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1.  Moesin and cortactin control actin-dependent multivesicular endosome biogenesis 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2016;27(21):3305-3316.
Moesin and cortactin on early endosomes are necessary for the formation of F-actin networks that mediate multivesicular endosome biogenesis and transport through the degradative pathway toward lysosomes. Presumably, this mechanism helps segregate recycling membranes from the maturing multivesicular endosomes.
We used in vivo and in vitro strategies to study the mechanisms of multivesicular endosome biogenesis. We found that, whereas annexinA2 and ARP2/3 mediate F-actin nucleation and branching, respectively, the ERM protein moesin supports the formation of F-actin networks on early endosomes. We also found that moesin plays no role during endocytosis and recycling to the plasma membrane but is absolutely required, much like actin, for early-to-late-endosome transport and multivesicular endosome formation. Both actin network formation in vitro and early-to-late endosome transport in vivo also depend on the F-actin–binding protein cortactin. Our data thus show that moesin and cortactin are necessary for formation of F-actin networks that mediate endosome biogenesis or maturation and transport through the degradative pathway. We propose that the primary function of endosomal F-actin is to control the membrane remodeling that accompanies endosome biogenesis. We also speculate that this mechanism helps segregate tubular and multivesicular membranes along the recycling and degradation pathways, respectively.
PMCID: PMC5170863  PMID: 27605702
2.  Lipid Sorting and Multivesicular Endosome Biogenesis 
Intracellular organelles, including endosomes, show differences not only in protein but also in lipid composition. It is becoming clear from the work of many laboratories that the mechanisms necessary to achieve such lipid segregation can operate at very different levels, including the membrane biophysical properties, the interactions with other lipids and proteins, and the turnover rates or distribution of metabolic enzymes. In turn, lipids can directly influence the organelle membrane properties by changing biophysical parameters and by recruiting partner effector proteins involved in protein sorting and membrane dynamics. In this review, we will discuss how lipids are sorted in endosomal membranes and how they impact on endosome functions.
Membranes along the endocytic pathway exhibit differences in lipid composition. This influences the distribution of membrane-associated proteins and the functions of the endosomal system.
PMCID: PMC3783046  PMID: 24086044
3.  Secondary structure and 1H, 13C, 15N resonance assignments of the endosomal sorting protein sorting nexin 3 
Biomolecular Nmr Assignments  2015;9(2):355-358.
Sorting nexin 3 (SNX3) belongs to a sub-family of sorting nexins that primarily contain a single Phox homology domain capable of binding phosphoinositides and membranes. We report the complete 1H, 13C and 15N resonance assignments of the full-length human SNX3 protein and identification of its secondary structure elements, revealing a canonical fold and unstructured termini.
PMCID: PMC4568012  PMID: 25893673
SNX3; PX domain; Phosphoinositide recognition; Phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate; Endosome; NMR
4.  Discovery of novel membrane binding structures and functions 
The function of a protein is determined by its intrinsic activity in the context of its subcellular distribution. Membranes localize proteins within cellular compartments and govern their specific activities. Discovering such membrane-protein interactions is important for understanding biological mechanisms, and could uncover novel sites for therapeutic intervention. Here we present a method for detecting membrane interactive proteins and their exposed residues that insert into lipid bilayers. Although the development process involved analysis of how C1b, C2, ENTH, FYVE, Gla, pleckstrin homology (PH) and PX domains bind membranes, the resulting Membrane Optimal Docking Area (MODA) method yields predictions for a given protein of known three dimensional structures without referring to canonical membrane-targeting modules. This approach was tested on the Arf1 GTPase, ATF2 acetyltransferase, von Willebrand factor A3 domain and Neisseria gonorrhoeae MsrB protein, and further refined with membrane interactive and non-interactive FAPP1 and PKD1 pleckstrin homology domains, respectively. Furthermore we demonstrate how this tool can be used to discover unprecedented membrane binding functions as illustrated by the Bro1 domain of Alix, which was revealed to recognize lysobisphosphatidic acid (LBPA). Validation of novel membrane-protein interactions relies on other techniques such as nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) which was used here to map the sites of micelle interaction. Together this indicates that genome-wide identification of known and novel membrane interactive proteins and sites is now feasible, and provides a new tool for functional annotation of the proteome.
PMCID: PMC4267288  PMID: 25394204
peripheral membrane protein; membrane interaction interface; phospholipid interaction; bilayer insertion; lipid site identification; protein structure annotation
5.  Viral infection controlled by a calcium-dependent lipid-binding module in ALIX 
Developmental cell  2013;25(4):364-373.
