Macroautophagy is essential to cell survival during starvation and proceeds by the growth of a double-membraned phagophore, which engulfs cytosol and other substrates. The synthesis and recognition of the lipid phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate (PI(3)P) is essential for autophagy. The key autophagic PI(3)P sensors, which are conserved from yeast to humans, belong to the PROPPIN family. Here we report the crystal structure of the yeast PROPPIN Hsv2. The structure consists of a seven-bladed β-propeller, and unexpectedly, contains two pseudo-equivalent PI(3)P binding sites on blades 5 and 6. These two sites both contribute to membrane binding in vitro and are collectively required for full autophagic function in yeast. These sites function in concert with membrane binding by a hydrophobic loop in blade 6, explaining the specificity of the PROPPINs for membrane-bound PI(3)P. These observations thus provide a structural and mechanistic framework for one of the conserved central molecular recognition events in autophagy.
Chimaerins, a family of GTPase activating proteins (GAPs) for the small G-protein Rac, have been implicated in development, neuritogenesis, and cancer. These Rac-GAPs are regulated by the lipid second messenger diacylglycerol (DAG) generated by tyrosine-kinases such as the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Here we identify an atypical Pro-rich motif in chimaerins that binds to the adaptor protein Nck1. Unlike most Nck1 partners, chimaerins bind to the third SH3 domain of Nck1. This association is mediated by electrostatic interactions of basic residues within the Pro-rich motif with acidic clusters in the SH3 domain. EGF promotes the binding of β2-chimaerin to Nck1 in the cell periphery in a DAG-dependent manner. Moreover, β2-chimaerin translocation to the plasma membrane and its peripheral association with Rac1 requires Nck1. Our studies underscore a coordinated mechanism for β2-chimaerin activation that involves lipid interactions via the C1 domain and protein-protein interactions via the N-terminal Pro-rich region.
Membranes are sites of intense signaling activity within the cell, serving as dynamic scaffolds for the recruitment of signaling molecules and their substrates. The specific and reversible localization of these signaling molecules to membranes is critical for the appropriate activation of downstream signaling pathways. Phospholipid-binding domains, including C1, C2, PH, and PX domains, play critical roles in the membrane targeting of protein kinases. Recent structural studies have identified a new membrane association domain, the Kinase Associated 1 (KA1) domain, which targets a number of yeast and mammalian protein kinases to membranes containing acidic phospholipids. Despite an abundance of localization studies on lipid-binding proteins and structural studies of the isolated lipid-binding domains, the question of how membrane binding is coupled to the activation of the kinase catalytic domain has been virtually untouched. Recently, structural studies on protein kinase C (PKC) have provided some of the first structural insights into the allosteric regulation of protein kinases by lipid second messengers.
The endosomal sorting complexes required for transport (ESCRTs) catalyze one of the most unusual membrane remodelling events in cell biology. ESCRT-I and ESCRT-II direct membrane budding away from the cytosol by stabilizing bud necks without coating the bud and without being consumed in the buds. ESCRT-III cleaves the bud necks from their cytosolic face. ESCRT-III-mediated membrane neck cleavage is crucial for many processes, including the biogenesis of multivesicular bodies, viral budding, cytokinesis, and probably autophagy. Recent studies of ultrastructures induced by ESCRT-III overexpression in cells and the in vitro reconstitution of the budding and scission reactions have led to breakthroughs in understanding these remarkable membrane reactions.
A systematic analysis of the dimerization, membrane remodelling and higher order assembly properties of all 12 human SNX-BAR sorting nexins reveals how different SNX-BAR combinations allow the formation of distinct tubular subdomains from the same endosomal vacuole during cargo sorting.
Sorting nexins (SNXs) are regulators of endosomal sorting. For the SNX-BAR subgroup, a Bin/Amphiphysin/Rvs (BAR) domain is vital for formation/stabilization of tubular subdomains that mediate cargo recycling. Here, by analysing the in vitro membrane remodelling properties of all 12 human SNX-BARs, we report that some, but not all, can elicit the formation of tubules with diameters that resemble sorting tubules observed in cells. We reveal that SNX-BARs display a restricted pattern of BAR domain-mediated dimerization, and by resolving a 2.8 Å structure of a SNX1-BAR domain homodimer, establish that dimerization is achieved in part through neutralization of charged residues in the hydrophobic BAR-dimerization interface. Membrane remodelling also requires functional amphipathic helices, predicted to be present in all SNX-BARs, and the formation of high order SNX-BAR oligomers through selective ‘tip–loop' interactions. Overall, the restricted and selective nature of these interactions provide a molecular explanation for how distinct SNX-BAR-decorated tubules are nucleated from the same endosomal vacuole, as observed in living cells. Our data provide insight into the molecular mechanism that generates and organizes the tubular endosomal network.
