Identification of APC2, a homologue of the adenomatous polyposis coli tumour suppressor. (1/9127)

The adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) tumour-suppressor protein controls the Wnt signalling pathway by forming a complex with glycogen synthase kinase 3beta (GSK-3beta), axin/conductin and betacatenin. Complex formation induces the rapid degradation of betacatenin. In colon carcinoma cells, loss of APC leads to the accumulation of betacatenin in the nucleus, where it binds to and activates the Tcf-4 transcription factor (reviewed in [1] [2]). Here, we report the identification and genomic structure of APC homologues. Mammalian APC2, which closely resembles APC in overall domain structure, was functionally analyzed and shown to contain two SAMP domains, both of which are required for binding to conductin. Like APC, APC2 regulates the formation of active betacatenin-Tcf complexes, as demonstrated using transient transcriptional activation assays in APC -/- colon carcinoma cells. Human APC2 maps to chromosome 19p13.3. APC and APC2 may therefore have comparable functions in development and cancer.  (+info)

Alzheimer's disease: clues from flies and worms. (2/9127)

Presenilin mutations give rise to familial Alzheimer's disease and result in elevated production of amyloid beta peptide. Recent evidence that presenilins act in developmental signalling pathways may be the key to understanding how senile plaques, neurofibrillary tangles and apoptosis are all biochemically linked.  (+info)

Vac1p coordinates Rab and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase signaling in Vps45p-dependent vesicle docking/fusion at the endosome. (3/9127)

The vacuolar protein sorting (VPS) pathway of Saccharomyces cerevisiae mediates transport of vacuolar protein precursors from the late Golgi to the lysosome-like vacuole. Sorting of some vacuolar proteins occurs via a prevacuolar endosomal compartment and mutations in a subset of VPS genes (the class D VPS genes) interfere with the Golgi-to-endosome transport step. Several of the encoded proteins, including Pep12p/Vps6p (an endosomal target (t) SNARE) and Vps45p (a Sec1p homologue), bind each other directly [1]. Another of these proteins, Vac1p/Pep7p/Vps19p, associates with Pep12p and binds phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate (PI(3)P), the product of the Vps34 phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) [1] [2]. Here, we demonstrate that Vac1p genetically and physically interacts with the activated, GTP-bound form of Vps21p, a Rab GTPase that functions in Golgi-to-endosome transport, and with Vps45p. These results implicate Vac1p as an effector of Vps21p and as a novel Sec1p-family-binding protein. We suggest that Vac1p functions as a multivalent adaptor protein that ensures the high fidelity of vesicle docking and fusion by integrating both phosphoinositide (Vps34p) and GTPase (Vps21p) signals, which are essential for Pep12p- and Vps45p-dependent targeting of Golgi-derived vesicles to the prevacuolar endosome.  (+info)

Deletion analysis of the Drosophila Inscuteable protein reveals domains for cortical localization and asymmetric localization. (4/9127)

The Drosophila Inscuteable protein acts as a key regulator of asymmetric cell division during the development of the nervous system [1] [2]. In neuroblasts, Inscuteable localizes into an apical cortical crescent during late interphase and most of mitosis. During mitosis, Inscuteable is required for the correct apical-basal orientation of the mitotic spindle and for the asymmetric segregation of the proteins Numb [3] [4] [5], Prospero [5] [6] [7] and Miranda [8] [9] into the basal daughter cell. When Inscuteable is ectopically expressed in epidermal cells, which normally orient their mitotic spindle parallel to the embryo surface, these cells reorient their mitotic spindle and divide perpendicularly to the surface [1]. Like the Inscuteable protein, the inscuteable RNA is asymmetrically localized [10]. We show here that inscuteable RNA localization is not required for Inscuteable protein localization. We found that a central 364 amino acid domain - the Inscuteable asymmetry domain - was necessary and sufficient for Inscuteable localization and function. Within this domain, a separate 100 amino acid region was required for asymmetric localization along the cortex, whereas a 158 amino acid region directed localization to the cell cortex. The same 158 amino acid fragment could localize asymmetrically when coexpressed with the full-length protein, however, and could bind to Inscuteable in vitro, suggesting that this domain may be involved in the self-association of Inscuteable in vivo.  (+info)

Evidence for F-actin-dependent and -independent mechanisms involved in assembly and stability of the medial actomyosin ring in fission yeast. (5/9127)

