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1.  Endosomal WASH and exocyst complexes control exocytosis of MT1-MMP at invadopodia 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2013;203(6):1063-1079.
WASH and exocyst promote pericellular matrix degradation and tumor cell invasion by enabling localized exocytosis of MT1-MMP from late endosomes.
Remodeling of the extracellular matrix by carcinoma cells during metastatic dissemination requires formation of actin-based protrusions of the plasma membrane called invadopodia, where the trans-membrane type 1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) accumulates. Here, we describe an interaction between the exocyst complex and the endosomal Arp2/3 activator Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein and Scar homolog (WASH) on MT1-MMP–containing late endosomes in invasive breast carcinoma cells. We found that WASH and exocyst are required for matrix degradation by an exocytic mechanism that involves tubular connections between MT1-MMP–positive late endosomes and the plasma membrane in contact with the matrix. This ensures focal delivery of MT1-MMP and supports pericellular matrix degradation and tumor cell invasion into different pathologically relevant matrix environments. Our data suggest a general mechanism used by tumor cells to breach the basement membrane and for invasive migration through fibrous collagen-enriched tissues surrounding the tumor.
PMCID: PMC3871436  PMID: 24344185
3.  Correction: Exo70 Subunit of the Exocyst Complex Is Involved in Adhesion-Dependent Trafficking of Caveolin-1 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):10.1371/annotation/fc7791c5-45e2-44ae-868b-f0529c56033f.
PMCID: PMC3769203
4.  Exo70 Subunit of the Exocyst Complex Is Involved in Adhesion-Dependent Trafficking of Caveolin-1 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(12):e52627.
Caveolae are specialized domains of the plasma membrane, which play key roles in signaling, endocytosis and mechanosensing. Using total internal reflection fluorescent microscopy (TIRF-M), we observe that the exocyst subunit Exo70 forms punctuate structures at the plasma membrane and partially localizes with caveolin-1, the main component of caveolae. Upon cell detachment, we found that Exo70 accumulates with caveolin-1-positive vesicular structures. Upon cell re-adhesion, caveolin-1 traffics back to the plasma membrane in a multistep process involving microtubules and actin cytoskeleton. In addition, silencing of Exo70 redirects caveolin-1 to focal adhesions identified by markers such as α5 integrin or vinculin. Based on these findings, we conclude that Exo70 is involved in caveolin-1 recycling to the plasma membrane during re-adhesion of the cells to the substratum.
PMCID: PMC3531403  PMID: 23300727
5.  ARF6-regulated shedding of tumor-cell derived plasma membrane microvesicles 
Current biology : CB  2009;19(22):1875-1885.
Increased MAPK signaling, small GTPase activation, cytoskeletal rearrangements and the directed targeting of proteases to sites of extracellular matrix degradation, all accompany the process of tumor cell invasion. Several studies have implicated the small GTP-binding protein, ARF6, in tumor cell invasion although the molecular basis by which ARF6 facilitates this process is unclear.
We show that the ARF6 GTP/GDP cycle regulates the release of protease-loaded plasma membrane-derived microvesicles from tumor cells into the surrounding environment. To enable microvesicle shedding, ARF6-GTP dependent activation of phospholipase D promotes the recruitment of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) to the plasma membrane where in turn, ERK phosphorylates and activates myosin light chain kinase (MLCK). MLCK-mediated MLC phosphorylation is required for microvesicle release. Inhibition of ARF6 activation is accompanied by PKC-mediated phosphorylation of MLC, which blocks microvesicle shedding. Protein cargo appears to be selectively sorted into microvesicles and adhesion to the ECM is facilitated by microvesicle-associated integrin receptors.
Microvesicle shedding in tumor cells occurs via an actomyosin-based membrane abscission mechanism that is regulated by nucleotide cycling on ARF6. Microvesicle shedding appears to release selected cellular components, particularly those involved in cell adhesion and motility, into the surrounding environment. These findings suggest that ARF6 activation and the proteolytic activities of microvesicles both of which are thought to correlate directly with tumor progression, could potentially serve as biomarkers for disease.
PMCID: PMC3150487  PMID: 19896381
6.  Cdc42 localization and cell polarity depend on membrane traffic 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2010;191(7):1261-1269.
Arf6-dependent membrane dynamics concentrates active Cdc42 at the leading edge of migrating cells.
Cell polarity is essential for cell division, cell differentiation, and most differentiated cell functions including cell migration. The small G protein Cdc42 controls cell polarity in a wide variety of cellular contexts. Although restricted localization of active Cdc42 seems to be important for its distinct functions, mechanisms responsible for the concentration of active Cdc42 at precise cortical sites are not fully understood. In this study, we show that during directed cell migration, Cdc42 accumulation at the cell leading edge relies on membrane traffic. Cdc42 and its exchange factor βPIX localize to intracytosplasmic vesicles. Inhibition of Arf6-dependent membrane trafficking alters the dynamics of Cdc42-positive vesicles and abolishes the polarized recruitment of Cdc42 and βPIX to the leading edge. Furthermore, we show that Arf6-dependent membrane dynamics is also required for polarized recruitment of Rac and the Par6–aPKC polarity complex and for cell polarization. Our results demonstrate influence of membrane dynamics on the localization and activation of Cdc42 and consequently on directed cell migration.