BAR domain; phosphoinositide; retromer; sorting nexin; VPS35
The formation of vesicles is essential for many biological processes, in particular for the trafficking of membrane proteins within cells. The Endosomal Sorting Complex Required for Transport (ESCRT) directs membrane budding away from the cytosol. Unlike other vesicle formation pathways, the ESCRT-mediated budding occurs without a protein coat. Here, we propose a minimal model of ESCRT-induced vesicle budding. Our model is based on recent experimental observations from direct fluorescence microscopy imaging that show ESCRT proteins colocalized only in the neck region of membrane buds. The model, cast in the framework of membrane elasticity theory, reproduces the experimentally observed vesicle morphologies with physically meaningful parameters. In this parameter range, the minimum energy configurations of the membrane are coatless buds with ESCRTs localized in the bud neck, consistent with experiment. The minimum energy configurations agree with those seen in the fluorescence images, with respect to both bud shapes and ESCRT protein localization. On the basis of our model, we identify distinct mechanistic pathways for the ESCRT-mediated budding process. The bud size is determined by membrane material parameters, explaining the narrow yet different bud size distributions in vitro and in vivo. Our membrane elasticity model thus sheds light on the energetics and possible mechanisms of ESCRT-induced membrane budding.
Lipid membranes enclose the cytosol of biological cells and compartmentalize their interior. Vesicles are used to transport membrane proteins between cellular compartments. The ESCRT protein machinery induces the creation of such vesicles away from the cytosol. The resulting vesicles are uncoated by protein. Upon vesicle scission and release into the endosome, the ESCRT proteins are recycled into the cytosol. We develop a membrane-elasticity model that captures this budding process. The model reproduces the vesicle morphologies observed in fluorescence microscopy images, and identifies the energetic driving force of vesiculation. We also characterize possible mechanisms of ESCRT-induced membrane budding. The size of the resulting vesicles is determined by membrane material parameters, explaining the narrow yet different bud size distributions in vitro and in vivo. Our membrane elasticity model thus provides insight into the energetics and mechanisms of uncoated vesicle formation.
Most membrane enveloped viruses bud from infected cells by hijacking the host ESCRT machinery. The ESCRTs are recruited to bud sites by viral proteins that contain short proline-rich motifs (PRMs) known as late domains. The late domains probably evolved by co-opting host PRMs involved in the normal functions of ESCRTs in endosomal sorting and cytokinesis. The solution and crystal structures of PRMs bound to their interaction partners explain the conserved roles of Pro and other residues that predominate in these sequences. PRMs are often grouped together in much larger proline-rich regions (PRRs) of as many as 150 residues. The PRR of the ESCRT-associated protein ALIX autoregulates its conformation and activity. The robustness of different viral budding and host pathways to impairments in proline-based interactions varies considerably. The known biology of proline rich motif recognition in the ESCRT pathway seems, in principle, compatible with antiviral development, given our increasingly nuanced understanding of the relative weakness and robustness of the host and viral processes.
protein structure; virus budding; ALG-2; endosome; cytokinesis; ALIX; TSG101; UEV domain; WW domain; CEP55
Recruitment of the K63-linkage specific deubiquitinating enzyme AMSH is an important step in ESCRT-dependent membrane protein sorting. In this issue of Structure, Solomons et al. now reveal an extraordinarily high affinity complex between “MIM4” region of one ESCRT-III subunit, CHMP3, and the MIT domain of AMSH.
The endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) complexes sort ubiquitinated membrane proteins into multivesicular bodies, which is a key step in the lysosomal degradation pathway. Shields et al. (Shields, S.B., A.J. Oestreich, S. Winistorfer, D. Nguyen, J.A. Payne, D.J. Katzmann, and R. Piper. 2009. J. Cell Biol. 185:213–224) identify a new ubiquitin-binding site in ESCRT-I and provide evidence that the upstream ESCRT-I and -II complexes sort cargo in parallel rather than in series.
Over the past fourteen years, ubiquitination has emerged as a centrally important mechanism governing the subcellular trafficking of proteins. Ubiquitination, interaction with sorting factors that contain ubiquitin binding domains, and finally deubiquitination govern the itineraries of cargo proteins that include yeast carboxypeptidase S, the epithelial sodium channel ENaC, and epidermal growth factor receptor. The molecular structures and mechanisms of the paradigmatic HECT and RING domain ubiquitin ligases, JAMM and USP domain deubiquitinating enzymes, and numerous ubiquitin binding domains involved in these pathways, have been worked out in recent years and are described.
