A mechanistic understanding of signaling networks requires identification and analysis of phosphorylation sites. Mass spectrometry offers a rapid and highly sensitive approach to mapping phosphorylation sites. However, mass spectrometry has significant limitations that must be considered when planning to carry out phosphorylation-site mapping. Here we provide an overview of key information that should be taken into consideration before beginning phosphorylation-site analysis, as well as a step-by-step guide for carrying out successful experiments.
The mitochondrial intermembrane space assembly (MIA) pathway is generally considered to be dedicated to the redox-dependent import and biogenesis of proteins localized to the intermembrane space of mitochondria. The oxidoreductase Mia40 is a central component of the pathway responsible for the transfer of disulfide bonds to intermembrane space precursor proteins, causing their oxidative folding. Here we present the first evidence that the function of Mia40 is not restricted to the transport and oxidative folding of intermembrane space proteins. We identify Tim22, a multispanning membrane protein and core component of the TIM22 translocase of inner membrane, as a protein with cysteine residues undergoing oxidation during Tim22 biogenesis. We show that Mia40 is involved in the biogenesis and complex assembly of Tim22. Tim22 forms a disulfide-bonded intermediate with Mia40 upon import into mitochondria. Of interest, Mia40 binds the Tim22 precursor also via noncovalent interactions. We propose that Mia40 not only is responsible for disulfide bond formation, but also assists the Tim22 protein in its integration into the inner membrane of mitochondria.
The planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway controls multiple cellular processes during vertebrate development. Recently the PCP pathway was implicated in ciliogenesis and in ciliary function. The primary cilium is an apically projecting solitary organelle that is generated via polarized intracellular trafficking. Because it acts as a signaling nexus, defects in ciliogenesis or cilial function cause multiple congenital anomalies in vertebrates. Loss of the PCP effector Fuzzy affects PCP signaling and formation of primary cilia; however, the mechanisms underlying these processes are largely unknown. Here we report that Fuzzy localizes to the basal body and ciliary axoneme and is essential for ciliogenesis by delivering Rab8 to the basal body and primary cilium. Fuzzy appears to control subcellular localization of the core PCP protein Dishevelled, recruiting it to Rab8-positive vesicles and to the basal body and cilium. We show that loss of Fuzzy results in inhibition of PCP signaling and hyperactivation of the canonical WNT pathway. We propose a mechanism by which Fuzzy participates in ciliogenesis and affects both canonical WNT and PCP signaling.
In all eukaryotic cells, DNA is packaged into multiple chromosomes that are linked to microtubules through a large protein complex called a kinetochore. Previous data show that the kinetochores are clustered together during most of the cell cycle, but the mechanism and the biological significance of kinetochore clustering are unknown. As a kinetochore protein in budding yeast, the role of Slk19 in the stability of the anaphase spindle has been well studied, but its function in chromosome segregation has remained elusive. Here we show that Slk19 is required for kinetochore clustering when yeast cells are treated with the microtubule-depolymerizing agent nocodazole. We further find that slk19Δ mutant cells exhibit delayed kinetochore capture and chromosome bipolar attachment after the disruption of the kinetochore–microtubule interaction by nocodazole, which is likely attributed to defective kinetochore clustering. In addition, we show that Slk19 interacts with itself, suggesting that the dimerization of Slk19 may mediate the interaction between kinetochores for clustering. Therefore Slk19 likely acts as kinetochore glue that clusters kinetochores to facilitate efficient and faithful chromosome segregation.
