Polarized exocytosis is important for morphogenesis and cell growth. The exocyst is a multiprotein complex implicated in tethering secretory vesicles at specific sites of the plasma membrane for exocytosis. In the budding yeast, the exocyst is localized to sites of bud emergence or the tips of small daughter cells, where it mediates secretion and cell surface expansion. To understand how exocytosis is spatially controlled, we systematically analyzed the localization of Sec15p, a member of the exocyst complex and downstream effector of the rab protein Sec4p, in various mutants. We found that the polarized localization of Sec15p relies on functional upstream membrane traffic, activated rab protein Sec4p, and its guanine exchange factor Sec2p. The initial targeting of both Sec4p and Sec15p to the bud tip depends on polarized actin cable. However, different recycling mechanisms for rab and Sec15p may account for the different kinetics of polarization for these two proteins. We also found that Sec3p and Sec15p, though both members of the exocyst complex, rely on distinctive targeting mechanisms for their localization. The assembly of the exocyst may integrate various cellular signals to ensure that exocytosis is tightly controlled. Key regulators of cell polarity such as Cdc42p are important for the recruitment of the exocyst to the budding site. Conversely, we found that the proper localization of these cell polarity regulators themselves also requires a functional exocytosis pathway. We further report that Bem1p, a protein essential for the recruitment of signaling molecules for the establishment of cell polarity, interacts with the exocyst complex. We propose that a cyclical regulatory network contributes to the establishment and maintenance of polarized cell growth in yeast.
The exocyst complex localizes to distinct foci at the plasma membrane of Arabidopsis thaliana cells. Their localization at the plasma membrane is insensitive to BFA treatment but is decreased in an exocyst-subunit mutant. In turn, exocyst-subunit mutants show decreased exocytosis.
The exocyst complex, an effector of Rho and Rab GTPases, is believed to function as an exocytotic vesicle tether at the plasma membrane before soluble N-ethylmaleimide–sensitive factor attachment protein receptor (SNARE) complex formation. Exocyst subunits localize to secretory-active regions of the plasma membrane, exemplified by the outer domain of Arabidopsis root epidermal cells. Using variable-angle epifluorescence microscopy, we visualized the dynamics of exocyst subunits at this domain. The subunits colocalized in defined foci at the plasma membrane, distinct from endocytic sites. Exocyst foci were independent of cytoskeleton, although prolonged actin disruption led to changes in exocyst localization. Exocyst foci partially overlapped with vesicles visualized by VAMP721 v-SNARE, but the majority of the foci represent sites without vesicles, as indicated by electron microscopy and drug treatments, supporting the concept of the exocyst functioning as a dynamic particle. We observed a decrease of SEC6–green fluorescent protein foci in an exo70A1 exocyst mutant. Finally, we documented decreased VAMP721 trafficking to the plasma membrane in exo70A1 and exo84b mutants. Our data support the concept that the exocyst-complex subunits dynamically dock and undock at the plasma membrane to create sites primed for vesicle tethering.
Rab guanosine triphosphatases regulate intracellular membrane traffic by binding specific effector proteins. The yeast Rab Sec4p plays multiple roles in the polarized transport of post-Golgi vesicles to, and their subsequent fusion with, the plasma membrane, suggesting the involvement of several effectors. Yet, only one Sec4p effector has been documented to date: the exocyst protein Sec15p. The exocyst is an octameric protein complex required for tethering secretory vesicles, which is a prerequisite for membrane fusion. In this study, we describe the identification of a second Sec4p effector, Sro7p, which is a member of the lethal giant larvae tumor suppressor family. Sec4-GTP binds to Sro7p in cell extracts as well as to purified Sro7p, and the two proteins can be coimmunoprecipitated. Furthermore, we demonstrate the formation of a ternary complex of Sec4-GTP, Sro7p, and the t-SNARE Sec9p. Genetic data support our conclusion that Sro7p functions downstream of Sec4p and further imply that Sro7p and the exocyst share partially overlapping functions, possibly in SNARE regulation.
