The actin cytoskeleton is constantly assembling and disassembling. Cells harness the energy of these turnover dynamics to drive cell motility and organize cytoplasm. Although much is known about how cells control actin polymerization, we do not understand how actin filaments depolymerize inside cells. I briefly describe how the combination of imaging actin filament dynamics in cells and using in vitro biochemistry progressively altered our views of actin depolymerization. I describe why I do not think that the prevailing model of actin filament turnover—cofilin-mediated actin filament severing—can account for actin filament disassembly detected in cells. Finally, I speculate that cells might be able to tune the mechanism of actin depolymerization to meet physiological demands and selectively control the stabilities of different actin arrays.
Argonaute proteins rely on the activity of Hsp90 to mediate their interaction with small RNAs. The activity of Hsp90 is modulated by proteins known as cochaperones. This study identifies p23 and FKBP4 as cochaperones that interact with hAgo2 and shows that they, along with Cdc37 and Aha1, are required for efficient RNAi.
Argonaute proteins and small RNAs together form the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC), the central effector of RNA interference (RNAi). The molecular chaperone Hsp90 is required for the critical step of loading small RNAs onto Argonaute proteins. Here we show that the Hsp90 cochaperones Cdc37, Aha1, FKBP4, and p23 are required for efficient RNAi. Whereas FKBP4 and p23 form a stable complex with hAgo2, the function of Cdc37 in RNAi appears to be indirect and may indicate that two or more Hsp90 complexes are involved. Our data also suggest that p23 and FKBP4 interact with hAgo2 before small RNA loading and that RISC loading takes place in the cytoplasm rather than in association with RNA granules. Given the requirement for p23 and FKBP4 for efficient RNAi and that these cochaperones bind to hAgo2, we predict that loading of hAgo2 is analogous to Hsp90-mediated steroid hormone receptor activation. To this end, we outline a model in which FKBP4, p23, and Aha1 cooperatively regulate the progression of hAgo2 through the chaperone cycle. Finally, we propose that hAgo2 and RNAi can serve as a robust model system for continued investigation into the Hsp90 chaperone cycle.
Manganese is specifically effective against Shiga toxin (STx) and STx1. STx2 does not bind the manganese-sensitive host cell receptor GPP130, because a histidine/asparagine pair that constitutes the binding site for GPP130 is not conserved. This reveals an unexpected and significant functional divergence in Shiga toxin evolution.
Shiga toxicosis is caused by retrograde trafficking of one of three types of Shiga toxin (STx), STx, STx1, or STx2. Trafficking depends on the toxin B subunits, which for STx and STx1 are identical and bind GPP130, a manganese (Mn)-sensitive intracellular trafficking receptor. Elevated Mn down-regulates GPP130, rendering STx/STx1 harmless. Its effectiveness against STx2, however, which is a serious concern in the developed world, is not known. Here we show that Mn-induced GPP130 down-regulation fails to block STx2 trafficking. To shed light on this result, we tested the purified B subunit of STx2 for binding to GPP130 and found that it failed to interact. We then mapped residues at the interface of the GPP130-STx/STx1 complex. In GPP130, binding mapped to a seven-residue stretch in its lumenal stem domain next to the transmembrane domain. This stretch was required for STx/STx1 transport. In STx/STx1, binding mapped to a histidine–asparagine pair on a surface-exposed loop of the toxin B subunit. Significantly, these residues are not conserved in STx2, explaining the lack of effectiveness of Mn against STx2. Together our results imply that STx2 uses an evolutionarily distinct trafficking mechanism and that Mn as a potential therapy should be focused on STx/STx1 outbreaks, which account for the vast majority of cases worldwide.
ESCRT filaments wrap helically around liposomes and assemble into various helical structures in vitro. Dividing Sulfolobus cells further exhibit a thin, dynamic belt coating division furrows. Together these data suggest that spiraling filaments are involved in membrane scission.