Meiosis involves two successive rounds of chromosome segregation without an intervening S phase. Exit from meiosis I is distinct from mitotic exit, in that replication origins are not licensed by Mcm2-7 chromatin binding, but spindle disassembly occurs during a transient interphase-like state before meiosis II. The absence of licensing is assumed to explain the block to DNA replication, but this has not been formally tested. Here we attempt to subvert this block by expressing the licensing control factors Cdc18 and Cdt1 during the interval between meiotic nuclear divisions. Surprisingly, this leads only to a partial round of DNA replication, even when these factors are overexpressed and effect clear Mcm2-7 chromatin binding. Combining Cdc18 and Cdt1 expression with modulation of cyclin-dependent kinase activity, activation of Dbf4-dependent kinase, or deletion of the Spd1 inhibitor of ribonucleotide reductase has little additional effect on the extent of DNA replication. Single-molecule analysis indicates this partial round of replication results from inefficient progression of replication forks, and thus both initiation and elongation replication steps may be inhibited in late meiosis. In addition, DNA replication or damage during the meiosis I–II interval fails to arrest meiotic progress, suggesting absence of checkpoint regulation of meiosis II entry.
The length of Chlamydomonas flagella is tightly regulated. Mutations in four genes—LF1, LF2, LF3, and LF4—cause cells to assemble flagella up to three times wild-type length. LF2 and LF4 encode protein kinases. Here we describe a new gene, LF5, in which null mutations cause cells to assemble flagella of excess length. The LF5 gene encodes a protein kinase very similar in sequence to the protein kinase CDKL5. In humans, mutations in this kinase cause a severe form of juvenile epilepsy. The LF5 protein localizes to a unique location: the proximal 1 μm of the flagella. The proximal localization of the LF5 protein is lost when genes that make up the proteins in the cytoplasmic length regulatory complex (LRC)—LF1, LF2, and LF3—are mutated. In these mutants LF5p becomes localized either at the distal tip of the flagella or along the flagellar length, indicating that length regulation involves, at least in part, control of LF5p localization by the LRC.
We identify cpna-1 (F31D5.3) as a novel essential muscle gene in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Antibodies specific to copine domain protein atypical-1 (CPNA-1), as well as a yellow fluorescent protein translational fusion, are localized to integrin attachment sites (M-lines and dense bodies) in the body-wall muscle of C. elegans. CPNA-1 contains an N-terminal predicted transmembrane domain and a C-terminal copine domain and binds to the M-line/dense body protein PAT-6 (actopaxin) and the M-line proteins UNC-89 (obscurin), LIM-9 (FHL), SCPL-1 (SCP), and UNC-96. Proper CPNA-1 localization is dependent upon PAT-6 in embryonic and adult muscle. Nematodes lacking cpna-1 arrest elongation at the twofold stage of embryogenesis and display disruption of the myofilament lattice. The thick-filament component myosin heavy chain MYO-3 and the M-line component UNC-89 are initially localized properly in cpna-1–null embryos. However, in these embryos, when contraction begins, MYO-3 and UNC-89 become mislocalized into large foci and animals die. We propose that CPNA-1 acts as a linker between an integrin-associated protein, PAT-6, and membrane-distal components of integrin adhesion complexes in the muscle of C. elegans.
Rab1b belongs to the Rab-GTPase family that regulates membrane trafficking and signal transduction systems able to control diverse cellular activities, including gene expression. Rab1b is essential for endoplasmic reticulum–Golgi transport. Although it is ubiquitously expressed, its mRNA levels vary among different tissues. This work aims to characterize the role of the high Rab1b levels detected in some secretory tissues. We report that, in HeLa cells, an increase in Rab1b levels induces changes in Golgi size and gene expression. Significantly, analyses applied to selected genes, KDELR3, GM130 (involved in membrane transport), and the proto-oncogene JUN, indicate that the Rab1b increase acts as a molecular switch to control the expression of these genes at the transcriptional level, resulting in changes at the protein level. These Rab1b-dependent changes require the activity of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and the cAMP-responsive element-binding protein consensus binding site in those target promoter regions. Moreover, our results reveal that, in a secretory thyroid cell line (FRTL5), Rab1b expression increases in response to thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). Additionally, changes in Rab1b expression in FRTL5 cells modify the specific TSH response. Our results show, for the first time, that changes in Rab1b levels modulate gene transcription and strongly suggest that a Rab1b increase is required to elicit a secretory response.
