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1.  mSYD1A, a Mammalian Synapse-Defective-1 Protein, Regulates Synaptogenic Signaling and Vesicle Docking 
Neuron  2013;78(6):1012-1023.
Structure and function of presynaptic terminals are critical for the transmission and processing of neuronal signals. Trans-synaptic signaling systems instruct the differentiation and function of presynaptic release sites but their downstream mediators are only beginning to be understood. Here, we identify the intracellular mSYD1A (mouse Synapse-Defective-1A) as a novel regulator of presynaptic function in mice. mSYD1A forms a complex with presynaptic receptor tyrosine phosphatases and controls tethering of synaptic vesicles at synapses. mSYD1A function relies on an intrinsically disordered domain that interacts with multiple structurally-unrelated binding partners, including the active zone protein liprin-α2 and nsec1/munc18-1. In mSYD1A knock-out mice, synapses assemble in normal numbers but there is a significant reduction in synaptic vesicle docking at the active zone and an impairment of synaptic transmission. Thus, mSYD1A is a novel regulator of presynaptic release sites at central synapses.
PMCID: PMC3719036  PMID: 23791195
2.  C11ORF24 Is a Novel Type I Membrane Protein That Cycles between the Golgi Apparatus and the Plasma Membrane in Rab6-Positive Vesicles 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e82223.
The Golgi apparatus is an intracellular compartment necessary for post-translational modification, sorting and transport of proteins. It plays a key role in mitotic entry through the Golgi mitotic checkpoint. In order to identify new proteins involved in the Golgi mitotic checkpoint, we combine the results of a knockdown screen for mitotic phenotypes and a localization screen. Using this approach, we identify a new Golgi protein C11ORF24 (NP_071733.1). We show that C11ORF24 has a signal peptide at the N-terminus and a transmembrane domain in the C-terminal region. C11ORF24 is localized on the Golgi apparatus and on the trans-Golgi network. A large part of the protein is present in the lumen of the Golgi apparatus whereas only a short tail extends into the cytosol. This cytosolic tail is well conserved in evolution. By FRAP experiments we show that the dynamics of C11ORF24 in the Golgi membrane are coherent with the presence of a transmembrane domain in the protein. C11ORF24 is not only present on the Golgi apparatus but also cycles to the plasma membrane via endosomes in a pH sensitive manner. Moreover, via video-microscopy studies we show that C11ORF24 is found on transport intermediates and is colocalized with the small GTPase RAB6, a GTPase involved in anterograde transport from the Golgi to the plasma membrane. Knocking down C11ORF24 does not lead to a mitotic phenotype or an intracellular transport defect in our hands. All together, these data suggest that C11ORF24 is present on the Golgi apparatus, transported to the plasma membrane and cycles back through the endosomes by way of RAB6 positive carriers.
PMCID: PMC3846831  PMID: 24312644
3.  Robust polarity establishment occurs via an endocytosis-based cortical corralling mechanism 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2013;200(4):407-418.
Cell polarity can be established via the spatial coordination of the opposing membrane trafficking activities of endocytosis and exocytosis.
Formation of a stable polarity axis underlies numerous biological processes. Here, using high-resolution imaging and complementary mathematical modeling we find that cell polarity can be established via the spatial coordination of opposing membrane trafficking activities: endocytosis and exocytosis. During polarity establishment in budding yeast, these antagonistic processes become apposed. Endocytic vesicles corral a central exocytic zone, tightening it to a vertex that establishes the polarity axis for the ensuing cell cycle. Concomitantly, the endocytic system reaches an equilibrium where internalization events occur at a constant frequency. Endocytic mutants that failed to initiate periodic internalization events within the corral displayed wide, unstable polarity axes. These results, predicted by in silico modeling and verified by high resolution in vivo studies, identify a requirement for endocytic corralling during robust polarity establishment.
PMCID: PMC3575534  PMID: 23401000
4.  Identification and super-resolution imaging of ligand-activated receptor dimers in live cells 
Scientific Reports  2013;3:2387.