The endosomal-sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) is evolutionarily conserved from Archaea to eukaryotes. The complex drives membrane scission events in a range of processes, including cytokinesis in Metazoa and some Archaea. CdvA is the protein in Archaea that recruits ESCRT-III to the membrane. Using electron cryotomography (ECT), we find that CdvA polymerizes into helical filaments wrapped around liposomes. ESCRT-III proteins are responsible for the cinching of membranes and have been shown to assemble into helical tubes in vitro, but here we show that they also can form nested tubes and nested cones, which reveal surprisingly numerous and versatile contacts. To observe the ESCRT–CdvA complex in a physiological context, we used ECT to image the archaeon Sulfolobus acidocaldarius and observed a distinct protein belt at the leading edge of constriction furrows in dividing cells. The known dimensions of ESCRT-III proteins constrain their possible orientations within each of these structures and point to the involvement of spiraling filaments in membrane scission.
A small GTPase Arf3p participates in the yeast invasive growth, and the Arf3p-–Bud2p interaction is important for invasive growth by regulatiing Bud2p GAP activity toward Bud1p. The results suggest the existence of a novel small GTPase cascade, Arf3p-Bud2p-Bud1p, which orchestrates polarity development during invasive growth.
The regulation and signaling pathways involved in the invasive growth of yeast have been studied extensively because of their general applicability to fungal pathogenesis. Bud2p, which functions as a GTPase-activating protein (GAP) for Bud1p/Rsr1p, is required for appropriate budding patterns and filamentous growth. The regulatory mechanisms leading to Bud2p activation, however, are poorly understood. In this study, we report that ADP-ribosylation factor 3p (Arf3p) acts as a regulator of Bud2p activation during invasive growth. Arf3p binds directly to the N-terminal region of Bud2p and promotes its GAP activity both in vitro and in vivo. Genetic analysis shows that deletion of BUD1 suppresses the defect of invasive growth in arf3Δ or bud2Δ cells. Lack of Arf3p, like that of Bud2p, causes the intracellular accumulation of Bud1p-GTP. The Arf3p–Bud2p interaction is important for invasive growth and facilitates the Bud2p–Bud1p association in vivo. Finally, we show that under glucose depletion–induced invasion conditions in yeast, more Arf3p is activated to the GTP-bound state, and the activation is independent of Arf3p guanine nucleotide-exchange factor Yel1p. Thus we demonstrate that a novel spatial activation of Arf3p plays a role in regulating Bud2p activation during glucose depletion–induced invasive growth.
Superresolution fluorescence microscopy shows that bacterial MreB forms filamentous structures of length up to 3.4 µm, which run at various angles underneath the cell membrane with a speed of 85 nm/s. Movement depends on ATPase activity. Thus MreB is a true orthologue of actin, whose extended filament architecture drives cells.
The maintenance of rod-cell shape in many bacteria depends on actin-like MreB proteins and several membrane proteins that interact with MreB. Using superresolution microscopy, we show that at 50-nm resolution, Bacillus subtilis MreB forms filamentous structures of length up to 3.4 μm underneath the cell membrane, which run at angles diverging up to 40° relative to the cell circumference. MreB from Escherichia coli forms at least 1.4-μm-long filaments. MreB filaments move along various tracks with a maximal speed of 85 nm/s, and the loss of ATPase activity leads to the formation of extended and static filaments. Suboptimal growth conditions lead to formation of patch-like structures rather than extended filaments. Coexpression of wild-type MreB with MreB mutated in the subunit interface leads to formation of shorter MreB filaments and a strong effect on cell shape, revealing a link between filament length and cell morphology. Thus MreB has an extended-filament architecture with the potential to position membrane proteins over long distances, whose localization in turn may affect the shape of the cell wall.
Signals, stresses, and myosin-dependent contractility influence cell geometry, tension, myosin dynamics, and pulsed constriction in the amnioserosa both cell-autonomously and -nonautonomously and feedback regulate cell behavior. Cell delamination is a locally patterned, nonautonomously regulated transition from pulsed to unpulsed constriction.
How robust patterns of tissue dynamics emerge from heterogeneities, stochasticities, and asynchronies in cell behavior is an outstanding question in morphogenesis. A clear understanding of this requires examining the influence of the behavior of single cells on tissue patterning. Here we develop single-cell manipulation strategies to uncover the origin of patterned cell behavior in the amnioserosa during Drosophila dorsal closure. We show that the formation and dissolution of contractile, medial actomyosin networks previously shown to underlie pulsed apical constrictions in the amnioserosa are apparently asynchronous in adjacent cells. We demonstrate for the first time that mechanical stresses and Rho1 GTPase control myosin dynamics qualitatively and quantitatively, in amplitude and direction, both cell autonomously and nonautonomously. We then demonstrate that interfering with myosin-dependent contractility in single cells also influences pulsed constrictions cell nonautonomously. Our results suggest that signals and stresses can feedback regulate the amplitude and spatial propagation of pulsed constrictions through their influence on tension and geometry. We establish the relevance of these findings to native closure by showing that cell delamination represents a locally patterned and collective transition from pulsed to unpulsed constriction that also relies on the nonautonomous feedback control of myosin dynamics.