Lysosome; vacuole; yeast genetics; EGF; EGF receptor; growth factor receptor; epithelial sodium channel; ENaC; yeast genetics; carboxypeptidase S; protein structure; crystal structure; ubiquitin; RING domain; HECT domain; JAMM domain; isopeptidase; ubiquitin ligase; deubiquitinating enzyme; ubiquitin binding domain; ESCRT complex
Targeting protein-protein interactions is gaining greater recognition as an attractive approach to therapeutic development. An example of this may be found with the human cellular protein encoded by the tumor susceptibility gene 101 (Tsg101), where interaction with the p6 C-terminal domain of the nascent viral Gag protein is required for HIV-1 particle budding and release. This association of Gag with Tsg101 is highly dependent on a “Pro-Thr-Ala-Pro” (“PTAP”) peptide sequence within the p6 protein. Although p6-derived peptides offer potential starting points for developing Tsg101-binding inhibitors, the affinities of canonical peptides are outside the useful range (Kd values greater than 50 μM). Reported herein are crystal structures of Tsg101 in complex with two structurally-modified PTAP-derived peptides. This data define new regions of ligand interaction not previously identified with canonical peptide sequences. This information could be highly useful in the design of Tsg101-binding antagonists.
protein-protein interactions; Tsg101; X-ray crystal structure; peptide analogues
The mammalian retromer complex consists of SNX1, SNX2, Vps26, Vps29, and Vps35, and retrieves lysosomal enzyme receptors from endosomes to the trans-Golgi network. The structure of human Vps26A at 2.1Å resolution reveals two curvedβ -sandwich domains connected by a polar core and a flexible linker. Vps26 has an unexpected structural relationship to arrestins. The Vps35-binding site on Vps26 maps to a mobile loop spanning residues 235–246, near the tip of the C-terminal domain. The loop is phylogenetically conserved and provides a mechanism for Vps26 integration into the complex that leaves the rest of the structure free for engagements with membranes and for conformational changes. Hydrophobic residues and a Gly in this loop are required for integration into the retromer complex and endosomal localization of human Vps26, and for the function of yeast Vps26 in carboxypeptidase Y sorting.
Protein kinase C (PKC) isozymes are the paradigmatic effectors of lipid signaling. PKCs translocate to cell membranes and are allosterically activated upon binding of the lipid diacylglycerol to their C1A and C1B domains. The crystal structure of full-length protein kinase C βII was determined at 4.0 Å, revealing the conformation of an unexpected intermediate in the activation pathway. Here, the kinase active site is accessible to substrate, yet the conformation of the active site corresponds to a low-activity state because the ATP-binding side-chain of Phe629 of the conserved NFD motif is displaced. The C1B domain clamps the NFD helix in a low activity conformation, which is reversed upon membrane binding. A low resolution solution structure of the closed conformation of PKCβII was derived from small angle x-ray scattering. Together, these results show how PKCβII is allosterically in two steps, with the second step defining a novel protein kinase regulatory mechanism.
Membrane budding is a key step in vesicular transport, multivesicular body and exosome biogenesis, and enveloped virus release. Coated vesicle formation, which is usually involved in budding towards cytosol, represents a protein-driven pathway of membrane budding suited to its function in intracellular protein sorting. Certain instances of cell entry by viruses and toxins, and microdomain-dependent multivesicular body biogenesis in animal cells, are examples of a mainly lipid-driven paradigm. Caveolae biogenesis, HIV-1 budding, and perhaps ESCRT-catalyzed multivesicular body biogenesis involve aspects of both the protein scaffold and membrane microdomain paradigms. Some of these latter events involve budding away from cytosol, and this unusual topology involves novel mechanisms. Progress in the structural and energetic bases of these different paradigms will be discussed.
The ESCRT machinery consists of the peripheral membrane protein complexes, ESCRT-0, -I, -II, -III, and Vps4-Vta1, and the ALIX homodimer. The ESCRT system is required for degradation of unneeded or dangerous plasma membrane proteins; biogenesis of the lysosome and the yeast vacuole; the budding of most membrane enveloped viruses; the membrane abscission step in cytokinesis; macroautophagy; and several other processes. From their initial discovery in 2001-2002, the literature on ESCRTs has grown exponentially. This review will describe the structure and function of the six complexes noted above and summarizes current knowledge of their mechanistic roles in cellular pathways and in disease.
