicity testing of neural degenerative diseases. However, the molecular regulation of their proliferation and apoptosis, which needs to be revealed before clinical application, is largely unknown. MicroRNA miR-195 is known to be expressed in the brain and is involved in a variety of proapoptosis or antiapoptosis processes in cancer cells. Here, we defined the proapoptotic role of miR-195 in NPCs derived from two independent hESC lines (human embryonic stem cell-derived neural progenitor cells, hESC-NPCs). Overexpression of miR-195 in hESC-NPCs induced extensive apoptotic cell death. Consistently, global transcriptional microarray analyses indicated that miR-195 primarily regulated genes associated with apoptosis in hESC-NPCs. Mechanistically, a small GTP-binding protein ADP-ribosylation factor-like protein 2 (ARL2) was identified as a direct target of miR-195. Silencing ARL2 in hESC-NPCs provoked an apoptotic phenotype resembling that of miR-195 overexpression, revealing for the first time an essential role of ARL2 for the survival of human NPCs. Moreover, forced expression of ALR2 could abolish the cell number reduction caused by miR-195 overexpression. Interestingly, we found that paraquat, a neurotoxin, not only induced apoptosis but also increased miR-195 and reduced ARL2 expression in hESC-NPCs, indicating the possible involvement of miR-195 and ARL2 in neurotoxin-induced NPC apoptosis. Notably, inhibition of miR-195 family members could block neurotoxin-induced NPC apoptosis. Collectively, miR-195 regulates cell apoptosis in a context-dependent manner through directly targeting ARL2. The finding of the critical role of ARL2 for the survival of human NPCs and association of miR-195 and ARL2 with neurotoxin-induced apoptosis have important implications for understanding molecular mechanisms that control NPC survival and would facilitate our manipulation of the neurological pathogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3702293  PMID: 23807224
miR-195; human neural progenitor cells; microRNA; apoptosis; ARL2; hESC
21.  The small GTPases ARL-13 and ARL-3 coordinate intraflagellar transport and ciliogenesis 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2010;189(6):1039-1051.
Cilia intraflagellar transport and ciliogenesis are regulated by two small GTPases that maintain binding between IFT subcomplexes.
Intraflagellar transport (IFT) machinery mediates the bidirectional movement of cargos that are required for the assembly and maintenance of cilia. However, little is known about how IFT is regulated in vivo. In this study, we show that the small guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase) adenosine diphosphate ribosylation factor–like protein 13 (ARL-13) encoded by the Caenorhabditis elegans homologue of the human Joubert syndrome causal gene ARL13B, localizes exclusively to the doublet segment of the cilium. arl-13 mutants have shortened cilia with various ultrastructural deformities and a disrupted association between IFT subcomplexes A and B. Intriguingly, depletion of ARL-3, another ciliary small GTPase, partially suppresses ciliogenesis defects in arl-13 mutants by indirectly restoring binding between IFT subcomplexes A and B. Rescue of arl-13 mutants by ARL-3 depletion is mediated by an HDAC6 deacetylase-dependent pathway. Thus, we propose that two conserved small GTPases, ARL-13 and ARL-3, coordinate to regulate IFT and that perturbing this balance results in cilia deformation.
PMCID: PMC2886347  PMID: 20530210
22.  Arl2 and Arl3 Regulate Different Microtubule-dependent ProcessesV⃞ 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2006;17(5):2476-2487.
Arl2 and Arl3 are closely related members of the Arf family of regulatory GTPases that arose from a common ancestor early in eukaryotic evolution yet retain extensive structural, biochemical, and functional features. The presence of Arl3 in centrosomes, mitotic spindles, midzones, midbodies, and cilia are all supportive of roles in microtubule-dependent processes. Knockdown of Arl3 by siRNA resulted in changes in cell morphology, increased acetylation of α-tubulin, failure of cytokinesis, and increased number of binucleated cells. We conclude that Arl3 binds microtubules in a regulated manner to alter specific aspects of cytokinesis. In contrast, an excess of Arl2 activity, achieved by expression of the [Q70L]Arl2 mutant, caused the loss of microtubules and cell cycle arrest in M phase. Initial characterization of the underlying defects suggests a defect in the ability to polymerize tubulin in the presence of excess Arl2 activity. We also show that Arl2 is present in centrosomes and propose that its action in regulating tubulin polymerization is mediated at centrosomes. Somewhat paradoxically, no phenotypes were observed Arl2 expression was knocked down or Arl3 activity was increased in HeLa cells. We conclude that Arl2 and Arl3 have related but distinct roles at centrosomes and in regulating microtubule-dependent processes.
PMCID: PMC1446103  PMID: 16525022
23.  ASAP1, a Phospholipid-Dependent Arf GTPase-Activating Protein That Associates with and Is Phosphorylated by Src 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1998;18(12):7038-7051.
