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.
When vertebrate cells exit mitosis various cellular structures are re-organized to build functional interphase cells1. This depends on Cdk1 (cyclin dependent kinase 1) inactivation and subsequent dephosphorylation of its substrates2–4. Members of the protein phosphatase 1 and 2A (PP1 and PP2A) families can dephosphorylate Cdk1 substrates in biochemical extracts during mitotic exit5,6, but how this relates to postmitotic reassembly of interphase structures in intact cells is not known. Here, we use a live-cell imaging assay and RNAi knockdown to screen a genome-wide library of protein phosphatases for mitotic exit functions in human cells. We identify a trimeric PP2A–B55α complex as a key factor in mitotic spindle breakdown and postmitotic reassembly of the nuclear envelope, Golgi apparatus and decondensed chromatin. Using a chemically induced mitotic exit assay, we find that PP2A–B55α functions downstream of Cdk1 inactivation. PP2A–B55α isolated from mitotic cells had reduced phosphatase activity towards the Cdk1 substrate, histone H1, and was hyper-phosphorylated on all subunits. Mitotic PP2A complexes co-purified with the nuclear transport factor importin-β1, and RNAi depletion of importin-β1 delayed mitotic exit synergistically with PP2A–B55α. This demonstrates that PP2A–B55α and importin-β1 cooperate in the regulation of postmitotic assembly mechanisms in human cells.
Genetic interaction (GI) maps, comprising pairwise measures of how strongly the function of one gene depends on the presence of a second, have enabled the systematic exploration of gene function in microorganisms. Here, we present a two-stage strategy to construct high-density GI maps in mammalian cells. First, we use ultra-complex pooled shRNA libraries (25 shRNAs/gene) to identify high-confidence hit genes for a given phenotype and effective shRNAs. We then construct double-shRNA libraries from these to systematically measure GIs between hits. A GI map focused on ricin susceptibility broadly recapitulates known pathways and provides many unexpected insights. These include a non-canonical role for COPI, a novel protein complex (SRIC) affecting toxin clearance, a specialized role for the ribosomal protein RPS25, and functionally distinct mammalian TRAPP complexes. The ability to rapidly generate mammalian GI maps provides a potentially transformative tool for defining gene function and designing combination therapies based on synergistic pairs.
The anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome bound to CDC20 (APC/CCDC20) initiates anaphase by ubiquitylating B-type cyclins and securin. During chromosome bi-orientation, CDC20 assembles with MAD2, BUBR1 and BUB3 into a mitotic checkpoint complex (MCC) which inhibits substrate recruitment to the APC/C. APC/C activation depends on MCC disassembly, which has been proposed to require CDC20 auto-ubiquitylation. Here we characterized APC15, a human APC/C subunit related to yeast Mnd2. APC15 is located near APC/C’s MCC binding site, is required for APC/CMCC-dependent CDC20 auto-ubiquitylation and degradation, and for timely anaphase initiation, but is dispensable for substrate ubiquitylation by APC/CCDC20 and APC/CCDH1. Our results support the view that MCC is continuously assembled and disassembled to enable rapid activation of APC/CCDC20 and that CDC20 auto-ubiquitylation promotes MCC disassembly. We propose that APC15 and Mnd2 negatively regulate APC/C coactivators, and report the first generation of recombinant human APC/C.
A method is presented that allows rapid and efficient purification of native, active tubulin from a variety of species and tissue sources by affinity chromatography. It eliminates the need to use heterologous systems for the study of microtubule-associated proteins and motor proteins, which has been a major issue in microtubule-related research.
We have developed a protocol that allows rapid and efficient purification of native, active tubulin from a variety of species and tissue sources by affinity chromatography. The affinity matrix comprises a bacterially expressed, recombinant protein, the TOG1/2 domains from Saccharomyces cerevisiae Stu2, covalently coupled to a Sepharose support. The resin has a high capacity to specifically bind tubulin from clarified crude cell extracts, and, after washing, highly purified tubulin can be eluted under mild conditions. The eluted tubulin is fully functional and can be efficiently assembled into microtubules. The method eliminates the need to use heterologous systems for the study of microtubule-associated proteins and motor proteins, which has been a major issue in microtubule-related research.
Repo-Man and Sds22 counteract Aurora B phosphorylation of Dsn1 and thus regulate the kinetochore–microtubule interface during anaphase.
