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1.  Aggregation and retention of human urokinase type plasminogen activator in the yeast endoplasmic reticulum 
Secretion of recombinant proteins in yeast can be affected by their improper folding in the endoplasmic reticulum and subsequent elimination of the misfolded molecules via the endoplasmic reticulum associated protein degradation pathway. Recombinant proteins can also be degraded by the vacuolar protease complex. Human urokinase type plasminogen activator (uPA) is poorly secreted by yeast but the mechanisms interfering with its secretion are largely unknown.
We show that in Hansenula polymorpha overexpression worsens uPA secretion and stimulates its intracellular aggregation. The absence of the Golgi modifications in accumulated uPA suggests that aggregation occurs within the endoplasmic reticulum. Deletion analysis has shown that the N-terminal domains were responsible for poor uPA secretion and propensity to aggregate. Mutation abolishing N-glycosylation decreased the efficiency of uPA secretion and increased its aggregation degree. Retention of uPA in the endoplasmic reticulum stimulates its aggregation.
The data obtained demonstrate that defect of uPA secretion in yeast is related to its retention in the endoplasmic reticulum. Accumulation of uPA within the endoplasmic reticulum disturbs its proper folding and leads to formation of high molecular weight aggregates.
PMCID: PMC130179  PMID: 12366865
2.  Molecular Basis for Recognition of Dilysine Trafficking Motifs by COPI 
Developmental Cell  2012;23(6-12):1255-1262.
COPI mediates retrograde trafficking from the Golgi to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and within the Golgi stack, sorting transmembrane proteins bearing C-terminal KKxx or KxKxx motifs. The structure of KxKxx motifs bound to the N-terminal WD-repeat domain of β'-COP identifies electrostatic contacts between the motif and complementary patches at the center of the β'-COP propeller. An absolute requirement of a two-residue spacing between the terminal carboxylate group and first lysine residue results from interactions of carbonyl groups in the motif backbone with basic side chains of β'-COP. Similar interactions are proposed to mediate binding of KKxx motifs by the homologous α-COP domain. Mutation of key interacting residues in either domain or in their cognate motifs abolishes in vitro binding and results in mistrafficking of dilysine-containing cargo in yeast without compromising cell viability. Flexibility between β'-COP WD-repeat domains and the location of cargo binding have implications for COPI coat assembly.
► Dilysine motifs bind the top surface of β'- and α-COP N-terminal WD-repeat domains ► Mutation of key binding site residues abolishes in vitro binding to dilysine motifs ► Loss of binding site prevents retrograde trafficking of dilysine motifs in vivo ► Mutants lacking dilysine motif binding site can transport other retrograde cargoes
COPI facilitates trafficking of transmembrane proteins bearing C-terminal KKxx or KxKxx motifs between the Golgi and the ER and within the Golgi stacks. Jackson et al. now provide molecular characterization of COPI cargo binding through elucidation of the structure of β'-COP N-terminal WD-repeat domain in complex with a KxKxx motif.
PMCID: PMC3521961  PMID: 23177648
3.  Rsp5 Ubiquitin Ligase Is Required for Protein Trafficking in Saccharomyces cerevisiae COPI Mutants 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(6):e39582.
Retrograde trafficking from the Golgi to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) depends on the formation of vesicles coated with the multiprotein complex COPI. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae ubiquitinated derivatives of several COPI subunits have been identified. The importance of this modification of COPI proteins is unknown. With the exception of the Sec27 protein (β’COP) neither the ubiquitin ligase responsible for ubiquitination of COPI subunits nor the importance of this modification are known. Here we find that the ubiquitin ligase mutation, rsp5-1, has a negative effect that is additive with ret1-1 and sec28Δ mutations, in genes encoding α- and ε-COP, respectively. The double ret1-1 rsp5-1 mutant is also more severely defective in the Golgi-to-ER trafficking compared to the single ret1-1, secreting more of the ER chaperone Kar2p, localizing Rer1p mostly to the vacuole, and increasing sensitivity to neomycin. Overexpression of ubiquitin in ret1-1 rsp5-1 mutant suppresses vacuolar accumulation of Rer1p. We found that the effect of rsp5 mutation on the Golgi-to-ER trafficking is similar to that of sla1Δ mutation in a gene encoding actin cytoskeleton proteins, an Rsp5p substrate. Additionally, Rsp5 and Sla1 proteins were found by co-immunoprecipitation in a complex containing COPI subunits. Together, our results show that Rsp5 ligase plays a role in regulating retrograde Golgi-to-ER trafficking.
PMCID: PMC3383674  PMID: 22761830
4.  The Golgi-localization of yeast Emp47p depends on its di-lysine motif but is not affected by the ret1-1 mutation in alpha-COP 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1995;131(4):895-912.
