The microtubule (MT) cytoskeleton of a mature axon is maintained in a stabilized steady state, yet after axonal injury can be transformed into a dynamic structure capable of supporting axon regrowth. Using C. elegans mechanosensory axons and in vivo imaging we find that in mature axons the growth of MTs is restricted in the steady state by the depolymerizing kinesin-13 family member KLP-7. After axon injury, we observe a two-phase process of MT growth upregulation. First, the number of growing MTs increases at the injury site, concomitant with local downregulation of KLP-7. A second phase of persistent MT growth requires the cytosolic carboxypeptidase CCPP-6, which promotes Δ2 modification of α-tubulin. Both phases of MT growth are coordinated by the DLK-1 MAP kinase cascade. Our results define how the stable MT cytoskeleton of a mature neuron is converted into the dynamically growing MT cytoskeleton of a regrowing axon.
C. elegans; microtubule dynamics; DLK-1 MAP kinase; depolymerizing kinesin; tubulin tyrosine ligase; cytosolic carboxypeptidase; Δ2-tubulin
Gene-distal enhancers are critical for tissue-specific gene expression, but their genomic determinants within a specific lineage at different stages of development are unknown. Here we profile chromatin state maps, transcription factor occupancy, and gene expression profiles during human erythroid development at fetal and adult stages. Comparative analyses of human erythropoiesis identify developmental stage-specific enhancers as primary determinants of stage-specific gene expression programs. We find that erythroid master regulators GATA1 and TAL1 act cooperatively within active enhancers but confer little predictive value for stage specificity. Instead, a set of stage-specific co-regulators collaborates with master regulators and contributes to differential gene expression. We further identify and validate IRF2, IRF6, and MYB as effectors of an adult-stage expression program. Thus, the combinatorial assembly of lineage-specific master regulators and transcriptional co-regulators within developmental stage-specific enhancers determines gene expression programs and temporal regulation of transcriptional networks in a mammalian genome.
Uterine receptivity to embryo implantation is coordinately regulated by 17β-estradiol (E2) and progesterone (P4). Although increased E2 sensitivity causes infertility, the mechanisms underlying the modulation of E2 sensitivity are unknown. We show that nuclear receptor coactivator-6 (NCOA6), a reported coactivator for estrogen receptor α (ERα), actually attenuates E2 sensitivity to determine uterine receptivity to embryo implantation under normal physiological conditions. Specifically, conditional KO of Ncoa6 in uterine epithelial and stromal cells does not decrease, rather markedly increases E2 sensitivity, which disrupts embryo implantation and inhibits P4-regulated genes and decidual response. NCOA6 enhances ERα ubiquitination and accelerates its degradation, while loss of NCOA6 causes ERα accumulation in stromal cells during the pre-implantation period. At the same period, NCOA6 deficiency also caused a failure in downregulation of steroid receptor coactivator-3 (SRC-3), a potent ERα coactivator. Therefore, NCOA6 controls E2 sensitivity and uterine receptivity by regulating multiple E2-signaling components.
We have used Drosophila ovarian Follicle Stem Cells (FSCs) to study how stem cells are regulated by external signals and draw three main conclusions. First, the spatial definition of supportive niche positions for FSCs depends on gradients of Hh and JAK-STAT pathway ligands, which emanate from opposite, distant sites. FSC position may be further refined by a preference for low-level Wnt signaling. Second, hyperactivity of supportive signaling pathways can compensate for the absence of the otherwise essential adhesion molecule, DE-cadherin, suggesting a close regulatory connection between niche adhesion and niche signals. Third, FSC behavior is determined largely by summing the inputs of multiple signaling pathways of unequal potencies. Altogether our findings indicate that a stem cell niche need not be defined by short-range signals and invariant cell contacts; rather, for FSCs, the intersection of gradients of long-range niche signals regulates the longevity, position, number and competitive behavior of stem cells.