Activation of the rab GTPase, Sec4p, by its exchange factor, Sec2p, is needed for polarized transport of secretory vesicles to exocytic sites and for exocytosis. A small region in the C-terminal half of Sec2p regulates its localization. Loss of this region results in temperature-sensitive growth and the depolarized accumulation of secretory vesicles. Here, we show that Sec2p associates with the exocyst, an octameric effector of Sec4p involved in tethering secretory vesicles to the plasma membrane. Specifically, the exocyst subunit Sec15p directly interacts with Sec2p. This interaction normally occurs on secretory vesicles and serves to couple nucleotide exchange on Sec4p to the recruitment of the Sec4p effector. The mislocalization of Sec2p mutants correlates with dramatically enhanced binding to the exocyst complex. We propose that Sec2p is normally released from the exocyst after vesicle tethering so that it can recycle onto a new round of vesicles. The mislocalization of Sec2p mutants results from a failure to be released from Sec15p, blocking this recycling pathway.
The exocyst complex is an evolutionarily conserved multisubunit protein complex implicated in tethering secretory vesicles to the plasma membrane. Originally identified two decades ago in budding yeast, investigations using several different eukaryotic systems have since made great progress toward determination of the overall structure and organization of the eight exocyst subunits. Studies point to a critical role for the complex as a spatiotemporal regulator through the numerous protein and lipid interactions of its subunits, although a molecular understanding of exocyst function has been challenging to elucidate. Recent progress demonstrates that the exocyst is also important for additional trafficking steps and cellular processes beyond exocytosis, with links to development and disease. In this review, we discuss current knowledge of exocyst architecture, assembly, regulation and its roles in a variety of cellular trafficking pathways.
The exocyst is an octameric protein complex, which mediates the tethering of post-Golgi secretory vesicles to the plasma membrane prior to exocytic fusion. The exocyst assembles by side-by-side packing of rod-shaped subunits composed of helical bundles. The targeting of secretory vesicles to the plasma membrane involves direct interactions of the exocyst with PI(4,5)P2. In addition, a number of small GTP-binding proteins interact with components of the exocyst and regulate the assembly, localization, and function of this complex. Here we review the recent advances in the field, focusing on the function of the exocyst in polarized exocytosis.
Rab11a and Rab8 work in conjunction with myosin5B to promote discoidal/fusiform vesicle exocytosis at the apical surface of umbrella cells. It is predicted that similar Rab cascades will be common to other regulated secretory pathways.
Multiple Rabs are associated with secretory granules/vesicles, but how these GTPases are coordinated to promote regulated exocytosis is not well understood. In bladder umbrella cells a subapical pool of discoidal/fusiform-shaped vesicles (DFVs) undergoes Rab11a-dependent regulated exocytosis in response to bladder filling. We show that Rab11a-associated vesicles are enmeshed in an apical cytokeratin meshwork and that Rab11a likely acts upstream of Rab8a to promote exocytosis. Surprisingly, expression of Rabin8, a previously described Rab11a effector and guanine nucleotide exchange factor for Rab8, stimulates stretch-induced exocytosis in a manner that is independent of its catalytic activity. Additional studies demonstrate that the unconventional motor protein myosin5B motor (Myo5B) works in association with the Rab8a–Rab11a module to promote exocytosis, possibly by ensuring transit of DFVs through a subapical, cortical actin cytoskeleton before fusion. Our results indicate that Rab11a, Rab8a, and Myo5B function as part of a network to promote stretch-induced exocytosis, and we predict that similarly organized Rab networks will be common to other regulated secretory pathways.
