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1.  Novel progesterone receptors: neural localization and possible functions 
Progesterone (P4) regulates a wide range of neural functions and likely acts through multiple receptors. Over the past 30 years, most studies investigating neural effects of P4 focused on genomic and non-genomic actions of the classical progestin receptor (PGR). More recently the focus has widened to include two groups of non-classical P4 signaling molecules. Members of the Class II progestin and adipoQ receptor (PAQR) family are called membrane progestin receptors (mPRs) and include: mPRα (PAQR7), mPRβ (PAQR8), mPRγ (PAQR5), mPRδ (PAQR6), and mPRε (PAQR9). Members of the b5-like heme/steroid-binding protein family include progesterone receptor membrane component 1 (PGRMC1), PGRMC2, neudesin, and neuferricin. Results of our recent mapping studies show that members of the PGRMC1/S2R family, but not mPRs, are quite abundant in forebrain structures important for neuroendocrine regulation and other non-genomic effects of P4. Herein we describe the structures, neuroanatomical localization, and signaling mechanisms of these molecules. We also discuss possible roles for Pgrmc1/S2R in gonadotropin release, feminine sexual behaviors, fluid balance and neuroprotection, as well as catamenial epilepsy.
PMCID: PMC3776953  PMID: 24065878
2.  Regulation of exocytosis by the exocyst subunit Sec6 and the SM protein Sec1 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2012;23(2):337-346.
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.
PMCID: PMC3258177  PMID: 22114349
3.  The structure of the Myo4p globular tail and its function in ASH1 mRNA localization 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2010;189(3):497-510.
A conserved patch of amino acids in the globular tail of type V myosin binds She3p to localize ASH1 mRNA to the bud of dividing yeast cells.
Type V myosin (MyoV)–dependent transport of cargo is an essential process in eukaryotes. Studies on yeast and vertebrate MyoV showed that their globular tails mediate binding to the cargo complexes. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the MyoV motor Myo4p interacts with She3p to localize asymmetric synthesis of HO 1 (ASH1) mRNA into the bud of dividing cells. A recent study showed that localization of GFP-MS2–tethered ASH1 particles does not require the Myo4p globular tail, challenging the supposed role of this domain. We assessed ASH1 mRNA and Myo4p distribution more directly and found that their localization is impaired in cells expressing globular tail–lacking Myo4p. In vitro studies further show that the globular tail together with a more N-terminal linker region is required for efficient She3p binding. We also determined the x-ray structure of the Myo4p globular tail and identify a conserved surface patch important for She3p binding. The structure shows pronounced similarities to membrane-tethering complexes and indicates that Myo4p may not undergo auto-inhibition of its motor domain.
PMCID: PMC2867299  PMID: 20439999

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