ALIX plays a role in nucleocapsid release during viral infection, as does lysobisphosphatidic acid (LBPA). However, the mechanism remains unclear. Here we report that LBPA is recognized within an exposed site in ALIX Bro1 domain predicted by MODA, an algorithm for discovering membrane-docking areas in proteins. LBPA interactions revealed a strict requirement for a structural calcium tightly bound near the lipid interaction site. Unlike other calcium– and phospholipid-binding proteins, the all-helical triangle-shaped fold of the Bro1 domain confers selectivity for LBPA via a pair of hydrophobic residues in a flexible loop, which undergoes a conformational change upon membrane association. Both LBPA- and calcium–binding are necessary for endosome association and virus infection, as are ALIX ESCRT-binding and dimerization capacity. We conclude that LBPA recruits ALIX onto late endosomes via the calcium-bound Bro1 domain, triggering a conformational change in ALIX to mediate the delivery of viral nucleocapsids to the cytosol during infection.
PMCID: PMC4129370  PMID: 23664863
7.  SNX12 Role in Endosome Membrane Transport 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(6):e38949.
In this paper, we investigated the role of sorting nexin 12 (SNX12) in the endocytic pathway. SNX12 is a member of the PX domain-containing sorting nexin family and shares high homology with SNX3, which plays a central role in the formation of intralumenal vesicles within multivesicular endosomes. We found that SNX12 is expressed at very low levels compared to SNX3. SNX12 is primarily associated with early endosomes and this endosomal localization depends on the binding to 3-phosphoinositides. We find that overexpression of SNX12 prevents the detachment (or maturation) of multivesicular endosomes from early endosomes. This in turn inhibits the degradative pathway from early to late endosomes/lysosomes, much like SNX3 overexpression, without affecting endocytosis, recycling and retrograde transport. In addition, while previous studies showed that Hrs knockdown prevents EGF receptor sorting into multivesicular endosomes, we find that overexpression of SNX12 restores the sorting process in an Hrs knockdown background. Altogether, our data show that despite lower expression level, SNX12 shares redundant functions with SNX3 in the biogenesis of multivesicular endosomes.
PMCID: PMC3376135  PMID: 22719997
8.  Endosome-to-cytosol transport of viral nucleocapsids 
Nature Cell Biology  2005;7(7):653-664.
During viral infection, fusion of the viral envelope with endosomal membranes and nucleocapsid release were thought to be concomitant events. We show here that for the vesicular stomatitis virus, they occur sequentially, at two successive steps of the endocytic pathway. Fusion already occurs in transport intermediates between early and late endosomes, presumably releasing the nucleocapsid within the lumen of intra-endosomal vesicles, where it remains hidden. Transport to late endosomes is then required for the nucleocapsid to be delivered to the cytoplasm. The latter step, which initiates infection, depends on the late endosomal lipid lysobisphosphatidic acid (LBPA) and its putative effector Alix/AIP1 and is regulated by PI3P signaling via the PI3P-binding protein SNX16. We conclude that the nucleocapsid is exported into the cytoplasm after the back-fusion of internal vesicles with the limiting membrane of late endosomes, and that this process is controlled by the phospholipids LBPA and PI3P, and by their effectors.
PMCID: PMC3360589  PMID: 15951806
Animals; Biological Transport; physiology; Cattle; Cell Line; Cricetinae; Cytosol; metabolism; ultrastructure; Endosomal Sorting Complexes Required for Transport; Endosomes; metabolism; ultrastructure; Epithelial Cells; virology; Fibroblasts; virology; Hela Cells; Humans; Lysophospholipids; physiology; Membrane Fusion; drug effects; physiology; Microscopy, Electron; Microscopy, Fluorescence; Monoglycerides; Nucleocapsid; metabolism; Phosphatidylinositol Phosphates; physiology; Phosphoproteins; genetics; physiology; RNA, Viral; biosynthesis; metabolism; Signal Transduction; physiology; Sorting Nexins; Time Factors; Transport Vesicles; metabolism; ultrastructure; Vesicular Transport Proteins; genetics; physiology; Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus; physiology; Virus Replication; genetics
9.  Single-cell analysis of population context advances RNAi screening at multiple levels 
A large set of high-content RNAi screens investigating mammalian virus infection and multiple cellular activities is analysed to reveal the impact of population context on phenotypic variability and to identify indirect RNAi effects.
