The exocyst is a heterooctomeric complex well appreciated for its role in the dynamic assembly of specialized membrane domains. Accumulating evidence indicates that this macromolecular machine also serves as a physical platform that coordinates regulatory cascades supporting biological systems such as host defense signaling, cell fate, and energy homeostasis. The isolation of multiple components of the DNA damage response (DDR) as exocyst-interacting proteins, together with the identification of Sec8 as a suppressor of the p53 response, suggested functional interactions between the exocyst and the DDR. We found that exocyst perturbation resulted in resistance to ionizing radiation (IR) and accelerated resolution of DNA damage. This occurred at the expense of genomic integrity, as enhanced recombination frequencies correlated with the accumulation of aberrant chromatid exchanges. Sec8 perturbation resulted in the accumulation of ATF2 and RNF20 and the promiscuous accumulation of DDR-associated chromatin marks and Rad51 repairosomes. Thus, the exocyst supports DNA repair fidelity by limiting the formation of repair chromatin in the absence of DNA damage.
Spatial regulation of exocytosis relies on the exocyst, a hetero-octameric protein complex that tethers vesicles to fusion sites at the plasma membrane. Nevertheless, our understanding of mechanisms regulating exocyst assembly/disassembly, localization, and function are incomplete. Here, we have exploited a panel of anti-Sec6 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to probe possible configurational changes accompanying transitions in exocyst function in epithelial MDCK cells. Sec6 is quantitatively associated with Sec8 in high molecular weight complexes, as shown by gel filtration and co-immunoprecipitation studies. We mapped epitopes recognized by more than 20 distinct mAbs to one of six Sec6 segments. Surprisingly, mAbs that bound epitopes in each segment labeled distinct subcellular structures. In general, antibodies to epitopes in N-terminal domains labeled Sec6 in either cytosolic or nuclear pools, whereas those that bound epitopes in C-terminal domains labeled membrane-associated Sec6. In this latter group, we identified antibodies that labeled distinct Sec6 populations at the apical junctional complex, desmosomes, endoplasmic reticulum and vimentin-type intermediate filaments. That each antibody was specific was verified by both Sec6 RNAi and competition with fusion proteins containing each domain. Comparison of non-polarized and polarized cells revealed that many Sec6 epitopes either redistribute or become concealed during epithelial polarization. Transitions in exocyst configurations may be regulated in part by the actions of Ral GTPases, because the exposure of Sec6 C-terminal domain epitopes at the plasma membrane is significantly reduced upon RalA RNAi. To determine whether spatio-temporal changes in epitope accessibility was correlated with differential stability of interactions between Sec6 and other exocyst subunits, we quantified relative amounts of each subunit that co-immunoprecipitated with Sec6 when antibodies to N-terminal or C-terminal epitopes were used. Antibodies to Sec6NT co-precipitated substantially more Sec5, -10, -15, Exo70 and -84 than did those to Sec6CT. In contrast, antibodies to Sec6CT co-precipitated more Sec3 and Sec8 than did those to Sec6NT. These results are consistent with a model in which exocyst activation during periods of rapid membrane expansion is accompanied by molecular rearrangements within the holocomplex or association with accessory proteins, which expose the Sec6 C-terminal domain when the complex is membrane-bound and conceal it when the complex is cytoplasmic.
exocyst; monoclonal antibody; mammals; epithelium; cell polarity; membrane trafficking
Changes in cellular behavior that cause epithelial cells to lose adhesiveness, acquire a motile, invasive phenotype and metastasize to secondary sites are complex and poorly understood. Molecules that normally function to integrate adhesive spatial information with cytoskeleton dynamics and membrane trafficking likely serve important functions in cellular transformation. One such complex is the Exocyst, which is essential for targeted delivery of membrane and secretory proteins to specific plasma membrane sites to maintain epithelial cell polarity. Upon loss of cadherin-mediated adhesion in Dunning R3327-5′A prostate tumor cells, Exocyst localization shifts from lateral membranes to tips of protrusive membrane extensions. Here, it co-localizes and co-purifies with focal complex proteins that regulate membrane trafficking and cytoskeleton dynamics. These sites are the preferred destination of post-Golgi transport vesicles ferrying biosynthetic cargo, such as α5-integrin, which mediates adhesion of cells to the substratum, a process essential to cell motility. Interference with Exocyst activity impairs integrin delivery to plasma membrane and inhibits tumor cell motility and matrix invasiveness. Localization of Exocyst, and by extension targeting of Exocyst-dependent cargo, is dependent on Ral GTPases, which control association between Sec5 and paxillin. Overexpression of Ral-uncoupled Sec5 mutants inhibited Exocyst interaction with paxillin in 5′A cells, as did RNAi-mediated reduction of either RalA or RalB. Reduction of neither GTPase significantly altered steady state levels of assembled Exocyst in these cells, but did change the observed localization of Exocyst proteins.