Exo-endocytotic cycling of synaptic vesicles (SVs) is one of the most intensely studied membrane trafficking pathways. It is governed by sets of conserved proteins including Rab GTPases. Long considered to define the identity and composition of a subcellular organelle, it has become increasingly evident that multiple Rabs co-exist on intracellular compartments, each contributing to its membrane organization and specialised function. Indeed, we have recently demonstrated that at least 11 distinct Rab proteins co-exist on highly purified SVs. These include Rabs involved in exocytosis (Rab3a/b/c and Rab27b) and intermediates of SV recycling such as early endosomes (Rab4, Rab5, Rab10, Rab11b and Rab14). Interestingly, we found that while two of these proteins, namely Rab3a and Rab27b, exhibited differential cycling dynamics on SV membranes; they played complementary roles during Ca2+-triggered neurotransmitter release. The implications of these findings in the SV trafficking cycle are discussed.
synaptic vesicle; Rab; quantitative proteomics; exocytosis; endocytosis; vesicle cycle; GTPases
The exocyst is a multi-protein complex essential for exocytosis and plasma membrane remodeling. The assembly of the exocyst complex mediates the tethering of post-Golgi secretory vesicles to the plasma membrane prior to fusion. Elucidating the mechanisms regulating exocyst assembly is important for the understanding of exocytosis. Here we show that the exocyst component Exo70 is a direct substrate of the Extracellular signal-Regulated Kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2). ERK1/2 phosphorylation enhances the binding of Exo70 to other exocyst components and promotes the assembly the exocyst complex in response to epidermal growth factor (EGF) signaling. We further demonstrate that ERK1/2 regulates exocytosis as blocking ERK1/2 signaling by a chemical inhibitor or the expression of an Exo70 mutant defective in ERK1/2 phosphorylation inhibited exocytosis. In tumor cells, blocking Exo70 phosphorylation inhibits matrix metalloproteinase secretion and invadopodia formation. ERK1/2 phosphorylation of Exo70 may thus coordinate exocytosis with other cellular events in response to growth factor signaling.
ERK1/2; exocyst; Exo70; vesicle tethering; exocytosis; EGF; invadopodia
The tumor suppressor lethal giant larvae (Lgl) plays a critical role in epithelial cell polarization. However, the molecular mechanism by which Lgl carries out its functions is unclear. In this study, we report that the yeast Lgl proteins Sro7p and Sro77p directly interact with Exo84p, which is a component of the exocyst complex that is essential for targeting vesicles to specific sites of the plasma membrane for exocytosis, and that this interaction is important for post-Golgi secretion. Genetic analyses demonstrate a molecular pathway from Rab and Rho GTPases through the exocyst and Lgl to SNAREs, which mediate membrane fusion. We also found that overexpression of Lgl and t-SNARE proteins not only improves exocytosis but also rescues polarity defects in exocyst mutants. We propose that, although Lgl is broadly distributed in the cells, its localized interaction with the exocyst and kinetic activation are important for the establishment and reenforcement of cell polarity.
The exocyst is an octameric protein complex implicated in tethering post-Golgi secretory vesicles at the plasma membrane in preparation for fusion. However, it is not clear how the exocyst is targeted to and physically associates with specific domains of the plasma membrane and how its functions are regulated at those regions. We demonstrate that the N terminus of the exocyst component Sec3 directly interacts with phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate. In addition, we have identified key residues in Sec3 that are critical for its binding to the guanosine triphosphate–bound form of Cdc42. Genetic analyses indicate that the dual interactions of Sec3 with phospholipids and Cdc42 control its function in yeast cells. Disrupting these interactions not only blocks exocytosis and affects exocyst polarization but also leads to defects in cell morphogenesis. We propose that the interactions of Sec3 with phospholipids and Cdc42 play important roles in exocytosis and polarized cell growth.