Cell population context determines phenotypes in RNAi screens of multiple cellular activities (including virus infection, cell size regulation, endocytosis, and lipid homeostasis), which can be accounted for by a combination of novel image analysis and multivariate statistical methods.Accounting for cell population context-mediated effects strongly changes the reproducibility and consistency of RNAi screens across cell lines as well as of siRNAs targeting the same gene.Such analyses can identify the perturbed regulation of population context dependent cell-to-cell variability, a novel perturbation phenotype.Overall, these methods advance the use of large-scale RNAi screening for a systems-level understanding of cellular processes.
Isogenic cells in culture show strong variability, which arises from dynamic adaptations to the microenvironment of individual cells. Here we study the influence of the cell population context, which determines a single cell's microenvironment, in image-based RNAi screens. We developed a comprehensive computational approach that employs Bayesian and multivariate methods at the single-cell level. We applied these methods to 45 RNA interference screens of various sizes, including 7 druggable genome and 2 genome-wide screens, analysing 17 different mammalian virus infections and four related cell physiological processes. Analysing cell-based screens at this depth reveals widespread RNAi-induced changes in the population context of individual cells leading to indirect RNAi effects, as well as perturbations of cell-to-cell variability regulators. We find that accounting for indirect effects improves the consistency between siRNAs targeted against the same gene, and between replicate RNAi screens performed in different cell lines, in different labs, and with different siRNA libraries. In an era where large-scale RNAi screens are increasingly performed to reach a systems-level understanding of cellular processes, we show that this is often improved by analyses that account for and incorporate the single-cell microenvironment.
PMCID: PMC3361004  PMID: 22531119
cell-to-cell variability; image analysis; population context; RNAi; virus infection
10.  Role of AP1 and Gadkin in the traffic of secretory endo-lysosomes 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2011;22(12):2068-2082.
We report that exocytosis of secretory lysosomes in nonspecialized cells does not depend on the mechanisms of late endocytic membrane transport but on Rab27A-like, lysosome-related organelles in specialized cells. We also find that this unconventional secretory process depends on clathrin, the Adaptor Protein complex 1 (AP1) adaptor, and the AP1-binding partner Gadkin.
Whereas lysosome-related organelles (LRO) of specialized cells display both exocytic and endocytic features, lysosomes in nonspecialized cells can also acquire the property to fuse with the plasma membrane upon an acute rise in cytosolic calcium. Here, we characterize this unconventional secretory pathway in fibroblast-like cells, by monitoring the appearance of Lamp1 on the plasma membrane and the release of lysosomal enzymes into the medium. After sequential ablation of endocytic compartments in living cells, we find that donor membranes primarily derive from a late compartment, but that an early compartment is also involved. Strikingly, this endo-secretory process is not affected by treatments that inhibit endosome dynamics (microtubule depolymerization, cholesterol accumulation, overexpression of Rab7 or its effector Rab-interacting lysosomal protein [RILP], overexpression of Rab5 mutants), but depends on Rab27a, a GTPase involved in LRO secretion, and is controlled by F-actin. Moreover, we find that this unconventional endo-secretory pathway requires the adaptor protein complexes AP1, Gadkin (which recruits AP1 by binding to the γ1 subunit), and AP2, but not AP3. We conclude that a specific fraction of the AP2-derived endocytic pathway is dedicated to secretory purposes under the control of AP1 and Gadkin.
PMCID: PMC3113771  PMID: 21525240
11.  Role of SNX16 in the Dynamics of Tubulo-Cisternal Membrane Domains of Late Endosomes 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(7):e21771.
In this paper, we report that the PX domain-containing protein SNX16, a member of the sorting nexin family, is associated with late endosome membranes. We find that SNX16 is selectively enriched on tubulo-cisternal elements of this membrane system, whose highly dynamic properties and formation depend on intact microtubules. By contrast, SNX16 was not found on vacuolar elements that typically contain LBPA, and thus presumably correspond to multivesicular endosomes. We conclude that SNX16, together with its partner phosphoinositide, define a highly dynamic subset of late endosomal membranes, supporting the notion that late endosomes are organized in distinct morphological and functional regions. Our data also indicate that SNX16 is involved in tubule formation and cholesterol transport as well as trafficking of the tetraspanin CD81, suggesting that the protein plays a role in the regulation of late endosome membrane dynamics.
PMCID: PMC3130770  PMID: 21754999
12.  In Vitro Budding of Intralumenal Vesicles into Late Endosomes Is Regulated by Alix and Tsg101 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2008;19(11):4942-4955.