Studying the role of accessory chains in dynein single-molecule motility shows that the dynein light chain (LC) and intermediate chain (IC) promote motor dimerization, increase velocity, and potentiate processivity. The crystal structure of the yeast LC–IC complex is determined, and the interaction is biochemically characterized.
Cytoplasmic dynein is the major microtubule minus end–directed motor. Although studies have probed the mechanism of the C-terminal motor domain, if and how dynein's N-terminal tail and the accessory chains it binds regulate motor activity remain to be determined. Here, we investigate the structure and function of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae dynein light (Dyn2) and intermediate (Pac11) chains in dynein heavy chain (Dyn1) movement. We present the crystal structure of a Dyn2-Pac11 complex, showing Dyn2-mediated Pac11 dimerization. To determine the molecular effects of Dyn2 and Pac11 on Dyn1 function, we generated dyn2Δ and dyn2Δpac11Δ strains and analyzed Dyn1 single-molecule motor activity. We find that the Dyn2-Pac11 complex promotes Dyn1 homodimerization and potentiates processivity. The absence of Dyn2 and Pac11 yields motors with decreased velocity, dramatically reduced processivity, increased monomerization, aggregation, and immobility as determined by single-molecule measurements. Deleting dyn2 significantly reduces Pac11-Dyn1 complex formation, yielding Dyn1 motors with activity similar to Dyn1 from the dyn2Δpac11Δ strain. Of interest, motor phenotypes resulting from Dyn2-Pac11 complex depletion bear similarity to a point mutation in the mammalian dynein N-terminal tail (Loa), highlighting this region as a conserved, regulatory motor element.
Clathrin–AP-3 association is dispensable for AP-3 vesicle budding from endosomes, which suggests that AP-3–clathrin interactions differ from those by which AP-1 and AP-2 adaptors productively engage clathrin in vesicle biogenesis.
A role for clathrin in AP-3–dependent vesicle biogenesis has been inferred from biochemical interactions and colocalization between this adaptor and clathrin. The functionality of these molecular associations, however, is controversial. We comprehensively explore the role of clathrin in AP-3–dependent vesicle budding, using rapid chemical-genetic perturbation of clathrin function with a clathrin light chain–FKBP chimera oligomerizable by the drug AP20187. We find that AP-3 interacts and colocalizes with endogenous and recombinant FKBP chimeric clathrin polypeptides in PC12-cell endosomes. AP-3 displays, however, a divergent behavior from AP-1, AP-2, and clathrin chains. AP-3 cofractionates with clathrin-coated vesicle fractions isolated from PC12 cells even after clathrin function is acutely inhibited by AP20187. We predicted that AP20187 would inhibit AP-3 vesicle formation from endosomes after a brefeldin A block. AP-3 vesicle formation continued, however, after brefeldin A wash-out despite impairment of clathrin function by AP20187. These findings indicate that AP-3–clathrin association is dispensable for endosomal AP-3 vesicle budding and suggest that endosomal AP-3–clathrin interactions differ from those by which AP-1 and AP-2 adaptors productively engage clathrin in vesicle biogenesis.
Insulin stimulates glucose transport by delivering GLUT4 from a specialized storage compartment to the plasma membrane. Subcellular fractionation and an in vitro assay for GLUT4-storage vesicle formation show that the Sec1/Munc18 protein mVps45 is required to correctly sort GLUT4 into this compartment.