The coordination of the several pathways involved in cell motility is poorly understood. Here, we identify SH3BP1, belonging to the RhoGAP family, as a partner of the exocyst complex, and establish a physical and functional link between two motility-driving pathways, the Ral/exocyst and Rac signaling pathways. We show that SH3BP1 localizes together with the exocyst to the leading edge of motile cells and that SH3BP1 regulates cell migration via its GAP activity upon Rac1. SH3BP1 loss-of-function induces abnormally high Rac1 activity at the front, as visualized by in vivo biosensors, and disorganized and instable protrusions, as revealed by cell morphodynamics analysis. Consistently, constitutively active Rac1 mimics the phenotype of SH3BP1 depletion: slow migration and aberrant cell morphodynamics. Our finding that SH3BP1 down-regulates Rac1 at the motile-cell front indicates that Rac1 inactivation in this location, as well as its activation by GEF proteins, is a fundamental requirement for cell motility.
Hydrocephalus is a heterogeneous disorder with multiple etiologies that are not yet fully understood. Animal models have implicated dysfunctional cilia of the ependyma and choroid plexus in the development of the disorder. In this report, we sought to determine the origin of the ventriculomegaly in four Bardet Biedl syndrome (BBS) mutant mouse strains as models of a ciliopathy.
Evans Blue dye was injected into the lateral ventricle of wild- type and BBS mutant mice to determine whether obstruction of intra- or extra-ventricular CSF flow contributed to ventriculomegaly. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was used to examine the ultrastructure of the choroid plexus, subfornical organ (SFO), subcommisural organ (SCO), and ventricular ependyma to evaluate their ultrastructure and the morphology of their primary and motile cilia.
Results and discussion
No obstruction of intra- or extra-ventricular CSF flow was observed, implying a communicating form of hydrocephalus in BBS mutant mice. TEM analyses of the mutants showed no evidence of choroidal papillomas or breakdown of the blood:CSF barrier. In contrast, structural defects were observed in a subpopulation of cilia lining the choroid plexus, SFO, and ventricular ependyma. These included disruptions of the microtubular structure of the axoneme and the presence of electron-dense vesicular-like material along the ciliary shaft and at the tips of cilia.
Abnormalities in cilia structure and function have the potential to influence ciliary intraflagellar transport (IFT), cilia maintenance, protein trafficking, and regulation of CSF production. Ciliary structural defects are the only consistent pathological features associated with CSF-related structures in BBS mutant mice. These defects are observed from an early age, and may contribute to the underlying pathophysiology of ventriculomegaly.
Bardet-Biedl syndrome; Cilia; Hydrocephalus; Ependyma; Choroid plexus
Metastasis is a complex process during which several gross cellular changes occur. Cells must dissociate from the tumor mass and gain the ability to degrade extracellular matrix and migrate in order to ultimately attach and form a satellite tumor. Regulation of the actin cytoskeleton is an indispensible aspect of cell migration, and many different factors have been implicated in this process. We identified interactions between RalA and its effectors in the Exocyst complex as directly necessary for migration and invasion of prostate cancer tumor cells. Blocking RalA-Exocyst binding caused significant morphological changes and defects in single and coordinated cell migration.
Protein kinase D (PKD) binds to diacylglycerol (DAG) in the trans-Golgi network (TGN) and is activated by trimeric G-protein subunits βγ. This complex then regulates the formation of transport carriers in the TGN that traffic to the plasma membrane in non-polarized cells. Here we report specificity of different PKD isoforms in regulating protein trafficking from the TGN. Kinase-inactive forms of PKD1, PKD2 and PKD3 localize to the TGN in polarized and non-polarized cells. PKD activity is required only for the transport of proteins containing basolateral sorting information, and seems to be cargo specific.