The Saccharomyces cerevisiae EMP47 gene encodes a nonessential type-I transmembrane protein with sequence homology to a class of intracellular lectins defined by ERGIC-53 and VIP36. The 12-amino acid COOH-terminal cytoplasmic tail of Emp47p ends in the sequence KTKLL, which conforms with the consensus for di-lysine-based ER-localization signals. Despite the presence of this motif, Emp47p was shown to be a Golgi protein at steady-state. The di-lysine motif of Emp47p was functional when transplanted onto Ste2p, a plasma membrane protein, conferring ER localization. Nevertheless, the di-lysine motif was required for Golgi-localization of Emp47p and showed the same charge- independent, position-dependent characteristics of other di-lysine motifs. Alpha-COP has been shown to be required for ER localization of di-lysine-tagged proteins. Consistent with this finding, the Ste2p- Emp47p hybrid protein was mislocalized to the cell surface in the alpha- COP mutant, ret1-1. Surprisingly, the Golgi-localization of Emp47p was unaffected by the ret1-1 mutation. To investigate whether Emp47p undergoes retrograde transport from the Golgi to the ER like other di- lysine-tagged proteins we developed an assay to measure this step after block of forward transport in a sec12 mutant. Under these conditions retrograde transport led to a specific redistribution of Emp47p from the Golgi to the ER. This recycling occurred from a Golgi subcompartment containing alpha 1,3 mannose-modified oligosaccharides suggesting that it originated from a medial-or later Golgi compartment. Thus Emp47p cycles between the Golgi apparatus and the ER and requires a di-lysine motif for its alpha-COP-independent, steady state localization in the Golgi.
PMCID: PMC2200007  PMID: 7490292
5.  A Rab2 Mutant with Impaired GTPase Activity Stimulates Vesicle Formation from Pre-Golgi Intermediates 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  1999;10(6):1837-1849.
Rab2 immunolocalizes to pre-Golgi intermediates (vesicular-tubular clusters [VTCs]) that are the first site of segregation of anterograde- and retrograde-transported proteins and a major peripheral site for COPI recruitment. Our previous work showed that Rab2 Q65L (equivalent to Ras Q61L) inhibited endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-to-Golgi transport in vivo. In this study, the biochemical properties of Rab2 Q65L were analyzed. The mutant protein binds GDP and GTP and has a low GTP hydrolysis rate that suggests that Rab2 Q65L is predominantly in the GTP-bound–activated form. The purified protein arrests vesicular stomatitis virus glycoprotein transport from VTCs in an assay that reconstitutes ER-to-Golgi traffic. A quantitative binding assay was used to measure membrane binding of β-COP when incubated with the mutant. Unlike Rab2 that stimulates recruitment, Rab2 Q65L showed a dose-dependent decrease in membrane-associated β-COP when incubated with rapidly sedimenting membranes (ER, pre-Golgi, and Golgi). The mutant protein does not interfere with β-COP binding but stimulates the release of slowly sedimenting vesicles containing Rab2, β-COP, and p53/gp58 but lacking anterograde grade-directed cargo. To complement the biochemical results, we observed in a morphological assay that Rab2 Q65L caused vesiculation of VTCs that accumulated at 15°C. These data suggest that the Rab2 protein plays a role in the low-temperature–sensitive step that regulates membrane flow from VTCs to the Golgi complex and back to the ER.
PMCID: PMC25379  PMID: 10359600
6.  Two Human ARFGAPs Associated with COP-I-Coated Vesicles 
Traffic (Copenhagen, Denmark)  2007;8(11):1644-1655.
ADP-ribosylation factors (ARFs) are critical regulators of vesicular trafficking pathways and act at multiple intracellular sites. ADP-ribosylation factor-GTPase-activating proteins (ARFGAPs) are proposed to contribute to site-specific regulation. In yeast, two distinct proteins, Glo3p and Gcs1p, together provide overlapping, essential ARFGAP function required for coat protein (COP)-I-dependent trafficking. In mammalian cells, only the Gcs1p orthologue, named ARFGAP1, has been characterized in detail. However, Glo3p is known to make the stronger contribution to COP I traffic in yeast. Here, based on a conserved signature motif close to the carboxy terminus, we identify ARFGAP2 and ARFGAP3 as the human orthologues of yeast Glo3p. By immunofluorescence (IF), ARFGAP2 and ARFGAP3 are closely colocalized with coatomer subunits in NRK cells in the Golgi complex and peripheral punctate structures. In contrast to ARFGAP1, both ARFGAP2 and ARFGAP3 are associated with COP-I-coated vesicles generated from Golgi membranes in the presence of GTP-γ-S in vitro. ARFGAP2 lacking its zinc finger domain directly binds to coatomer. Expression of this truncated mutant (ΔN-ARFGAP2) inhibits COP-I-dependent Golgi-to-endoplasmic reticulum transport of cholera toxin (CTX-K63) in vivo. Silencing of ARFGAP1 or a combination of ARFGAP2 and ARFGAP3 in HeLa cells does not decrease cell viability. However, silencing all three ARFGAPs causes cell death. Our data provide strong evidence that ARFGAP2 and ARFGAP3 function in COP I traffic.
PMCID: PMC2171037  PMID: 17760859
ARF; ARFGAP; coated vesicles; coatomer; COP I; Golgi
7.  Functional Dissection of COP-I Subunits in the Biogenesis of Multivesicular Endosomes  
The Journal of Cell Biology  1997;139(5):1183-1195.