Insulin stimulates glucose transport in fat and muscle cells by regulating delivery of the facilitative glucose transporter, glucose transporter isoform 4 (GLUT4), to the plasma membrane. In the absence of insulin, GLUT4 is sequestered away from the general recycling endosomal pathway into specialized vesicles, referred to as GLUT4-storage vesicles. Understanding the sorting of GLUT4 into this store is a major challenge. Here we examine the role of the Sec1/Munc18 protein mVps45 in GLUT4 trafficking. We show that mVps45 is up-regulated upon differentiation of 3T3-L1 fibroblasts into adipocytes and is expressed at stoichiometric levels with its cognate target–soluble N-ethylmaleimide–sensitive factor attachment protein receptor, syntaxin 16. Depletion of mVps45 in 3T3-L1 adipocytes results in decreased GLUT4 levels and impaired insulin-stimulated glucose transport. Using subcellular fractionation and an in vitro assay for GLUT4-storage vesicle formation, we show that mVps45 is required to correctly traffic GLUT4 into this compartment. Collectively our data reveal a crucial role for mVps45 in the delivery of GLUT4 into its specialized, insulin-regulated compartment.
Study of receptor sorting between recycling and degradative pathways shows that sorting into the recycling pathway depends not only on recognition of sorting motifs by cytosolic adaptors, but also on the physical properties of the endosomal luminal complexes, as shown by the neonatal receptor for IgG FcRn.
The neonatal receptor for immunoglobulin G (IgG; FcRn) prevents IgG degradation by efficiently sorting IgG into recycling endosomes and away from lysosomes. When bound to IgG-opsonized antigen complexes, however, FcRn traffics cargo into lysosomes, where antigen processing can occur. Here we address the mechanism of sorting when FcRn is bound to multivalent IgG-opsonized antigens. We find that only the unbound receptor or FcRn bound to monomeric IgG is sorted into recycling tubules emerging from early endosomes. Cross-linked FcRn is never visualized in tubules containing the unbound receptor. Similar results are found for transferrin receptor, suggesting a general mechanism of action. Deletion or replacement of the FcRn cytoplasmic tail does not prevent diversion of trafficking to lysosomes upon cross-linking. Thus physical properties of the lumenal ligand–receptor complex appear to act as key determinants for sorting between the recycling and lysosomal pathways by regulating FcRn entry into recycling tubules.
Nwk is a neuronal F-BAR/SH3 protein that deforms membranes into positively curved ridges using a novel zigzag assembly of the crescent-shaped F-BAR domain. Membrane between adjacent ridges forms a negatively curved scallop that can be amplified by the cytoskeleton into cellular protrusions.
Eukaryotic cells are defined by extensive intracellular compartmentalization, which requires dynamic membrane remodeling. FER/Cip4 homology-Bin/amphiphysin/Rvs (F-BAR) domain family proteins form crescent-shaped dimers, which can bend membranes into buds and tubules of defined geometry and lipid composition. However, these proteins exhibit an unexplained wide diversity of membrane-deforming activities in vitro and functions in vivo. We find that the F-BAR domain of the neuronal protein Nervous Wreck (Nwk) has a novel higher-order structure and membrane-deforming activity that distinguishes it from previously described F-BAR proteins. The Nwk F-BAR domain assembles into zigzags, creating ridges and periodic scallops on membranes in vitro. This activity depends on structural determinants at the tips of the F-BAR dimer and on electrostatic interactions of the membrane with the F-BAR concave surface. In cells, Nwk-induced scallops can be extended by cytoskeletal forces to produce protrusions at the plasma membrane. Our results define a new F-BAR membrane-deforming activity and illustrate a molecular mechanism by which positively curved F-BAR domains can produce a variety of membrane curvatures. These findings expand the repertoire of F-BAR domain mediated membrane deformation and suggest that unique modes of higher-order assembly can define how these proteins sculpt the membrane.
The PhyB-PIF light-inducible dimerization system is used to achieve rapid, reversible, and titratable control of protein localization in budding yeast. This system can be used to dynamically activate or inactivate proteins of interest. It is used here to probe where and when Clb2 activity is required for nuclear fission and spindle stabilization.