Endosomes along the degradation pathway leading to lysosomes accumulate membranes in their lumen and thus exhibit a characteristic multivesicular appearance. These lumenal membranes typically incorporate down-regulated EGF receptor destined for degradation, but the mechanisms that control their formation remain poorly characterized. Here, we describe a novel quantitative biochemical assay that reconstitutes the formation of lumenal vesicles within late endosomes in vitro. Vesicle budding into the endosome lumen was time-, temperature-, pH-, and energy-dependent and required cytosolic factors and endosome membrane components. Our light and electron microscopy analysis showed that the compartment supporting the budding process was accessible to endocytosed bulk tracers and EGF receptor. We also found that the EGF receptor became protected against trypsin in our assay, indicating that it was sorted into the intraendosomal vesicles that were formed in vitro. Our data show that the formation of intralumenal vesicles is ESCRT-dependent, because the process was inhibited by the K173Q dominant negative mutant of hVps4. Moreover, we find that the ESCRT-I subunit Tsg101 and its partner Alix control intralumenal vesicle formation, by acting as positive and negative regulators, respectively. We conclude that budding of the limiting membrane toward the late endosome lumen, which leads to the formation of intraendosomal vesicles, is controlled by the positive and negative functions of Tsg101 and Alix, respectively.
PMCID: PMC2575168  PMID: 18768755
13.  Concise Synthesis of Ether Analogues of Lysobisphosphatidic Acid 
Organic letters  2005;7(18):3837-3840.
We describe a versatile, efficient method for the preparation of ether analogues of (S,S)-lysobisphosphatidic acid (LBPA) and its enantiomer from S-solketal. Phosphorylation of a protected sn-2-O-octadecenyl glyceryl ether with 2-cyanoethyl bis-N,N-diisopropylamino phosphine and subsequent deprotection generated the bisether LBPA analogues. By simply changing the sequence of deprotection steps, the (R,R)- and (S,S)-enantiomers of 2,2′-bisether LBPA were obtained. An ELISA assay with anti-LBPA monoclonal antibodies showed that the bisether LBPAs were recognized with the same affinity as the natural 2,2′-bisoleolyl LBPA.
PMCID: PMC2535798  PMID: 16119911
14.  Hrs and SNX3 Functions in Sorting and Membrane Invagination within Multivesicular Bodies  
PLoS Biology  2008;6(9):e214.
After internalization, ubiquitinated signaling receptors are delivered to early endosomes. There, they are sorted and incorporated into the intralumenal invaginations of nascent multivesicular bodies, which function as transport intermediates to late endosomes. Receptor sorting is achieved by Hrs—an adaptor-like protein that binds membrane PtdIns3P via a FYVE motif—and then by ESCRT complexes, which presumably also mediate the invagination process. Eventually, intralumenal vesicles are delivered to lysosomes, leading to the notion that EGF receptor sorting into multivesicular bodies mediates lysosomal targeting. Here, we report that Hrs is essential for lysosomal targeting but dispensable for multivesicular body biogenesis and transport to late endosomes. By contrast, we find that the PtdIns3P-binding protein SNX3 is required for multivesicular body formation, but not for EGF receptor degradation. PtdIns3P thus controls the complementary functions of Hrs and SNX3 in sorting and multivesicular body biogenesis.
Author Summary
The cell's genetic program is modulated by extracellular signals that activate cell surface receptors and, in turn, intracellular effectors, to regulate transcription. For cells to function normally, these signals must be turned off to avoid permanent activation—a situation often associated with cancer. For many receptors, signaling is repressed, or down-regulated, in a process that first internalizes and then degrades the receptors. After receptors are removed from the cell surface into structures called early endosomes, they are selectively incorporated within vesicles that form inside the endosome. During this process, endosomal membranes are pulled away from the cytoplasm towards the endosome lumen, against the flow of intracellular membrane traffic, eventually resulting in the formation of a “multivesicular body” (vesicles within vesicles). The common view is that these intralumenal vesicles are then delivered to lysosomes, where they are degraded along with their receptor cargo. We have investigated the mechanisms responsible for the biogenesis of intralumenal vesicles in multivesicular bodies. We find that the small protein SNX3, which binds the signaling lipid phosphatidyl inositol-3-phosphate, is necessary for the formation of intralumenal vesicles, but is not involved in the degradation of the cell surface receptor for EGF. Conversely, we find that Hrs, which also binds phosphatidyl inositol-3-phosphate and mediates receptor sorting into intralumenal vesicles, is essential for lysosomal targeting but dispensable for multivesicular body biogenesis. Phosphatidyl inositol-3-phosphate thus controls the complementary functions of Hrs and SNX3 in the sorting of signaling receptors and multivesicular body biogenesis.