In the present paper, we show that transport from early to late endosomes is inhibited at the restrictive temperature in a mutant CHO cell line (ldlF) with a ts-defect in ε coatomer protein (εCOP), although internalization and recycling continue. Early endosomes then appear like clusters of thin tubules devoid of the typical multivesicular regions, which are normally destined to become vesicular intermediates during transport to late endosomes. We also find that the in vitro formation of these vesicles from BHK donor endosomes is inhibited in cytosol prepared from ldlF cells incubated at the restrictive temperature. Although εCOP is rapidly degraded in ldlF cells at the restrictive temperature, cellular amounts of the other COP-I subunits are not affected. Despite the absence of εCOP, we find that a subcomplex of β, β′, and ζCOP is still recruited onto BHK endosomes in vitro, and this binding exhibits the characteristic properties of endosomal COPs with respect to stimulation by GTPγS and sensitivity to the endosomal pH. Previous studies showed that γ and δCOP are not found on endosomes. However, αCOP, which is normally present on endosomes, is no longer recruited when εCOP is missing. In contrast, all COP subunits, except obviously εCOP itself, still bind BHK biosynthetic membranes in a pH-independent manner in vitro. Our observations thus indicate that the biogenesis of multivesicular endosomes is coupled to early endosome organization and depends on COP-I proteins. Our data also show that membrane association and function of endosomal COPs can be dissected: whereas β, β′, and ζCOP retain the capacity to bind endosomal membranes, COP function in transport appears to depend on the presence of α and/or εCOP.
PMCID: PMC2140201  PMID: 9382865
8.  COPI Vesicle Transport Is a Common Requirement for Tube Expansion in Drosophila 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(4):e1964.
Tube expansion defects like stenoses and atresias cause devastating human diseases. Luminal expansion during organogenesis begins to be elucidated in several systems but we still lack a mechanistic view of the process in many organs. The Drosophila tracheal respiratory system provides an amenable model to study tube size regulation. In the trachea, COPII anterograde transport of luminal proteins is required for extracellular matrix assembly and the concurrent tube expansion.
Principal Findings
We identified and analyzed Drosophila COPI retrograde transport mutants with narrow tracheal tubes. γCOP mutants fail to efficiently secrete luminal components and assemble the luminal chitinous matrix during tracheal tube expansion. Likewise, tube extension is defective in salivary glands, where it also coincides with a failure in the luminal deposition and assembly of a distinct, transient intraluminal matrix. Drosophila γCOP colocalizes with cis-Golgi markers and in γCOP mutant embryos the ER and Golgi structures are severely disrupted. Analysis of γCOP and Sar1 double mutants suggests that bidirectional ER-Golgi traffic maintains the ER and Golgi compartments and is required for secretion and assembly of luminal matrixes during tube expansion.
Our results demonstrate the function of COPI components in organ morphogenesis and highlight the common role of apical secretion and assembly of transient organotypic matrices in tube expansion. Intraluminal matrices have been detected in the notochord of ascidians and zebrafish COPI mutants show defects in notochord expansion. Thus, the programmed deposition and growth of distinct luminal molds may provide distending forces during tube expansion in diverse organs.
PMCID: PMC2276865  PMID: 18398480
9.  Properties of the P-Type ATPases Encoded by the copAP Operons of Helicobacter pylori and Helicobacter felis 
Journal of Bacteriology  1998;180(2):317-329.
The cop operons of Helicobacter pylori and Helicobacter felis were cloned by gene library screening. Both operons contain open reading frames for a P-type ion pump (CopA) with homology to Cd2+ and Cu2+ ATPases and a putative ion binding protein (CopP), the latter representing a CopZ homolog of the copYZAB operon of Enterococcus hirae. The predicted CopA ATPases contained an N-terminal GMXCXXC ion binding motif and a membrane-associated CPC sequence. A synthetic N-terminal peptide of the H. pylori CopA ATPase bound to Cu2+ specifically, and gene disruption mutagenesis of CopA resulted in an enhanced growth sensitivity of H. pylori to Cu2+ but not to other divalent cations. As determined experimentally, H. pylori CopA contains four pairs of transmembrane segments (H1 to H8), with the ATP binding and phosphorylation domains lying between H6 and H7, as found for another putative transition metal pump of H. pylori (K. Melchers, T. Weitzenegger, A. Buhmann, W. Steinhilber, G. Sachs, and K. P. Schäfer, J. Biol. Chem. 271:446–457, 1996). The corresponding transmembrane segments of the H. felis CopA pump were identified by hydrophobicity analysis and via sequence similarity. To define functional domains, similarly oriented regions of the two enzymes were examined for sequence identity. Regions with high degrees of identity included the N-terminal Cu2+ binding domain, the regions of ATP binding and phosphorylation in the energy transduction domain, and a transport domain consisting of the last six transmembrane segments with conserved cysteines in H4, H6, and H7. The data suggest that H. pylori and H. felis employ conserved mechanisms of ATPase-dependent copper resistance.
PMCID: PMC106887  PMID: 9440521
10.  Golgi-situated endoplasmic reticulum α-1, 2-mannosidase contributes to the retrieval of ERAD substrates through a direct interaction with γ-COP 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2013;24(8):1111-1121.
Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) α-1, 2-mannosidase and γ-COP contribute to a Golgi-based quality control module that facilitates the retrieval of captured ER-associated protein degradation substrates back to the ER.
Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) α-1, 2-mannosidase (ERManI) contributes to ER-associated protein degradation (ERAD) by initiating the formation of degradation signals on misfolded N-linked glycoproteins. Despite its inferred intracellular location, we recently discovered that the mammalian homologue is actually localized to the Golgi complex. In the present study, the functional role of Golgi-situated ERManI was investigated. Mass spectrometry analysis and coimmunoprecipitation (co-IP) identified a direct interaction between ERManI and γ-COP, the gamma subunit of coat protein complex I (COPI) that is responsible for Golgi-to-ER retrograde cargo transport. The functional relationship was validated by the requirement of both ERManI and γ-COP to support efficient intracellular clearance of the classical ERAD substrate, null Hong Kong (NHK). In addition, site-directed mutagenesis of suspected γ-COP–binding motifs in the cytoplasmic tail of ERManI was sufficient to disrupt the physical interaction and ablate NHK degradation. Moreover, a physical interaction between NHK, ERManI, and γ-COP was identified by co-IP and Western blotting. RNA interference–mediated knockdown of γ-COP enhanced the association between ERManI and NHK, while diminishing the efficiency of ERAD. Based on these findings, a model is proposed in which ERManI and γ-COP contribute to a Golgi-based quality control module that facilitates the retrieval of captured ERAD substrates back to the ER.