Proteins that fail to fold in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) are subjected to ER-associated degradation (ERAD). Certain transmembrane ERAD substrates are segregated into specialized ER subdomains, termed ER-associated compartments (ERACs), before targeting to ubiquitin–proteasome degradation. The traffic-independent function of several proteins involved in COPII-mediated ER-to-Golgi transport have been implicated in the segregation of exogenously expressed human cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) into ERACs in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Here we focus on the properties of COPII components in the sequestration of enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)–CFTR into ERACs. It has been demonstrated that the temperature-sensitive growth defects in many COPII mutants can be suppressed by overexpressing other genes involved in COPII vesicle formation. However, we show that these suppression abilities are not always correlated with the ability to rescue the ERAC formation defect, suggesting that COPII-mediated EGFP-CFTR entry into ERACs is independent of its ER-to-Golgi trafficking function. In addition to COPII machinery, we find that ER-associated Hsp40s are also involved in the sequestration process by directly interacting with EGFP-CFTR. COPII components and ER-associated Hsp40, Hlj1p, act in the same pathway to sequester EGFP-CFTR into ERACs. Our findings point to an as-yet-undefined role of COPII proteins in the formation of ERACs.
The Rab11-family interacting proteins (Rab11-FIPs) facilitate Rab11-dependent vesicle recycling. We hypothesized that Rab11-FIPs define discrete subdomains and carry out temporally distinct roles within the recycling system. We used live-cell deconvolution microscopy of HeLa cells expressing chimeric fluorescent Rab11-FIPs to examine Rab11-FIP localization, transferrin passage through Rab11-FIP–containing compartments, and overlap among Rab11-FIPs within the recycling system. FIP1A, FIP2, and FIP5 occupy widely distributed mobile tubules and vesicles, whereas FIP1B, FIP1C, and FIP3 localize to perinuclear tubules. Internalized transferrin entered Rab11-FIP–containing compartments within 5 min, reaching maximum colocalization with FIP1B and FIP2 early in the time course, whereas localization with FIP1A, FIP1C, FIP3, and FIP5 was delayed until 10 min or later. Whereas direct interactions with FIP1A were only observed for FIP1B and FIP1C, FIP1A also associated with membranes containing FIP3. Live-cell dual-expression studies of Rab11-FIPs revealed the tubular dynamics of Rab11-FIP–containing compartments and demonstrated a series of selective associations among Rab11-FIPs in real time. These findings suggest that Rab11-FIP1 proteins participate in spatially and temporally distinct steps of the recycling process along a complex and dynamic tubular network in which Rab11-FIPs occupy discrete domains.
Several mitochondrial outer membrane proteins—mitochondrial fission protein 1 (Fis1), mitochondrial fission factor (Mff), mitochondrial dynamics proteins of 49 and 51 kDa (MiD49 and MiD51, respectively)—have been proposed to promote mitochondrial fission by recruiting the GTPase dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1), but fundamental issues remain concerning their function. A recent study supported such a role for Mff but not for Fis1. In addition, it is unclear whether MiD49 and MiD51 activate or inhibit fission, because their overexpression causes extensive mitochondrial elongation. It is also unknown whether these proteins can act in the absence of one another to mediate fission. Using Fis1-null, Mff-null, and Fis1/Mff-null cells, we show that both Fis1 and Mff have roles in mitochondrial fission. Moreover, immunofluorescence analysis of Drp1 suggests that Fis1 and Mff are important for the number and size of Drp1 puncta on mitochondria. Finally, we find that either MiD49 or MiD51 can mediate Drp1 recruitment and mitochondrial fission in the absence of Fis1 and Mff. These results demonstrate that multiple receptors can recruit Drp1 to mediate mitochondrial fission.