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1.  Heidi McBride: Mitochondria are well connected 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2014;206(4):454-455.
McBride studies mitochondrial dynamics and mitochondrial trafficking with other organelles.
McBride studies mitochondrial dynamics and mitochondrial trafficking with other organelles.
PMCID: PMC4137050  PMID: 25135930
2.  Vps74 gives phosphatase directions 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2014;206(4):453.
Study reveals how the Sac1 phosphatase removes PtdIns4P from early Golgi membranes.
Study reveals how the Sac1 phosphatase removes PtdIns4P from early Golgi membranes.
PMCID: PMC4137051
3.  The nebulin repeat protein Lasp regulates I-band architecture and filament spacing in myofibrils 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2014;206(4):559-572.
With just two nebulin repeats, the Drosophila protein Lasp controls muscle thin filament length and filament spacing.
Mutations in nebulin, a giant muscle protein with 185 actin-binding nebulin repeats, are the major cause of nemaline myopathy in humans. Nebulin sets actin thin filament length in sarcomeres, potentially by stabilizing thin filaments in the I-band, where nebulin and thin filaments coalign. However, the precise role of nebulin in setting thin filament length and its other functions in regulating power output are unknown. Here, we show that Lasp, the only member of the nebulin family in Drosophila melanogaster, acts at two distinct sites in the sarcomere and controls thin filament length with just two nebulin repeats. We found that Lasp localizes to the Z-disc edges to control I-band architecture and also localizes at the A-band, where it interacts with both actin and myosin to set proper filament spacing. Furthermore, introducing a single amino acid change into the two nebulin repeats of Lasp demonstrated different roles for each domain and established Lasp as a suitable system for studying nebulin repeat function.
PMCID: PMC4137052  PMID: 25113030
4.  Lasp brings a giant down to size 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2014;206(4):452.
PMCID: PMC4137053
5.  Sperm’s sensitive steering machinery 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2014;206(4):452.
PMCID: PMC4137054
6.  A new piece in the kinetochore jigsaw puzzle 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2014;206(4):457-459.
In eukaryotic cell division, the kinetochore mediates chromosome attachment to spindle microtubules and acts as a scaffold for signaling pathways, ensuring the accuracy of chromosome segregation. The architecture of the kinetochore underlies its function in mitosis. In this issue, Hornung et al. (2014. J. Cell Biol. identify an unexpected linkage between the inner and outer regions of the kinetochore in budding yeast that suggests a new model for the construction of this interface.
PMCID: PMC4137055  PMID: 25135931
7.  Phosphorylated RPA recruits PALB2 to stalled DNA replication forks to facilitate fork recovery 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2014;206(4):493-507.
Phosphorylated RPA recruits repair factors to stalled forks, thereby enhancing fork integrity during replication stress.
Phosphorylation of replication protein A (RPA) by Cdk2 and the checkpoint kinase ATR (ATM and Rad3 related) during replication fork stalling stabilizes the replisome, but how these modifications safeguard the fork is not understood. To address this question, we used single-molecule fiber analysis in cells expressing a phosphorylation-defective RPA2 subunit or lacking phosphatase activity toward RPA2. Deregulation of RPA phosphorylation reduced synthesis at forks both during replication stress and recovery from stress. The ability of phosphorylated RPA to stimulate fork recovery is mediated through the PALB2 tumor suppressor protein. RPA phosphorylation increased localization of PALB2 and BRCA2 to RPA-bound nuclear foci in cells experiencing replication stress. Phosphorylated RPA also stimulated recruitment of PALB2 to single-strand deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in a cell-free system. Expression of mutant RPA2 or loss of PALB2 expression led to significant DNA damage after replication stress, a defect accentuated by poly-ADP (adenosine diphosphate) ribose polymerase inhibitors. These data demonstrate that phosphorylated RPA recruits repair factors to stalled forks, thereby enhancing fork integrity during replication stress.
PMCID: PMC4137056  PMID: 25113031
8.  Oxidoreductase activity is necessary for N-glycosylation of cysteine-proximal acceptor sites in glycoproteins 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2014;206(4):525-539.
The oxidoreductases activity of MagT1, an ER-localized thioredoxin homologue, is necessary for posttranslocational N-glycosylation of acceptor sites that lie proximal to cysteine residues.