PMCID: PMC3623633  PMID: 23427261
11.  γCOP Is Required for Apical Protein Secretion and Epithelial Morphogenesis in Drosophila melanogaster 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(9):e3241.
There is increasing evidence that tissue-specific modifications of basic cellular functions play an important role in development and disease. To identify the functions of COPI coatomer-mediated membrane trafficking in Drosophila development, we were aiming to create loss-of-function mutations in the γCOP gene, which encodes a subunit of the COPI coatomer complex.
Principal Findings
We found that γCOP is essential for the viability of the Drosophila embryo. In the absence of zygotic γCOP activity, embryos die late in embryogenesis and display pronounced defects in morphogenesis of the embryonic epidermis and of tracheal tubes. The coordinated cell rearrangements and cell shape changes during tracheal tube morphogenesis critically depend on apical secretion of certain proteins. Investigation of tracheal morphogenesis in γCOP loss-of-function mutants revealed that several key proteins required for tracheal morphogenesis are not properly secreted into the apical lumen. As a consequence, γCOP mutants show defects in cell rearrangements during branch elongation, in tube dilation, as well as in tube fusion. We present genetic evidence that a specific subset of the tracheal defects in γCOP mutants is due to the reduced secretion of the Zona Pellucida protein Piopio. Thus, we identified a critical target protein of COPI-dependent secretion in epithelial tube morphogenesis.
These studies highlight the role of COPI coatomer-mediated vesicle trafficking in both general and tissue-specific secretion in a multicellular organism. Although COPI coatomer is generally required for protein secretion, we show that the phenotypic effect of γCOP mutations is surprisingly specific. Importantly, we attribute a distinct aspect of the γCOP phenotype to the effect on a specific key target protein.
PMCID: PMC2532760  PMID: 18802472
12.  Constriction of Carotid Arteries by Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator Requires Catalytic Activity and is Independent of NH2-Terminal Domains 
Thrombosis and haemostasis  2009;102(5):983-992.
Urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) is expressed at increased levels in stenotic, atherosclerotic human arteries. However, the biological roles of uPA in the artery wall are poorly understood. Previous studies associate uPA with both acute vasoconstriction and chronic vascular remodeling and attribute uPA-mediated vasoconstriction to the kringle—not the catalytic—domain of uPA. We used an in vivo uPA overexpression model to test the hypothesis that uPA-induced vasoconstriction is a reversible vasomotor process that can be prevented—and uPA fibrinolytic activity preserved—by: 1) removing the growth factor and kringle domains; or 2) anchoring uPA to the endothelial surface. To test this hypothesis we constructed adenoviral vectors that express: wild-type rabbit uPA (AduPA); a uPA mutant lacking the NH2-terminal growth-factor and kringle domains (AduPAdel); a mutant lacking catalytic activity (AduPAS→A), and a cell-surface anchored mutant (AdTMuPA). uPA mutants were expressed and characterized in vitro and in carotid arteries in vivo. uPAS→A had no plasminogen activator activity. Activity was similar for uPA and uPAdel, whereas AdTMuPA had only cell-associated activity. AduPAS→A arteries were not constricted. AduPA, AduPAdel, and AdTM-uPA arteries were constricted (approximately 30% smaller lumens; P ≤ 0.008 vs AdNull arteries). Papaverine reversed constriction of AduPA arteries. uPA-mediated arterial constriction is a vasomotor process that is mediated by uPA catalytic activity, not by the NH2-terminal domains. Anchoring uPA to the endothelial surface does not prevent vasoconstriction. uPA catalytic activity, generated by artery wall cells, may contribute to lumen loss in human arteries. Elimination of uPA vasoconstrictor activity requires concomitant loss of fibrinolytic activity.
PMCID: PMC2774917  PMID: 19888538
13.  Increased expression of the urokinase plasminogen activator system by Helicobacter pylori in gastric epithelial cells 
The gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is linked to peptic ulcer and gastric cancer, but the relevant pathophysiological mechanisms are unclear. We now report that H. pylori stimulates the expression of plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI)-1, urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA), and its receptor (uPAR) in gastric epithelial cells and the consequences for epithelial cell proliferation. Real-time PCR of biopsies from gastric corpus, but not antrum, showed significantly increased PAI-1, uPA, and uPAR in H. pylori-positive patients. Transfection of primary human gastric epithelial cells with uPA, PAI-1, or uPAR promoters in luciferase reporter constructs revealed expression of all three in H+/K+ATPase- and vesicular monoamine transporter 2-expressing cells; uPA was also expressed in pepsinogen- and uPAR-containing trefoil peptide-1-expressing cells. In each case expression was increased in response to H. pylori and for uPA, but not PAI-1 or uPAR, required the virulence factor CagE. H. pylori also stimulated soluble and cell surface-bound uPA activity, and both were further increased by PAI-1 knockdown, consistent with PAI-1 inhibition of endogenous uPA. H. pylori stimulated epithelial cell proliferation, which was inhibited by uPA immunoneutralization and uPAR knockdown; exogenous uPA also stimulated proliferation that was further increased after PAI-1 knockdown. The proliferative effects of uPA were inhibited by immunoneutralization of the EGF receptor and of heparin-binding EGF (HB-EGF) by the mutant diphtheria toxin CRM197 and an EGF receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor. H. pylori induction of uPA therefore leads to epithelial proliferation through activation of HB-EGF and is normally inhibited by concomitant induction of PAI-1; treatments directed at inhibition of uPA may slow the progression to gastric cancer.
