ResearchPad - guanine-nucleotide-exchange-factors https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Mutations in <i>SPATA13/ASEF2</i> cause primary angle closure glaucoma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15764 Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness globally. Angle closure glaucoma accounts for 50% of all glaucoma blindness impacting quality of life and burden on health services. A number of variations in DNA appear to influence the risk of the disease. However, the biological mechanism underlying this important disease remains unclear. In this paper, we report the identification and functional characterisation of the first gene, mutation in which causes primary angle closure glaucoma in a seven generation Caucasian family. We have identified other variants in the same gene in another family and individuals with the disease. This gene is involved in cell division and is highly expressed in parts of the eye affected by the disease. Mutations in this gene appear to affect important enzyme activity involved in cell division. Identification of the disease-causing role of mutations in this gene helps to further the understanding of glaucoma aetiology and identifies potential therapeutic targets for disease management.

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<![CDATA[Function and regulation of the Caenorhabditis elegans Rab32 family member GLO-1 in lysosome-related organelle biogenesis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bf3295ed5eed0c4843beab4

Cell type-specific modifications of conventional endosomal trafficking pathways lead to the formation of lysosome-related organelles (LROs). C. elegans gut granules are intestinally restricted LROs that coexist with conventional degradative lysosomes. The formation of gut granules requires the Rab32 family member GLO-1. We show that the loss of glo-1 leads to the mistrafficking of gut granule proteins but does not significantly alter conventional endolysosome biogenesis. GLO-3 directly binds to CCZ-1 and they both function to promote the gut granule association of GLO-1, strongly suggesting that together, GLO-3 and CCZ-1 activate GLO-1. We found that a point mutation in GLO-1 predicted to spontaneously activate, and function independently of it guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF), localizes to gut granules and partially restores gut granule protein localization in ccz-1(-) and glo-3(-) mutants. CCZ-1 forms a heterodimeric complex with SAND-1(MON1), which does not function in gut granule formation, to activate RAB-7 in trafficking pathways to conventional lysosomes. Therefore, our data suggest a model whereby the function of a Rab GEF can be altered by subunit exchange. glo-3(-) mutants, which retain low levels of GLO-3 activity, generate gut granules that lack GLO-1 and improperly accumulate RAB-7 in a SAND-1 dependent process. We show that GLO-1 and GLO-3 restrict the distribution of RAB-7 to conventional endolysosomes, providing insights into the segregation of pathways leading to conventional lysosomes and LROs.

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<![CDATA[Release of GTP Exchange Factor Mediated Down-Regulation of Abscisic Acid Signal Transduction through ABA-Induced Rapid Degradation of RopGEFs]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da31ab0ee8fa60b84b27

The phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) is critical to plant development and stress responses. Abiotic stress triggers an ABA signal transduction cascade, which is comprised of the core components PYL/RCAR ABA receptors, PP2C-type protein phosphatases, and protein kinases. Small GTPases of the ROP/RAC family act as negative regulators of ABA signal transduction. However, the mechanisms by which ABA controls the behavior of ROP/RACs have remained unclear. Here, we show that an Arabidopsis guanine nucleotide exchange factor protein RopGEF1 is rapidly sequestered to intracellular particles in response to ABA. GFP-RopGEF1 is sequestered via the endosome-prevacuolar compartment pathway and is degraded. RopGEF1 directly interacts with several clade A PP2C protein phosphatases, including ABI1. Interestingly, RopGEF1 undergoes constitutive degradation in pp2c quadruple abi1/abi2/hab1/pp2ca mutant plants, revealing that active PP2C protein phosphatases protect and stabilize RopGEF1 from ABA-mediated degradation. Interestingly, ABA-mediated degradation of RopGEF1 also plays an important role in ABA-mediated inhibition of lateral root growth. The presented findings point to a PP2C-RopGEF-ROP/RAC control loop model that is proposed to aid in shutting off ABA signal transduction, to counteract leaky ABA signal transduction caused by “monomeric” PYL/RCAR ABA receptors in the absence of stress, and facilitate signaling in response to ABA.