Budding of HIV-1 requires the binding of the PTAP late domain of the Gag p6 protein to the UEV domain of the TSG101 subunit of ESCRT-I. The normal function of this motif in cells is in receptor downregulation. Here we report the 1.4 to 1.6 Å structures of the human TSG101 UEV domain alone and with wild-type and mutant HIV-1 PTAP and Hrs PSAP nonapeptides. The hydroxyl of the Thr or Ser residue in the P(S/T)AP motif hydrogen bonds with the main-chain of Asn69. Mutation of the Asn to Pro, blocking the main-chain amide, abrogates PTAP motif binding in vitro and blocks budding of HIV-1 from cells. N69P and other PTAP binding-deficient alleles of TSG101 did not rescue HIV-1 budding. However, the mutant alleles did rescue downregulation of endogenous EGF receptor. This demonstrates that the PSAP motif is not rate determining in EGF receptor downregulation under normal conditions.
The ESCRT complexes are required for multivesicular body biogenesis, macroautophagy, cytokinesis, and the budding of HIV-1. The final step in the ESCRT cycle is the disassembly of the ESCRT-III lattice by the AAA ATPase Vps4. Vps4 assembles on its membrane-bound ESCRT-IIII substrate with its cofactor, Vta1. The crystal structure of the dimeric VSL domain of yeast Vta1 with the small ATPase and the β domains of Vps4 was determined. Residues involved in structural interactions are conserved and are required for binding in vitro and for Cps1 sorting in vivo. Modeling of the Vta1 complex in complex with the lower hexameric ring of Vps4 indicates that the 2-fold axis of the Vta1 VSL domain is parallel to within ~20 degrees of the 6-fold axis of the hexamer. This suggests that Vta1 might not crosslink the two hexameric rings of Vps4, but rather stabilizes an array of Vps4-Vta1 complexes for ESCRT-III disassembly.
Adaptor protein 4 (AP-4) is the most recently discovered and least well-characterized member of the family of heterotetrameric adaptor protein (AP) complexes that mediate sorting of transmembrane cargo in post-Golgi compartments. Herein we report the interaction of an YKFFE sequence from the cytosolic tail of the Alzheimer’s Disease amyloid precursor protein (APP) with the μ4 subunit of AP-4. Biochemical and X-ray crystallographic analyses reveal that the properties of the APP sequence and the location of the binding site on μ4 are distinct from those of other signal-adaptor interactions. Disruption of the APP-AP-4 interaction decreases localization of APP to endosomes and enhances γ-secretase-catalyzed cleavage of APP to the pathogenic amyloid-β peptide. These findings demonstrate that APP and AP-4 engage in a distinct type of signal-adaptor interaction that mediates transport of APP from the trans-Golgi network (TGN) to endosomes, thereby reducing amyloidogenic processing of the protein.
This study demonstrates that the SPG20 hereditary spastic paraplegia protein spartin interacts with the ESCRT-III protein Ist1. This interaction is required for completion of the abscission phase of cytokinesis.
Hereditary spastic paraplegias (HSPs, SPG1-46) are inherited neurological disorders characterized by lower extremity spastic weakness. Loss-of-function SPG20 gene mutations cause an autosomal recessive HSP known as Troyer syndrome. The SPG20 protein spartin localizes to lipid droplets and endosomes, and it interacts with tail interacting protein 47 (TIP47) as well as the ubiquitin E3 ligases atrophin-1-interacting protein (AIP)4 and AIP5. Spartin harbors a domain contained within microtubule-interacting and trafficking molecules (MIT) at its N-terminus, and most proteins with MIT domains interact with specific ESCRT-III proteins. Using yeast two-hybrid and in vitro surface plasmon resonance assays, we demonstrate that the spartin MIT domain binds with micromolar affinity to the endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT)-III protein increased sodium tolerance (Ist)1 but not to ESCRT-III proteins charged multivesicular body proteins 1–7. Spartin colocalizes with Ist1 at the midbody, and depletion of Ist1 in cells by small interfering RNA significantly decreases the number of cells where spartin is present at midbodies. Depletion of spartin does not affect Ist1 localization to midbodies but markedly impairs cytokinesis. A structure-based amino acid substitution in the spartin MIT domain (F24D) blocks the spartin–Ist1 interaction. Spartin F24D does not localize to the midbody and acts in a dominant-negative manner to impair cytokinesis. These data suggest that Ist1 interaction is important for spartin recruitment to the midbody and that spartin participates in cytokinesis.