PMCID: PMC2536790  PMID: 18599586
gastric cancer; primary gastric epithelial cells; cagE; HB-EGF
14.  Suppression of Coatomer Mutants by a New Protein Family with COPI and COPII Binding Motifs in Saccharomyces cerevisiae 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2003;14(8):3097-3113.
Protein trafficking is achieved by a bidirectional vesicle flow between the various compartments of the eukaryotic cell. COPII coated vesicles mediate anterograde protein transport from the endoplasmic reticulum to the Golgi apparatus, whereas retrograde Golgi-to-endoplasmic reticulum vesicles use the COPI coat. Inactivation of COPI vesicle formation in conditional sec21 (γ-COP) mutants rapidly blocks transport of certain proteins along the early secretory pathway. We have identified the integral membrane protein Mst27p as a strong suppressor of sec21-3 and ret1-1 mutants. A C-terminal KKXX motif of Mst27p that allows direct binding to the COPI complex is crucial for its suppression ability. Mst27p and its homolog Yar033w (Mst28p) are part of the same complex. Both proteins contain cytoplasmic exposed C termini that have the ability to interact directly with COPI and COPII coat complexes. Site-specific mutations of the COPI binding domain abolished suppression of the sec21 mutants. Our results indicate that overexpression of MST27 provides an increased number of coat binding sites on membranes of the early secretory pathway and thereby promotes vesicle formation. As a consequence, the amount of cargo that can bind COPI might be important for the regulation of the vesicle flow in the early secretory pathway.
PMCID: PMC181553  PMID: 12925749
15.  Suppression of oxidative damage by Saccharomyces cerevisiae ATX2, which encodes a manganese-trafficking protein that localizes to Golgi-like vesicles. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1996;16(11):6303-6312.
Oxygen toxicity in Saccharomyces cerevisiae lacking the copper/zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD1) can be suppressed by overexpression of the S. cerevisiae ATX2 gene. Multiple copies of ATX2 were found to reverse the aerobic auxotrophies of sod1(delta) mutants for lysine and methionine and also to enhance the resistance of these yeast strains to paraquat and atmospheric levels of oxygen. ATX2 encodes a novel 34.4-kDa polypeptide with a number of potential membrane-spanning domains. Our studies indicate that Atx2p localizes to the membrane of a vesicular compartment in yeast cells reminiscent of the Golgi apparatus. With indirect immunofluorescence microscopy, Atx2p exhibited a punctate pattern of staining typical of the Golgi apparatus, and upon subcellular fractionation, Atx2p colocalized with a biochemical marker for the yeast Golgi apparatus. We demonstrate here that this vesicle protein normally functions in the homeostasis of manganese ions and that this role in metal metabolism is necessary for the ATX1 suppression of SOD1 deficiency. First, overexpression of ATX2 caused cells to accumulate increased levels of manganese. Second, a deletion in ATX2 caused a decrease in the apparent available level of intracellular manganese and caused sod1(delta) mutants to become dependent upon exogenous manganese for aerobic growth. Third, ATX2 was incapable of suppressing oxidative damage in cells depleted of manganese ions or lacking the plasma membrane transporter for manganese. The effect of ATX2 overexpression on manganese accumulation and oxygen resistance is similar to what we have previously reported for mutations in PMR1, which encodes a manganese-trafficking protein that also resides in a vesicular compartment. Our studies are consistent with a model in which Atx2p and Pmr1p work in opposite directions to control manganese homeostasis.
PMCID: PMC231633  PMID: 8887660
16.  Dissociation of Coatomer from Membranes Is Required for Brefeldin A–induced Transfer of Golgi Enzymes to the Endoplasmic Reticulum 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1997;137(2):319-333.
Addition of brefeldin A (BFA) to mammalian cells rapidly results in the removal of coatomer from membranes and subsequent delivery of Golgi enzymes to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Microinjected anti-EAGE (intact IgG or Fab-fragments), antibodies against the “EAGE”-peptide of β-COP, inhibit BFA-induced redistribution of β-COP in vivo and block transfer of resident proteins of the Golgi complex to the ER; tubulo-vesicular clusters accumulate and Golgi membrane proteins concentrate in cytoplasmic patches containing β-COP. These patches are devoid of marker proteins of the ER, the intermediate compartment (IC), and do not contain KDEL receptor. Interestingly, relocation of KDEL receptor to the IC, where it colocalizes with ERGIC53 and ts-O45-G, is not inhibited under these conditions. While no stacked Golgi cisternae remain in these injected cells, reassembly of stacks of Golgi cisternae following BFA wash-out is inhibited to only ∼50%. Mono- or divalent anti-EAGE stabilize binding of coatomer to membranes in vitro, at least as efficiently as GTPγS. Taken together these results suggest that enhanced binding of coatomer to membranes completely inhibits the BFA-induced retrograde transport of Golgi resident proteins to the ER, probably by inhibiting fusion of Golgi with ER membranes, but does not interfere with the disassembly of the stacked Golgi cisternae and recycling of KDEL receptor to the IC. These results confirm our previous results suggesting that COPI is involved in anterograde membrane transport from the ER/IC to the Golgi complex (Pepperkok et al., 1993), and corroborate that COPI regulates retrograde membrane transport between the Golgi complex and ER in mammalian cells.