The Ras-like GTPase Rab11 is implicated in multiple aspects of intracellular transport, including maintenance of plasma membrane composition and cytokinesis. In metazoans, these functions are mediated in part via coiled-coil Rab11-interacting proteins (FIPs) acting as Rab11 effectors. Additional interaction between Rab11 and the exocyst subunit Sec15 connects Rab11 with exocytosis. We find that FIPs are metazoan specific, suggesting that other factors mediate Rab11 functions in nonmetazoans. We examined Rab11 interactions in Trypanosoma brucei, where endocytosis is well studied and the role of Rab11 in recycling well documented. TbSec15 and TbRab11 interact, demonstrating evolutionary conservation. By yeast two-hybrid screening, we identified additional Rab11 interaction partners. Tb927.5.1640 (designated RBP74) interacted with both Rab11 and Rab5. RBP74 shares a coiled-coil architecture with metazoan FIPs but is unrelated by sequence and appears to play a role in coordinating endocytosis and recycling. A second coiled-coil protein, Tb09.211.4830 (TbAZI1), orthologous to AZI1 in Homo sapiens, interacts exclusively with Rab11. AZI1 is restricted to taxa with motile cilia/flagella. These data suggest that Rab11 functions are mediated by evolutionarily conserved (i.e., AZI1 and Sec15) and potentially lineage-specific (RBP74) interactions essential for the integration of the endomembrane system.
The exocyst complex plays a critical role in targeting and tethering vesicles to specific sites of the plasma membrane. These events are crucial for polarized delivery of membrane components to the cell surface, which is critical for cell motility and division. Though Rho GTPases are involved in regulating actin dynamics and membrane trafficking, their role in exocyst-mediated vesicle targeting is not very clear. Herein, we present evidence that depletion of GEF-H1, a guanine nucleotide exchange factor for Rho proteins, affects vesicle trafficking. Interestingly, we found that GEF-H1 directly binds to exocyst component Sec5 in a Ral GTPase-dependent manner. This interaction promotes RhoA activation, which then regulates exocyst assembly/localization and exocytosis. Taken together, our work defines a mechanism for RhoA activation in response to RalA-Sec5 signaling and involvement of GEF-H1/RhoA pathway in the regulation of vesicle trafficking.
The octameric exocyst complex is associated with the junctional complex and recycling endosomes and is proposed to selectively tether cargo vesicles directed toward the basolateral surface of polarized Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells. We observed that the exocyst subunits Sec6, Sec8, and Exo70 were localized to early endosomes, transferrin-positive common recycling endosomes, and Rab11a-positive apical recycling endosomes of polarized MDCK cells. Consistent with its localization to multiple populations of endosomes, addition of function-blocking Sec8 antibodies to streptolysin-O–permeabilized cells revealed exocyst requirements for several endocytic pathways including basolateral recycling, apical recycling, and basolateral-to-apical transcytosis. The latter was selectively dependent on interactions between the small GTPase Rab11a and Sec15A and was inhibited by expression of the C-terminus of Sec15A or down-regulation of Sec15A expression using shRNA. These results indicate that the exocyst complex may be a multipurpose regulator of endocytic traffic directed toward both poles of polarized epithelial cells and that transcytotic traffic is likely to require Rab11a-dependent recruitment and modulation of exocyst function, likely through interactions with Sec15A.
The exocyst is an evolutionarily conserved octameric protein complex that tethers post-Golgi secretory vesicles at the plasma membrane for exocytosis. To elucidate the mechanism of vesicle tethering, it is important to understand how the exocyst physically associates with the plasma membrane (PM). In this study, we report that the mammalian exocyst subunit Exo70 associates with the PM through its direct interaction with phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PI(4,5)P2). Furthermore, we have identified key conserved residues at the C-terminus of Exo70 that are crucial for the interaction of Exo70 with PI(4,5)P2. Disrupting Exo70-PI(4,5)P2 interaction abolished the membrane association of Exo70. We have also found that wild-type Exo70 but not the PI(4,5)P2-binding–deficient Exo70 mutant is capable of recruiting other exocyst components to the PM. Using the ts045 vesicular stomatitis virus glycoprotein trafficking assay, we demonstrate that Exo70-PI(4,5)P2 interaction is critical for the docking and fusion of post-Golgi secretory vesicles, but not for their transport to the PM.
