The PhyB-PIF light-inducible dimerization system is used to achieve rapid, reversible, and titratable control of protein localization in budding yeast. This system can be used to dynamically activate or inactivate proteins of interest. It is used here to probe where and when Clb2 activity is required for nuclear fission and spindle stabilization.
Protein localization plays a central role in cell biology. Although powerful tools exist to assay the spatial and temporal dynamics of proteins in living cells, our ability to control these dynamics has been much more limited. We previously used the phytochrome B– phytochrome-interacting factor light-gated dimerization system to recruit proteins to the plasma membrane, enabling us to control the activation of intracellular signals in mammalian cells. Here we extend this approach to achieve rapid, reversible, and titratable control of protein localization for eight different organelles/positions in budding yeast. By tagging genes at the endogenous locus, we can recruit proteins to or away from their normal sites of action. This system provides a general strategy for dynamically activating or inactivating proteins of interest by controlling their localization and therefore their availability to binding partners and substrates, as we demonstrate for galactose signaling. More importantly, the temporal and spatial precision of the system make it possible to identify when and where a given protein's activity is necessary for function, as we demonstrate for the mitotic cyclin Clb2 in nuclear fission and spindle stabilization. Our light-inducible organelle-targeting system represents a powerful approach for achieving a better understanding of complex biological systems.
In Saccharomyces cerevisiae mitosis, the protein Slk19 plays an important role in the initial release of Cdc14 phosphatase from the nucleolus to the nucleus in early anaphase, an event that is critical for proper anaphase progression. A role for Slk19 in later mitotic stages of Cdc14 regulation, however, has not been demonstrated. While investigating the role of Slk19 post-translational modification on Cdc14 regulation, we found that a triple point mutant of SLK19, slk193R (three lysine-to-arginine mutations), strongly affects Cdc14 localization during late anaphase and mitotic exit. Using fluorescence live-cell microscopy, we found that, similar to slk19Δ cells, slk193R cells exhibit no defect in spindle stability and only a mild defect in spindle elongation dynamics. Unlike slk19Δcells, however, slk193R cells exhibit no defect in Cdc14 release from the nucleolus to the nucleus. Instead, slk193R cells are defective in the timing of Cdc14 movement from the nucleus to the cytoplasm at the end of anaphase. This mutant has a novel phenotype: slk193R causes premature Cdc14 movement to the cytoplasm prior to, rather than concomitant with, spindle disassembly. One consequence of this premature Cdc14 movement is the inappropriate activation of the mitotic exit network, made evident by the fact that slk193R partially rescues a mutant of the mitotic exit network kinase Cdc15. In conclusion, in addition to its role in regulating Cdc14 release from the nucleolus to the nucleus, we found that Slk19 is also important for regulating Cdc14 movement from the nucleus to the cytoplasm at the end of anaphase.
Cargo-mediated control of clathrin-coated pits (CCPs) is an emerging paradigm with few examples. Activated μ-opioid receptors are localized to CCPs and control the dynamics specifically of these CCPs by regulating dynamin lifetimes via a cytoplasmic bileucine sequence. This suggests divergent modes for cargo-mediated control of CCPs.
Clathrin-mediated endocytosis has long been viewed as a process driven by core endocytic proteins, with internalized cargo proteins being passive. In contrast, an emerging view suggests that signaling receptor cargo may actively control its fate by regulating the dynamics of clathrin-coated pits (CCPs) that mediate their internalization. Despite its physiological implications, very little is known about such “cargo-mediated regulation” of CCPs by signaling receptors. Here, using multicolor total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy imaging and quantitative analysis in live cells, we show that the μ-opioid receptor, a physiologically relevant G protein–coupled signaling receptor, delays the dynamics of CCPs in which it is localized. This delay is mediated by the interactions of two critical leucines on the receptor cytoplasmic tail. Unlike the previously known mechanism of cargo-mediated regulation, these residues regulate the lifetimes of dynamin, a key component of CCP scission. These results identify a novel means for selectively controlling the endocytosis of distinct cargo that share common trafficking components and indicate that CCP regulation by signaling receptors can operate via divergent modes.