Cell division in a number of eukaryotes, including the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, is achieved through a medially placed actomyosin-based contractile ring. Although several components of the actomyosin ring have been identified, the mechanisms regulating ring assembly are still not understood. Here, we show by biochemical and mutational studies that the S.pombe actomyosin ring component Cdc4p is a light chain associated with Myo2p, a myosin II heavy chain. Localization of Myo2p to the medial ring depended on Cdc4p function, whereas localization of Cdc4p at the division site was independent of Myo2p. Interestingly, the actin-binding and motor domains of Myo2p are not required for its accumulation at the division site although the motor activity of Myo2p is essential for assembly of a normal actomyosin ring. The initial assembly of Myo2p and Cdc4p at the division site requires a functional F-actin cytoskeleton. Once established, however, F-actin is not required for the maintenance of Cdc4p and Myo2p medial rings, suggesting that the attachment of Cdc4p and Myo2p to the division site involves proteins other than actin itself.  (+info)

Binding of the G domains of laminin alpha1 and alpha2 chains and perlecan to heparin, sulfatides, alpha-dystroglycan and several extracellular matrix proteins. (6/9127)

The C-terminal G domain of the mouse laminin alpha2 chain consists of five lamin-type G domain (LG) modules (alpha2LG1 to alpha2LG5) and was obtained as several recombinant fragments, corresponding to either individual modules or the tandem arrays alpha2LG1-3 and alpha2LG4-5. These fragments were compared with similar modules from the laminin alpha1 chain and from the C-terminal region of perlecan (PGV) in several binding studies. Major heparin-binding sites were located on the two tandem fragments and the individual alpha2LG1, alpha2LG3 and alpha2LG5 modules. The binding epitope on alpha2LG5 could be localized to a cluster of lysines by site-directed mutagenesis. In the alpha1 chain, however, strong heparin binding was found on alpha1LG4 and not on alpha1LG5. Binding to sulfatides correlated to heparin binding in most but not all cases. Fragments alpha2LG1-3 and alpha2LG4-5 also bound to fibulin-1, fibulin-2 and nidogen-2 with Kd = 13-150 nM. Both tandem fragments, but not the individual modules, bound strongly to alpha-dystroglycan and this interaction was abolished by EDTA but not by high concentrations of heparin and NaCl. The binding of perlecan fragment PGV to alpha-dystroglycan was even stronger and was also not sensitive to heparin. This demonstrated similar binding repertoires for the LG modules of three basement membrane proteins involved in cell-matrix interactions and supramolecular assembly.  (+info)

A human sequence homologue of Staufen is an RNA-binding protein that is associated with polysomes and localizes to the rough endoplasmic reticulum. (7/9127)

In the course of a two-hybrid screen with the NS1 protein of influenza virus, a human clone capable of coding for a protein with high homology to the Staufen protein from Drosophila melanogaster (dmStaufen) was identified. With these sequences used as a probe, cDNAs were isolated from a lambda cDNA library. The encoded protein (hStaufen-like) contained four double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-binding domains with 55% similarity and 38% identity to those of dmStaufen, including identity at all residues involved in RNA binding. A recombinant protein containing all dsRNA-binding domains was expressed in Escherichia coli as a His-tagged polypeptide. It showed dsRNA binding activity in vitro, with an apparent Kd of 10(-9) M. Using a specific antibody, we detected in human cells a major form of the hStaufen-like protein with an apparent molecular mass of 60 to 65 kDa. The intracellular localization of hStaufen-like protein was investigated by immunofluorescence using a series of markers for the cell compartments. Colocalization was observed with the rough endoplasmic reticulum but not with endosomes, cytoskeleton, or Golgi apparatus. Furthermore, sedimentation analyses indicated that hStaufen-like protein associates with polysomes. These results are discussed in relation to the possible functions of the protein.  (+info)

The human F box protein beta-Trcp associates with the Cul1/Skp1 complex and regulates the stability of beta-catenin. (8/9127)

Ubiquitin-conjugation targets numerous cellular regulators for proteasome-mediated degradation. Thus, the identification of ubiquitin ligases and their physiological substrates is crucially important, especially for those cases in which aberrant levels of regulatory proteins (e.g., beta-catenin, p27) result from a deregulated ubiquitination pathway. In yeast, the proteolysis of several G1 regulators is controlled by ubiquitin ligases (or SCFs) formed by three subunits: Skp1, Cul A (Cdc53), and one of many F-box proteins. Specific F-box proteins (Fbps) recruit different substrates to the SCF. Although many Fbps have been identified in mammals, their specific substrates and the existence of multiple SCFs have not yet been reported. We have found that one human Fbp, beta-Trcp (beta-Transducin repeat containing protein), does indeed form a novel SCF with human Skp1 and Cul1. Consistent with recent reports indicating that Xenopus and Drosophila beta-Trcp homologs act as negative regulators of the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway, we report here that human beta-Trcp interacts with beta-catenin in vivo. Furthermore, beta-catenin is specifically stabilized in vivo by the expression of a dominant negative beta-Trcp. These results indicate that the Cul1/Skp1/beta-Trcp complex forms a ubiquitin ligase that mediates the degradation of beta-catenin.  (+info)