Exocytosis in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae occurs at discrete domains of the plasma membrane. The protein complex that tethers incoming vesicles to sites of secretion is known as the exocyst. We have used photobleaching recovery experiments to characterize the dynamic behavior of the eight subunits that make up the exocyst. One subset (Sec5p, Sec6p, Sec8p, Sec10p, Sec15p, and Exo84p) exhibits mobility similar to that of the vesicle-bound Rab family protein Sec4p, whereas Sec3p and Exo70p exhibit substantially more stability. Disruption of actin assembly abolishes the ability of the first subset of subunits to recover after photobleaching, whereas Sec3p and Exo70p are resistant. Immunogold electron microscopy and epifluorescence video microscopy indicate that all exocyst subunits, except for Sec3p, are associated with secretory vesicles as they arrive at exocytic sites. Assembly of the exocyst occurs when the first subset of subunits, delivered on vesicles, joins Sec3p and Exo70p on the plasma membrane. Exocyst assembly serves to both target and tether vesicles to sites of exocytosis.
Rab proteins and their effectors facilitate vesicular transport by tethering donor vesicles to their respective target membranes. By using gene trap insertional mutagenesis, we identified Rab9, which mediates late-endosome-to-trans-Golgi-network trafficking, among several candidate host genes whose disruption allowed the survival of Marburg virus-infected cells, suggesting that Rab9 is utilized in Marburg replication. Although Rab9 has not been implicated in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) replication, previous reports suggested that the late endosome is an initiation site for HIV assembly and that TIP47-dependent trafficking out of the late endosome to the trans-Golgi network facilitates the sorting of HIV Env into virions budding at the plasma membrane. We examined the role of Rab9 in the life cycles of HIV and several unrelated viruses, using small interfering RNA (siRNA) to silence Rab9 expression before viral infection. Silencing Rab9 expression dramatically inhibited HIV replication, as did silencing the host genes encoding TIP47, p40, and PIKfyve, which also facilitate late-endosome-to-trans-Golgi vesicular transport. In addition, silencing studies revealed that HIV replication was dependent on the expression of Rab11A, which mediates trans-Golgi-to-plasma-membrane transport, and that increased HIV Gag was sequestered in a CD63+ endocytic compartment in a cell line stably expressing Rab9 siRNA. Replication of the enveloped Ebola, Marburg, and measles viruses was inhibited with Rab9 siRNA, although the nonenveloped reovirus was insensitive to Rab9 silencing. These results suggest that Rab9 is an important cellular target for inhibiting diverse viruses and help to define a late-endosome-to-plasma-membrane vesicular transport pathway important in viral assembly.
Hantavirus structural proteins are believed to localize to intracellular membranes often identified as Golgi membranes, in virus-infected cells. After virus budding into the Golgi luminal space, virus-containing vesicles are transported to the plasma membrane via trafficking pathways that are not well defined. Using the New World hantavirus, Andes virus, we have investigated the role of various Rab proteins in the release of hantavirus particles from infected cells. Rabs 8 and 11 were found to colocalize with Andes virus proteins in virus infected cells and when expressed from cDNA, implicating the recycling endosome as an organelle important for hantavirus infection. Small interfering RNA-mediated downregulation of Rab11a alone or Rab11a and Rab11b together resulted in a decrease in infectious virus particle secretion from infected cells. Downregulation of Rab8a did not alter infectious virus release but reduction of both isoforms did. These data implicate the recycling endosome and the Rab proteins associated with vesicular transport to or from this intracellular organelle as an important pathway for hantavirus trafficking to the plasma membrane.
hantavirus; Andes virus; recycling endosome; Golgi; nucleocapsid
The Sec6 subunit of the multisubunit exocyst tethering complex interacts with the Sec1/Munc18 protein Sec1 and with the t-SNARE Sec9. Assembly of the exocyst upon vesicle arrival at sites of secretion is proposed to release Sec9 for SNARE complex assembly and to recruit Sec1 for interaction with SNARE complexes to facilitate fusion.