Sec6/8 (exocyst) complex regulates vesicle delivery and polarized membrane growth in a variety of cells, but mechanisms regulating Sec6/8 localization are unknown. In epithelial cells, Sec6/8 complex is recruited to cell-cell contacts with a mixture of junctional proteins, but then sorts out to the apex of the lateral membrane with components of tight junction and nectin complexes. Sec6/8 complex fractionates in a high molecular mass complex with tight junction proteins and a portion of E-cadherin, and co-immunoprecipitates with cell surface-labeled E-cadherin and nectin-2α. Recruitment of Sec6/8 complex to cell-cell contacts can be achieved in fibroblasts when E-cadherin and nectin-2α are co-expressed. These results support a model in which localized recruitment of Sec6/8 complex to the plasma membrane by specific cell-cell adhesion complexes defines a site for vesicle delivery and polarized membrane growth during development of epithelial cell polarity.
Cell polarity; Cell membrane; Intercellular junctions; Intracellular membranes; Metabolism
The closely related GTPases RalA and RalB are required for assembly of tight junction gate, but not fence, function. These activities depend on direct binding to the exocyst complex. Whereas RalA–exocyst complexes are required for exocytosis of junction proteins, RalB–exocyst complexes are required for endocytosis of these components.
Tight junctions (TJs) are structures indispensable to epithelial cells and are responsible for regulation of paracellular diffusion and maintenance of cellular polarity. Although many interactions between TJ constituents have been identified, questions remain concerning how specific functions of TJs are established and regulated. Here we investigated the roles of Ral GTPases and their common effector exocyst complex in the formation of nascent TJs. Unexpectedly, RNA interference–mediated suppression of RalA or RalB caused opposing changes in TJ development. RalA reduction increased paracellular permeability and decreased incorporation of components into TJs, whereas RalB reduction decreased paracellular permeability and increased incorporation of components into TJs. Activities of both Ral GTPases were mediated through the exocyst. Finally, we show that TJ-mediated separation of apical–basal membrane domains is established prior to equilibration of barrier function and that it is unaffected by Ral knockdown or specific composition of TJs.
The study of macroautophagy in mammalian cells has described induction, vesicle nucleation, and membrane elongation complexes as key signaling intermediates driving autophagosome biogenesis. How these components are recruited to nascent autophagosomes is poorly understood, and although much is known about signaling mechanisms that restrain autophagy, the nature of positive inductive signals that can promote autophagy remain cryptic. We find that the Ras-like small G-protein, RalB, is localized to nascent autophagosomes and is activated upon nutrient deprivation. RalB and its effector Exo84 are required for nutrient starvation-induced autophagocytosis, and RalB activation is sufficient to promote autophagosome formation. Through direct binding to Exo84, RalB induces the assembly of catalytically active ULK1 and Beclin1-VPS34 complexes on the exocyst, which are required for isolation membrane formation and maturation. Thus, RalB signaling is a primary adaptive response to nutrient limitation that directly engages autophagocytosis through mobilization of the core vesicle nucleation machinery.
In epithelial cells, Sec3 associates with Exocyst complexes enriched at desmosomes and centrosomes, distinct from Sec6/8 complexes at the apical junctional complex. RNAi-mediated suppression of Sec3 alters trafficking of desmosomal cadherins and impairs desmosome morphology and function, without noticeable effect on adherens junctions.
The Exocyst is a conserved multisubunit complex involved in the docking of post-Golgi transport vesicles to sites of membrane remodeling during cellular processes such as polarization, migration, and division. In mammalian epithelial cells, Exocyst complexes are recruited to nascent sites of cell–cell contact in response to E-cadherin–mediated adhesive interactions, and this event is an important early step in the assembly of intercellular junctions. Sec3 has been hypothesized to function as a spatial landmark for the development of polarity in budding yeast, but its role in epithelial cells has not been investigated. Here, we provide evidence in support of a function for a Sec3-containing Exocyst complex in the assembly or maintenance of desmosomes, adhesive junctions that link intermediate filament networks to sites of strong intercellular adhesion. We show that Sec3 associates with a subset of Exocyst complexes that are enriched at desmosomes. Moreover, we found that membrane recruitment of Sec3 is dependent on cadherin-mediated adhesion but occurs later than that of the known Exocyst components Sec6 and Sec8 that are recruited to adherens junctions. RNA interference-mediated suppression of Sec3 expression led to specific impairment of both the morphology and function of desmosomes, without noticeable effect on adherens junctions. These results suggest that two different exocyst complexes may function in basal–lateral membrane trafficking and will enable us to better understand how exocytosis is spatially organized during development of epithelial plasma membrane domains.