Stabilization of protein tertiary structure by disulfides can interfere with glycosylation of acceptor sites (NXT/S) in nascent polypeptides. Here, we show that MagT1, an ER-localized thioredoxin homologue, is a subunit of the STT3B isoform of the oligosaccharyltransferase (OST). The lumenally oriented active site CVVC motif in MagT1 is required for glycosylation of STT3B-dependent acceptor sites including those that are closely bracketed by disulfides or contain cysteine as the internal residue (NCT/S). The MagT1- and STT3B-dependent glycosylation of cysteine-proximal acceptor sites can be reduced by eliminating cysteine residues. The predominant form of MagT1 in vivo is oxidized, which is consistent with transient formation of mixed disulfides between MagT1 and a glycoprotein substrate to facilitate access of STT3B to unmodified acceptor sites. Cotranslational N-glycosylation by the STT3A isoform of the OST, which lacks MagT1, allows efficient modification of acceptor sites in cysteine-rich protein domains before disulfide bond formation. Thus, mammalian cells use two mechanisms to achieve N-glycosylation of cysteine proximal acceptor sites.
PMCID: PMC4137057  PMID: 25135935
9.  Sac1–Vps74 structure reveals a mechanism to terminate phosphoinositide signaling in the Golgi apparatus 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2014;206(4):485-491.
Characterization of the structure of the N-terminal portion of yeast Sac1 in complex with the phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase effector Vps74 identifies how Sac1 is directed to dephosphorylate PtdIns4P in the Golgi.
Sac1 is a phosphoinositide phosphatase of the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus that controls organelle membrane composition principally via regulation of phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate signaling. We present a characterization of the structure of the N-terminal portion of yeast Sac1, containing the conserved Sac1 homology domain, in complex with Vps74, a phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase effector and the orthologue of human GOLPH3. The interface involves the N-terminal subdomain of the Sac1 homology domain, within which mutations in the related Sac3/Fig4 phosphatase have been linked to Charcot–Marie–Tooth disorder CMT4J and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Disruption of the Sac1–Vps74 interface results in a broader distribution of phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate within the Golgi apparatus and failure to maintain residence of a medial Golgi mannosyltransferase. The analysis prompts a revision of the membrane-docking mechanism for GOLPH3 family proteins and reveals how an effector of phosphoinositide signaling serves a dual function in signal termination.
PMCID: PMC4137058  PMID: 25113029
10.  A cooperative mechanism drives budding yeast kinetochore assembly downstream of CENP-A 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2014;206(4):509-524.
During kinetochore assembly in budding yeast, the key steps of CENP-A recognition and outer kinetochore recruitment are executed through different yeast CCAN subunits, potentially protecting against inappropriate kinetochore assembly.
Kinetochores are megadalton-sized protein complexes that mediate chromosome–microtubule interactions in eukaryotes. How kinetochore assembly is triggered specifically on centromeric chromatin is poorly understood. Here we use biochemical reconstitution experiments alongside genetic and structural analysis to delineate the contributions of centromere-associated proteins to kinetochore assembly in yeast. We show that the conserved kinetochore subunits Ame1CENP-U and Okp1CENP-Q form a DNA-binding complex that associates with the microtubule-binding KMN network via a short Mtw1 recruitment motif in the N terminus of Ame1. Point mutations in the Ame1 motif disrupt kinetochore function by preventing KMN assembly on chromatin. Ame1–Okp1 directly associates with the centromere protein C (CENP-C) homologue Mif2 to form a cooperative binding platform for outer kinetochore assembly. Our results indicate that the key assembly steps, CENP-A recognition and outer kinetochore recruitment, are executed through different yeast constitutive centromere-associated network subunits. This two-step mechanism may protect against inappropriate kinetochore assembly similar to rate-limiting nucleation steps used by cytoskeletal polymers.
PMCID: PMC4137059  PMID: 25135934
11.  High density and ligand affinity confer ultrasensitive signal detection by a guanylyl cyclase chemoreceptor 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2014;206(4):541-557.
The sea urchin sperm guanylyl cyclase chemoreceptor achieves ultrasensitive signal detection and precise signal modulation through high receptor density, subnanomolar ligand affinity, and sequential dephosphorylation.