Drosophila; Follicle Stem Cells; Signaling pathway; JAK-STAT; Hedgehog; Wnt
Snail family transcription factors are best known for regulating epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). The Drosophila Snail family member Worniu is specifically transcribed in neural progenitors (neuroblasts) throughout their lifespan, and worniu mutants show defects in neuroblast delamination (a form of EMT). However, the role of Worniu in neuroblasts beyond their formation is unknown. We performed RNA-seq on worniu mutant larval neuroblasts and observed reduced cell cycle transcripts and increased neural differentiation transcripts. Consistent with these genomic data, worniu mutant neuroblasts showed a striking delay in prophase/metaphase transition by live imaging, and increased levels of the conserved neuronal differentiation splicing factor Elav. Reducing Elav levels significantly suppressed the worniu mutant phenotype. We conclude that Worniu is continuously required in neuroblasts to maintain self-renewal by promoting cell cycle progression and inhibiting premature differentiation.
Vertebrate Hedgehog (Hh) signaling is initiated at primary cilia by the ligand-triggered accumulation of Smoothened (Smo) in the ciliary membrane. The underlying biochemical mechanisms remain unknown. We find that Hh agonists promote the association between Smo and Evc2, a ciliary protein that is defective in two human ciliopathies. The formation of the Smo-Evc2 complex is under strict spatial control, being restricted to a distinct ciliary compartment, the EvC zone. Mutant Evc2 proteins that localize in cilia but are displaced from the EvC zone are dominant inhibitors of Hh signaling. Disabling Evc2 function blocks Hh signaling at a specific step between Smo and the downstream regulators protein kinase A and Suppressor of Fused, preventing activation of the Gli transcription factors. Our data suggest that the Smo-Evc2 signaling complex at the EvC zone is required for Hh signal transmission and elucidate the molecular basis of two human ciliopathies.
Cell organization requires motor-dependent transport of specific cargos along cytoskeletal elements. How the delivery cycle is coordinated with other events is poorly understood. Here we define the in vivo delivery cycle of myosin-V in its essential function of secretory vesicle transport along actin cables in yeast. We show myosin-V is activated by binding a secretory vesicle, and myosin-V mutations that compromise vesicle binding render the motor constitutively active. About 10 motors associate with each secretory vesicle for rapid transport to sites of cell growth. Once transported, the motors remain associated with the secretory vesicles until they undergo exocytosis. Motor release is temporally regulated by vesicle-bound Rab-GTP hydrolysis and requires vesicle tethering by the exocyst complex, but does not require vesicle fusion with the plasma membrane. All components of this transport cycle are conserved in vertebrates, so these results should be generally applicable to other myosin-V delivery cycles.
During chick gastrulation, inhibition of BMP signaling is required for primitive streak formation and induction of Hensen’s node. We have identified a unique secreted protein, Tsukushi (TSK), which belongs to the Small Leucine-Rich Proteoglycan (SLRP) family and is expressed in the primitive streak and Hensen’s node. Grafts of cells expressing TSK in combination with the middle primitive streak induce an ectopic Hensen’s node, while electroporation of TSK siRNA inhibits induction of the node. In Xenopus embryos, TSK can block BMP function and induce a secondary dorsal axis, while it can dorsalize ventral mesoderm and induce neural tissue in embryonic explants. Biochemical analysis shows that TSK binds directly to both BMP and chordin and forms a ternary complex with them. These observations indicate that TSK is an essential dorsalizing factor involved in the induction of Hensen’s node.
The spindle checkpoint is the prime cell cycle control mechanism that ensures sister chromatids are bi-oriented before anaphase takes place. Aurora B kinase, the catalytic subunit of the chromosome passenger complex, both destabilises kinetochore attachments that do not generate tension and simultaneously maintains the spindle checkpoint signal. However, it is unclear how the checkpoint is silenced following chromosome bi-orientation. We demonstrate that association of type 1 phosphatase (PP1Dis2) to both the N-terminus of Spc7 and the non-motor domains of the Klp5-Klp6 (Kinesin-8) complex are necessary to counteract Aurora B kinase to efficiently silence the spindle checkpoint. The role of Klp5 and Klp6 in checkpoint silencing is specific to this class of kinesin and independent of their motor activities. These data demonstrate that at least two distinct pools of PP1, one kinetochore associated and the other motor associated, are needed to silence the spindle checkpoint.