Molecular interactions are key to many chemical and biological processes like protein function. In many signaling processes they occur in sub-cellular areas displaying nanoscale organizations and involving molecular assemblies. The nanometric dimensions and the dynamic nature of the interactions make their investigations complex in live cells. While super-resolution fluorescence microscopies offer live-cell molecular imaging with sub-wavelength resolutions, they lack specificity for distinguishing interacting molecule populations. Here we combine super-resolution microscopy and single-molecule Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) to identify dimers of receptors induced by ligand binding and provide super-resolved images of their membrane distribution in live cells. By developing a two-color universal-Point-Accumulation-In-the-Nanoscale-Topography (uPAINT) method, dimers of epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR) activated by EGF are studied at ultra-high densities, revealing preferential cell-edge sub-localization. This methodology which is specifically devoted to the study of molecules in interaction, may find other applications in biological systems where understanding of molecular organization is crucial.
PMCID: PMC3737505  PMID: 23925048
5.  Ankyrin G restricts ion channel diffusion at the axonal initial segment before the establishment of the diffusion barrier 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2010;191(2):383-395.
Ion channel immobilization by ankyrin G is regulated by casein kinase 2 in immature hippocampal neurons.
In mammalian neurons, the precise accumulation of sodium channels at the axonal initial segment (AIS) ensures action potential initiation. This accumulation precedes the immobilization of membrane proteins and lipids by a diffusion barrier at the AIS. Using single-particle tracking, we measured the mobility of a chimeric ion channel bearing the ankyrin-binding motif of the Nav1.2 sodium channel. We found that ankyrin G (ankG) limits membrane diffusion of ion channels when coexpressed in neuroblastoma cells. Site-directed mutants with decreased affinity for ankG exhibit increased diffusion speeds. In immature hippocampal neurons, we demonstrated that ion channel immobilization by ankG is regulated by protein kinase CK2 and occurs as soon as ankG accumulates at the AIS of elongating axons. Once the diffusion barrier is formed, ankG is still required to stabilize ion channels. In conclusion, our findings indicate that specific binding to ankG constitutes the initial step for Nav channel immobilization at the AIS membrane and precedes the establishment of the diffusion barrier.
PMCID: PMC2958486  PMID: 20956383
6.  AP-1 and KIF13A coordinate endosomal sorting and positioning during melanosome biogenesis 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2009;187(2):247-264.
The clathrin adaptor protein AP-1 and the motor KIF13A work together to deliver cargo into maturing melanosomes.
Specialized cell types exploit endosomal trafficking to deliver protein cargoes to cell type–specific lysosome-related organelles (LROs), but how endosomes are specified for this function is not known. In this study, we show that the clathrin adaptor AP-1 and the kinesin motor KIF13A together create peripheral recycling endosomal subdomains in melanocytes required for cargo delivery to maturing melanosomes. In cells depleted of AP-1 or KIF13A, a subpopulation of recycling endosomes redistributes to pericentriolar clusters, resulting in sequestration of melanosomal enzymes like Tyrp1 in vacuolar endosomes and consequent inhibition of melanin synthesis and melanosome maturation. Immunocytochemistry, live cell imaging, and electron tomography reveal AP-1– and KIF13A-dependent dynamic close appositions and continuities between peripheral endosomal tubules and melanosomes. Our results reveal that LRO protein sorting is coupled to cell type–specific positioning of endosomes that facilitate endosome–LRO contacts and are required for organelle maturation.
PMCID: PMC2768840  PMID: 19841138
7.  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
8.  The actin-based motor protein myosin II regulates MHC class II trafficking and BCR-driven antigen presentation 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2007;176(7):1007-1019.