While studying actin assembly as a graduate student with Matt Welch at the University of California at Berkeley, my interest was piqued by reports of surprising observations in bacteria: the identification of numerous cytoskeletal proteins, actin homologues fulfilling spindle-like functions, and even the presence of membrane-bound organelles. Curiosity about these phenomena drew me to Lucy Shapiro's lab at Stanford University for my postdoctoral research. In the Shapiro lab, and now in my lab at Johns Hopkins, I have focused on investigating the mechanisms of bacterial cytokinesis. Spending time as both a eukaryotic cell biologist and a bacterial cell biologist has convinced me that bacterial cells present the same questions as eukaryotic cells: How are chromosomes organized and accurately segregated? How is force generated for cytokinesis? How is polarity established? How are signals transduced within and between cells? These problems are conceptually similar between eukaryotes and bacteria, although their solutions can differ significantly in specifics. In this Perspective, I provide a broad view of cell biological phenomena in bacteria, the technical challenges facing those of us who peer into bacterial cells, and areas of common ground as research in eukaryotic and bacterial cell biology moves forward.
A mechanistic understanding of signaling networks requires identification and analysis of phosphorylation sites. Mass spectrometry offers a rapid and highly sensitive approach to mapping phosphorylation sites. However, mass spectrometry has significant limitations that must be considered when planning to carry out phosphorylation-site mapping. Here we provide an overview of key information that should be taken into consideration before beginning phosphorylation-site analysis, as well as a step-by-step guide for carrying out successful experiments.
Microtubules are the basic elements of the cytoskeleton. This study demonstrates that a specific mutation in mec-7/β-tubulin is necessary for the correct number of neurites a neuron extends in vivo and the neuron’s capacity for axonal regeneration following injury.
Microtubules have been known for decades to be basic elements of the cytoskeleton. They form long, dynamic, rope-like structures within the cell that are essential for mitosis, maintenance of cell shape, and intracellular transport. More recently, in vitro studies have implicated microtubules as signaling molecules that, through changes in their stability, have the potential to trigger growth of axons and dendrites in developing neurons. In this study, we show that specific mutations in the Caenorhabditis elegans mec-7/β-tubulin gene cause ectopic axon formation in mechanosensory neurons in vivo. In mec-7 mutants, the ALM mechanosensory neuron forms a long ectopic neurite that extends posteriorly, a phenotype that can be mimicked in wild-type worms with a microtubule-stabilizing drug (paclitaxel), and suppressed by mutations in unc-33/CRMP2 and the kinesin-related gene, vab-8. Our results also reveal that these ectopic neurites contain RAB-3, a marker for presynaptic loci, suggesting that they have axon-like properties. Interestingly, in contrast with the excessive axonal growth observed during development, mec-7 mutants are inhibited in axonal regrowth and remodeling following axonal injury. Together our results suggest that MEC-7/β-tubulin integrity is necessary for the correct number of neurites a neuron generates in vivo and for the capacity of an axon to regenerate.
The spatial and temporal regulation of actin polymerization is crucial for various cellular processes. Members of the Wiskott–Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP) family activate the Arp2/3-complex leading to actin polymerization. The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae contains only one WASP homolog, Las17, that requires additional factors for its regulation. Lsb1 and Lsb2/Pin3 are two yeast homologous proteins bearing an SH3 domain that were identified as Las17-binding proteins. Lsb2/Pin3 that promotes prion induction was suggested to link this prion formation to the actin cytoskeleton. However, the cellular role of Lsb1 and the molecular function of both Lsb1 and Lsb2 remain unknown. In this study, we show that Lsb1 and/or Lsb2 full-length proteins inhibit Las17-mediated actin polymerization in vitro, Lsb2 being a less potent inhibitor of Las17 activity compared to Lsb1. Addition of Lsb1 or Lsb2 to the corresponding full-length Lsb1/2 further inhibits Las17 activity. Lsb1 and Lsb2 form homo- and hetero-oligomeric complexes suggesting that these two proteins could regulate Las17 activity via dimerization or cooperative binding. In vivo, overexpressed Lsb1 and Lsb2 proteins cluster Las17-CFP in few cytoplasmic punctate structures that are also positive for other Arp2/3-dependent actin polymerization effectors like Sla1 or Abp1. But, only Lsb1 overexpression blocks the internalization step of receptor-mediated endocytosis. This shows a specific function of Lsb1 in endocytosis.