Controlling the position of the nucleus is vital for a number of cellular processes from yeast to humans. In Drosophila nurse cells, nuclear positioning is crucial during dumping, when nurse cells contract and expel their contents into the oocyte. We provide evidence that in nurse cells, continuous filopodia-like actin cables, growing from the plasma membrane and extending to the nucleus, achieve nuclear positioning. These actin cables move nuclei away from ring canals. When nurse cells contract, actin cables associate laterally with the nuclei, in some cases inducing nuclear turning so that actin cables become partially wound around the nuclei. Our data suggest that a perinuclear actin meshwork connects actin cables to nuclei via actin-crosslinking proteins such as the filamin Cheerio. We provide a revised model for how actin structures position nuclei in nurse cells, employing evolutionary conserved machinery.
•Actin cables in Drosophila nurse cells are unsegmented filopodia-like structures•E-cadherin is required for the orientation of actin cables toward the nucleus•Nuclear positioning is achieved by continuous elongation of actin cables•Actin cables associate with perinuclear actin-containing crosslinkers like filamin
Huelsmann et al. propose a nuclear positioning model by visualizing the interplay between actin structures as Drosophila nurse cells contract to expel their contents. Filopodia-like actin cables grow from the plasma membrane, connect with an actin meshwork surrounding the nucleus, and push nuclei out of the path of cytoplasmic flow.
cis-regulatory modules (CRMs) act sequentially to regulate temporal expression of genes, but how the switch from one to the next is accomplished is not well understood. To provide insight, here we investigate the cis-regulatory system controlling brinker (brk) expression in the Drosophila embryo. Two distally located CRMs support expression at different times, while a promoter-proximal element (PPE) is required to support their action. In the absence of Brk protein itself or upon mutagenesis of Brk binding sites within the PPE, the late-acting CRM, specifically, is delayed. This block to late-acting CRM function appears to be removed when the early-acting CRM is also deleted. These results demonstrate that autoregulatory feedback is necessary for the early-acting CRM to disengage from the promoter so that the late-acting CRM may act. Autoregulation may be a commonly used mechanism to control sequential CRM action necessary for dynamic gene expression throughout the course of development.
•Two CRMs support spatiotemporally distinct expression of brinker in early embryo•A promoter-proximal element (PPE) is required to support action of both CRMs•Brk protein acts at the PPE to facilitate the switch from early- to late-acting CRM•Autoregulation may be a common mechanism used to control sequential CRM action
cis-regulatory modules within a given gene that drive overlapping patterns of expression are frequently called redundant “shadow” enhancers. Dunipace et al. find that, in fact, some such enhancers act sequentially to refine expression patterns. A promoter-proximal element uses transcription factor autoregulation to coordinate the handoff from one enhancer to another.
Apical actomyosin activity in animal epithelial cells influences tissue morphology, and drives morphogenetic movements during development. The molecular mechanisms leading to myosin II accumulation at the apical membrane and its exclusion from other membranes are poorly understood. We show that in the non-metazoan Dictyostelium discoideum, myosin II localizes apically in tip epithelial cells that surround the stalk, and constriction of this epithelial tube is required for proper morphogenesis. IQGAP1 and its binding partner cortexillin I function downstream of α- and β-catenin to exclude myosin II from the basolateral cortex and promote apical accumulation of myosin II. Deletion of IQGAP1 or cortexillin compromises epithelial morphogenesis without affecting cell polarity. These results reveal that apical localization of myosin II is a conserved morphogenetic mechanism from non-metazoans to vertebrates, and identify a hierarchy of proteins that regulate the polarity and organization of an epithelial tube in a simple model organism.