PMCID: PMC3010071  PMID: 21173111
7.  Consortin, a trans-Golgi network cargo receptor for the plasma membrane targeting and recycling of connexins 
Human Molecular Genetics  2009;19(2):262-275.
Targeting of numerous transmembrane proteins to the cell surface is thought to depend on their recognition by cargo receptors that interact with the adaptor machinery for anterograde traffic at the distal end of the Golgi complex. We report here on consortin, a novel integral membrane protein that is predicted to be intrinsically disordered, i.e. that contains large segments whose native state is unstructured. We identified consortin as a binding partner of connexins, the building blocks of gap junctions. Consortin is located at the trans-Golgi network (TGN), in tubulovesicular transport organelles, and at the plasma membrane. It directly interacts with the TGN clathrin adaptors GGA1 and GGA2, and disruption of this interaction by expression of a consortin mutant lacking the acidic cluster–dileucine (DXXLL) GGA interaction motif causes an intracellular accumulation of several connexins. RNA interference-mediated silencing of consortin expression in HeLa cells blocks the cell surface targeting of these connexins, which accumulate intracellularly, whereas partial depletion and redistribution of the consortin pool slows down the intracellular degradation of gap junction plaques. Altogether, our results show that, by studying connexin trafficking, we have identified the first TGN cargo receptor for the targeting of transmembrane proteins to the plasma membrane. The identification of consortin provides in addition a potential target for therapies aimed at diseases in which connexin traffic is altered, including cardiac ischemia, peripheral neuropathies, cataracts and hearing impairment.
Sequence accession numbers. GenBank: Human CNST cDNA, NM_152609; mouse Cnst cDNA, NM_146105.
PMCID: PMC2796891  PMID: 19864490
8.  The interaction of IQGAP1 with the exocyst complex is required for tumor cell invasion downstream of Cdc42 and RhoA 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2008;181(6):985-998.
Invadopodia are actin-based membrane protrusions formed at contact sites between invasive tumor cells and the extracellular matrix with matrix proteolytic activity. Actin regulatory proteins participate in invadopodia formation, whereas matrix degradation requires metalloproteinases (MMPs) targeted to invadopodia. In this study, we show that the vesicle-tethering exocyst complex is required for matrix proteolysis and invasion of breast carcinoma cells. We demonstrate that the exocyst subunits Sec3 and Sec8 interact with the polarity protein IQGAP1 and that this interaction is triggered by active Cdc42 and RhoA, which are essential for matrix degradation. Interaction between IQGAP1 and the exocyst is necessary for invadopodia activity because enhancement of matrix degradation induced by the expression of IQGAP1 is lost upon deletion of the exocyst-binding site. We further show that the exocyst and IQGAP1 are required for the accumulation of cell surface membrane type 1 MMP at invadopodia. Based on these results, we propose that invadopodia function in tumor cells relies on the coordination of cytoskeletal assembly and exocytosis downstream of Rho guanosine triphosphatases.
PMCID: PMC2426946  PMID: 18541705
9.  AP-1 and ARF1 Control Endosomal Dynamics at Sites of FcR–mediated Phagocytosis 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2007;18(12):4921-4931.
Phagocytosis, the mechanism of ingestion of large material and microorganisms, relies on actin polymerization and on the focal delivery of intracellular endocytic compartments. The molecular mechanisms involved in the formation and delivery of the endocytic vesicles that are recruited at sites of phagocytosis are not well characterized. Here we show that adaptor protein (AP)-1 but not AP-2 clathrin adaptor complexes are recruited early below the sites of particle attachment and are required for efficient receptor-mediated phagocytosis in murine macrophages. Clathrin, however, is not recruited with the AP complexes. We further show that the recruitment of AP-1–positive structures at sites of phagocytosis is regulated by the GTP-binding protein ARF1 but is not sensitive to brefeldin A. Furthermore, AP-1 depletion leads to increased surface levels of TNF-α, a cargo known to traffic through the endosomes to the plasma membrane upon stimulation of the macrophages. Together, our results support a clathrin-independent role for AP complexes in endosomal dynamics in macrophages by retaining some cargo proteins, a process important for membrane remodeling during phagocytosis.
PMCID: PMC2096587  PMID: 17914058
10.  Proteasome-mediated Degradation of Rac1-GTP during Epithelial Cell ScatteringD⃞ 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2006;17(5):2236-2242.
Epithelial cells disassemble their adherens junctions and “scatter” during processes such as tumor cell invasion as well as some stages of embryonic development. Control of actin polymerization is a powerful mechanism for regulating the strength of cell–cell adhesion. In this regard, studies have shown that sustained activation of Rac1, a well-known regulator of actin dynamics, results in the accumulation of polymerized actin at cell–cell contacts in epithelia and an increase in E-cadherin–mediated adhesion. Here we show that active Rac1 is ubiquitinated and subject to proteasome-mediated degradation during the early stages of epithelial cell scattering. These findings delineate a mechanism for the down-regulation of Rac1 in the disassembly of epithelial cell–cell contacts and support the emerging theme that UPS-mediated degradation of the Rho family GTPases may serve as an efficient mechanism for GTPase deactivation in the sustained presence of Dbl-exchange factors.