Protein localization plays a central role in cell biology. Although powerful tools exist to assay the spatial and temporal dynamics of proteins in living cells, our ability to control these dynamics has been much more limited. We previously used the phytochrome B– phytochrome-interacting factor light-gated dimerization system to recruit proteins to the plasma membrane, enabling us to control the activation of intracellular signals in mammalian cells. Here we extend this approach to achieve rapid, reversible, and titratable control of protein localization for eight different organelles/positions in budding yeast. By tagging genes at the endogenous locus, we can recruit proteins to or away from their normal sites of action. This system provides a general strategy for dynamically activating or inactivating proteins of interest by controlling their localization and therefore their availability to binding partners and substrates, as we demonstrate for galactose signaling. More importantly, the temporal and spatial precision of the system make it possible to identify when and where a given protein's activity is necessary for function, as we demonstrate for the mitotic cyclin Clb2 in nuclear fission and spindle stabilization. Our light-inducible organelle-targeting system represents a powerful approach for achieving a better understanding of complex biological systems.
The DNA damage checkpoint and recombinational repair are two important mechanisms to cope with replication stress. In cells defective in a genome maintenance factor, the Smc5/6 complex, the checkpoint and recombination effects can be separated and contribute to cell survival in different manners.
DNA damage checkpoint and recombinational repair are both important for cell survival of replication stress. Because these two processes influence each other, isolation of their respective contributions is challenging. Research in budding yeast shows that removal of the DNA helicase Mph1 improves survival of cells with defective Smc5/6 complex under replication stress. mph1∆ is known to reduce the levels of recombination intermediates in smc6 mutants. Here, we show that mph1∆ also hyperactivates the Mec1 checkpoint. We dissect the effects of recombination regulation and checkpoint hyperactivation by altering the checkpoint circuitry to enhance checkpoint signaling without reducing recombination intermediate levels. We show that these approaches, similar to mph1∆, lead to better survival of smc6 cells upon transient replication stress, likely by ameliorating replication and chromosomal segregation defects. Unlike mph1∆, however, they do not suppress smc6 sensitivity to chronic stress. Conversely, reducing the checkpoint response does not impair survival of smc6 mph1∆ mutants under chronic stress. These results suggest a two-phase model in which smc6 mutant survival upon transient replication stress can be improved by enhancing Mec1 checkpoint signaling, whereas smc6 sensitivity to chronic stress can be overcome by reducing recombination intermediates.
Quantification of mitotic chromosomes in Caenorhabditis elegans embryos and a Xenopus laevis egg extract system indicates that the chromosome amount per nuclear space, or “intranuclear DNA density,” regulates chromosome condensation. This suggests an adaptive mode of chromosome condensation regulation in metazoans.
Chromosome condensation is critical for accurate inheritance of genetic information. The degree of condensation, which is reflected in the size of the condensed chromosomes during mitosis, is not constant. It is differentially regulated in embryonic and somatic cells. In addition to the developmentally programmed regulation of chromosome condensation, there may be adaptive regulation based on spatial parameters such as genomic length or cell size. We propose that chromosome condensation is affected by a spatial parameter called the chromosome amount per nuclear space, or “intranuclear DNA density.” Using Caenorhabditis elegans embryos, we show that condensed chromosome sizes vary during early embryogenesis. Of importance, changing DNA content to haploid or polyploid changes the condensed chromosome size, even at the same developmental stage. Condensed chromosome size correlates with interphase nuclear size. Finally, a reduction in nuclear size in a cell-free system from Xenopus laevis eggs resulted in reduced condensed chromosome sizes. These data support the hypothesis that intranuclear DNA density regulates chromosome condensation. This suggests an adaptive mode of chromosome condensation regulation in metazoans.
Nesprin-3 regulates perinuclear localization of plectin and vimentin in Sertoli cells but is dispensable for Sertoli cell function in spermatogenesis. In addition, nuclear positioning and anchorage are not disturbed in nesprin-3–knockout mice.
Nesprin-3 is a nuclear envelope protein that connects the nucleus to intermediate filaments by interacting with plectin. To investigate the role of nesprin-3 in the perinuclear localization of plectin, we generated nesprin-3–knockout mice and examined the effects of nesprin-3 deficiency in different cell types and tissues. Nesprin-3 and plectin are coexpressed in a variety of tissues, including peripheral nerve and muscle. The expression level of nesprin-3 in skeletal muscle is very low and decreases during myoblast differentiation in vitro. Of interest, plectin was concentrated at the nuclear envelope in only a few cell types. This was most prominent in Sertoli cells of the testis, in which nesprin-3 is required for the localization of both plectin and vimentin at the nuclear perimeter. Testicular morphology and the position of the nucleus in Sertoli cells were normal, however, in the nesprin-3–knockout mice and the mice were fertile. Furthermore, nesprin-3 was not required for the polarization and migration of mouse embryonic fibroblasts. Thus, although nesprin-3 is critical for the localization of plectin to the nuclear perimeter of Sertoli cells, the resulting link between the nuclear envelope and the intermediate filament system seems to be dispensable for normal testicular morphology and spermatogenesis.