During angiogenesis, nascent vascular sprouts fuse to form vascular networks enabling efficient circulation. Mechanisms that stabilize the vascular plexus are not well understood. Sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) is a blood-borne lipid mediator implicated in the regulation of vascular and immune systems. Here we describe a mechanism by which the G protein-coupled S1P receptor-1 (S1P1) stabilizes the primary vascular network. A gradient of S1P1 expression from the mature regions of the vascular network to the growing vascular front was observed. In the absence of endothelial S1P1, adherens junctions are destabilized, barrier function is breached, and flow is perturbed resulting in abnormal vascular hypersprouting. Interestingly, S1P1 responds to S1P as well as laminar shear stress to transduce flow-mediated signaling in endothelial cells both in vitro and in vivo. These data demonstrate that blood flow and circulating S1P activate endothelial S1P1 to stabilize blood vessels in development and homeostasis.
Integrin recycling is critical for cell migration. Protein Kinase D (PKD) mediates signals from the platelet-derived growth factor-receptor (PDGF-R) to control αvβ3 integrin recycling. We now show that Rabaptin-5, a Rab5 effector in endosomal membrane fusion, is a PKD substrate. PKD phosphorylates Rabaptin-5 at Ser407 and this is both necessary and sufficient for PDGF-dependent short-loop recycling of αvβ3, which in turn inhibits α5β1 integrin recycling. Rab4, but not Rab5, interacts with phosphorylated Rabaptin-5 toward the front of migrating cells to promote delivery of αvβ3 to the leading edge, thereby driving persistent cell motility and invasion that is dependent on this integrin. Consistently, disruption of Rabaptin-5 Ser407 phosphorylation reduces persistent cell migration in 2D and αvβ3-dependent invasion. Conversely, invasive migration that is dependent on α5β1 integrin is promoted by disrupting Rabaptin phosphorylation. These findings demonstrate that the PKD pathway couples receptor tyrosine kinase signaling to an integrin switch, via Rabaptin-5 phosphorylation.
The glycosphingolipid GM1 binds cholera toxin (CT) on host cells and carries it retrograde from the plasma membrane (PM) through endosomes, the trans-Golgi (TGN), and the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to induce toxicity. To elucidate how a membrane lipid can specify trafficking in these pathways, we synthesized GM1 isoforms with alternate ceramide domains and imaged their trafficking in live cells. Only GM1 with unsaturated acyl chains sorted efficiently from PM to TGN and ER. Toxin binding, which effectively crosslinks GM1 lipids, was dispensable, but membrane cholesterol and the lipid raft-associated proteins actin and flotillin were required. The results implicate a protein-dependent mechanism of lipid-sorting by ceramide structure and provide a molecular explanation for the diversity and specificity of retrograde trafficking by CT in host cells.
Previous studies have raised the possibility that Wnt signaling may regulate both neural progenitor maintenance and neuronal differentiation within a single population. Here we investigate the role of Wnt/β-catenin activity in the zebrafish hypothalamus and find that the pathway is first required for the proliferation of unspecified hypothalamic progenitors in the embryo. At later stages, including adulthood, sequential activation and inhibition of Wnt activity is required for the differentiation of neural progenitors and negatively regulates radial glia differentiation. The presence of Wnt activity is conserved in hypothalamic progenitors of the adult mouse, where it plays a conserved role in inhibiting the differentiation of radial glia. This study establishes the vertebrate hypothalamus as a model for Wnt-regulated post-embryonic neural progenitor differentiation, and defines specific roles for Wnt signaling in neurogenesis.