Stress-induced shedding of motile cilia (autotomy) has been documented in diverse organisms and likely represents a conserved cellular reaction. However, little is known about whether primary cilia are shed from mammalian epithelial cells and what impact deciliation has on polarized cellular organization. We show that several chemically distinct agents trigger autotomy in epithelial cells. Surprisingly, deciliation is associated with a significant, but reversible increase in transepithelial resistance. This reflects substantial reductions in tight junction proteins associated with “leaky” nephron segments (e.g., claudin-2). At the same time, apical trafficking of gp80/clusterin and gp114/CEACAM becomes randomized, basal-lateral delivery of Na,K-ATPase is reduced, and expression of the nonciliary apical protein gp135/podocalyxin is greatly decreased. However, ciliogenesis-impaired MDCK cells do not undergo continual junction remodeling, and mature cilia are not required for autotomy-associated remodeling events. Deciliation and epithelial remodeling may be mechanistically linked processes, because RNAi-mediated reduction of Exocyst subunit Sec6 inhibits ciliary shedding and specifically blocks deciliation-associated down-regulation of claudin-2 and gp135. We propose that ciliary autotomy represents a signaling pathway that impacts the organization and function of polarized epithelial cells.
Inefficient trafficking of recombinant adeno-associated virus type-2 (rAAV2) to the nucleus is a major barrier for transduction. Using imaging and subcellular fractionation techniques, we evaluated the extent of rAAV2 movement through the late (Rab7) and recycling (Rab11) endosomes. Following rAAV2 infection of HeLa cells, immunoisolation of HA-Rab7- or HA-Rab11-tagged endosomes and intracellular colocalization of Cy3-labeled rAAV2 with EGFP-Rab7 or EGFP-Rab11 markers demonstrated dose-dependent trafficking of rAAV2 through the recycling and late endosomal compartments. At low multiplicities of infection (m.o.i. 100 genomes/cell), rAAV2 predominantly trafficked to the Rab7 compartment. In contrast, rAAV2 predominantly trafficked to the recycling endosome at 100-fold higher m.o.i. siRNA studies inhibiting either Rab7 or Rab11 demonstrated that reducing Rab11 protein levels more significantly inhibited rAAV2 transduction on a per genome basis compared to inhibition of Rab7. Dose-response curves, comparing the m.o.i. of AV2Luc infection to relative transduction, also supported the hypothesis that viral movement through the Rab11 compartment at high m.o.i. is more competent for transgene expression (∼100-fold) than virus that moves through the Rab7 compartment at low m.o.i. These findings suggest that strategies to shunt viral movement from the late to the recycling endosome may be effective at increasing viral transduction for gene therapy.
AAV; Rab’s; endocytosis; intracellular trafficking
The octameric exocyst complex is associated with the junctional complex and recycling endosomes and is proposed to selectively tether cargo vesicles directed toward the basolateral surface of polarized Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells. We observed that the exocyst subunits Sec6, Sec8, and Exo70 were localized to early endosomes, transferrin-positive common recycling endosomes, and Rab11a-positive apical recycling endosomes of polarized MDCK cells. Consistent with its localization to multiple populations of endosomes, addition of function-blocking Sec8 antibodies to streptolysin-O–permeabilized cells revealed exocyst requirements for several endocytic pathways including basolateral recycling, apical recycling, and basolateral-to-apical transcytosis. The latter was selectively dependent on interactions between the small GTPase Rab11a and Sec15A and was inhibited by expression of the C-terminus of Sec15A or down-regulation of Sec15A expression using shRNA. These results indicate that the exocyst complex may be a multipurpose regulator of endocytic traffic directed toward both poles of polarized epithelial cells and that transcytotic traffic is likely to require Rab11a-dependent recruitment and modulation of exocyst function, likely through interactions with Sec15A.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated by NADPH oxidases (Nox) have been implicated in the regulation of signal transduction. However, the cellular mechanisms that link Nox activation with plasma membrane receptor signaling remain poorly defined. We have found that Nox2-derived ROS influence the formation of an active interleukin-1 (IL-1) receptor complex in the endosomal compartment by directing the H2O2-dependent binding of TRAF6 to the IL-1R1/MyD88 complex. Clearance of both superoxide and H2O2 from within the endosomal compartment significantly abrogated IL-1β-dependent IKK and NF-κB activation. MyD88-dependent endocytosis of IL-1R1 following IL-1β binding was required for the redox-dependent formation of an active endosomal receptor complex competent for IKK and NF-κB activation. Small interfering RNAs to either MyD88 or Rac1 inhibited IL-1β induction of endosomal superoxide and NF-κB activation. However, MyD88 and Rac1 appear to be recruited independently to IL-1R1 following ligand stimulation. In this context, MyD88 binding was required for inducing endocytosis of IL-1R1 following ligand binding, while Rac1 facilitated the recruitment of Nox2 into the endosomal compartment and subsequent redox-dependent recruitment of TRAF6 to the MyD88/IL-1R1 complex. The identification of Nox-active endosomes helps explain how subcellular compartmentalization of redox signals can be used to direct receptor activation from the plasma membrane.
