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1.  Two distinct phosphorylation events govern the function of muscle FHOD3 
Posttranslational modifications such as phosphorylation are universally acknowledged regulators of protein function. Recently we characterised a striated muscle-specific isoform of the formin FHOD3 that displays distinct subcellular targeting and protein half-life compared to its non-muscle counterpart, which is dependent on phosphorylation by CK2 (formerly casein kinase 2). We now show that the two isoforms of FHOD3 are already expressed in the vertebrate embryonic heart. Analysis of CK2alpha knockout mice showed that phosphorylation by CK2 is required for proper targeting of muscle FHOD3 to the myofibrils also in embryonic cardiomyocytes in situ. The localisation of muscle FHOD3 in the sarcomere varies depending on the maturation state, being either broader or restricted to the Z-disc proper in adult heart. Following myofibril disassembly such as in dedifferentiating adult rat cardiomyocytes in culture, the expression of non-muscle FHOD3 is up-regulated, which is reversed once the myofibrils are reassembled. The shift in expression levels of different isoforms is accompanied by an increased co-localisation with p62, which is involved in autophagy, and affects the half-life of FHOD3.
Phosphorylation of three amino acids in the C-terminus of FHOD3 by ROCK1 is sufficient for activation, which results in increased actin filament synthesis in cardiomyocytes and also a broader localisation pattern of FHOD3 in the myofibrils. ROCK1 can directly phosphorylate FHOD3 and FHOD3 seems to be the downstream mediator of the exaggerated actin filament formation phenotype that is induced in cardiomyocytes upon the overexpression of constitutively active ROCK1. We conclude that the expression of the muscle FHOD3 isoform is characteristic for the healthy mature heart and that two distinct phosphorylation events are crucial to regulate its activity in thin filament assembly and maintenance.
PMCID: PMC3696992  PMID: 23052206
myofibril; formin; cardiac cytoarchitecture; heart development
2.  Endoplasmic spreading requires coalescence of vimentin intermediate filaments at force-bearing adhesions 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2013;24(1):21-30.
Interaction of vimentin filaments (vIFs) and force-bearing adhesions is essential for endoplasm spreading. For adhesions to be connected to a contractile network involved in endoplasm spreading, vIFs are needed. Thus endoplasm spreading and microtubule stabilization in the periphery require a multicomponent actin network anchored at adhesions.
For cells to develop long-range forces and carry materials to the periphery, the microtubule and organelle-rich region at the center of the cell—the endoplasm—needs to extend to near the cell edge. Depletion of the actin cross-linking protein filamin A (FlnA) causes a collapse of the endoplasm into a sphere around the nucleus of fibroblasts and disruption of matrix adhesions, indicating that FlnA is involved in endoplasmic spreading and adhesion growth. Here, we report that treatment with the calpain inhibitor N-[N-(N-acetyl-l-leucyl)-l-leucyl]-l-norleucine (ALLN) restores endoplasmic spreading as well as focal adhesion (FA) growth on fibronectin-coated surfaces in a Fln-depleted background. Addback of calpain-uncleavable talin, not full-length talin, achieves a similar effect in Fln-depleted cells and indicates a crucial role for talin in endoplasmic spreading. Because FA maturation involves the vimentin intermediate filament (vIF) network, we also examined the role of vIFs in endoplasmic spreading. Wild-type cells expressing a vimentin variant incapable of polymerization exhibit deficient endoplasmic spreading as well as defects in FA growth. ALLN treatment restores FA growth despite the lack of vIFs but does not restore endoplasmic spreading, implying that vIFs are essential for endoplasm spreading. Consistent with that hypothesis, vIFs are always displaced from adhesions when the endoplasm does not spread. In Fln-depleted cells, vIFs extend beyond adhesions, nearly to the cell edge. Finally, inhibiting myosin II–mediated contraction blocks endoplasmic spreading and adhesion growth. Thus we propose a model in which myosin II–mediated forces and coalescence of vIFs at mature FAs are required for endoplasmic spreading.
PMCID: PMC3530776  PMID: 23115305
The Biochemical journal  2009;419(1):83-90.
Some thirty years ago, work on mammalian tissues suggested the presence of two cytosolic hexosaminidases in mammalian cells; one of these has been more recently characterised in recombinant form and has an important role in cellular function due to its ability to cleave β-N-acetylglucosamine residues from a variety of nuclear and cytoplasmic proteins. However, the molecular nature of the second cytosolic hexosaminidase, named hexosaminidase D, has remained obscure. In the present study, we molecularly characterise for the first time the human and murine recombinant forms of enzymes, encoded by HEXDC genes, which appear to correspond to hexosaminidase D in terms of substrate specificity, pH dependency and temperature stability; furthermore, a myc-tagged form of this novel hexosaminidase displays a nucleocytoplasmic localisation. Transcripts of the corresponding gene are expressed in a number of murine tissues. Based on its sequence, this enzyme represents, along with the lysosomal hexosaminidase subunits encoded by the HEXA and HEXB genes, the third class 20 glycosidase to be found from mammalian sources.
PMCID: PMC2850170  PMID: 19040401
N-acetylgalactosaminidase; nucleocytoplasmic; GFP; hexosaminidase; mouse; human

Results 1-3 (3)