SNX3 plays a direct role in the formation of intralumenal vesicles of multivesicular bodies (MVBs) but is not involved in EGF receptor degradation, whereas Hrs is essential for lysosomal targeting but dispensable for MVB biogenesis. Hence, intralumenal vesicle formation in MVB biogenesis can be uncoupled from lysosomal targeting.
PMCID: PMC2528051  PMID: 18767904
15.  The Cargo Receptors Surf4, Endoplasmic Reticulum-Golgi Intermediate Compartment (ERGIC)-53, and p25 Are Required to Maintain the Architecture of ERGIC and Golgi 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2008;19(5):1976-1990.
Rapidly cycling proteins of the early secretory pathway can operate as cargo receptors. Known cargo receptors are abundant proteins, but it remains mysterious why their inactivation leads to rather limited secretion phenotypes. Studies of Surf4, the human orthologue of the yeast cargo receptor Erv29p, now reveal a novel function of cargo receptors. Surf4 was found to interact with endoplasmic reticulum-Golgi intermediate compartment (ERGIC)-53 and p24 proteins. Silencing Surf4 together with ERGIC-53 or silencing the p24 family member p25 induced an identical phenotype characterized by a reduced number of ERGIC clusters and fragmentation of the Golgi apparatus without effect on anterograde transport. Live imaging showed decreased stability of ERGIC clusters after knockdown of p25. Silencing of Surf4/ERGIC-53 or p25 resulted in partial redistribution of coat protein (COP) I but not Golgi matrix proteins to the cytosol and partial resistance of the cis-Golgi to brefeldin A. These findings imply that cargo receptors are essential for maintaining the architecture of ERGIC and Golgi by controlling COP I recruitment.
PMCID: PMC2366877  PMID: 18287528
16.  The Redox Sensor TXNL1 Plays a Regulatory Role in Fluid Phase Endocytosis 
PLoS ONE  2007;2(11):e1144.
Small GTPases of the Rab family can cycle between a GTP- and a GDP-bound state and also between membrane and cytosol. The latter cycle is mediated by the Guanine Nucleotide Dissociation Inhibitor GDI, which can selectively extract GDP-bound Rab proteins from donor membranes, and then reload them on target membranes. In previous studies, we found that capture of the small GTPase Rab5, a key regulator of endocytic membrane traffic, by GDI is stimulated by oxidative stress via p38MAPK, resulting in increased fluid phase endocytosis.
Methodology/Principal Findings
When purifying the GDI stimulating activity we found that that it copurified with a high MW protein complex, which included p38MAPK. Here we report the identification and characterization of another component of this complex as the thioredoxin-like protein TXNL1. Our observations indicate that TXNL1 play a selective role in the regulation of fluid phase endocytosis, by controlling GDI capacity to capture Rab5.
Oxidants, which are known to cause cellular damage, can also trigger signaling pathways, in particular via members of the thioredoxin family. We propose that TXNL1 acts as an effector of oxidants or a redox sensor by converting redox changes into changes of GDI capacity to capture Rab5, which in turn modulates fluid phase endocytosis.
PMCID: PMC2043495  PMID: 17987124
17.  The p11/S100A10 Light Chain of Annexin A2 Is Dispensable for Annexin A2 Association to Endosomes and Functions in Endosomal Transport 
PLoS ONE  2007;2(10):e1118.
Annexin A2 is a peripheral membrane protein that belongs to the annexin family of Ca2+ and phospholipid-binding proteins. This protein, which plays a role in membrane organization and dynamics in particular along the endocytic pathway, exists as a heterotetrameric complex, consisting of two annexin A2 molecules bound via their N-termini to a dimer of p11/S100A10 light chains. The light chain, and thus presumably formation of the heterotetramer, was reported to control annexin A2 association to the plasma membrane and to cortical actin, as well as the distribution of recycling endosomes. However, the specific role of the light chain and the functions of monomeric versus heterotetrameric annexin A2 have remained elusive in the endocytic pathway.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Here, we have investigated whether p11 plays a role in the endosomal functions of annexin A2. Using morphological and biochemical approaches, we found that p11, unlike annexin A2, was not present on early endosomes. Neither was the heterotetramer detected on purified early endosomes, while it was clearly present in total cell lysates. Moreover, knockdown of p11 with siRNAs did not affect annexin A2 targeting to early endosomes, and, conversely, binding of annexin A2 to purified endosomes or liposomes occurred without p11 in vitro. Finally, while we could confirm that annexin A2 knockdown inhibits transport beyond early endosomes, p11 knockdown had no such effects on early-to-late endosome transport.