The Caenorhabditis elegans SH3 domain interactome was mapped and compared with the yeast SH3 interactome. Orthologous SH3 domain-mediated interactions are highly rewired, but the general function of the SH3 domain network is conserved between the two species
C. elegans Src homology 3 (SH3) domain interactome was mapped using stringent yeast two-hybrid, resulting in a total of 1070 interactions among 79 out of 84 worm SH3 domains and 475 proteins.SH3 domain binding specificities were profiled for 36 worm SH3 domains using peptide phage display.The yeast and worm SH3 domain interactomes are significantly enriched in endocytosis proteins, but the specific interactions mediated by orthologous SH3 domains are highly rewired.Using the worm SH3 interactome, we identified new endocytosis proteins in worm and human.
Src homology 3 (SH3) domains bind peptides to mediate protein–protein interactions that assemble and regulate dynamic biological processes. We surveyed the repertoire of SH3 binding specificity using peptide phage display in a metazoan, the worm Caenorhabditis elegans, and discovered that it structurally mirrors that of the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We then mapped the worm SH3 interactome using stringent yeast two-hybrid and compared it with the equivalent map for yeast. We found that the worm SH3 interactome resembles the analogous yeast network because it is significantly enriched for proteins with roles in endocytosis. Nevertheless, orthologous SH3 domain-mediated interactions are highly rewired. Our results suggest a model of network evolution where general function of the SH3 domain network is conserved over its specific form.
network evolution; phage display; protein interaction conservation; SH3 domains; yeast two-hybrid
Daydreamer (DydA), a new Mig10/RIAM/lamellipodin family adaptor protein, is a Ras effector required for cell polarization and directional movement during chemotaxis. DydA is phosphorylated by glycogen synthase kinase-3, which is required for some, but not all, of DydA's functions. gskA− cells exhibit very strong chemotactic phenotypes, a subset of which are exhibited by dydA− cells.
How independent signaling pathways are integrated to holistically control a biological process is not well understood. We have identified Daydreamer (DydA), a new member of the Mig10/RIAM/lamellipodin (MRL) family of adaptor proteins that localizes to the leading edge of the cell. DydA is a putative Ras effector that is required for cell polarization and directional movement during chemotaxis. dydA− cells exhibit elevated F-actin and assembled myosin II (MyoII), increased and extended phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K) activity, and extended phosphorylation of the activation loop of PKB and PKBR1, suggesting that DydA is involved in the negative regulation of these pathways. DydA is phosphorylated by glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3), which is required for some, but not all, of DydA's functions, including the proper regulation of PKB and PKBR1 and MyoII assembly. gskA− cells exhibit very strong chemotactic phenotypes, as previously described, but exhibit an increased rate of random motility. gskA− cells have a reduced MyoII response and a reduced level of phosphatidylinositol (3,4,5)-triphosphate production, but a highly extended recruitment of PI3K to the plasma membrane and highly extended kinetics of PKB and PKBR1 activation. Our results demonstrate that GSK-3 function is essential for chemotaxis, regulating multiple substrates, and that one of these effectors, DydA, plays a key function in the dynamic regulation of chemotaxis.
A method is presented that allows rapid and efficient purification of native, active tubulin from a variety of species and tissue sources by affinity chromatography. It eliminates the need to use heterologous systems for the study of microtubule-associated proteins and motor proteins, which has been a major issue in microtubule-related research.