Antigen (Ag) capture and presentation onto major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules by B lymphocytes is mediated by their surface Ag receptor (B cell receptor [BCR]). Therefore, the transport of vesicles that carry MHC class II and BCR–Ag complexes must be coordinated for them to converge for processing. In this study, we identify the actin-associated motor protein myosin II as being essential for this process. Myosin II is activated upon BCR engagement and associates with MHC class II–invariant chain complexes. Myosin II inhibition or depletion compromises the convergence and concentration of MHC class II and BCR–Ag complexes into lysosomes devoted to Ag processing. Accordingly, the formation of MHC class II–peptides and subsequent CD4 T cell activation are impaired in cells lacking myosin II activity. Therefore, myosin II emerges as a key motor protein in BCR-driven Ag processing and presentation.
PMCID: PMC2064085  PMID: 17389233
9.  The Entire Nup107-160 Complex, Including Three New Members, Is Targeted as One Entity to Kinetochores in MitosisD⃞ 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2004;15(7):3333-3344.
In eukaryotes, bidirectional transport of macromolecules between the cytoplasm and the nucleus occurs through elaborate supramolecular structures embedded in the nuclear envelope, the nuclear pore complexes (NPCs). NPCs are composed of multiple copies of ∼30 different proteins termed nucleoporins, of which several can be biochemically isolated as subcomplexes. One such building block of the NPC, termed the Nup107-160 complex in vertebrates, was so far demonstrated to be composed of six different nucleoporins. Here, we identify three WD (Trp-Asp)-repeat nucleoporins as new members of this complex, two of which, Nup37 and Nup43, are specific to higher eukaryotes. The third new member Seh1 is more loosely associated with the Nup107-160 complex biochemically, but its depletion by RNA interference leads to phenotypes similar to knock down of other constituents of this complex. By combining green fluorescent protein-tagged nucleoporins and specific antibodies, we show that all the constituents of this complex, including Nup37, Nup43, Seh1, and Sec13, are targeted to kinetochores from prophase to anaphase of mitosis. Together, our results indicate that the entire Nup107-160 complex, which comprises nearly one-third of the so-far identified nucleoporins, specifically localizes to kinetochores in mitosis.
PMCID: PMC452587  PMID: 15146057
10.  Microtubule release from the centrosome in migrating cells 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2002;159(5):731-737.
In migrating cells, force production relies essentially on a polarized actomyosin system, whereas the spatial regulation of actomyosin contraction and substrate contact turnover involves a complex cooperation between the microtubule (MT) and the actin filament networks (Goode, B.L., D.G. Drubin, and G. Barnes. 2000. Curr. Opin. Cell Biol., 12:63–71). Targeting and capture of MT plus ends at the cell periphery has been described, but whether or not the minus ends of these MTs are anchored at the centrosome is not known. Here, we show that release of short MTs from the centrosome is frequent in migrating cells and that their transport toward the cell periphery is blocked when dynein activity is impaired. We further show that MT release, but not MT nucleation or polymerization dynamics, is abolished by overexpression of the centrosomal MT-anchoring protein ninein. In addition, a dramatic inhibition of cell migration was observed; but, contrary to cells treated by drugs inhibiting MT dynamics, polarized membrane ruffling activity was not affected in ninein overexpressing cells. We thus propose that the balance between MT minus-end capture and release from the centrosome is critical for efficient cell migration.
PMCID: PMC2173398  PMID: 12473683
microtubule anchoring; microtubule dynamics; ninein; EB1-GFP; cell migration
11.  Nucleolar Assembly of the Rrna Processing Machinery in Living Cells 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2001;153(5):1097-1110.
To understand how nuclear machineries are targeted to accurate locations during nuclear assembly, we investigated the pathway of the ribosomal RNA (rRNA) processing machinery towards ribosomal genes (nucleolar organizer regions [NORs]) at exit of mitosis. To follow in living cells two permanently transfected green fluorescence protein–tagged nucleolar proteins, fibrillarin and Nop52, from metaphase to G1, 4-D time-lapse microscopy was used. In early telophase, fibrillarin is concentrated simultaneously in prenucleolar bodies (PNBs) and NORs, whereas PNB-containing Nop52 forms later. These distinct PNBs assemble at the chromosome surface. Analysis of PNB movement does not reveal the migration of PNBs towards the nucleolus, but rather a directional flow between PNBs and between PNBs and the nucleolus, ensuring progressive delivery of proteins into nucleoli. This delivery appeared organized in morphologically distinct structures visible by electron microscopy, suggesting transfer of large complexes. We propose that the temporal order of PNB assembly and disassembly controls nucleolar delivery of these proteins, and that accumulation of processing complexes in the nucleolus is driven by pre-rRNA concentration. Initial nucleolar formation around competent NORs appears to be followed by regroupment of the NORs into a single nucleolus 1 h later to complete the nucleolar assembly. This demonstrates the formation of one functional domain by cooperative interactions between different chromosome territories.