When internalized receptors and other cargo are destined for lysosomal degradation, they are ubiquitinated and sorted by the ESCRT complexes 0, I, II, and III into multivesicular bodies. Multivesicular bodies are formed when cargo-rich patches of the limiting membrane of endosomes bud inward by an unknown mechanism and are then cleaved to yield cargo-bearing intralumenal vesicles. The biogenesis of multivesicular bodies was reconstituted and visualized using giant unilamellar vesicles, fluorescent ESCRT-0, I, II, and III complexes, and a membrane-tethered fluorescent ubiquitin fusion as a model cargo. ESCRT-0 forms domains of clustered cargo but does not deform membranes. ESCRT-I and II in combination deform the membrane into buds, in which cargo is confined. ESCRT-I and II localize to the bud necks, and recruit ESCRT-0-ubiquitin domains to the buds. ESCRT-III subunits localize to the bud neck and efficiently cleave the buds to form intralumenal vesicles. Intralumenal vesicles produced in this reaction contain the model cargo but are devoid of ESCRTs. The observations explain how the ESCRTs direct membrane budding and scission from the cytoplasmic side of the bud without being consumed in the reaction.
The ESCRT-II-ESCRT-III interaction coordinates the sorting of ubiquitinated cargo with the budding and scission of intralumenal vesicles into multivesicular bodies. The interacting regions of these complexes were mapped to the second winged-helix domain of human ESCRT-II subunit VPS25 and the first helix of ESCRT-III subunit VPS20. The crystal structure of this complex was determined at 2.0 Å resolution. Residues involved in structural interactions explain the specificity of ESCRT-II for Vps20, and are critical for cargo sorting in vivo. ESCRT-II directly activates ESCRT-III driven vesicle budding and scission in vitro via these structural interactions. VPS20 and ESCRT-II bind membranes with nanomolar affinity, explaining why binding to ESCRT-II is dispensable for the recruitment of Vps20 to membranes. Docking of the ESCRT-II -VPS202 supercomplex reveals a convex membrane-binding surface, suggesting a hypothesis for negative membrane curvature induction in the nascent intralumenal vesicle.
Proteins delivered to the lysosome or the yeast vacuole via late endosomes are sorted by the ESCRT complexes and by associated proteins, including Alix and its yeast homolog Bro1. Alix, Bro1, and several other late endosomal proteins share a conserved 160 residue Bro1 domain whose boundaries, structure, and function have not been characterized. The crystal structure of the Bro1 domain of Bro1 reveals a folded core of 367 residues. The extended Bro1 domain is necessary and sufficient for binding to the ESCRT-III subunit Snf7 and for the recruitment of Bro1 to late endosomes. The structure resembles a boomerang with its concave face filled in and contains a triple tetratricopeptide repeat domain as a substructure. Snf7 binds to a conserved hydrophobic patch on Bro1 that is required for protein complex formation and for the protein-sorting function of Bro1. These results define a conserved mechanism whereby Bro1 domain-containing proteins are targeted to endosomes by Snf7 and its orthologs.
The human Hrs and STAM proteins comprise the ESCRT-0 complex, which sorts ubiquitinated cell surface receptors to lysosomes for degradation. Here we report a model for the complete ESCRT-0 complex based on the crystal structure of the Hrs-STAM core complex, previously solved domain structures, hydrodynamic measurements, and Monte Carlo simulations. ESCRT-0 expressed in insect cells has a hydrodynamic radius of RH = 7.9 nm and is a 1:1 heterodimer. The 2.3 Å crystal structure of the ESCRT-0 core complex reveals two domain-swapped GAT domains and an antiparallel two-stranded coiled-coil, similar to yeast ESCRT-0. ESCRT-0 typifies a class of biomolecular assemblies that combine structured and unstructured elements, and have dynamic and open conformations to ensure versatility in target recognition. Coarse-grained Monte Carlo simulations constrained by experimental RH values for ESCRT-0 reveal a dynamic ensemble of conformations well suited for diverse functions.
The retromer is a heteropentameric complex that associates with the cytosolic face of endosomes and mediates retrograde transport of transmembrane cargo from endosomes to the trans-Golgi network. The mammalian retromer complex comprises a sorting nexin dimer composed of a still undefined combination of SNX1, SNX2, SNX5 and SNX6, and a cargo-recognition trimer composed of Vps26, Vps29 and Vps35. The SNX subunits contain PX and BAR domains that allow binding to PI(3)P enriched, highly curved membranes of endosomal vesicles and tubules, while Vps26, Vps29 and Vps35 have arrestin, phosphoesterase and α-solenoid folds, respectively. Recent studies have implicated retromer in a broad range of physiological, developmental and pathological processes, underscoring the critical nature of retrograde transport mediated by this complex.