Sec6/8 complex regulates delivery of exocytic vesicles to plasma membrane docking sites, but how it is recruited to specific sites in the exocytic pathway is poorly understood. We identified an Sec6/8 complex on trans-Golgi network (TGN) and plasma membrane in normal rat kidney (NRK) cells that formed either fibroblast- (NRK-49F) or epithelial-like (NRK-52E) intercellular junctions. At both TGN and plasma membrane, Sec6/8 complex colocalizes with exocytic cargo protein, vesicular stomatitis virus G protein (VSVG)-tsO45. Newly synthesized Sec6/8 complex is simultaneously recruited from the cytosol to both sites. However, brefeldin A treatment inhibits recruitment to the plasma membrane and other treatments that block exocytosis (e.g., expression of kinase-inactive protein kinase D and low temperature incubation) cause accumulation of Sec6/8 on the TGN, indicating that steady-state distribution of Sec6/8 complex depends on continuous exocytic vesicle trafficking. Addition of antibodies specific for TGN- or plasma membrane–bound Sec6/8 complexes to semiintact NRK cells results in cargo accumulation in a perinuclear region or near the plasma membrane, respectively. These results indicate that Sec6/8 complex is required for several steps in exocytic transport of vesicles between TGN and plasma membrane.
cell polarity; Golgi apparatus/secretion; cell membrane/metabolism; intercellular junctions/physiology; intracellular membranes/metabolism
The Drosophila tumor suppressor protein lethal (2) giant
larvae [l(2)gl] is involved in the establishment of epithelial
cell polarity during development. Recently, a yeast homolog of the
protein has been shown to interact with components of the post-Golgi
exocytic machinery and to regulate a late step in protein secretion.
Herein, we characterize a mammalian homolog of l(2)gl, called Mlgl, in
the epithelial cell line Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK). Consistent
with a role in cell polarity, Mlgl redistributes from a cytoplasmic
localization to the lateral membrane after contact-naive MDCK cells
make cell-cell contacts and establish a polarized phenotype.
Phosphorylation within a highly conserved region of Mlgl is required to
restrict the protein to the lateral domain, because a recombinant
phospho-mutant is distributed in a nonpolar manner. Membrane-bound Mlgl
from MDCK cell lysates was coimmunoprecipitated with syntaxin 4, a
component of the exocytic machinery at the basolateral membrane, but
not with other plasma membrane soluble
N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment
receptor (SNARE) proteins that are either absent from or not
restricted to the basolateral membrane domain. These data suggest that
Mlgl contributes to apico-basolateral polarity by regulating
Delivery of newly synthesized membrane-spanning proteins to the apical plasma membrane domain of polarized MDCK epithelial cells is dependent on yet unidentified sorting signals present in the luminal domains of these proteins. In this report we show that structural information for apical sorting of transmembrane neurotrophin receptors (p75NTR) is localized to a juxtamembrane region of the extracellular domain that is rich in O-glycosylated serine/threonine residues. An internal deletion of 50 amino acids that removes this stalk domain from p75NTR causes the protein to be sorted exclusively of the basolateral plasma membrane. Basolateral sorting stalk-minus p75NTR does not occur by default, but requires sequences present in the cytoplasmic domain. The stalk domain is also required for apical secretion of a soluble form of p75NTR, providing the first demonstration that the same domain can mediate apical sorting of both a membrane-anchored as well as secreted protein. However, the single N-glycan present on p75NTR is not required for apical sorting of either transmembrane or secreted forms.