Trafficking of protein and lipid cargo through the secretory pathway in eukaryotic cells is mediated by membrane-bound vesicles. Secretory vesicle targeting and fusion require a conserved multisubunit protein complex termed the exocyst, which has been implicated in specific tethering of vesicles to sites of polarized exocytosis. The exocyst is directly involved in regulating soluble N-ethylmaleimide–sensitive factor (NSF) attachment protein receptor (SNARE) complexes and membrane fusion through interactions between the Sec6 subunit and the plasma membrane SNARE protein Sec9. Here we show another facet of Sec6 function—it directly binds Sec1, another SNARE regulator, but of the Sec1/Munc18 family. The Sec6–Sec1 interaction is exclusive of Sec6–Sec9 but compatible with Sec6–exocyst assembly. In contrast, the Sec6–exocyst interaction is incompatible with Sec6–Sec9. Therefore, upon vesicle arrival, Sec6 is proposed to release Sec9 in favor of Sec6–exocyst assembly and to simultaneously recruit Sec1 to sites of secretion for coordinated SNARE complex formation and membrane fusion.
Polarized exocytosis plays a major role in development and cell differentiation but the mechanisms that target exocytosis to specific membrane domains in animal cells are still poorly understood. We characterized Drosophila Sec6, a component of the exocyst complex that is believed to tether secretory vesicles to specific plasma membrane sites. sec6 mutations cause cell lethality and disrupt plasma membrane growth. In developing photoreceptor cells (PRCs), Sec6 but not Sec5 or Sec8 shows accumulation at adherens junctions. In late PRCs, Sec6, Sec5, and Sec8 colocalize at the rhabdomere, the light sensing subdomain of the apical membrane. PRCs with reduced Sec6 function accumulate secretory vesicles and fail to transport proteins to the rhabdomere, but show normal localization of proteins to the apical stalk membrane and the basolateral membrane. Furthermore, we show that Rab11 forms a complex with Sec5 and that Sec5 interacts with Sec6 suggesting that the exocyst is a Rab11 effector that facilitates protein transport to the apical rhabdomere in Drosophila PRCs.
Chlamydiae are obligate intracellular bacteria that replicate within an inclusion that is trafficked to the peri-Golgi region where it fuses with exocytic vesicles. The host and chlamydial proteins that regulate the trafficking of the inclusion have not been identified. Since Rab GTPases are key regulators of membrane trafficking, we examined the intracellular localization of several green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged Rab GTPases in chlamydia-infected HeLa cells. GFP-Rab4 and GFP-Rab11, which function in receptor recycling, and GFP-Rab1, which functions in endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-to-Golgi trafficking, are recruited to Chlamydia trachomatis, Chlamydia muridarum, and Chlamydia pneumoniae inclusions, whereas GFP-Rab5, GFP-Rab7, and GFP-Rab9, markers of early and late endosomes, are not. In contrast, GFP-Rab6, which functions in Golgi-to-ER and endosome-to-Golgi trafficking, is associated with C. trachomatis inclusions but not with C. pneumoniae or C. muridarum inclusions, while the opposite was observed for the Golgi-localized GFP-Rab10. Colocalization studies between transferrin and GFP-Rab11 demonstrate that a portion of GFP-Rab11 that localizes to inclusions does not colocalize with transferrin, which suggests that GFP-Rab11's association with the inclusion is not mediated solely through Rab11's association with transferrin-containing recycling endosomes. Finally, GFP-Rab GTPases remain associated with the inclusion even after disassembly of microtubules, which disperses recycling endosomes and the Golgi apparatus within the cytoplasm, suggesting a specific interaction with the inclusion membrane. Consistent with this, GFP-Rab11 colocalizes with C. trachomatis IncG at the inclusion membrane. Therefore, chlamydiae recruit key regulators of membrane trafficking to the inclusion, which may function to regulate the trafficking or fusogenic properties of the inclusion.
The exocyst is an essential protein complex required for targeting and fusion of secretory vesicles to sites of exocytosis at the plasma membrane. To study the function of the exocyst complex, we performed a structure-based mutational analysis of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae exocyst subunit Sec6p. Two “patches” of highly conserved residues are present on the surface of Sec6p; mutation of either patch does not compromise protein stability. Nevertheless, replacement of SEC6 with the patch mutants results in severe temperature-sensitive growth and secretion defects. At nonpermissive conditions, although trafficking of secretory vesicles to the plasma membrane is unimpaired, none of the exocyst subunits are polarized. This is consistent with data from other exocyst temperature-sensitive mutants, which disrupt the integrity of the complex. Surprisingly, however, these patch mutations result in mislocalized exocyst complexes that remain intact. Our results indicate that assembly and polarization of the exocyst are functionally separable events, and that Sec6p is required to anchor exocyst complexes at sites of secretion.