PMCID: PMC2139784  PMID: 9128245
17.  Identification of Hexose Transporter-Like Sensor HXS1 and Functional Hexose Transporter HXT1 in the Methylotrophic Yeast Hansenula polymorpha▿  
Eukaryotic Cell  2008;7(4):735-746.
We identified in the methylotrophic yeast Hansenula polymorpha (syn. Pichia angusta) a novel hexose transporter homologue gene, HXS1 (hexose sensor), involved in transcriptional regulation in response to hexoses, and a regular hexose carrier gene, HXT1 (hexose transporter). The Hxs1 protein exhibits the highest degree of primary sequence similarity to the Saccharomyces cerevisiae transporter-like glucose sensors, Snf3 and Rgt2. When heterologously overexpressed in an S. cerevisiae hexose transporter-less mutant, Hxt1, but not Hxs1, restores growth on glucose or fructose, suggesting that Hxs1 is nonfunctional as a carrier. In its native host, HXS1 is expressed at moderately low level and is required for glucose induction of the H. polymorpha functional low-affinity glucose transporter Hxt1. Similarly to other yeast sensors, one conserved amino acid substitution in the Hxs1 sequence (R203K) converts the protein into a constitutively signaling form and the C-terminal region of Hxs1 is essential for its function in hexose sensing. Hxs1 is not required for glucose repression or catabolite inactivation that involves autophagic degradation of peroxisomes. However, HXS1 deficiency leads to significantly impaired transient transcriptional repression in response to fructose, probably due to the stronger defect in transport of this hexose in the hxs1Δ deletion strain. Our combined results suggest that in the Crabtree-negative yeast H. polymorpha, the single transporter-like sensor Hxs1 mediates signaling in the hexose induction pathway, whereas the rate of hexose uptake affects the strength of catabolite repression.
PMCID: PMC2292620  PMID: 18310355
18.  Architecture of coatomer: molecular characterization of delta-COP and protein interactions within the complex 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1996;135(1):53-61.
Coatomer is a cytosolic protein complex that forms the coat of COP I- coated transport vesicles. In our attempt to analyze the physical and functional interactions between its seven subunits (coat proteins, [COPs] alpha-zeta), we engaged in a program to clone and characterize the individual coatomer subunits. We have now cloned, sequenced, and overexpressed bovine alpha-COP, the 135-kD subunit of coatomer as well as delta-COP, the 57-kD subunit and have identified a yeast homolog of delta-COP by cDNA sequence comparison and by NH2-terminal peptide sequencing. delta-COP shows homologies to subunits of the clathrin adaptor complexes AP1 and AP2. We show that in Golgi-enriched membrane fractions, the protein is predominantly found in COP I-coated transport vesicles and in the budding regions of the Golgi membranes. A knock-out of the delta-COP gene in yeast is lethal. Immunoprecipitation, as well as analysis exploiting the two-hybrid system in a complete COP screen, showed physical interactions between alpha- and epsilon-COPs and between beta- and delta-COPs. Moreover, the two-hybrid system indicates interactions between gamma- and zeta-COPs as well as between alpha- and beta' COPs. We propose that these interactions reflect in vivo associations of those subunits and thus play a functional role in the assembly of coatomer and/or serve to maintain the molecular architecture of the complex.
PMCID: PMC2121028  PMID: 8858162
19.  uPA Binding to PAI-1 Induces Corneal Myofibroblast Differentiation on Vitronectin 
Vitronectin (VN) in provisional extracellular matrix (ECM) promotes cell migration. Fibrotic ECM also includes VN and, paradoxically, strongly adherent myofibroblasts (Mfs). Because fibrotic Mfs secrete elevated amounts of urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA), we tested whether increased extracellular uPA promotes the persistence of Mfs on VN.
Primary human corneal fibroblasts (HCFs) were cultured in supplemented serum-free medium on VN or collagen (CL) with 1ng/mL transforming growth factor β1 (TGFβ1). Adherent cells were quantified using crystal violet. Protein expression was measured by Western blotting and flow cytometry. Transfection of short interfering RNAs was performed by nucleofection. Mfs were identified by α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) stress fibers. Plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI-1) levels were quantified by ELISA.
TGFβ1-treated HCFs secreted PAI-1 (0.5uM) that bound to VN, competing with αvβ3/αvβ5 integrin/VN binding, thus promoting cell detachment from VN. However, addition of uPA to cells on VN increased Mf differentiation (9.7-fold), cell-adhesion (2.2-fold), and binding by the VN integrins αvβ3 and -β5 (2.2-fold). Plasmin activity was not involved in promoting these changes, as treatment with the plasmin inhibitor aprotinin had no effect. A dominant negative PAI-1 mutant (PAI-1R) that binds to VN but does not inhibit uPA prevented the increase in uPA-stimulated cell adhesion and reduced uPA-stimulated integrin αvβ3/αvβ5 binding to VN by 73%.
uPA induction of TGFβ1-dependent Mf differentiation on VN supports the hypothesis that elevated secretion of uPA in fibrotic tissue may promote cell adhesion and the persistence of Mfs. By blocking uPA-stimulated cell adhesion, PAI-1R may be a useful agent in combating corneal scarring.