In normal aging, nuclear sirtuin levels decline and specific histone acetylation increases. In diabetic mice, Sirt1 and Sirt6 levels increase, which may induce gluconeogenesis through the PGC-1α pathway and DNA repair of the oxidative damage caused by hyperglycemia.
Hyperglycemia, like aging, induces chromatin remodeling in mouse hepatocytes in comparison to normoglycemia and younger age, respectively. Changes in glucose metabolism also affect the action and expression of sirtuins, promoting changes in chromatin conformation and dynamics. Here we investigate the abundance and activity of the nuclear sirtuins Sirt1, Sirt6, and Sirt7 in mouse hepatocytes in association with specific histone acetylation, DNA damage, and the activation of nucleolar organizing regions (NORs) in hyperglycemic nonobese diabetic (NOD) and old normoglycemic BALB/c mouse strains. Higher levels of Sirt1 and PGC-1α and increased expression of gluconeogenesis pathway genes are found in the hyperglycemic NOD mice. Increased Sirt6 abundance is found in the hyperglycemic NOD mice, which might increase DNA damage repair. With aging, lower Sirt1 abundance and activity, increased acetylated histone modifications and Sirt7 levels, and NOR methylation are found. Thus, whereas in normal aging cell metabolism is reduced, in the diabetic mice a compensatory mechanism may elevate Sirt1 and Sirt6 levels, increasing gluconeogenesis and DNA repair from the oxidative damage caused by hyperglycemia. Therefore understanding the regulation of epigenetic factors in diabetes and aging is crucial for the development of new therapeutic approaches that could prevent diseases and improve quality of life.
This study addresses the mechanisms by which CHOP directs gene regulatory networks and determines cell fate. Transcriptional expression of ATF5 is activated by both CHOP and ATF4 in the integrated stress response. CHOP and ATF5 control a switch to activate apoptotic genes and decrease cell survival in response to loss of proteostatic control.
Environmental stresses that disrupt protein homeostasis induce phosphorylation of eIF2, triggering repression of global protein synthesis coincident with preferential translation of ATF4, a transcriptional activator of the integrated stress response (ISR). Depending on the extent of protein disruption, ATF4 may not be able to restore proteostatic control and instead switches to a terminal outcome that features elevated expression of the transcription factor CHOP (GADD153/DDIT3). The focus of this study is to define the mechanisms by which CHOP directs gene regulatory networks that determine cell fate. We find that in response to proteasome inhibition, CHOP enhances the expression of a collection of genes encoding transcription regulators, including ATF5, which is preferentially translated during eIF2 phosphorylation. Transcriptional expression of ATF5 is directly induced by both CHOP and ATF4. Knockdown of ATF5 increases cell survival in response to proteasome inhibition, supporting the idea that both ATF5 and CHOP have proapoptotic functions. Transcriptome analysis of ATF5-dependent genes reveals targets involved in apoptosis, including NOXA, which is important for inducing cell death during proteasome inhibition. This study suggests that the ISR features a feedforward loop of stress-induced transcriptional regulators, each subject to transcriptional and translational control, which can switch cell fate toward apoptosis.
Perspectives are provided on an alternative career path in regulatory science for those currently involved in basic biology research. This path is compared and contrasted with basic research, and factors to be examined if one is considering such a path are discussed.
Oxidative folding facilitates protein import into the mitochondrial intermembrane space. An analysis of the process in intact mammalian cells reveals the contributions of Mia40, ALR, glutathione, and the membrane potential. Proteins that rely on oxidative folding remain stable and reduced in the cytosol for several minutes.