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<![CDATA[Rac1 Activation Caused by Membrane Translocation of a Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factor in Akt2-Mediated Insulin Signaling in Mouse Skeletal Muscle]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da1cab0ee8fa60b7d513

Insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in skeletal muscle is mediated by the glucose transporter GLUT4, which is translocated to the plasma membrane following insulin stimulation. Several lines of evidence suggested that the protein kinase Akt2 plays a key role in this insulin action. The small GTPase Rac1 has also been implicated as a regulator of insulin-stimulated GLUT4 translocation, acting downstream of Akt2. However, the mechanisms whereby Akt2 regulates Rac1 activity remain obscure. The guanine nucleotide exchange factor FLJ00068 has been identified as a direct regulator of Rac1 in Akt2-mediated signaling, but its characterization was performed mostly in cultured myoblasts. Here, we provide in vivo evidence that FLJ00068 indeed acts downstream of Akt2 as a Rac1 regulator by using mouse skeletal muscle. Small interfering RNA knockdown of FLJ00068 markedly diminished GLUT4 translocation to the sarcolemma following insulin administration or ectopic expression of a constitutively activated mutant of either phosphoinositide 3-kinase or Akt2. Additionally, insulin and these constitutively activated mutants caused the activation of Rac1 as shown by immunofluorescent microscopy using a polypeptide probe specific to activated Rac1 in isolated gastrocnemius muscle fibers and frozen sections of gastrocnemius muscle. This Rac1 activation was also abrogated by FLJ00068 knockdown. Furthermore, we observed translocation of FLJ00068 to the cell periphery following insulin stimulation in cultured myoblasts. Localization of FLJ00068 in the plasma membrane in insulin-stimulated, but not unstimulated, myoblasts and mouse gastrocnemius muscle was further affirmed by subcellular fractionation and subsequent immunoblotting. Collectively, these results strongly support a critical role of FLJ00068 in Akt2-mediated Rac1 activation in mouse skeletal muscle insulin signaling.

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<![CDATA[Bistable front dynamics in a contractile medium: Travelling wave fronts and cortical advection define stable zones of RhoA signaling at epithelial adherens junctions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdcdbf

Mechanical coherence of cell layers is essential for epithelia to function as tissue barriers and to control active tissue dynamics during morphogenesis. RhoA signaling at adherens junctions plays a key role in this process by coupling cadherin-based cell-cell adhesion together with actomyosin contractility. Here we propose and analyze a mathematical model representing core interactions involved in the spatial localization of junctional RhoA signaling. We demonstrate how the interplay between biochemical signaling through positive feedback, combined with diffusion on the cell membrane and mechanical forces generated in the cortex, can determine the spatial distribution of RhoA signaling at cell-cell junctions. This dynamical mechanism relies on the balance between a propagating bistable signal that is opposed by an advective flow generated by an actomyosin stress gradient. Experimental observations on the behavior of the system when contractility is inhibited are in qualitative agreement with the predictions of the model.

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<![CDATA[Activation of G Proteins by Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors Relies on GTPase Activity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db24ab0ee8fa60bd0038

G proteins are an important family of signalling molecules controlled by guanine nucleotide exchange and GTPase activity in what is commonly called an ‘activation/inactivation cycle’. The molecular mechanism by which guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) catalyse the activation of monomeric G proteins is well-established, however the complete reversibility of this mechanism is often overlooked. Here, we use a theoretical approach to prove that GEFs are unable to positively control G protein systems at steady-state in the absence of GTPase activity. Instead, positive regulation of G proteins must be seen as a product of the competition between guanine nucleotide exchange and GTPase activity—emphasising a central role for GTPase activity beyond merely signal termination. We conclude that a more accurate description of the regulation of G proteins via these processes is as a ‘balance/imbalance’ mechanism. This result has implications for the understanding of intracellular signalling processes, and for experimental strategies that rely on modulating G protein systems.