Increased secretion of uPA and PAI-1 and persistent myofibroblasts characterize fibrosis and scarring. Our study shows that excess uPA promotes corneal myofibroblast differentiation on vitronectin by increasing integrin-mediated binding, through the release of PAI-1
PMCID: PMC3949353  PMID: 22700714
20.  Src-Dependent Apkcι/λ Tyrosine Phosphorylation Is Required For Apkcι/λ Association With Rab2 And Glyceraldehyde-3-Phosphate Dehydrogenase On Pre-Golgi Intermediates 
The Journal of biological chemistry  2006;281(13):8436-8442.
The small GTPase Rab2 is required for membrane transport between the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and the Golgi complex. Rab2 associates with pre-Golgi intermediates (also termed vesicular tubular clusters; VTCs) that sort cargo to the anterograde pathway from recycling proteins retrieved to the ER. Our previous studies have shown that Rab2 stimulates atypical protein kinase Cι/λ (aPKCι/λ) and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) recruitment to VTCs. Both aPKCι/λ and GAPDH bind directly to Rab2 and aPKCι/λ and GAPDH interact. Based on the reports demonstrating aPKCι-Src interaction and Src activity in the retrograde pathway (Golgi - ER), studies were initiated to learn whether Rab2 also promoted Src recruitment to VTCs. Using a quantitative membrane binding assay, we found that Rab2 stimulated Src membrane association in a dose dependent manner. The recruited Src binds to aPKCι/λ and GAPDH on the membrane, however Src does not interact with Rab2. The membrane-associated Src tyrosine phosphorylates aPKCι/λ on the VTC. To determine the consequence of aPKCι/λ tyrosine phosphorylation, the membrane binding assay was supplemented with the Src-specific tyrosine kinase inhibitor PP2. Although Rab2, Src, and GAPDH recruitment was not affected, the Rab2-PP2 treated membranes contained a negligible amount of aPKCι/λ. Since Rab2 requires aPKCι/λ for the downstream recruitment of β–coat protein (β-COP) to VTCs, the Rab2-PP2 treated membranes were evaluated for the presence of β-COP. Like aPKCι/λ, the membranes contained a negligible amount of β-COP that was reflected by the drastic reduction in Rab2-dependent COPI-vesicle formation. These data suggest that Src-mediated tyrosine phosphorylation of aPKCι/λ facilitates aPKCι/λ association with Rab2-Src-GAPDH on VTCs, which is ultimately necessary for the downstream recruitment of β-COP and release of Rab2-mediated retrograde-directed vesicles.
PMCID: PMC3742308  PMID: 16452474
21.  COPI-independent Anterograde Transport: Cargo-selective ER to Golgi Protein Transport in Yeast COPI Mutants 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1997;136(4):789-802.
The coatomer (COPI) complex mediates Golgi to ER recycling of membrane proteins containing a dilysine retrieval motif. However, COPI was initially characterized as an anterograde-acting coat complex. To investigate the direct and primary role(s) of COPI in ER/Golgi transport and in the secretory pathway in general, we used PCR-based mutagenesis to generate new temperature-conditional mutant alleles of one COPI gene in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, SEC21 (γ-COP). Unexpectedly, all of the new sec21 ts mutants exhibited striking, cargo-selective ER to Golgi transport defects. In these mutants, several proteins (i.e., CPY and α-factor) were completely blocked in the ER at nonpermissive temperature; however, other proteins (i.e., invertase and HSP150) in these and other COPI mutants were secreted normally. Nearly identical cargo-specific ER to Golgi transport defects were also induced by Brefeldin A. In contrast, all proteins tested required COPII (ER to Golgi coat complex), Sec18p (NSF), and Sec22p (v-SNARE) for ER to Golgi transport. Together, these data suggest that COPI plays a critical but indirect role in anterograde transport, perhaps by directing retrieval of transport factors required for packaging of certain cargo into ER to Golgi COPII vesicles. Interestingly, CPY–invertase hybrid proteins, like invertase but unlike CPY, escaped the sec21 ts mutant ER block, suggesting that packaging into COPII vesicles may be mediated by cis-acting sorting determinants in the cargo proteins themselves. These hybrid proteins were efficiently targeted to the vacuole, indicating that COPI is also not directly required for regulated Golgi to vacuole transport. Additionally, the sec21 mutants exhibited early Golgi-specific glycosylation defects and structural aberrations in early but not late Golgi compartments at nonpermissive temperature. Together, these studies demonstrate that although COPI plays an important and most likely direct role both in Golgi–ER retrieval and in maintenance/function of the cis-Golgi, COPI does not appear to be directly required for anterograde transport through the secretory pathway.
PMCID: PMC2132489  PMID: 9049245
22.  Characterization of the PIB-Type ATPases Present in Thermus thermophilus 
Journal of Bacteriology  2012;194(15):4107-4113.