Our data show that the binding of annexin A2 to endosomal membranes and its role in endosomal trafficking are independent of the p11/S100A10 light chain. We thus conclude that annexin A2 functions are fully supported by the monomeric form of the protein, at least the endocytic pathway leading to lysosomes.
PMCID: PMC2040519  PMID: 17971878
18.  Late Endosomal Cholesterol Accumulation Leads to Impaired Intra-Endosomal Trafficking 
PLoS ONE  2007;2(9):e851.
Pathological accumulation of cholesterol in late endosomes is observed in lysosomal storage diseases such as Niemann-Pick type C. We here analyzed the effects of cholesterol accumulation in NPC cells, or as phenocopied by the drug U18666A, on late endosomes membrane organization and dynamics.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Cholesterol accumulation did not lead to an increase in the raft to non-raft membrane ratio as anticipated. Strikingly, we observed a 2–3 fold increase in the size of the compartment. Most importantly, properties and dynamics of late endosomal intralumenal vesicles were altered as revealed by reduced late endosomal vacuolation induced by the mutant pore-forming toxin ASSP, reduced intoxication by the anthrax lethal toxin and inhibition of infection by the Vesicular Stomatitis Virus.
These results suggest that back fusion of intralumenal vesicles with the limiting membrane of late endosomes is dramatically perturbed upon cholesterol accumulation.
PMCID: PMC1952175  PMID: 17786222
19.  Diversity of Raft-Like Domains in Late Endosomes 
PLoS ONE  2007;2(4):e391.
Late endosomes, the last sorting station in the endocytic pathway before lysosomes, are pleiomorphic organelles composed of tubular elements as well as vesicular regions with a characteristic multivesicular appearance, which play a crucial role in intracellular trafficking. Here, we have investigated whether, in addition to these morphologically distinguishable regions, late endosomal membranes are additionally sub-compartmentalized into membrane microdomains.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Using sub-organellar fractionation techniques, both with and without detergents, combined with electron microscopy, we found that both the limiting membrane of the organel and the intraluminal vesicles contain raft-type membrane domains. Interestingly, these differentially localized domains vary in protein composition and physico-chemical properties.
In addition to the multivesicular organization, we find that late endosomes contain cholesterol rich microdomains both on their limiting membrane and their intraluminal vesicles that differ in composition and properties. Implications of these findings for late endosomal functions are discussed.
PMCID: PMC1851096  PMID: 17460758
20.  The Secreted Form of Dengue Virus Nonstructural Protein NS1 Is Endocytosed by Hepatocytes and Accumulates in Late Endosomes: Implications for Viral Infectivity†  
Journal of Virology  2005;79(17):11403-11411.
The flavivirus nonstructural protein NS1 is expressed as three discrete species in infected mammalian cells: an intracellular, membrane-associated form essential for viral replication, a cell surface-associated form that may be involved in signal transduction, and a secreted form (sNS1), the biological properties of which remain elusive. To determine the distribution of the dengue virus (DEN) sNS1 protein in vivo, we have analyzed by immunohistological means the tissue tropism of purified DEN sNS1 injected intravenously into adult mice. The sNS1 protein was found predominantly associated with the liver, where hepatocytes appeared to represent a major target cell. We further showed that sNS1 could be efficiently endocytosed by human Huh7 and HepG2 hepatocytes in vitro. After its internalization, the protein was detected intracellularly for at least 48 h without being substantially degraded. Colocalization studies of sNS1 with markers of the endolysosomal compartments revealed that the protein was specifically targeted to lysobisphosphatidic acid-rich structures reminiscent of late endosomes, as confirmed by electron microscopy. Intracellular accumulation of sNS1 in Huh7 cells enhanced the fluid phase uptake of rhodamine-labeled dextran. Furthermore, preincubation of Huh7 cells with sNS1 increased dengue virus production after infection with the homologous strain of DEN-1 virus. Our results demonstrate that the accumulation of DEN sNS1 in the late endosomal compartment of hepatocytes potentializes subsequent dengue virus infection in vitro, raising the possibility that sNS1 may contribute to viral propagation in vivo.