During mitotic spindle assembly, Aurora B kinase is part of an error correction mechanism that detaches microtubules from kinetochores that are under low mechanical tension. During anaphase, however, kinetochore–microtubule attachments must be maintained despite a drop of tension after removal of sister chromatid cohesion. Consistent with this requirement, Aurora B relocates away from chromosomes to the central spindle at the metaphase–anaphase transition. By ribonucleic acid interference screening using a phosphorylation biosensor, we identified two PP1-targeting subunits, Sds22 and Repo-Man, which counteracted Aurora B–dependent phosphorylation of the outer kinetochore component Dsn1 during anaphase. Sds22 or Repo-Man depletion induced transient pauses during poleward chromosome movement and a high incidence of chromosome missegregation. Thus, our study identifies PP1-targeting subunits that regulate the microtubule–kinetochore interface during anaphase for faithful chromosome segregation.
This study dissects the recruitment of dynein and dynactin to cargo by a conserved motor adaptor BICD2. It is shown that dynein, dynactin, and BICD2 form a triple complex in vitro and in vivo. Investigation of the properties of this complex by direct visualization of dynein in live cells shows that BICD2-induced dynein transport requires LIS1.
Cytoplasmic dynein is the major microtubule minus-end–directed cellular motor. Most dynein activities require dynactin, but the mechanisms regulating cargo-dependent dynein–dynactin interaction are poorly understood. In this study, we focus on dynein–dynactin recruitment to cargo by the conserved motor adaptor Bicaudal D2 (BICD2). We show that dynein and dynactin depend on each other for BICD2-mediated targeting to cargo and that BICD2 N-terminus (BICD2-N) strongly promotes stable interaction between dynein and dynactin both in vitro and in vivo. Direct visualization of dynein in live cells indicates that by itself the triple BICD2-N–dynein–dynactin complex is unable to interact with either cargo or microtubules. However, tethering of BICD2-N to different membranes promotes their microtubule minus-end–directed motility. We further show that LIS1 is required for dynein-mediated transport induced by membrane tethering of BICD2-N and that LIS1 contributes to dynein accumulation at microtubule plus ends and BICD2-positive cellular structures. Our results demonstrate that dynein recruitment to cargo requires concerted action of multiple dynein cofactors.
The regulation of cell migration is a highly complex process that is often compromised when cancer cells become metastatic. The microtubule cytoskeleton is necessary for cell migration, but how microtubules and microtubule-associated proteins regulate multiple pathways promoting cell migration remains unclear. Microtubule plus-end binding proteins (+TIPs) are emerging as important players in many cellular functions, including cell migration. Here we identify a +TIP, GTSE1, that promotes cell migration. GTSE1 accumulates at growing microtubule plus ends through interaction with the EB1+TIP. The EB1-dependent +TIP activity of GTSE1 is required for cell migration, as well as for microtubule-dependent disassembly of focal adhesions. GTSE1 protein levels determine the migratory capacity of both nontransformed and breast cancer cell lines. In breast cancers, increased GTSE1 expression correlates with invasive potential, tumor stage, and time to distant metastasis, suggesting that misregulation of GTSE1 expression could be associated with increased invasive potential.
Many cellular proteins assemble into macromolecular protein complexes. The identification of protein–protein interactions and quantification of their stoichiometry is therefore crucial to understand the molecular function of protein complexes. Determining the stoichiometry of protein complexes is usually achieved by mass spectrometry-based methods that rely on introducing stable isotope-labeled reference peptides into the sample of interest. However, these approaches are laborious and not suitable for high-throughput screenings. Here, we describe a robust and easy to implement label-free relative quantification approach that combines the detection of high-confidence protein–protein interactions with an accurate determination of the stoichiometry of the identified protein–protein interactions in a single experiment. We applied this method to two chromatin-associated protein complexes for which the stoichiometry thus far remained elusive: the MBD3/NuRD and PRC2 complex. For each of these complexes, we accurately determined the stoichiometry of the core subunits while at the same time identifying novel interactors and their stoichiometry.
High-content screening for gene profiling has generally been limited to single cells. Here, we explore an alternative approach—profiling gene function by analyzing effects of gene knockdowns on the architecture of a complex tissue in a multicellular organism. We profile 554 essential C. elegans genes by imaging gonad architecture and scoring 94 phenotypic features. To generate a reference for evaluating methods for network construction, genes were manually partitioned into 102 phenotypic classes, predicting functions for uncharacterized genes across diverse cellular processes. Using this classification as a benchmark, we developed a robust computational method for constructing gene networks from high-content profiles based on a network context-dependent measure that ranks the significance of links between genes. Our analysis reveals that multi-parametric profiling in a complex tissue yields functional maps with a resolution similar to genetic interaction-based profiling in unicellular eukaryotes—pinpointing subunits of macromolecular complexes and components functioning in common cellular processes.