Oxidation of cysteine residues to disulfides drives import of many proteins into the intermembrane space of mitochondria. Recent studies in yeast unraveled the basic principles of mitochondrial protein oxidation, but the kinetics under physiological conditions is unknown. We developed assays to follow protein oxidation in living mammalian cells, which reveal that import and oxidative folding of proteins are kinetically and functionally coupled and depend on the oxidoreductase Mia40, the sulfhydryl oxidase augmenter of liver regeneration (ALR), and the intracellular glutathione pool. Kinetics of substrate oxidation depends on the amount of Mia40 and requires tightly balanced amounts of ALR. Mia40-dependent import of Cox19 in human cells depends on the inner membrane potential. Our observations reveal considerable differences in the velocities of mitochondrial import pathways: whereas preproteins with bipartite targeting sequences are imported within seconds, substrates of Mia40 remain in the cytosol for several minutes and apparently escape premature degradation and oxidation.
HCV core induces loss of polarity and down-regulates SHIP2 and Dlg1 expression. SHIP2 and PtdIns(3,4)P2 are localized at the basolateral membrane of polarized cells. SHIP2 siRNA and its catalytically inactive mutant disrupt epithelial polarity, and SHIP2 rescues core-induced loss of polarity through RhoA activation.
The main targets of hepatitis C virus (HCV) are hepatocytes, the highly polarized cells of the liver, and all the steps of its life cycle are tightly dependent on host lipid metabolism. The interplay between polarity and lipid metabolism in HCV infection has been poorly investigated. Signaling lipids, such as phosphoinositides (PIs), play a vital role in polarity, which depends on the distribution and expression of PI kinases and PI phosphatases. In this study, we report that HCV core protein, expressed in Huh7 and Madin–Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells, disrupts apicobasal polarity. This is associated with decreased expression of the polarity protein Dlg1 and the PI phosphatase SHIP2, which converts phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate into phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PtdIns(3,4)P2). SHIP2 is mainly localized at the basolateral membrane of polarized MDCK cells. In addition, PtdIns(3,4)P2 is able to bind to Dlg1. SHIP2 small interfering RNA or its catalytically dead mutant disrupts apicobasal polarity, similar to HCV core. In core-expressing cells, RhoA activity is inhibited, whereas Rac1 is activated. Of interest, SHIP2 expression rescues polarity, RhoA activation, and restricted core level in MDCK cells. We conclude that SHIP2 is an important regulator of polarity, which is subverted by HCV in epithelial cells. It is suggested that SHIP2 could be a promising target for anti-HCV treatment.
Cells that survive fractional killing by TRAIL or FasR agonists enter a state of resistance accompanied by inflammatory phenotypes. This state is transient, decaying over the course of several days, but can be sustained by periodic TRAIL treatments. This finding has implications for optimal dosing strategies of extrinsic cell death agents.
When clonal populations of human cells are exposed to apoptosis-inducing agents, some cells die and others survive. This fractional killing arises not from mutation but from preexisting, stochastic differences in the levels and activities of proteins regulating apoptosis. Here we examine the properties of cells that survive treatment with agonists of two distinct death receptors, tumor necrosis factor–related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) and anti-FasR antibodies. We find that “survivor” cells are highly resistant to a second ligand dose applied 1 d later. Resistance is reversible, resetting after several days of culture in the absence of death ligand. “Reset” cells appear identical to drug-naive cells with respect to death ligand sensitivity and gene expression profiles. TRAIL survivors are cross-resistant to activators of FasR and vice versa and exhibit an NF-κB–dependent inflammatory phenotype. Remarkably, reversible resistance is induced in the absence of cell death when caspase inhibitors are present and can be sustained for 1 wk or more, also without cell death, by periodic ligand exposure. Thus stochastic differences in cell state can have sustained consequences for sensitivity to prodeath ligands and acquisition of proinflammatory phenotypes. The important role played by periodicity in TRAIL exposure for induction of opposing apoptosis and survival mechanisms has implications for the design of optimal therapeutic agents and protocols.
The position of the spindle apparatus determines the plane of cell cleavage and, therefore, the size and position of daughter cells, as well as the decision between symmetric and asymmetric cell division. We show that asymmetry in cortical actin and, remarkably, an endoplasmic reticulum–localized protein contribute to proper spindle positioning in the Caenorhabditis elegans embryo.