We have developed a protocol that allows rapid and efficient purification of native, active tubulin from a variety of species and tissue sources by affinity chromatography. The affinity matrix comprises a bacterially expressed, recombinant protein, the TOG1/2 domains from Saccharomyces cerevisiae Stu2, covalently coupled to a Sepharose support. The resin has a high capacity to specifically bind tubulin from clarified crude cell extracts, and, after washing, highly purified tubulin can be eluted under mild conditions. The eluted tubulin is fully functional and can be efficiently assembled into microtubules. The method eliminates the need to use heterologous systems for the study of microtubule-associated proteins and motor proteins, which has been a major issue in microtubule-related research.
Much of the spectacular progress in biomedical science over the last half-century is the direct consequence of the work of thousands of basic scientists whose primary goal was understanding of the fundamental working of living things. Despite this, many politicians, funders, and even scientists have come to believe that the pace of successful applications to medical diagnosis and therapy is limited by our willingness to focus directly on human health, rather than a continuing deficit of understanding. By this theory, curiosity-driven research, aimed at understanding, is no longer important or even useful. What is advocated instead is “translational” research aimed directly at treating disease. I believe this idea to be deeply mistaken. Recent history suggests instead that what we have learned in the last 50 years is only the beginning. The way forward is to invest more in basic science, not less.
The profound challenges facing clinicians, who must prescribe drugs in the face of dramatic variability in response, and the pharmaceutical industry, which must develop new drugs despite ever-rising costs, represent opportunities for cell biologists interested in rethinking the conceptual basis of pharmacology and drug discovery. Much better understanding is required of the quantitative behaviors of networks targeted by drugs in cells, tissues, and organisms. Cell biologists interested in these topics should learn more about the basic structure of drug development campaigns and hone their quantitative and programming skills. A world of conceptual challenges and engaging industry–academic collaborations awaits, all with the promise of delivering real benefit to patients and strained healthcare systems.
During endocytosis, actin polymerization nucleated by the Arp2/3 complex provides force needed to drive internalization. Las17 is the strongest activator of the Arp2/3 complex in yeast cells. This study shows that Las17 is associated into a stable complex with Sla1, an adaptor that inhibits Las17 activity both in vitro and in vivo.
During clathrin-mediated endocytosis, branched actin polymerization nucleated by the Arp2/3 complex provides force needed to drive vesicle internalization. Las17 (yeast WASp) is the strongest activator of the Arp2/3 complex in yeast cells; it is not autoinhibited and arrives to endocytic sites 20 s before actin polymerization begins. It is unclear how Las17 is kept inactive for 20 s at endocytic sites, thus restricting actin polymerization to late stages of endocytosis. In this paper, we demonstrate that Las17 is part of a large and biochemically stable complex with Sla1, a clathrin adaptor that inhibits Las17 activity. The interaction is direct, multivalent, and strong, and was mapped to novel Las17 polyproline motifs that are simultaneously class I and class II. In vitro pyrene-actin polymerization assays established that Sla1 inhibition of Las17 activity depends on the class I/II Las17 polyproline motifs and is based on competition between Sla1 and monomeric actin for binding to Las17. Furthermore, live-cell imaging showed the interaction with Sla1 is important for normal Las17 recruitment to endocytic sites, inhibition during the initial 20 s, and efficient endocytosis. These results advance our understanding of the regulation of actin polymerization in endocytosis.
Endocytosis in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae involves the ordered recruitment, activity and disassembly of nearly 60 proteins at distinct sites on the plasma membrane. Two-color live-cell fluorescence microscopy has proven to be invaluable for in vivo analysis of endocytic proteins: identifying new components, determining the order of protein arrival and dissociation, and revealing even very subtle mutant phenotypes. Yeast genetics and functional genomics facilitate identification of complex interaction networks between endocytic proteins and their regulators. Quantitive datasets produced by these analyses have made theoretical modeling possible. Here, we discuss recent findings on budding yeast endocytosis that have advanced our knowledge of how ~60 endocytic proteins are recruited, regulated by lipid and protein modifications, and disassembled with remarkable regularity.