Guanylyl cyclases (GCs), which synthesize the messenger cyclic guanosine 3′,5′-monophosphate, control several sensory functions, such as phototransduction, chemosensation, and thermosensation, in many species from worms to mammals. The GC chemoreceptor in sea urchin sperm can decode chemoattractant concentrations with single-molecule sensitivity. The molecular and cellular underpinnings of such ultrasensitivity are not known for any eukaryotic chemoreceptor. In this paper, we show that an exquisitely high density of 3 × 105 GC chemoreceptors and subnanomolar ligand affinity provide a high ligand-capture efficacy and render sperm perfect absorbers. The GC activity is terminated within 150 ms by dephosphorylation steps of the receptor, which provides a means for precise control of the GC lifetime and which reduces “molecule noise.” Compared with other ultrasensitive sensory systems, the 10-fold signal amplification by the GC receptor is surprisingly low. The hallmarks of this signaling mechanism provide a blueprint for chemical sensing in small compartments, such as olfactory cilia, insect antennae, or even synaptic boutons.
PMCID: PMC4137060  PMID: 25135936
12.  cPKC regulates interphase nuclear size during Xenopus development 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2014;206(4):473-483.
During Xenopus development, increased nuclear cPKC activity and decreased nuclear association of lamins mediate nuclear scaling.
Dramatic changes in cell and nuclear size occur during development and differentiation, and aberrant nuclear size is associated with many disease states. However, the mechanisms that regulate nuclear size are largely unknown. A robust system for investigating nuclear size is early Xenopus laevis development, during which reductions in nuclear size occur without changes in DNA content. To identify cellular factors that regulate nuclear size during development, we developed a novel nuclear resizing assay wherein nuclei assembled in Xenopus egg extract become smaller in the presence of cytoplasmic interphase extract isolated from post-gastrula Xenopus embryos. We show that nuclear shrinkage depends on conventional protein kinase C (cPKC). Increased nuclear cPKC localization and activity and decreased nuclear association of lamins mediate nuclear size reductions during development, and manipulating cPKC activity in vivo during interphase alters nuclear size in the embryo. We propose a model of steady-state nuclear size regulation whereby nuclear expansion is balanced by an active cPKC-dependent mechanism that reduces nuclear size.
PMCID: PMC4137061  PMID: 25135933
13.  The tubulin code: Molecular components, readout mechanisms, and functions 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2014;206(4):461-472.
Microtubules are cytoskeletal filaments that are dynamically assembled from α/β-tubulin heterodimers. The primary sequence and structure of the tubulin proteins and, consequently, the properties and architecture of microtubules are highly conserved in eukaryotes. Despite this conservation, tubulin is subject to heterogeneity that is generated in two ways: by the expression of different tubulin isotypes and by posttranslational modifications (PTMs). Identifying the mechanisms that generate and control tubulin heterogeneity and how this heterogeneity affects microtubule function are long-standing goals in the field. Recent work on tubulin PTMs has shed light on how these modifications could contribute to a “tubulin code” that coordinates the complex functions of microtubules in cells.
PMCID: PMC4137062  PMID: 25135932
14.  MagT1 helps a glycosylase gain acceptance 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2014;206(4):452.
PMCID: PMC4137063
15.  Dynamic myosin phosphorylation regulates contractile pulses and tissue integrity during epithelial morphogenesis 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2014;206(3):435-450.
Dynamic regulation of Myo-II by Rho kinase and myosin phosphatase organizes contractile Myo-II pulses in both space and time, which is necessary to maintain tissue integrity during morphogenesis.
Apical constriction is a cell shape change that promotes epithelial bending. Activation of nonmuscle myosin II (Myo-II) by kinases such as Rho-associated kinase (Rok) is important to generate contractile force during apical constriction. Cycles of Myo-II assembly and disassembly, or pulses, are associated with apical constriction during Drosophila melanogaster gastrulation. It is not understood whether Myo-II phosphoregulation organizes contractile pulses or whether pulses are important for tissue morphogenesis. Here, we show that Myo-II pulses are associated with pulses of apical Rok. Mutants that mimic Myo-II light chain phosphorylation or depletion of myosin phosphatase inhibit Myo-II contractile pulses, disrupting both actomyosin coalescence into apical foci and cycles of Myo-II assembly/disassembly. Thus, coupling dynamic Myo-II phosphorylation to upstream signals organizes contractile Myo-II pulses in both space and time. Mutants that mimic Myo-II phosphorylation undergo continuous, rather than incremental, apical constriction. These mutants fail to maintain intercellular actomyosin network connections during tissue invagination, suggesting that Myo-II pulses are required for tissue integrity during morphogenesis.
PMCID: PMC4121972  PMID: 25092658
16.  Paxillin brings peace to microtubules 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2014;206(3):330.
PMCID: PMC4121971
17.  Modulation of a cytoskeletal calpain-like protein induces major transitions in trypanosome morphology 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2014;206(3):377-384.