Some endocytic cargoes control clathrin-coated pit (CCP) maturation, but it is not known how such regulation is communicated. We found that µ-opioid neuropeptide receptors signal to their enclosing CCPs by ubiquitination. Non-ubiquitinated receptors delay CCPs at an intermediate stage of maturation, after clathrin lattice assembly is complete but before membrane scission. Receptor ubiquitination relieves this inhibition, effectively triggering CCP scission and producing a receptor-containing endocytic vesicle. The ubiquitin modification that conveys this endocytosis-promoting signal is added to the receptor's first cytoplasmic loop, catalyzed by the Smurf2 ubiquitin ligase, and is coordinated with activation-dependent receptor phosphorylation and clustering through Smurf2 recruitment by the endocytic adaptor beta-arrestin. Epsin1 detects the signal at the CCP and is required for ubiquitin-promoted scission. This cargo-to-coat communication system mediates a biochemical checkpoint that ensures appropriate receptor ubiquitination for later trafficking, and it controls specific receptor loading into CCPs by sensing when a sufficient quorum is reached.
Some of the most serious diseases involve altered size and structure of the arterial wall. Elucidating how arterial walls are built could aid understanding of these diseases, but little is known about how concentric layers of muscle cells and the outer adventitial layer are assembled and patterned around endothelial tubes. Using histochemical, clonal, and genetic analysis in mice, here we show that the pulmonary artery wall is constructed radially, from the inside out, by two separate but coordinated processes. One is sequential induction of successive cell layers from surrounding mesenchyme. The other is controlled invasion of outer layers by inner layer cells through developmentally-regulated cell reorientation and radial migration. We propose that a radial signal gradient controls these processes and provide evidence that PDGF-B and at least one other signal contribute. Modulation of such radial signaling pathways may underlie vessel-specific differences and pathological changes in arterial wall size and structure.
Proteins are degraded from the ER by endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD). In a recent issue of Molecular Cell, Fleig et al. (2012) describe a role for a ubiquitin-binding rhomboid protease, RHBDL4, in degradation of select ERAD substrates. These findings and the significance of rhomboids and other intramembrane proteases are discussed.
Here we identify a key role for the homeodomain proteins Extradenticle (Exd) and Homothorax (Hth) in the specification of muscle fiber fate in Drosophila. exd and hth are expressed in the fibrillar indirect flight muscles but not in tubular jump muscles, and manipulating exd or hth expression converts one muscle type into the other. In the flight muscles, exd and hth are genetically upstream of another muscle identity gene, salm, and are direct transcriptional regulators of the signature flight muscle structural gene, Actin88F. Exd and Hth also impact muscle identity in other somatic muscles of the body by cooperating with Hox factors. Because mammalian orthologs of exd and hth also contribute to muscle gene regulation, our studies suggest that an evolutionarily conserved genetic pathway determines muscle fiber differentiation.
EGFR and Hippo signaling both control growth, and when dysregulated contribute to tumorigenesis. We find that EGFR activates the Hippo pathway transcription factor Yorkie, and demonstrate that Yorkie is required for the influence of EGFR on cell proliferation in Drosophila. EGFR regulates Yorkie through an influence of its Ras-MAPK branch on the Ajuba LIM protein Jub. Jub is epistatic to EGFR and Ras for Yorkie regulation, Jub is subject to MAPK-dependent phosphorylation, and EGFR-Ras-MAPK signaling enhances Jub binding to the Yorkie kinase Warts, and the adaptor protein Salvador. An EGFR-Hippo pathway link is conserved in mammals, as activation of EGFR or RAS activates the Yorkie homologue YAP, and EGFR-RAS-MAPK signaling promotes phosphorylation of the Ajuba family protein WTIP, and also enhances WTIP binding to the Warts and Salvador homologues LATS and WW45. Our observations implicate the Hippo pathway in EGFR-mediated tumorigenesis and identify a molecular link between these pathways.