PIB-type ATPases transport heavy metals (Cu2+, Cu+, Ag+, Zn2+, Cd2+, Co2+) across biomembranes, playing a key role in homeostasis and in the mechanisms of biotolerance of these metals. Three genes coding for putative PIB-type ATPases are present in the genome of Thermus thermophilus (HB8 and HB27): the TTC1358, TTC1371, and TTC0354 genes; these genes are annotated, respectively, as two copper transporter (CopA and CopB) genes and a zinc-cadmium transporter (Zn2+/Cd2+-ATPase) gene. We cloned and expressed the three proteins with 8His tags using a T. thermophilus expression system. After purification, each of the proteins was shown to have phosphodiesterase activity at 65°C with ATP and p-nitrophenyl phosphate (pNPP) as substrates. CopA was found to have greater activity in the presence of Cu+, while CopB was found to have greater activity in the presence of Cu2+. The putative Zn2+/Cd2+-ATPase was truncated at the N terminus and was, surprisingly, activated in vitro by copper but not by zinc or cadmium. When expressed in Escherichia coli, however, the putative Zn2+/Cd2+-ATPase could be isolated as a full-length protein and the ATPase activity was increased by the addition of Zn2+ and Cd2+ as well as by Cu+. Mutant strains in which each of the three P-type ATPases was deleted singly were constructed. In each case, the deletion increased the sensitivity of the strain to growth in the presence of copper in the medium, indicating that each of the three can pump copper out of the cells and play a role in copper detoxification.
PMCID: PMC3416527  PMID: 22636781
23.  Induction of Tissue Factor by Urokinase in Lung Epithelial Cells and in the Lungs 
Rationale: Urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) regulates extracellular proteolysis in lung injury and repair. Although alveolar expression of uPA increases, procoagulant activity predominates.
Objectives: This study was designed to investigate whether uPA alters the expression of tissue factor (TF), the major initiator of the coagulation cascade, in lung epithelial cells (ECs).
Methods: Bronchial, primary airway ECs and C57B6 wild-type, uPA-deficient (uPA−/−) mice were exposed to phosphate-buffered saline, uPA, or LPS. Immunohistochemistry, protein, cellular, and molecular techniques were used to assess TF expression and activity.
Measurements and Main Results: uPA enhanced TF mRNA and protein expression, and TF-dependent coagulation in lung ECs. uPA-induced expression of TF involves both increased synthesis and enhanced stabilization of TF mRNA. uPA catalytic activity had little effect on induction of TF. By contrast, deletion of the uPA receptor binding growth factor domain from uPA markedly attenuated the induction of TF, suggesting that uPA receptor binding is sufficient for TF induction. Lung tissues of uPA-deficient mice expressed less TF protein and mRNA compared with wild-type mice. In addition, intratracheal instillation of mouse uPA increased TF mRNA and protein expression and accelerated coagulation in lung tissues. uPA−/− mice exposed to LPS failed to induce TF.
Conclusions: uPA increased TF expression and TF-dependent coagulation in the lungs of mice. We hypothesize that uPA-mediated induction of TF occurs in lung ECs to promote increased fibrin deposition in the airways during acute lung injury.
PMCID: PMC2894411  PMID: 20194819
urokinase; tissue factor; lung epithelial cells; idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
24.  Functional and Expression Analyses of the cop Operon, Required for Copper Resistance in Agrobacterium tumefaciens▿ †  
Journal of Bacteriology  2009;191(16):5159-5168.
The copper resistance determinant copARZ, which encodes a CPx-type copper ATPase efflux protein, a transcriptional regulator, and a putative intracellular copper chaperone, was functionally characterized for the phytopathogenic bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens. These genes are transcribed as an operon, and their expression is induced in response to increasing copper and silver ion concentrations in a copR-dependent fashion. Analysis of the copARZ promoter revealed a putative CopR binding box located within the spacer of the −35 and −10 promoter motifs. In vitro, purified CopR could specifically bind to the box. The inactivation of the copARZ operon or copZ reduces the level of resistance to copper but not to other metal ions. Also, the copARZ operon mutant shows increased sensitivity to the superoxide generators menadione and plumbagin. In addition, the loss of functional copZ does not affect the ability of copper ions to induce the copARZ promoter, indicating that CopZ is not involved in the copper-sensing mechanism of CopR. Altogether, the results demonstrate a crucial role for the copARZ operon as a component of the copper resistance machinery in A. tumefaciens.
PMCID: PMC2725580  PMID: 19502402
25.  Oestradiol regulation of the components of the plasminogen-plasmin system in MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells stably expressing the oestrogen receptor. 
British Journal of Cancer  1998;78(1):88-95.
To understand the hormonal regulation of the components of the plasminogen-plasmin system in human breast cancer, we examined the oestradiol (E2) regulation of plasminogen activators (PAs), namely urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) and tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA), plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (PAI-1) and uPA receptor (uPAR), in our model system. We used stable transfectants of the MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells that express either the wild-type (S30 cells) or the mutant 351asp-->tyr oestrogen receptor (ER) (BC-2 cells). Northern blot analysis showed that there was a concentration-dependent down-regulation of uPA, tPA and PAI-1 mRNAs by E2. In contrast, uPAR mRNA was not modulated by E2. The pure anti-oestrogen ICI 182,780 was able to block E2 action, indicating that the regulation of these genes is ER mediated. The E2 also inhibited the expression and secretion of uPA, tPA and PAI-1 proteins as determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in cell extracts (CEs) and conditioned media (CM). Zymography of the CM confirmed the inhibitory effect of E2 on uPA activity. Thus, we now report the regulation of uPA, PAI-1 and tPA by E2 in both mRNA and protein levels in ER transfectants. The association between down-regulation of the uPA by E2 and known E2-mediated growth inhibition of these cells was also explored. Our findings indicate that down-regulation of uPA by E2 is an upstream event of inhibitory effects of E2 on growth of these cells as the addition of exogenous uPA did not block the growth inhibition by E2.
PMCID: PMC2062932  PMID: 9662256

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