Major changes in trypanosome cell form can be achieved by simple modulation of the calpain-like protein ClpGM6 via coordinated association and positioning of membrane and cytoskeletal components.
Individual eukaryotic microbes, such as the kinetoplastid parasite Trypanosoma brucei, have a defined size, shape, and form yet transition through life cycle stages, each having a distinct morphology. In questioning the structural processes involved in these transitions, we have identified a large calpain-like protein that contains numerous GM6 repeats (ClpGM6) involved in determining T. brucei cell shape, size, and form. ClpGM6 is a cytoskeletal protein located within the flagellum along the flagellar attachment zone (FAZ). Depletion of ClpGM6 in trypomastigote forms produces cells with long free flagella and a shorter FAZ, accompanied by repositioning of the basal body, the kinetoplast, Golgi, and flagellar pocket, reflecting an epimastigote-like morphology. Hence, major changes in microbial cell form can be achieved by simple modulation of one or a few proteins via coordinated association and positioning of membrane and cytoskeletal components.
PMCID: PMC4121973  PMID: 25092656
18.  A sterol-enriched vacuolar microdomain mediates stationary phase lipophagy in budding yeast 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2014;206(3):357-366.
During stationary phase growth in yeast, a feed-forward loop exists in which lipophagy stimulates vacuolar microdomain formation, which, in turn, further promotes lipophagy.
Stationary phase (stat-phase) is a poorly understood physiological state under which cells arrest proliferation and acquire resistance to multiple stresses. Lipid droplets (LDs), organelles specialized for cellular lipid homeostasis, increase in size and number at the onset of stat-phase. However, little is known about the dynamics of LDs under this condition. In this paper, we reveal the passage of LDs from perinuclear endoplasmic reticulum association to entry into vacuoles during the transition to stat-phase. We show that the process requires the core autophagy machinery and a subset of autophagy-related (Atg) proteins involved in selective autophagy. Notably, the process that we term stat-phase lipophagy is mediated through a sterol-enriched vacuolar microdomain whose formation and integrity directly affect LD translocation. Intriguingly, cells defective in stat-phase lipophagy showed disrupted vacuolar microdomains, implying that LD contents, likely sterol esters, contribute to the maintenance of vacuolar microdomains. Together, we propose a feed-forward loop in which lipophagy stimulates vacuolar microdomain formation, which in turn promotes lipophagy during stat-phase.
PMCID: PMC4121974  PMID: 25070953
19.  TPX2 levels modulate meiotic spindle size and architecture in Xenopus egg extracts 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2014;206(3):385-393.
TPX2 levels modulate spindle architecture through Eg5, partitioning microtubules between a tiled, antiparallel array that promotes spindle expansion and a cross-linked, parallel architecture that concentrates microtubules at spindle poles.
The spindle segregates chromosomes in dividing eukaryotic cells, and its assembly pathway and morphology vary across organisms and cell types. We investigated mechanisms underlying differences between meiotic spindles formed in egg extracts of two frog species. Small Xenopus tropicalis spindles resisted inhibition of two factors essential for assembly of the larger Xenopus laevis spindles: RanGTP, which functions in chromatin-driven spindle assembly, and the kinesin-5 motor Eg5, which drives antiparallel microtubule (MT) sliding. This suggested a role for the MT-associated protein TPX2 (targeting factor for Xenopus kinesin-like protein 2), which is regulated by Ran and binds Eg5. Indeed, TPX2 was threefold more abundant in X. tropicalis extracts, and elevated TPX2 levels in X. laevis extracts reduced spindle length and sensitivity to Ran and Eg5 inhibition. Higher TPX2 levels recruited Eg5 to the poles, where MT density increased. We propose that TPX2 levels modulate spindle architecture through Eg5, partitioning MTs between a tiled, antiparallel array that promotes spindle expansion and a cross-linked, parallel architecture that concentrates MTs at spindle poles.
PMCID: PMC4121975  PMID: 25070954
20.  Radial intercalation is regulated by the Par complex and the microtubule-stabilizing protein CLAMP/Spef1 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2014;206(3):367-376.
During radial intercalation of epithelial cells, Par3 and aPKC promote the apical positioning of centrioles, whereas CLAMP stabilizes microtubules along the axis of migration.