PMCID: PMC1446081  PMID: 16481404
11.  RalB Mobilizes the Exocyst To Drive Cell Migration†  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2006;26(2):727-734.
The Ras family GTPases RalA and RalB have been defined as central components of the regulatory machinery supporting tumor initiation and progression. Although it is known that Ral proteins mediate oncogenic Ras signaling and physically and functionally interact with vesicle trafficking machinery, their mechanistic contribution to oncogenic transformation is unknown. Here, we have directly evaluated the relative contribution of Ral proteins and Ral effector pathways to cell motility and directional migration. Through loss-of-function analysis, we find that RalA is not limiting for cell migration in normal mammalian epithelial cells. In contrast, RalB and the Sec6/8 complex or exocyst, an immediate downstream Ral effector complex, are required for vectorial cell motility. RalB expression is required for promoting both exocyst assembly and localization to the leading edge of moving cells. We propose that RalB regulation of exocyst function is required for the coordinated delivery of secretory vesicles to the sites of dynamic plasma membrane expansion that specify directional movement.
PMCID: PMC1346891  PMID: 16382162
12.  Phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate hydrolysis directs actin remodeling during phagocytosis 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2005;169(1):139-149.
The Rho GTPases play a critical role in initiating actin polymerization during phagocytosis. In contrast, the factors directing the disassembly of F-actin required for fission of the phagocytic vacuole are ill defined. We used fluorescent chimeric proteins to monitor the dynamics of association of actin and active Cdc42 and Rac1 with the forming phagosome. Although actin was found to disappear from the base of the forming phagosome before sealing was complete, Rac1/Cdc42 activity persisted, suggesting that termination of GTPase activity is not the main determinant of actin disassembly. Furthermore, fully internalized phagosomes engineered to associate constitutively with active Rac1 showed little associated F-actin. The disappearance of phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate (PI(4,5)P2) from the phagosomal membrane closely paralleled the course of actin disassembly. Furthermore, inhibition of PI(4,5)P2 hydrolysis or increased PI(4,5)P2 generation by overexpression of phosphatidylinositol phosphate kinase I prevented the actin disassembly necessary for the completion of phagocytosis. These observations suggest that hydrolysis of PI(4,5)P2 dictates the remodeling of actin necessary for completion of phagocytosis.
PMCID: PMC2171893  PMID: 15809313
13.  ARF6 controls post-endocytic recycling through its downstream exocyst complex effector 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2003;163(5):1111-1121.
The small guanosine triphosphate (GTP)–binding protein ADP-ribosylation factor (ARF) 6 regulates membrane recycling to regions of plasma membrane remodeling via the endocytic pathway. Here, we show that GTP–bound ARF6 interacts with Sec10, a subunit of the exocyst complex involved in docking of vesicles with the plasma membrane. We found that Sec10 localization in the perinuclear region is not restricted to the trans-Golgi network, but extends to recycling endosomes. In addition, we report that depletion of Sec5 exocyst subunit or dominant inhibition of Sec10 affects the function and the morphology of the recycling pathway. Sec10 is found to redistribute to ruffling areas of the plasma membrane in cells expressing GTP-ARF6, whereas dominant inhibition of Sec10 interferes with ARF6-induced cell spreading. Our paper suggests that ARF6 specifies delivery and insertion of recycling membranes to regions of dynamic reorganization of the plasma membrane through interaction with the vesicle-tethering exocyst complex.
PMCID: PMC2173613  PMID: 14662749
ARF6; exocyst complex; recycling; endocytosis; small GTP-binding protein
14.  ADP ribosylation factor 6 is activated and controls membrane delivery during phagocytosis in macrophages 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2003;161(6):1143-1150.
Engulfment of particles by phagocytes is induced by their interaction with specific receptors on the cell surface, which leads to actin polymerization and the extension of membrane protrusions to form a closed phagosome. Membrane delivery from internal pools is considered to play an important role in pseudopod extension during phagocytosis. Here, we report that endogenous ADP ribosylation factor 6 (ARF6), a small GTP-binding protein, undergoes a sharp and transient activation in macrophages when phagocytosis was initiated via receptors for the Fc portion of immunoglobulins (FcRs). A dominant-negative mutant of ARF6 (T27N mutation) dramatically affected FcR-mediated phagocytosis. Expression of ARF6-T27N lead to a reduction in the focal delivery of vesicle-associated membrane protein 3+ endosomal recycling membranes at phagocytosis sites, whereas actin polymerization was unimpaired. This resulted in an early blockade in pseudopod extension and accumulation of intracellular vesicles, as observed by electron microscopy. We conclude that ARF6 is a major regulator of membrane recycling during phagocytosis.
PMCID: PMC2172982  PMID: 12810696
VAMP3/cellubrevin; ARF6; recycling; endocytosis; actin

Results 1-14 (14)