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Journal of Cell Biology [journal]
- A light-triggered protein secretion system. [Journal Article]
- J Cell Biol 2013 May 13; 201(4):631-40.
Optical control of protein interactions has emerged as a powerful experimental paradigm for manipulating and studying various cellular processes. Tools are now available for controlling a number of cellular functions, but some fundamental processes, such as protein secretion, have been difficult to engineer using current optical tools. Here we use UVR8, a plant photoreceptor protein that forms photolabile homodimers, to engineer the first light-triggered protein secretion system. UVR8 fusion proteins were conditionally sequestered in the endoplasmic reticulum, and a brief pulse of light triggered robust forward trafficking through the secretory pathway to the plasma membrane. UVR8 was not responsive to excitation light used to image cyan, green, or red fluorescent protein variants, allowing multicolor visualization of cellular markers and secreted protein cargo as it traverses the cellular secretory pathway. We implemented this novel tool in neurons to demonstrate restricted, local trafficking of secretory cargo near dendritic branch points.
- Ligand-induced activation of a formin-NPF pair leads to collaborative actin nucleation. [Journal Article]
- J Cell Biol 2013 May 13; 201(4):595-611.
Formins associate with other nucleators and nucleation-promoting factors (NPFs) to stimulate collaborative actin assembly, but the mechanisms regulating these interactions have been unclear. Yeast Bud6 has an established role as an NPF for the formin Bni1, but whether it also directly regulates the formin Bnr1 has remained enigmatic. In this paper, we analyzed NPF-impaired alleles of bud6 in a bni1Δ background and found that Bud6 stimulated Bnr1 activity in vivo. Furthermore, Bud6 bound directly to Bnr1, but its NPF effects were masked by a short regulatory sequence, suggesting that additional factors may be required for activation. We isolated a novel in vivo binding partner of Bud6, Yor304c-a/Bil1, which colocalized with Bud6 and functioned in the Bnr1 pathway for actin assembly. Purified Bil1 bound to the regulatory sequence in Bud6 and triggered NPF effects on Bnr1. These observations define a new mode of formin regulation, which has important implications for understanding NPF-nucleator pairs in diverse systems.
- Dynamic bonds and polar ejection force distribution explain kinetochore oscillations in PtK1 cells. [Journal Article]
- J Cell Biol 2013 May 13; 201(4):577-93.
Duplicated mitotic chromosomes aligned at the metaphase plate maintain dynamic attachments to spindle microtubules via their kinetochores, and multiple motor and nonmotor proteins cooperate to regulate their behavior. Depending on the system, sister chromatids may display either of two distinct behaviors, namely (1) the presence or (2) the absence of oscillations about the metaphase plate. Significantly, in PtK1 cells, in which chromosome behavior appears to be dependent on the position along the metaphase plate, both types of behavior are observed within the same spindle, but how and why these distinct behaviors are manifested is unclear. Here, we developed a new quantitative model to describe metaphase chromosome dynamics via kinetochore-microtubule interactions mediated by nonmotor viscoelastic linkages. Our model reproduces all the key features of metaphase sister kinetochore dynamics in PtK1 cells and suggests that differences in the distribution of polar ejection forces at the periphery and in the middle of PtK1 cell spindles underlie the observed dichotomy of chromosome behavior.
- Autophagosomal Syntaxin17-dependent lysosomal degradation maintains neuronal function in Drosophila. [Journal Article]
- J Cell Biol 2013 May 13; 201(4):531-9.
During autophagy, phagophores capture portions of cytoplasm and form double-membrane autophagosomes to deliver cargo for lysosomal degradation. How autophagosomes gain competence to fuse with late endosomes and lysosomes is not known. In this paper, we show that Syntaxin17 is recruited to the outer membrane of autophagosomes to mediate fusion through its interactions with ubisnap (SNAP-29) and VAMP7 in Drosophila melanogaster. Loss of these genes results in accumulation of autophagosomes and a block of autolysosomal degradation during basal, starvation-induced, and developmental autophagy. Viable Syntaxin17 mutant adults show large-scale accumulation of autophagosomes in neurons, severe locomotion defects, and premature death. These mutant phenotypes cannot be rescued by neuron-specific inhibition of caspases, suggesting that caspase activation and cell death do not play a major role in brain dysfunction. Our findings reveal the molecular mechanism underlying autophagosomal fusion events and show that lysosomal degradation and recycling of sequestered autophagosome content is crucial to maintain proper functioning of the nervous system.
- The cell biology of disease: Cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying muscular dystrophy. [Journal Article]
- J Cell Biol 2013 May 13; 201(4):499-510.