Autophagy, an intrinsically nonselective process, can also target selective cargo for degradation. The mechanism of selective peroxisome turnover by autophagy-related processes (pexophagy), termed micropexophagy and macropexophagy,is unknown. We show how a Pichia pastoris protein, PpAtg30, mediates peroxisome selection during pexophagy. It is necessary for pexophagy, but not for other selective and nonselective autophagy-related processes. It localizes at the peroxisome membrane via interaction with peroxins, and during pexophagy it colocalizes transiently at the preautophagosomal structure (PAS) and interacts with the autophagy machinery. PpAtg30 is required for formation of pexophagy intermediates, such as the micropexophagy apparatus (MIPA) and the pexophagosome (Ppg). During pexophagy, PpAtg30 undergoes multiple phosphorylations, at least one of which is required for pexophagy. PpAtg30 overexpression stimulates pexophagy even under peroxisome-induction conditions, impairing peroxisome biogenesis. Therefore, PpAtg30 is a key player in the selection of peroxisomes as cargo and in their delivery to the autophagy machinery for pexophagy.
Sorting of ubiquitinated membrane proteins into lumenal vesicles of multivesicular bodies is mediated by the ESCRT apparatus and accessory proteins such as Bro1, which recruits the deubiquitinating enzyme Doa4 to remove ubiquitin from cargo. Here we propose that Bro1 works as a receptor for the selective sorting of ubiquitinated cargos. We found synthetic genetic interactions between BRO1 and ESCRT-0, suggesting Bro1 functions similarly to ESCRT-0. Multiple structural approaches demonstrated that Bro1 binds ubiquitin via the N-terminal trihelical arm of its middle V domain. Mutants of Bro1 that lack the ability to bind Ub were dramatically impaired in their ability to sort Ub-cargo membrane proteins, but only when combined with hypomorphic alleles of ESCRT-0. These data suggest that Bro1 and other Bro1 family members function in parallel with ESCRT-0 to recognize and sort Ub-cargos.
PHD1 belongs to the family of prolyl-4-hydroxylases (PHDs) that is responsible for posttranslational modification of prolines on specific target proteins. Because PHD activity is sensitive to oxygen levels and certain byproducts of the tricarboxylic acid cycle, PHDs act as sensors of the cell’s metabolic state. Here, we identify PHD1 as a critical molecular link between oxygen sensing and cell-cycle control. We show that PHD1 function is required for centrosome duplication and maturation through modification of the critical centrosome component Cep192. Importantly, PHD1 is also required for primary cilia formation. Cep192 is hydroxylated by PHD1 on proline residue 1717. This hydroxylation is required for binding of the E3 ubiquitin ligase SCFSkp2, which ubiquitinates Cep192, targeting it for proteasomal degradation. By modulating Cep192 levels, PHD1 thereby affects the processes of centriole duplication and centrosome maturation and contributes to the regulation of cell-cycle progression.
•The prolyl-4-hydroxylase PHD1 is required for mitotic progression•PHD1 hydroxylates centrosomal protein Cep192 in vitro and in vivo•Hydroxylation of Cep192 at Pro1717 modulates Cep192 stability and function•Hydroxylation of Cep192 is required for E3 ligase SCFSkp2 binding to Cep192
Cellular oxygen is sensed by a class of dioxygenase enzymes including the prolyl hydroxylase PHD1. Moser et al. find that PHD1 acts directly on the centrosome protein Cep192 to induce its SCFSkp2-dependent ubiquitination and degradation. PHD1 thus links oxygen sensing to the cell-cycle control of centrosome duplication and ciliogenesis.
Over the last decade, the nuclear envelope (NE) has emerged as a key component in the organization and function of the nuclear genome. As many as 100 different proteins are thought to specifically localize to this double membrane that separates the cytoplasm and the nucleoplasm of eukaryotic cells. Selective portals through the NE are formed at sites where the inner and outer nuclear membranes are fused, and the coincident assembly of ~30 proteins into nuclear pore complexes occurs. These nuclear pore complexes are essential for the control of nucleocytoplasmic exchange. Many of the NE and nuclear pore proteins are thought to play crucial roles in gene regulation and thus are increasingly linked to human diseases.