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1.  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
2.  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
3.  Mitochondrial Inhibitory Factor 1 (IF1) Is Present in Human Serum and Is Positively Correlated with HDL-Cholesterol 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(9):e23949.
Mitochondrial ATP synthase is expressed as a plasma membrane receptor for apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I), the major protein component in High Density Lipoproteins (HDL). On hepatocytes, apoA-I binds to cell surface ATP synthase (namely ecto-F1-ATPase) and stimulates its ATPase activity, generating extracellular ADP. This production of extracellular ADP activates a P2Y13-mediated HDL endocytosis pathway. Conversely, exogenous IF1, classically known as a natural mitochondrial specific inhibitor of F1-ATPase activity, inhibits ecto-F1-ATPase activity and decreases HDL endocytosis by both human hepatocytes and perfused rat liver.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Since recent reports also described the presence of IF1 at the plasma membrane of different cell types, we investigated whether IF1 is present in the systemic circulation in humans. We first unambiguously detected IF1 in human serum by immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry. We then set up a competitive ELISA assay in order to quantify its level in human serum. Analyses of IF1 levels in 100 normolipemic male subjects evidenced a normal distribution, with a median value of 0.49 µg/mL and a 95% confidence interval of 0.22–0.82 µg/mL. Correlations between IF1 levels and serum lipid levels demonstrated that serum IF1 levels are positively correlated with HDL-cholesterol and negatively with triglycerides (TG).
Altogether, these data support the view that, in humans, circulating IF1 might affect HDL levels by inhibiting hepatic HDL uptake and also impact TG metabolism.
PMCID: PMC3173369  PMID: 21935367
4.  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
5.  Ecto-F1-ATPase: A moonlighting protein complex and an unexpected apoA-I receptor 
Mitochondrial ATP synthase has been recently detected at the surface of different cell types, where it is a high affinity receptor for apoA-I, the major protein component in high density lipoproteins (HDL). Cell surface ATP synthase (namely ecto-F1-ATPase) expression is related to different biological effects, such as regulation of HDL uptake by hepatocytes, endothelial cell proliferation or antitumor activity of Vγ9/Vδ2 T lymphocytes. This paper reviews the recently discovered functions and regulations of ecto-F1-ATPase. Particularly, the role of the F1-ATPase pathway(s) in HDL-cholesterol uptake and apoA-I-mediated endothelial protection suggests its potential importance in reverse cholesterol transport and its regulation might represent a potential therapeutic target for HDL-related therapy for cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, it is timely for us to better understand how this ecto-enzyme and downstream pathways are regulated and to develop pharmacologic interventions.
PMCID: PMC3007107  PMID: 21157968
F1Fo ATP synthase; High density lipoproteins receptor; Apolipoprotein A-I; Purinergic receptor P2Y13; Adenylate kinase; Nucleotide; Endothelium; Antitumor immunity
6.  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

Results 1-6 (6)