PMCID: PMC1193635  PMID: 16103191
21.  Acquisition of Hrs, an Essential Component of Phagosomal Maturation, Is Impaired by Mycobacteria 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2004;24(10):4593-4604.
Pathogenic mycobacteria survive within macrophages by precluding the fusion of phagosomes with late endosomes or lysosomes. Because the molecular determinants of normal phagolysosome formation are poorly understood, the sites targeted by mycobacteria remain unidentified. We found that Hrs, an adaptor molecule involved in protein sorting, associates with phagosomes prior to their fusion with late endosomes or lysosomes. Recruitment of Hrs required the interaction of its FYVE domain with phagosomal phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate, but two other attachment sites were additionally involved. Depletion of Hrs by use of small interfering RNA impaired phagosomal maturation, preventing the acquisition of lysobisphosphatidic acid and reducing luminal acidification. As a result, the maturation of phagosomes formed in Hrs-depleted cells was arrested at an early stage, characterized by the acquisition and retention of sorting endosomal markers. This phenotype is strikingly similar to that reported to occur in phagosomes of cells infected by mycobacteria. We therefore tested whether Hrs is recruited to phagosomes containing mycobacteria. Hrs associated readily with phagosomes containing inert particles but poorly with mycobacterial phagosomes. Moreover, Hrs was found more frequently in phagosomes containing avirulent Mycobacterium smegmatis than in phagosomes with the more virulent Mycobacterium marinum. These findings suggest that the inability to recruit Hrs contributes to the arrest of phagosomal maturation induced by pathogenic mycobacteria.
PMCID: PMC400451  PMID: 15121875
22.  Modulation of Rab5 and Rab7 Recruitment to Phagosomes by Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2003;23(7):2501-2514.
Phagosomal biogenesis is central for microbial killing and antigen presentation by leukocytes. However, the molecular mechanisms governing phagosome maturation are poorly understood. We analyzed the role and site of action of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases (PI3K) and of Rab GTPases in maturation using both professional and engineered phagocytes. Rab5, which is recruited rapidly and transiently to the phagosome, was found to be essential for the recruitment of Rab7 and for progression to phagolysosomes. Similarly, functional PI3K is required for successful maturation. Remarkably, inhibition of PI3K did not preclude Rab5 recruitment to phagosomes but instead enhanced and prolonged it. Moreover, in the presence of PI3K inhibitors Rab5 was found to be active, as deduced from measurements of early endosome antigen 1 binding and by photobleaching recovery determinations. Though their ability to fuse with late endosomes and lysosomes was virtually eliminated by wortmannin, phagosomes nevertheless recruited a sizable amount of Rab7. Moreover, Rab7 recruited to phagosomes in the presence of PI3K antagonists retained the ability to bind its effector, Rab7-interacting lysosomal protein, suggesting that it is functionally active. These findings imply that (i) dissociation of Rab5 from phagosomes requires products of PI3K, (ii) PI3K-dependent effectors of Rab5 are not essential for the recruitment of Rab7 by phagosomes, and (iii) recruitment and activation of Rab7 are insufficient to induce fusion of phagosomes with late endosomes and lysosomes. Accordingly, transfection of constitutively active Rab7 did not bypass the block of phagolysosome formation exerted by wortmannin. We propose that Rab5 activates both PI3K-dependent and PI3K-independent effectors that act in parallel to promote phagosome maturation.
PMCID: PMC150733  PMID: 12640132
23.  Role of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and Rab5 effectors in phagosomal biogenesis and mycobacterial phagosome maturation arrest 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2001;154(3):631-644.