A molecular dissection of contractile vacuole (CV) discharge shows that Rab8a is recruited to the CV a few seconds before the exocyst. Together they tether it to the plasma membrane and commit it to fusion. GTP hydrolysis is necessary for vacuole detethering, a process in which LvsA, a protein of the Chédiak–Higashi family, plays a crucial role.
Water expulsion by the contractile vacuole (CV) in Dictyostelium is carried out by a giant kiss-and-run focal exocytic event during which the two membranes are only transiently connected but do not completely merge. We present a molecular dissection of the GTPase Rab8a and the exocyst complex in tethering of the contractile vacuole to the plasma membrane, fusion, and final detachment. Right before discharge, the contractile vacuole bladder sequentially recruits Drainin, a Rab11a effector, Rab8a, the exocyst complex, and LvsA, a protein of the Chédiak–Higashi family. Rab8a recruitment precedes the nucleotide-dependent arrival of the exocyst to the bladder by a few seconds. A dominant-negative mutant of Rab8a strongly binds to the exocyst and prevents recruitment to the bladder, suggesting that a Rab8a guanine nucleotide exchange factor activity is associated with the complex. Absence of Drainin leads to overtethering and blocks fusion, whereas expression of constitutively active Rab8a allows fusion but blocks vacuole detachment from the plasma membrane, inducing complete fragmentation of tethered vacuoles. An indistinguishable phenotype is generated in cells lacking LvsA, implicating this protein in postfusion detethering. Of interest, overexpression of a constitutively active Rab8a mutant reverses the lvsA-null CV phenotype.
Sec2p is the guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) that activates the Rab GTPase Sec4p on secretory vesicles. Sec2p also binds a Rab acting earlier in the secretory pathway, Ypt32p-GTP, forming a RabGEF cascade. Ypt32p and the Sec4p effector Sec15p (a component of the exocyst complex) compete for binding to Sec2p. Indeed Ypt32p initially recruits Sec2p, but subsequently allows a handoff of active Sec2p/Sec4p to Sec15p. Intriguingly, Golgi-associated phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate (PI4P) works together with Ypt32-GTP in this context. PI4P inhibits Sec2p-Sec15p interactions, promoting recruitment of Sec2p by Ypt32p as secretory vesicles form. However, PI4P levels appear to decline as vesicles reach secretory sites, allowing Sec15p to replace Ypt32p as vesicles mature. In this way, the regulation of PI4P levels may switch Sec2p/Sec4p function during vesicle maturation, from a RabGEF recruitment cascade involving Ypt32p, to an effector positive feedback loop involving Sec15p.
The gastric parietal cell secretes large quantities of HCl into the lumen of the gastric gland in response to secretagogues such as histamine. In the membrane recycling hypothesis, this secretory activity requires the trafficking of the gastric H+/K(+)-ATPase to the cell surface from intracellular tubulovesicles. The Rab subclass of small GTP-binding proteins is thought to confer specificity to vesicle transport throughout the secretory pathway, and previous investigations established that Rab11 is highly expressed in gastric parietal cells. Recent discoveries in intra-Golgi transport and neuronal synaptic vesicle fusion have fortuitously converged on an evolutionarily conserved protein complex involved in vesicle docking and fusion. Recent results indicate that Rab11 is involved in the apical targeting of vesicles in parietal cells and other epithelial cells throughout the gastrointestinal tract. In support of the membrane recycling hypothesis, Rab co-segregates with H+/K(+)-ATPase in parietal cells. The presence of Rab11 on tubulovesicles supports a role for this Rab protein in recycling vesicle trafficking.