Cell biologists are interested in how complexity arises from the interaction of different molecules. However, cells are many orders of magnitude larger than the protein-binding interfaces. To bridge these vast difference in scales, biologists construct hierarchies of organization of cellular structures. I describe how systems biology provides an approach to bridge these different scales.
systems biology; modelling; cell cycle
FRAP reveals that a stable PAR boundary requires balancing diffusive flux of PAR proteins between domains with spatial differences in PAR protein membrane affinities.
Polarization of cells by PAR proteins requires the segregation of antagonistic sets of proteins into two mutually exclusive membrane-associated domains. Understanding how nanometer scale interactions between individual PAR proteins allow spatial organization across cellular length scales requires determining the kinetic properties of PAR proteins and how they are modified in space. We find that PAR-2 and PAR-6, which localize to opposing PAR domains, undergo exchange between well mixed cytoplasmic populations and laterally diffusing membrane-associated states. Domain maintenance does not involve diffusion barriers, lateral sorting, or active transport. Rather, both PAR proteins are free to diffuse between domains, giving rise to a continuous boundary flux because of lateral diffusion of molecules down the concentration gradients that exist across the embryo. Our results suggest that the equalizing effects of lateral diffusion are countered by actin-independent differences in the effective membrane affinities of PAR proteins between the two domains, which likely depend on the ability of each PAR species to locally modulate the membrane affinity of opposing PAR species within its domain. We propose that the stably polarized embryo reflects a dynamic steady state in which molecules undergo continuous diffusion between regions of net association and dissociation.
Despite our rapidly growing knowledge about the human genome, we do not know all of the genes required for some of the most basic functions of life. To start to fill this gap we developed a high-throughput phenotypic screening platform combining potent gene silencing by RNA interference, time-lapse microscopy and computational image processing. We carried out a genome-wide phenotypic profiling of each of the ~21,000 human protein-coding genes by two-day live imaging of fluorescently labelled chromosomes. Phenotypes were scored quantitatively by computational image processing, which allowed us to identify hundreds of human genes involved in diverse biological functions including cell division, migration and survival. As part of the Mitocheck consortium, this study provides an in-depth analysis of cell division phenotypes and makes the entire high-content data set available as a resource to the community.
Chromosome segregation and cell division are essential, highly ordered processes that depend on numerous protein complexes. Results from recent RNA interference (RNAi) screens indicate that the identity and composition of these protein complexes is incompletely understood. Using gene tagging on bacterial artificial chromosomes, protein localization and tandem affinity purification-mass spectrometry, the MitoCheck consortium has analyzed about 100 human protein complexes, many of which had not or only incompletely been characterized. This work has led to the discovery of previously unknown, evolutionarily conserved subunits of the anaphase-promoting complex (APC/C) and the γ-tubulin ring complex (γ-TuRC), large complexes which are essential for spindle assembly and chromosome segregation. The approaches we describe here are generally applicable to high throughput follow-up analyses of phenotypic screens in mammalian cells.
Microtubule behavior changes during the cell cycle and during spindle assembly. However it remains unclear how these changes are regulated and coordinated. We describe a complex that targets the Protein Phosphatase 2A holoenzyme (PP2A) to centrosomes in C. elegans embryos. This complex includes RSA-1, a targeting subunit for PP2A, and RSA-2, a protein that binds and recruits RSA-1 to centrosomes. In contrast to the multiple functions of the PP2A catalytic subunit, RSA-1 and RSA-2 are specifically required for microtubule outgrowth from centrosomes and for spindle assembly. The centrosomally localized RSA-PP2A complex mediates these functions in part by regulating two critical mitotic effectors: the microtubule destabilizer KLP-7 and the C. elegans regulator of spindle assembly TPXL-1. Therefore, by recruiting the PP2A catalytic subunit to centrosomes, the RSA complex regulates a subset of PP2A functions in order to coordinate microtubule outgrowth from centrosomes and microtubule stability in the forming mitotic spindle.
QUBIC, a specific and highly sensitive method for detection of protein–protein interactions, is used to identify new partners for the mitotic spindle components pericentrin and TACC3.