The directed movement of cells is critical for numerous developmental and disease processes. A developmentally reiterated form of migration is radial intercalation; the process by which cells move in a direction orthogonal to the plane of the tissue from an inner layer to an outer layer. We use the radial intercalation of cells into the skin of Xenopus laevis embryos as a model to study directed cell migration within an epithelial tissue. We identify a novel function for both the microtubule-binding protein CLAMP and members of the microtubule-regulating Par complex during intercalation. Specifically, we show that Par3 and aPKC promote the apical positioning of centrioles, whereas CLAMP stabilizes microtubules along the axis of migration. We propose a model in which the Par complex defines the orientation of apical migration during intercalation and in which subcellular localization of CLAMP promotes the establishment of an axis of microtubule stability required for the active migration of cells into the outer epithelium.
PMCID: PMC4121976  PMID: 25070955
21.  A unified cell biological perspective on axon–myelin injury 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2014;206(3):335-345.
Demyelination and axon loss are pathological hallmarks of the neuroinflammatory disorder multiple sclerosis (MS). Although we have an increasingly detailed understanding of how immune cells can damage axons and myelin individually, we lack a unified view of how the axon–myelin unit as a whole is affected by immune-mediated attack. In this review, we propose that as a result of the tight cell biological interconnection of axons and myelin, damage to either can spread, which might convert a local inflammatory disease process early in MS into the global progressive disorder seen during later stages. This mode of spreading could also apply to other neurological disorders.
PMCID: PMC4121977  PMID: 25092654
22.  Lipid droplets ensure their own consumption 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2014;206(3):330.
PMCID: PMC4121978
23.  Paxillin inhibits HDAC6 to regulate microtubule acetylation, Golgi structure, and polarized migration 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2014;206(3):395-413.
The focal adhesion scaffold protein paxillin coordinates microtubule acetylation-dependent cell polarization and migration in both normal and transformed cells through a direct inhibitory interaction with the α-tubulin deacetylase HDAC6.
Polarized cell migration is essential for normal organism development and is also a critical component of cancer cell invasion and disease progression. Directional cell motility requires the coordination of dynamic cell–extracellular matrix interactions as well as repositioning of the Golgi apparatus, both of which can be controlled by the microtubule (MT) cytoskeleton. In this paper, we have identified a new and conserved role for the focal adhesion scaffold protein paxillin in regulating the posttranslational modification of the MT cytoskeleton through an inhibitory interaction with the α-tubulin deacetylase HDAC6. We also determined that through HDAC6-dependent regulation of the MT cytoskeleton, paxillin regulates both Golgi organelle integrity and polarized cell invasion and migration in both three-dimensional and two-dimensional matrix microenvironments. Importantly, these data reveal a fundamental role for paxillin in coordinating MT acetylation-dependent cell polarization and migration in both normal and transformed cells.
PMCID: PMC4121979  PMID: 25070956
24.  EDEM2 initiates mammalian glycoprotein ERAD by catalyzing the first mannose trimming step 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2014;206(3):347-356.
All three mammalian EDEM family members possess mannosidase activity and are necessary for glycoprotein degradation, but EDEM2 performs a unique, rate-limiting, first mannose trimming step upstream of EDEM1 and EDEM3.
Glycoproteins misfolded in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) are subjected to ER-associated glycoprotein degradation (gpERAD) in which Htm1-mediated mannose trimming from the oligosaccharide Man8GlcNAc2 to Man7GlcNAc2 is the rate-limiting step in yeast. In contrast, the roles of the three Htm1 homologues (EDEM1/2/3) in mammalian gpERAD have remained elusive, with a key controversy being whether EDEMs function as mannosidases or as lectins. We therefore conducted transcription activator-like effector nuclease–mediated gene knockout analysis in human cell line and found that all endogenous EDEMs possess mannosidase activity. Mannose trimming from Man8GlcNAc2 to Man7GlcNAc2 is performed mainly by EDEM3 and to a lesser extent by EDEM1. Most surprisingly, the upstream mannose trimming from Man9GlcNAc2 to Man8GlcNAc2 is conducted mainly by EDEM2, which was previously considered to lack enzymatic activity. Based on the presence of two rate-limiting steps in mammalian gpERAD, we propose that mammalian cells double check gpERAD substrates before destruction by evolving EDEM2, a novel-type Htm1 homologue that catalyzes the first mannose trimming step from Man9GlcNAc2.
PMCID: PMC4121980  PMID: 25092655
25.  Loss of protein remodels shape-shifting parasite 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2014;206(3):330.
PMCID: PMC4121981

Results 1-25 (23173)