Evaluation of scientific work underlies the process of career advancement in academic science, with publications being a fundamental metric. Many aspects of the evaluation process for grants and promotions are deeply ingrained in institutions and funding agencies and have been altered very little in the past several decades, despite substantial changes that have taken place in the scientific work force, the funding landscape, and the way that science is being conducted. This article examines how scientific productivity is being evaluated, what it is rewarding, where it falls short, and why richer information than a standard curriculum vitae/biosketch might provide a more accurate picture of scientific and educational contributions. The article also explores how the evaluation process exerts a profound influence on many aspects of the scientific enterprise, including the training of new scientists, the way in which grant resources are distributed, the manner in which new knowledge is published, and the culture of science itself.
An actin-dependent role is shown for Myo1E in the trafficking of newly internalized cargo to early endosomes during CME. The results establish for mammalian cells, similar to budding yeast, interdependence in the recruitment of type I myosins, WIP/WIRE, and N-WASP to endocytic sites to assemble F-actin as endocytic vesicles are being formed.
Myosin 1E (Myo1E) is recruited to sites of clathrin-mediated endocytosis coincident with a burst of actin assembly. The recruitment dynamics and lifetime of Myo1E are similar to those of tagged actin polymerization regulatory proteins. Like inhibition of actin assembly, depletion of Myo1E causes reduced transferrin endocytosis and a significant delay in transferrin trafficking to perinuclear compartments, demonstrating an integral role for Myo1E in these actin-mediated steps. Mistargeting of GFP-Myo1E or its src-homology 3 domain to mitochondria results in appearance of WIP, WIRE, N-WASP, and actin filaments at the mitochondria, providing evidence for Myo1E's role in actin assembly regulation. These results suggest for mammalian cells, similar to budding yeast, interdependence in the recruitment of type I myosins, WIP/WIRE, and N-WASP to endocytic sites for Arp2/3 complex activation to assemble F-actin as endocytic vesicles are being formed.
This study reveals the basis for how temporal phosphoregulation of Orm protein controls sphingolipid production in response to stress. Orm protein phosphorylation is highly responsive to sphingoid bases, and Ypk1 protein kinase transmits heat stress signals to the sphingolipid biosynthesis pathway via Orm phosphorylation.
Sphingoid intermediates accumulate in response to a variety of stresses, including heat, and trigger cellular responses. However, the mechanism by which stress affects sphingolipid biosynthesis has yet to be identified. Recent studies in yeast suggest that sphingolipid biosynthesis is regulated through phosphorylation of the Orm proteins, which in humans are potential risk factors for childhood asthma. Here we demonstrate that Orm phosphorylation status is highly responsive to sphingoid bases. We also demonstrate, by monitoring temporal changes in Orm phosphorylation and sphingoid base production in cells inhibited for yeast protein kinase 1 (Ypk1) activity, that Ypk1 transmits heat stress signals to the sphingolipid biosynthesis pathway via Orm phosphorylation. Our data indicate that heat-induced sphingolipid biosynthesis in turn triggers Orm protein dephosphorylation, making the induction transient. We identified Cdc55–protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) as a key phosphatase that counteracts Ypk1 activity in Orm-mediated sphingolipid biosynthesis regulation. In total, our study reveals a mechanism through which the conserved Pkh-Ypk kinase cascade and Cdc55-PP2A facilitate rapid, transient sphingolipid production in response to heat stress through Orm protein phosphoregulation. We propose that this mechanism serves as the basis for how Orm phosphoregulation controls sphingolipid biosynthesis in response to stress in a kinetically coupled manner.
Polo-like kinase 4 (Plk4) plays an essential role in centriole duplication, but recent work led to the conclusion that Plk4 also directly regulates cytokinesis. The consequence of reduced Plk4 levels in human and mouse cells is studied. It is shown that Plk4 controls centriole duplication but does not directly regulate cytokinesis.