Protein interactions are involved in all cellular processes. Their efficient and reliable characterization is therefore essential for understanding biological mechanisms. In this study, we show that combining bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) TransgeneOmics with quantitative interaction proteomics, which we call quantitative BAC–green fluorescent protein interactomics (QUBIC), allows specific and highly sensitive detection of interactions using rapid, generic, and quantitative procedures with minimal material. We applied this approach to identify known and novel components of well-studied complexes such as the anaphase-promoting complex. Furthermore, we demonstrate second generation interaction proteomics by incorporating directed mutational transgene modification and drug perturbation into QUBIC. These methods identified domain/isoform-specific interactors of pericentrin- and phosphorylation-specific interactors of TACC3, which are necessary for its recruitment to mitotic spindles. The scalability, simplicity, cost effectiveness, and sensitivity of this method provide a basis for its general use in small-scale experiments and in mapping the human protein interactome.
Efficient chromosome segregation during mitosis relies on the coordinated activity of molecular motors with proteins that regulate kinetochore attachments to dynamic spindle microtubules . CLASPs are conserved kinetochore- and microtubule-associated proteins encoded by two paralogue genes, clasp1 and clasp2, and have been previously implicated in the regulation of kinetochore-microtubule dynamics [2–4]. However, it remains unknown how CLASPs work in concert with other proteins to form a functional kinetochore-microtubule interface. Here we have identified mitotic interactors of human CLASP1 using a proteomic approach. Among these, the microtubule plus-end directed motor CENP-E  was found to form a complex with CLASP1 that co-localizes to multiple structures of the mitotic apparatus in human cells. We found that CENP-E recruits both CLASP1 and CLASP2 to kinetochores independent of its motor activity or the presence of microtubules. Depletion of CLASPs or CENP-E by RNAi in human cells causes a significant and comparable reduction of kinetochore-microtubule poleward flux and turnover rates, as well as rescues spindle bipolarity in Kif2a–depleted cells. We conclude that CENP-E integrates two critical functions that are important for accurate chromosome movement and spindle architecture: one relying directly on its motor activity and the other involving the targeting of key microtubule regulators to kinetochores.
Flux; Kinetochore; Microtubule turnover; Mitosis; Mitotic spindle
Asymmetric positioning of the mitotic spindle in C. elegans embryos is mediated by force-generating complexes that are anchored at the plasma membrane and that pull on microtubules growing out from the spindle poles. Although asymmetric distribution of the force generators is thought to underlie asymmetric positioning of the spindle, the number and location of the force generators has not been well defined. In particular, it has not been possible to visualize individual force generating events at the cortex. We discovered that perturbation of the acto-myosin cortex leads to the formation of long membrane invaginations that are pulled from the plasma membrane toward the spindle poles. Several lines of evidence show that the invaginations, which also occur in unperturbed embryos though at lower frequency, are pulled by the same force generators responsible for spindle positioning. Thus, the invaginations serve as a tool to localize the sites of force generation at the cortex and allow us to estimate a lower limit on the number of cortical force generators within the cell.
Motivation: The centrosome is a dynamic structure in animal cells that serves as a microtubule organizing center during mitosis and also regulates cell-cycle progression and sets polarity cues. Automated and reliable tracking of centrosomes is essential for genetic screens that study the process of centrosome assembly and maturation in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.
Results: We have developed a fully automatic system for tracking and measuring fluorescently labeled centrosomes in 3D time-lapse images of early C.elegans embryos. Using a spinning disc microscope, we monitor the centrosome cycle in living embryos from the 1- up to the 16-cell stage at imaging intervals between 30 and 50 s. After establishing the centrosome trajectories with a novel method involving two layers of inference, we also automatically detect the nuclear envelope breakdown in each cell division and recognize the identities of the centrosomes based on the invariant cell lineage of C.elegans. To date, we have tracked centrosomes in over 500 wild type and mutant embryos with almost no manual correction required.
Availability: The centrosome tracking software along with test data is freely available at http://publications.mpi-cbg.de/itemPublication.html?documentId=4082
The interpretation of genome sequences requires reliable and standardized methods to assess protein function at high throughput. Here we describe a fast and reliable pipeline to study protein function in mammalian cells based on protein tagging in bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs). The large size of the BAC transgenes ensures the presence of most, if not all, regulatory elements and results in expression that closely matches that of the endogenous gene. We show that BAC transgenes can be rapidly and reliably generated using 96-well-format recombineering. After stable transfection of these transgenes into human tissue culture cells or mouse embryonic stem cells, the localization, protein-protein and/or protein-DNA interactions of the tagged protein are studied using generic, tag-based assays. The same high-throughput approach will be generally applicable to other model systems.