Phagosomal biogenesis is a fundamental biological process of particular significance for the function of phagocytic and antigen-presenting cells. The precise mechanisms governing maturation of phagosomes into phagolysosomes are not completely understood. Here, we applied the property of pathogenic mycobacteria to cause phagosome maturation arrest in infected macrophages as a tool to dissect critical steps in phagosomal biogenesis. We report the requirement for 3-phosphoinositides and acquisition of Rab5 effector early endosome autoantigen (EEA1) as essential molecular events necessary for phagosomal maturation. Unlike the model phagosomes containing latex beads, which transiently recruited EEA1, mycobacterial phagosomes excluded this regulator of vesicular trafficking that controls membrane tethering and fusion processes within the endosomal pathway and is recruited to endosomal membranes via binding to phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate (PtdIns[3]P). Inhibitors of phosphatidylinositol 3′(OH)-kinase (PI-3K) activity diminished EEA1 recruitment to newly formed latex bead phagosomes and blocked phagosomal acquisition of late endocytic properties, indicating that generation of PtdIns(3)P plays a role in phagosomal maturation. Microinjection into macrophages of antibodies against EEA1 and the PI-3K hVPS34 reduced acquisition of late endocytic markers by latex bead phagosomes, demonstrating an essential role of these Rab5 effectors in phagosomal biogenesis. The mechanism of EEA1 exclusion from mycobacterial phagosomes was investigated using mycobacterial products. Coating of latex beads with the major mycobacterial cell envelope glycosylated phosphatidylinositol lipoarabinomannan isolated from the virulent Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv, inhibited recruitment of EEA1 to latex bead phagosomes, and diminished their maturation. These findings define the generation of phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate and EEA1 recruitment as: (a) important regulatory events in phagosomal maturation and (b) critical molecular targets affected by M. tuberculosis. This study also identifies mycobacterial phosphoinositides as products with specialized toxic properties, interfering with discrete trafficking stages in phagosomal maturation.
PMCID: PMC2196432  PMID: 11489920
EEA1; endosome; hVPS34; LBPA; LAM
24.  Functional Dissection of COP-I Subunits in the Biogenesis of Multivesicular Endosomes  
The Journal of Cell Biology  1997;139(5):1183-1195.
In the present paper, we show that transport from early to late endosomes is inhibited at the restrictive temperature in a mutant CHO cell line (ldlF) with a ts-defect in ε coatomer protein (εCOP), although internalization and recycling continue. Early endosomes then appear like clusters of thin tubules devoid of the typical multivesicular regions, which are normally destined to become vesicular intermediates during transport to late endosomes. We also find that the in vitro formation of these vesicles from BHK donor endosomes is inhibited in cytosol prepared from ldlF cells incubated at the restrictive temperature. Although εCOP is rapidly degraded in ldlF cells at the restrictive temperature, cellular amounts of the other COP-I subunits are not affected. Despite the absence of εCOP, we find that a subcomplex of β, β′, and ζCOP is still recruited onto BHK endosomes in vitro, and this binding exhibits the characteristic properties of endosomal COPs with respect to stimulation by GTPγS and sensitivity to the endosomal pH. Previous studies showed that γ and δCOP are not found on endosomes. However, αCOP, which is normally present on endosomes, is no longer recruited when εCOP is missing. In contrast, all COP subunits, except obviously εCOP itself, still bind BHK biosynthetic membranes in a pH-independent manner in vitro. Our observations thus indicate that the biogenesis of multivesicular endosomes is coupled to early endosome organization and depends on COP-I proteins. Our data also show that membrane association and function of endosomal COPs can be dissected: whereas β, β′, and ζCOP retain the capacity to bind endosomal membranes, COP function in transport appears to depend on the presence of α and/or εCOP.
PMCID: PMC2140201  PMID: 9382865
25.  Involvement of the Transmembrane Protein p23 in Biosynthetic Protein Transport  
The Journal of Cell Biology  1997;139(5):1119-1135.
Here, we report the localization and characterization of BHKp23, a member of the p24 family of transmembrane proteins, in mammalian cells. We find that p23 is a major component of tubulovesicular membranes at the cis side of the Golgi complex (estimated density: 12,500 copies/μm2 membrane surface area, or ≈30% of the total protein). Our data indicate that BHKp23-containing membranes are part of the cis-Golgi network/intermediate compartment . Using the G protein of vesicular stomatitis virus as a transmembrane cargo molecule, we find that p23 membranes are an obligatory station in forward biosynthetic membrane transport, but that p23 itself is absent from transport vesicles that carry the G protein to and beyond the Golgi complex. Our data show that p23 is not present to any significant extent in coat protein (COP) I-coated vesicles generated in vitro and does not colocalize with COP I buds and vesicles. Moreover, we find that p23 cytoplasmic domain is not involved in COP I membrane recruitment. Our data demonstrate that microinjected antibodies against the cytoplasmic tail of p23 inhibit G protein transport from the cis-Golgi network/ intermediate compartment to the cell surface, suggesting that p23 function is required for the transport of transmembrane cargo molecules. These observations together with the fact that p23 is a highly abundant component in the intermediate compartment, lead us to propose that p23 contributes to membrane structure, and that this contribution is necessary for efficient segregation and transport.
PMCID: PMC2140216  PMID: 9382861

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