Centrioles organize the centrosome, and accurate control of their number is critical for the maintenance of genomic integrity. Centrioles duplicate once per cell cycle, and duplication is coordinated by Polo-like kinase 4 (Plk4). We previously demonstrated that Plk4 accumulation is autoregulated by its own kinase activity. However, loss of heterozygosity of Plk4 in mouse embryonic fibroblasts has been proposed to cause cytokinesis failure as a primary event, leading to centrosome amplification and gross chromosomal abnormalities. Using targeted gene disruption, we show that human epithelial cells with one inactivated Plk4 allele undergo neither cytokinesis failure nor increase in centrosome amplification. Plk4 is shown to localize exclusively at the centrosome, with none in the spindle midbody. Substantial depletion of Plk4 by small interfering RNA leads to loss of centrioles and subsequent spindle defects that lead to a modest increase in the rate of cytokinesis failure. Therefore, Plk4 is a centriole-localized kinase that does not directly regulate cytokinesis.
Eukaryotic cells generate a diversity of actin filament networks in a common cytoplasm to optimally perform functions such as cell motility, cell adhesion, endocytosis and cytokinesis. Each of these networks maintains precise mechanical and dynamic properties by autonomously controlling the composition of its interacting proteins and spatial organization of its actin filaments. In this review, we discuss the chemical and physical mechanisms that target distinct sets of actin-binding proteins to distinct actin filament populations after nucleation, resulting in the assembly of actin filament networks that are optimized for specific functions.
We used soft x-ray tomography (SXT) – a high-resolution, quantitative imaging technique – to measure cell size and organelle volumes in yeasts. Cell size is a key factor in initiating cell division in yeasts, whereas the number and volume of the organelles has a profound impact on the function and viability of a cell. Consequently, determining these cell parameters is fundamentally important in understanding yeast biology. SXT is well suited to this type of analysis. Specimens are imaged in a near-native state, and relatively large numbers of cells can be readily analyzed. In this study, we characterized haploid and diploid strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae at each of the key stages in the cell cycle, and determined if there were relationships between cellular and organelle volumes. We then compared these results with SXT data obtained from Schizosaccharomyces pombe, the three main phenotypes displayed by the opportunistic yeast pathogen Candida albicans, and from a coff1-22 mutant strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This comparison revealed that volumetric ratios were invariant irrespective of yeast strain, ploidy or morphology, leading to the conclusion these volumetric ratios are common in all yeasts.
High-throughput measurement technologies produce data sets that have the potential to elucidate the biological impact of disease, drug treatment, and environmental agents on humans. The scientific community faces an ongoing challenge in the analysis of these rich data sources to more accurately characterize biological processes that have been perturbed at the mechanistic level. Here, a new approach is built on previous methodologies in which high-throughput data was interpreted using prior biological knowledge of cause and effect relationships. These relationships are structured into network models that describe specific biological processes, such as inflammatory signaling or cell cycle progression. This enables quantitative assessment of network perturbation in response to a given stimulus.
Four complementary methods were devised to quantify treatment-induced activity changes in processes described by network models. In addition, companion statistics were developed to qualify significance and specificity of the results. This approach is called Network Perturbation Amplitude (NPA) scoring because the amplitudes of treatment-induced perturbations are computed for biological network models. The NPA methods were tested on two transcriptomic data sets: normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE) cells treated with the pro-inflammatory signaling mediator TNFα, and HCT116 colon cancer cells treated with the CDK cell cycle inhibitor R547. Each data set was scored against network models representing different aspects of inflammatory signaling and cell cycle progression, and these scores were compared with independent measures of pathway activity in NHBE cells to verify the approach. The NPA scoring method successfully quantified the amplitude of TNFα-induced perturbation for each network model when compared against NF-κB nuclear localization and cell number. In addition, the degree and specificity to which CDK-inhibition affected cell cycle and inflammatory signaling were meaningfully determined.
The NPA scoring method leverages high-throughput measurements and a priori literature-derived knowledge in the form of network models to characterize the activity change for a broad collection of biological processes at high-resolution. Applications of this framework include comparative assessment of the biological impact caused by environmental factors, toxic substances, or drug treatments.