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<![CDATA[CDC-42 Orients Cell Migration during Epithelial Intercalation in the Caenorhabditis elegans Epidermis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dabdab0ee8fa60baf703

Cell intercalation is a highly directed cell rearrangement that is essential for animal morphogenesis. As such, intercalation requires orchestration of cell polarity across the plane of the tissue. CDC-42 is a Rho family GTPase with key functions in cell polarity, yet its role during epithelial intercalation has not been established because its roles early in embryogenesis have historically made it difficult to study. To circumvent these early requirements, in this paper we use tissue-specific and conditional loss-of-function approaches to identify a role for CDC-42 during intercalation of the Caenorhabditis elegans dorsal embryonic epidermis. CDC-42 activity is enriched in the medial tips of intercalating cells, which extend as cells migrate past one another. Moreover, CDC-42 is involved in both the efficient formation and orientation of cell tips during cell rearrangement. Using conditional loss-of-function we also show that the PAR complex functions in tip formation and orientation. Additionally, we find that the sole C. elegans Eph receptor, VAB-1, functions during this process in an Ephrin-independent manner. Using epistasis analysis, we find that vab-1 lies in the same genetic pathway as cdc-42 and is responsible for polarizing CDC-42 activity to the medial tip. Together, these data establish a previously uncharacterized role for polarized CDC-42, in conjunction with PAR-6, PAR-3 and an Eph receptor, during epithelial intercalation.

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<![CDATA[Phospholipase Cε Modulates Rap1 Activity and the Endothelial Barrier]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db1eab0ee8fa60bcec68

The phosphoinositide-specific phospholipase C, PLCε, is a unique signaling protein with known roles in regulating cardiac myocyte growth, astrocyte inflammatory signaling, and tumor formation. PLCε is also expressed in endothelial cells, however its role in endothelial regulation is not fully established. We show that endothelial cells of multiple origins, including human pulmonary artery (HPAEC), human umbilical vein (HUVEC), and immortalized brain microvascular (hCMEC/D3) endothelial cells, express PLCε. Knockdown of PLCε in arterial endothelial monolayers decreased the effectiveness of the endothelial barrier. Concomitantly, RhoA activity and stress fiber formation were increased. PLCε-deficient arterial endothelial cells also exhibited decreased Rap1-GTP levels, which could be restored by activation of the Rap1 GEF, Epac, to rescue the increase in monolayer leak. Reintroduction of PLCε rescued monolayer leak with both the CDC25 GEF domain and the lipase domain of PLCε required to fully activate Rap1 and to rescue endothelial barrier function. Finally, we demonstrate that the barrier promoting effects PLCε are dependent on Rap1 signaling through the Rap1 effector, KRIT1, which we have previously shown is vital for maintaining endothelial barrier stability. Thus we have described a novel role for PLCε PIP2 hydrolytic and Rap GEF activities in arterial endothelial cells, where PLCε-dependent activation of Rap1/KRIT1 signaling promotes endothelial barrier stability.

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<![CDATA[Vimar Is a Novel Regulator of Mitochondrial Fission through Miro]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da74ab0ee8fa60b95fe5

As fundamental processes in mitochondrial dynamics, mitochondrial fusion, fission and transport are regulated by several core components, including Miro. As an atypical Rho-like small GTPase with high molecular mass, the exchange of GDP/GTP in Miro may require assistance from a guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF). However, the GEF for Miro has not been identified. While studying mitochondrial morphology in Drosophila, we incidentally observed that the loss of vimar, a gene encoding an atypical GEF, enhanced mitochondrial fission under normal physiological conditions. Because Vimar could co-immunoprecipitate with Miro in vitro, we speculated that Vimar might be the GEF of Miro. In support of this hypothesis, a loss-of-function (LOF) vimar mutant rescued mitochondrial enlargement induced by a gain-of-function (GOF) Miro transgene; whereas a GOF vimar transgene enhanced Miro function. In addition, vimar lost its effect under the expression of a constitutively GTP-bound or GDP-bound Miro mutant background. These results indicate a genetic dependence of vimar on Miro. Moreover, we found that mitochondrial fission played a functional role in high-calcium induced necrosis, and a LOF vimar mutant rescued the mitochondrial fission defect and cell death. This result can also be explained by vimar's function through Miro, because Miro’s effect on mitochondrial morphology is altered upon binding with calcium. In addition, a PINK1 mutant, which induced mitochondrial enlargement and had been considered as a Drosophila model of Parkinson’s disease (PD), caused fly muscle defects, and the loss of vimar could rescue these defects. Furthermore, we found that the mammalian homolog of Vimar, RAP1GDS1, played a similar role in regulating mitochondrial morphology, suggesting a functional conservation of this GEF member. The Miro/Vimar complex may be a promising drug target for diseases in which mitochondrial fission and fusion are dysfunctional.