PMCID: PMC2174343  PMID: 11381093
nuclear dynamics; electron microscopy; prenucleolar body; time-lapse microscopy; 4-D imaging
12.  Duplication and Maintenance of Heterochromatin Domains 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1999;147(6):1153-1166.
To investigate the mechanisms that assure the maintenance of heterochromatin regions, we took advantage of the fact that clusters of heterochromatin DNA replicate late in S phase and are processed in discrete foci with a characteristic nuclear distribution. At the light microscopy level, within these entities, we followed DNA synthesis, histone H4 acetylation, heterochromatin protein 1 (Hp1α and -β), and chromatin assembly factor 1 (CAF-1). During replication, Hp1α and -β domains of concentration are stably maintained, whereas heterochromatin regions are enriched in both CAF-1 and replication-specific acetylated isoforms of histone H4 (H4Ac 5 and 12). We defined a time window of 20 min for the maintenance of this state. Furthermore, treatment with Trichostatin A (TSA), during and after replication, sustains the H4Ac 5 and 12 state in heterochromatin excluding H4Ac 8 and 16. In comparison, early replication foci, at the same level, did not display any specific enrichment in H4Ac 5 and 12. These data emphasize the specific importance for heterochromatin of the replication-associated H4 isoforms. We propose that perpetuation of heterochromatin involves self-maintenance factors, including local concentration of Hp1α and -β, and that a degree of plasticity is provided by the cycle of H4 acetylation/deacetylation assisted by CAF-1.
PMCID: PMC2168099  PMID: 10601331
heterochromatin; nuclear organization; histone H4 acetylation; chromatin assembly factor 1; heterochromatin protein 1
13.  Synaptic recruitment of gephyrin regulates surface GABAA receptor dynamics for the expression of inhibitory LTP 
Nature Communications  2014;5:3921.
Postsynaptic long-term potentiation of inhibition (iLTP) can rely on increased GABAA receptors (GABAARs) at synapses by promoted exocytosis. However, the molecular mechanisms that enhance the clustering of postsynaptic GABAARs during iLTP remain obscure. Here we demonstrate that during chemically induced iLTP (chem-iLTP), GABAARs are immobilized and confined at synapses, as revealed by single-particle tracking of individual GABAARs in cultured hippocampal neurons. Chem-iLTP expression requires synaptic recruitment of the scaffold protein gephyrin from extrasynaptic areas, which in turn is promoted by CaMKII-dependent phosphorylation of GABAAR-β3-Ser383. Impairment of gephyrin assembly prevents chem-iLTP and, in parallel, blocks the accumulation and immobilization of GABAARs at synapses. Importantly, an increase of gephyrin and GABAAR similar to those observed during chem-iLTP in cultures were found in the rat visual cortex following an experience-dependent plasticity protocol that potentiates inhibitory transmission in vivo. Thus, phospho-GABAAR-β3-dependent accumulation of gephyrin at synapses and receptor immobilization are crucial for iLTP expression and are likely to modulate network excitability.
GABA receptors are implicated in neuronal postsynaptic long-term potentiation of inhibition (iLTP). Here, Petrini et al. show that iLTP depends on recruitment of the scaffold protein gephyrin at synapses, which is enhanced by CaMKII-dependent phosphorylation of a specific residue on GABAA receptors.
PMCID: PMC4059940  PMID: 24894704

Results 1-13 (13)