Membrane trafficking is regulated in part by small GTP-binding proteins of the ADP-ribosylation factor (Arf) family. Arf function depends on the controlled exchange and hydrolysis of GTP. We have purified and cloned two variants of a 130-kDa phosphatidylinositol 4,5-biphosphate (PIP2)-dependent Arf1 GTPase-activating protein (GAP), which we call ASAP1a and ASAP1b. Both contain a pleckstrin homology (PH) domain, a zinc finger similar to that found in another Arf GAP, three ankyrin (ANK) repeats, a proline-rich region with alternative splicing and SH3 binding motifs, eight repeats of the sequence E/DLPPKP, and an SH3 domain. Together, the PH, zinc finger, and ANK repeat regions possess PIP2-dependent GAP activity on Arf1 and Arf5, less activity on Arf6, and no detectable activity on Arl2 in vitro. The cDNA for ASAP1 was independently identified in a screen for proteins that interact with the SH3 domain of the tyrosine kinase Src. ASAP1 associates in vitro with the SH3 domains of Src family members and with the Crk adapter protein. ASAP1 coprecipitates with Src from cell lysates and is phosphorylated on tyrosine residues in cells expressing activated Src. Both coimmunoprecipitation and tyrosine phosphorylation depend on the same proline-rich class II Src SH3 binding site required for in vitro association. By directly interacting with both Arfs and tyrosine kinases involved in regulating cell growth and cytoskeletal organization, ASAP1 could coordinate membrane remodeling events with these processes.
PMCID: PMC109286  PMID: 9819391
24.  The GTPase ARFRP1 controls the lipidation of chylomicrons in the Golgi of the intestinal epithelium 
Human Molecular Genetics  2012;21(14):3128-3142.
The uptake and processing of dietary lipids by the small intestine is a multistep process that involves several steps including vesicular and protein transport. The GTPase ADP-ribosylation factor-related protein 1 (ARFRP1) controls the ARF-like 1 (ARL1)-mediated Golgi recruitment of GRIP domain proteins which in turn bind several Rab-GTPases. Here, we describe the essential role of ARFRP1 and its interaction with Rab2 in the assembly and lipidation of chylomicrons in the intestinal epithelium. Mice lacking Arfrp1 specifically in the intestine (Arfrp1vil−/−) exhibit an early post-natal growth retardation with reduced plasma triacylglycerol and free fatty acid concentrations. Arfrp1vil−/− enterocytes as well as Arfrp1 mRNA depleted Caco-2 cells absorbed fatty acids normally but secreted chylomicrons with a markedly reduced triacylglycerol content. In addition, the release of apolipoprotein A-I (ApoA-I) was dramatically decreased, and ApoA-I accumulated in the Arfrp1vil−/− epithelium, where it predominantly co-localized with Rab2. The release of chylomicrons from Caco-2 was markedly reduced after the suppression of Rab2, ARL1 and Golgin-245. Thus, the GTPase ARFRP1 and its downstream proteins are required for the lipidation of chylo­microns and the assembly of ApoA-I to these particles in the Golgi of intestinal epithelial cells.
PMCID: PMC3384381  PMID: 22505585
25.  Genome-wide in silico screen for CCCH-type zinc finger proteins of Trypanosoma brucei, Trypanosoma cruzi and Leishmania major 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:283.
CCCH type zinc finger proteins are RNA binding proteins with regulatory functions at all stages of mRNA metabolism. The best-characterized member, tritetraproline (TTP), binds to AU rich elements in 3' UTRs of unstable mRNAs, mediating their degradation. In kinetoplastids, CCCH type zinc finger proteins have been identified as being involved in the regulation of the life cycle and possibly the cell cycle. To date, no systematic listing of CCCH proteins in kinetoplastids is available.
We have identified the complete set of CCCH type zinc finger proteins in the available genomes of the kinetoplastid protozoa Trypanosoma brucei, Trypanosoma cruzi and Leishmania major. One fifths (20%) of all CCCH motifs fall into non-conventional classes and many had not been previously identified. One third of all CCCH proteins have more than one CCCH motif, suggesting multivalent RNA binding. One third have additional recognizable domains. The vast majority are unique to Kinetoplastida or to a subgroup within. Two exceptions are of interest: the putative orthologue of the mRNA nuclear export factor Mex67 and a 3'-5' exoribonuclease restricted to Leishmania species. CCCH motifs are absent from these proteins in other organisms and might be unique, novel features of the Kinetoplastida homologues. Of the others, several have a predicted, and in one case experimentally confirmed, connection to the ubiquitination pathways, for instance a HECT-type E3 ubiquitin ligase. The total number of kinetoplastid CCCH proteins is similar to the number in higher eukaryotes but lower than in yeast. A comparison of the genomic loci between the Trypanosomatidae homologues provides insight into both the evolution of the CCCH proteins as well as the CCCH motifs.
This study provides the first systematic listing of the Kinetoplastida CCCH proteins. The number of CCCH proteins with more then one CCCH motif is larger than previously estimated, due to the identification of non-conventional CCCH motifs. Experimental approaches are now necessary to examine the functions of the many unique CCCH proteins as well as the function of the putative Mex67 and the Leishmania 3'-5' exoribonuclease.
PMCID: PMC2873481  PMID: 20444260

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