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<![CDATA[Activation of MAPK/ERK signaling by Burkholderia pseudomallei cycle inhibiting factor (Cif)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdb9ca

Cycle inhibiting factors (Cifs) are virulence proteins secreted by the type III secretion system of some Gram-negative pathogenic bacteria including Burkholderia pseudomallei. Cif is known to function to deamidate Nedd8, leading to inhibition of Cullin E3 ubiquitin ligases (CRL) and consequently induction of cell cycle arrest. Here we show that Cif can function as a potent activator of MAPK/ERK signaling without significant activation of other signaling pathways downstream of receptor tyrosine kinases. Importantly, we found that the ability of Cif to activate ERK is dependent on its deamidase activity, but independent of Cullin E3 ligase inhibition. This suggests that apart from Nedd8, other cellular targets of Cif-dependent deamidation exist. We provide evidence that the mechanism involved in Cif-mediated ERK activation is dependent on recruitment of the Grb2-SOS1 complex to the plasma membrane. Further investigation revealed that Cif appears to modify the phosphorylation status of SOS1 in a region containing the CDC25-H and proline-rich domains. It is known that prolonged Cullin E3 ligase inhibition leads to cellular apoptosis. Therefore, we hypothesize that ERK activation is an important mechanism to counter the pro-apoptotic effects of Cif. Indeed, we show that Cif dependent ERK activation promotes phosphorylation of the proapoptotic protein Bim, thereby potentially conferring a pro-survival signal. In summary, we identified a novel deamidation-dependent mechanism of action of the B. pseudomallei virulence factor Cif/CHBP to activate MAPK/ERK signaling. Our study demonstrates that bacterial proteins such as Cif can serve as useful molecular tools to uncover novel aspects of mammalian signaling pathways.

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<![CDATA[Paradoxical Sensitivity to an Integrated Stress Response Blocking Mutation in Vanishing White Matter Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da8eab0ee8fa60b9f37f

The eukaryotic translation initiation factor eIF2B promotes mRNA translation as a guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) for translation initiation factor 2 (eIF2). Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-mediated activation of the kinase PERK and the resultant phosphorylation of eIF2’s alpha subunit (eIF2α) attenuates eIF2B GEF activity thereby inducing an integrated stress response (ISR) that defends against protein misfolding in the ER. Mutations in all five subunits of human eIF2B cause an inherited leukoencephalopathy with vanishing white matter (VWM), but the role of the ISR in its pathogenesis remains unclear. Using CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing we introduced the most severe known VWM mutation, EIF2B4A391D, into CHO cells. Compared to isogenic wildtype cells, GEF activity of cells with the VWM mutation was impaired and the mutant cells experienced modest enhancement of the ISR. However, despite their enhanced ISR, imposed by the intrinsic defect in eIF2B, disrupting the inhibitory effect of phosphorylated eIF2α on GEF by a contravening EIF2S1/eIF2αS51A mutation that functions upstream of eIF2B, selectively enfeebled both EIF2B4A391D and the related severe VWM EIF2B4R483W cells. The basis for paradoxical dependence of cells with the VWM mutations on an intact eIF2α genotype remains unclear, as both translation rates and survival from stressors that normally activate the ISR were not reproducibly affected by the VWM mutations. Nonetheless, our findings support an additional layer of complexity in the development of VWM, beyond a hyperactive ISR.

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