The microtubule spindle apparatus dictates the plane of cell cleavage in animal cells. During development, dividing cells control the position of the spindle to determine the size, location, and fate of daughter cells. Spindle positioning depends on pulling forces that act between the cell periphery and astral microtubules. This involves dynein recruitment to the cell cortex by a heterotrimeric G-protein α subunit in complex with a TPR-GoLoco motif protein (GPR-1/2, Pins, LGN) and coiled-coil protein (LIN-5, Mud, NuMA). In this study, we searched for additional factors that contribute to spindle positioning in the one-cell Caenorhabditis elegans embryo. We show that cortical actin is not needed for Gα–GPR–LIN-5 localization and pulling force generation. Instead, actin accumulation in the anterior actually reduces pulling forces, possibly by increasing cortical rigidity. Examining membrane-associated proteins that copurified with GOA-1 Gα, we found that the transmembrane and coiled-coil domain protein 1 (TCC-1) contributes to proper spindle movements. TCC-1 localizes to the endoplasmic reticulum membrane and interacts with UNC-116 kinesin-1 heavy chain in yeast two-hybrid assays. RNA interference of tcc-1 and unc-116 causes similar defects in meiotic spindle positioning, supporting the concept of TCC-1 acting with kinesin-1 in vivo. These results emphasize the contribution of membrane-associated and cortical proteins other than Gα–GPR–LIN-5 in balancing the pulling forces that position the spindle during asymmetric cell division.
Dictyostelium PakB, a p21-activated kinase implicated in the activation of class I myosins, is shown to bind directly to actin filaments and to the SH3 domain of actin-binding protein 1 (dAbp1). The interaction with PakB is needed to localize dAbp1 to actin-rich sites in the cell and control its activity during chemotaxis and early development.
Dictyostelium p21-activated kinase B (PakB) phosphorylates and activates class I myosins. PakB colocalizes with myosin I to actin-rich regions of the cell, including macropinocytic and phagocytic cups and the leading edge of migrating cells. Here we show that residues 1–180 mediate the cellular localization of PakB. Yeast two-hybrid and pull-down experiments identify two proline-rich motifs in PakB-1-180 that directly interact with the SH3 domain of Dictyostelium actin-binding protein 1 (dAbp1). dAbp1 colocalizes with PakB to actin-rich regions in the cell. The loss of dAbp1 does not affect the cellular distribution of PakB, whereas the loss of PakB causes dAbp1 to adopt a diffuse cytosolic distribution. Cosedimentation studies show that the N-terminal region of PakB (residues 1–70) binds directly to actin filaments, whereas dAbp1 exhibits only a low affinity for filamentous actin. PakB-1-180 significantly enhances the binding of dAbp1 to actin filaments. When overexpressed in PakB-null cells, dAbp1 completely blocks early development at the aggregation stage, prevents cell polarization, and significantly reduces chemotaxis rates. The inhibitory effects are abrogated by the introduction of a function-blocking mutation into the dAbp1 SH3 domain. We conclude that PakB plays a critical role in regulating the cellular functions of dAbp1, which are mediated largely by its SH3 domain.
An inducible activation approach is used to interrogate the positive feedback circuit underlying self-amplification of PI3K signals in fibroblasts. The results show that local positive feedback between PI3K and HRas drives asymmetric membrane extension and cell migration.
Self-amplification of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling is believed to regulate asymmetric membrane extension and cell migration, but the molecular organization of the underlying feedback circuit is elusive. Here we use an inducible approach to synthetically activate PI3K and interrogate the feedback circuitry governing self-enhancement of 3′-phosphoinositide (3-PI) signals in NIH3T3 fibroblasts. Synthetic activation of PI3K initially leads to uniform production of 3-PIs at the plasma membrane, followed by the appearance of asymmetric and highly amplified 3-PI signals. A detailed spatiotemporal analysis shows that local self-amplifying 3-PI signals drive rapid membrane extension with remarkable directional persistence and initiate a robust migratory response. This positive feedback loop is critically dependent on the small GTPase HRas. Silencing of HRas abrogates local amplification of 3-PI signals upon synthetic PI3K activation and results in short-lived protrusion events that do not support cell migration. Finally, our data indicate that this feedback circuit is likely to operate during platelet-derived growth factor–induced random cell migration. We conclude that positive feedback between PI3K and HRas is essential for fibroblasts to spontaneously self-organize and generate a productive migratory response in the absence of spatial cues.