The muscular dystrophies are a group of heterogeneous genetic diseases characterized by progressive degeneration and weakness of skeletal muscle. Since the discovery of the first muscular dystrophy gene encoding dystrophin, a large number of genes have been identified that are involved in various muscle-wasting and neuromuscular disorders. Human genetic studies complemented by animal model systems have substantially contributed to our understanding of the molecular pathomechanisms underlying muscle degeneration. Moreover, these studies have revealed distinct molecular and cellular mechanisms that link genetic mutations to diverse muscle wasting phenotypes.
- Route to destruction: Autophagosomes SNARE lysosomes. [Journal Article]
- J Cell Biol 2013 May 13; 201(4):495-7.
Autophagy allows cells to encapsulate parts of their cytosol into unique double-membrane structures. These autophagosomes mature to fuse with lysosomes and deliver the enclosed contents for degradation. Three recent papers, including one by Takáts et al. (2013. J. Cell Biol. http://dx.doi.org/10.1083/jcb.201211160), have taken different routes to discover a role for Syntaxin 17 in the maturation of autophagosomes.
- Victor Ambros: The broad scope of microRNAs. [Journal Article]
- J Cell Biol 2013 May 13; 201(4):492-3.
- p53-dependent release of Alarmin HMGB1 is a central mediator of senescent phenotypes. [Journal Article]
- J Cell Biol 2013 May 13; 201(4):613-29.
Cellular senescence irreversibly arrests proliferation in response to potentially oncogenic stress. Senescent cells also secrete inflammatory cytokines such as IL-6, which promote age-associated inflammation and pathology. HMGB1 (high mobility group box 1) modulates gene expression in the nucleus, but certain immune cells secrete HMGB1 as an extracellular Alarmin to signal tissue damage. We show that nuclear HMGB1 relocalized to the extracellular milieu in senescent human and mouse cells in culture and in vivo. In contrast to cytokine secretion, HMGB1 redistribution required the p53 tumor suppressor, but not its activator ATM. Moreover, altered HMGB1 expression induced a p53-dependent senescent growth arrest. Senescent fibroblasts secreted oxidized HMGB1, which stimulated cytokine secretion through TLR-4 signaling. HMGB1 depletion, HMGB1 blocking antibody, or TLR-4 inhibition attenuated senescence-associated IL-6 secretion, and exogenous HMGB1 stimulated NF-κB activity and restored IL-6 secretion to HMGB1-depleted cells. Our findings identify senescence as a novel biological setting in which HMGB1 functions and link HMGB1 redistribution to p53 activity and senescence-associated inflammation.
- The UBXN-2/p37/p47 adaptors of CDC-48/p97 regulate mitosis by limiting the centrosomal recruitment of Aurora A. [Journal Article]
- J Cell Biol 2013 May 13; 201(4):559-75.
Coordination of cell cycle events in space and time is crucial to achieve a successful cell division. Here, we demonstrate that UBXN-2, a substrate adaptor of the AAA ATPase Cdc48/p97, is required to coordinate centrosome maturation timing with mitosis. In UBXN-2-depleted Caenorhabditis elegans embryos, centrosomes recruited more AIR-1 (Aurora A), matured precociously, and alignment of the mitotic spindle with the axis of polarity was impaired. UBXN-2 and CDC-48 coimmunoprecipitated with AIR-1 and the spindle alignment defect was partially rescued by co-depleting AIR-1, indicating that UBXN-2 controls these processes via AIR-1. Similarly, depletion in human cells of the UBXN-2 orthologues p37/p47 resulted in an accumulation of Aurora A at centrosomes and a delay in centrosome separation. The latter defect was also rescued by inhibiting Aurora A. We therefore postulate that the role of this adaptor in cell cycle regulation is conserved.
- Gain-of-function mutations of PPM1D/Wip1 impair the p53-dependent G1 checkpoint. [Journal Article]
- J Cell Biol 2013 May 13; 201(4):511-21.
The DNA damage response (DDR) pathway and its core component tumor suppressor p53 block cell cycle progression after genotoxic stress and represent an intrinsic barrier preventing cancer development. The serine/threonine phosphatase PPM1D/Wip1 inactivates p53 and promotes termination of the DDR pathway. Wip1 has been suggested to act as an oncogene in a subset of tumors that retain wild-type p53. In this paper, we have identified novel gain-of-function mutations in exon 6 of PPM1D that result in expression of C-terminally truncated Wip1. Remarkably, mutations in PPM1D are present not only in the tumors but also in other tissues of breast and colorectal cancer patients, indicating that they arise early in development or affect the germline. We show that mutations in PPM1D affect the DDR pathway and propose that they could predispose to cancer.