Transcription factors are key components of regulatory networks that control development, as well as the response to environmental stimuli. We have established an experimental pipeline in Caenorhabditis elegans that permits global identification of the binding sites for transcription factors using chromatin immunoprecipitation and deep sequencing. We describe and validate this strategy, and apply it to the transcription factor PHA-4, which plays critical roles in organ development and other cellular processes. We identified thousands of binding sites for PHA-4 during formation of the embryonic pharynx, and also found a role for this factor during the starvation response. Many binding sites were found to shift dramatically between embryos and starved larvae, from developmentally regulated genes to genes involved in metabolism. These results indicate distinct roles for this regulator in two different biological processes and demonstrate the versatility of transcription factors in mediating diverse biological roles.
The C. elegans transcription factor PHA-4 is a member of the highly conserved FOXA family of transcription factors. These factors act as master regulators of organ development by controlling how genes are turned off and on as tissues are formed. Additionally they regulate genes in response to nutrient levels and control both longevity and survival of the organism. However, the extent to which these factors control similar or distinct gene targets for each of these functions is unknown. For this reason, we have used the technique of chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by deep sequencing (ChIP–Seq), to define the target binding sites of PHA-4 on a genome-wide scale, when it is either functioning as an organ identity regulator or in response to environmental stress. Our data clearly demonstrate distinct sets of biologically relevant target genes for the transcription factor PHA-4 under these two different conditions. Not only have we defined PHA-4 targets, but we established an experimental ChIP–Seq pipeline to facilitate the identification of binding sites for many transcription factors in the future.
Plus-end-tracking proteins (+TIPs) are localized at the fast-growing, or plus end, of microtubules, and link microtubule ends to cellular structures. One of the best studied +TIPs is EB1, which forms comet-like structures at the tips of growing microtubules. The molecular mechanisms by which EB1 recognizes and tracks growing microtubule ends are largely unknown. However, one clue is that EB1 can bind directly to a microtubule end in the absence of other proteins. Here we use an in vitro assay for dynamic microtubule growth with two-color total-internal-reflection-fluorescence imaging to investigate binding of mammalian EB1 to both stabilized and dynamic microtubules. We find that under conditions of microtubule growth, EB1 not only tip tracks, as previously shown, but also preferentially recognizes the GMPCPP microtubule lattice as opposed to the GDP lattice. The interaction of EB1 with the GMPCPP microtubule lattice depends on the E-hook of tubulin, as well as the amount of salt in solution. The ability to distinguish different nucleotide states of tubulin in microtubule lattice may contribute to the end-tracking mechanism of EB1.
Many protein-protein interactions are mediated through independently folding modular domains. Proteome-wide efforts to model protein-protein interaction or “interactome” networks have largely ignored this modular organization of proteins. We developed an experimental strategy to efficiently identify interaction domains and generated a domain-based interactome network for proteins involved in C. elegans early embryonic cell divisions. Minimal interacting regions were identified for over 200 proteins, providing important information on their domain organization. Furthermore, our approach increased the sensitivity of the two-hybrid system, resulting in a more complete interactome network. This interactome modeling strategy revealed new insights into C. elegans centrosome function and is applicable to other biological processes in this and other organisms.
Proliferation of mammalian cells requires the coordinated function of many proteins to accurately divide a cell into two daughter cells. Several RNAi screens have identified previously uncharacterised genes that are implicated in mammalian cell division. The molecular function for these genes needs to be investigated to place them into pathways. Phenotypic profiling is a useful method to assign putative functions to uncharacterised genes. Here, we show that the analysis of protein localisation is useful to refine a phenotypic profile. We show the utility of this approach by defining a function of the previously uncharacterised gene C13orf3 during cell division. C13orf3 localises to centrosomes, the mitotic spindle, kinetochores, spindle midzone, and the cleavage furrow during cell division and is specifically phosphorylated during mitosis. Furthermore, C13orf3 is required for centrosome integrity and anaphase onset. Depletion by RNAi leads to mitotic arrest in metaphase with an activation of the spindle assembly checkpoint and loss of sister chromatid cohesion. Proteomic analyses identify C13orf3 (Ska3) as a new component of the Ska complex and show a direct interaction with a regulatory subunit of the protein phosphatase PP2A. All together, these data identify C13orf3 as an important factor for metaphase to anaphase progression and highlight the potential of combined RNAi screening and protein localisation analyses.
esiRNA; kinetochore; shugoshin; Ska; spindle checkpoint