A Drosophila TNF-receptor-associated factor (TRAF) binds the ste20 kinase Misshapen and activates Jun kinase.
Two families of protein kinases that are closely related to Ste20 in their kinase domain have been identified - the p21-activated protein kinase (Pak) and SPS1 families [1-3]. In contrast to Pak family members, SPS1 family members do not bind and are not activated by GTP-bound p21Rac and Cdc42. We recently placed a member of the SPS1 family, called Misshapen (Msn), genetically upstream of the c-Jun amino-terminal (JNK) mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase module in Drosophila . The failure to activate JNK in Drosophila leads to embryonic lethality due to the failure of these embryos to stimulate dorsal closure [5-8]. Msn probably functions as a MAP kinase kinase kinase kinase in Drosophila, activating the JNK pathway via an, as yet, undefined MAP kinase kinase kinase. We have identified a Drosophila TNF-receptor-associated factor, DTRAF1, by screening for Msn-interacting proteins using the yeast two-hybrid system. In contrast to the mammalian TRAFs that have been shown to activate JNK, DTRAF1 lacks an amino-terminal 'Ring-finger' domain, and overexpression of a truncated DTRAF1, consisting of only its TRAF domain, activates JNK. We also identified another DTRAF, DTRAF2, that contains an amino-terminal Ring-finger domain. Msn specifically binds the TRAF domain of DTRAF1 but not that of DTRAF2. In Drosophila, DTRAF1 is thus a good candidate for an upstream molecule that regulates the JNK pathway by interacting with, and activating, Msn. Consistent with this idea, expression of a dominant-negative Msn mutant protein blocks the activation of JNK by DTRAF1. Furthermore, coexpression of Msn with DTRAF1 leads to the synergistic activation of JNK. We have extended some of these observations to the mammalian homolog of Msn, Nck-interacting kinase (NIK), suggesting that TRAFs also play a critical role in regulating Ste20 kinases in mammals. (+info
Vac1p coordinates Rab and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase signaling in Vps45p-dependent vesicle docking/fusion at the endosome.
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 . 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)  . 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
B-MYB transactivates its own promoter through SP1-binding sites.
B-MYB is an ubiquitous protein required for mammalian cell growth. In this report we show that B-MYB transactivates its own promoter through a 120 bp segment proximal to the transcription start site. The B-MYB-responsive element does not contain myb-binding sites and gel-shift analysis shows that SP1, but not B-MYB, protein contained in SAOS2 cell extracts binds to the 120 bp B-myb promoter fragment. B-MYB-dependent transactivation is cooperatively increased in the presence of SP1, but not SP3 overexpression. When the SP1 elements of the B-myb promoter are transferred in front of a heterologous promoter, an increased response to B-MYB results. In contrast, c-MYB, the prototype member of the Myb family, is not able to activate the luciferase construct containing the SP1 elements. With the use of an SP1-GAL4 fusion protein, we have determined that the cooperative activation occurs through the domain A of SP1. These observations suggest that B-MYB functions as a coactivator of SP1, and that diverse combinations of myb and SP1 sites may dictate the responsiveness of myb-target genes to the various members of the myb family. (+info
Evidence for F-actin-dependent and -independent mechanisms involved in assembly and stability of the medial actomyosin ring in fission yeast.
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
The exocyst is an effector for Sec4p, targeting secretory vesicles to sites of exocytosis.
Polarized secretion requires proper targeting of secretory vesicles to specific sites on the plasma membrane. Here we report that the exocyst complex plays a key role in vesicle targeting. Sec15p, an exocyst component, can associate with secretory vesicles and interact specifically with the rab GTPase, Sec4p, in its GTP-bound form. A chain of protein-protein interactions leads from Sec4p and Sec15p on the vesicle, through various subunits of the exocyst, to Sec3p, which marks the sites of exocytosis on the plasma membrane. Sec4p may control the assembly of the exocyst. The exocyst may therefore function as a rab effector system for targeted secretion. (+info
Cooperative binding of heat shock factor to the yeast HSP82 promoter in vivo and in vitro.
Previous work has shown that heat shock factor (HSF) plays a central role in remodeling the chromatin structure of the yeast HSP82 promoter via constitutive interactions with its high-affinity binding site, heat shock element 1 (HSE1). The HSF-HSE1 interaction is also critical for stimulating both basal (noninduced) and induced transcription. By contrast, the function of the adjacent, inducibly occupied HSE2 and -3 is unknown. In this study, we examined the consequences of mutations in HSE1, HSE2, and HSE3 on HSF binding and transactivation. We provide evidence that in vivo, HSF binds to these three sites cooperatively. This cooperativity is seen both before and after heat shock, is required for full inducibility, and can be recapitulated in vitro on both linear and supercoiled templates. Quantitative in vitro footprinting reveals that occupancy of HSE2 and -3 by Saccharomyces cerevisiae HSF (ScHSF) is enhanced approximately 100-fold through cooperative interactions with the HSF-HSE1 complex. HSE1 point mutants, whose basal transcription is virtually abolished, are functionally compensated by cooperative interactions with HSE2 and -3 following heat shock, resulting in robust inducibility. Using a competition binding assay, we show that the affinity of recombinant HSF for the full-length HSP82 promoter is reduced nearly an order of magnitude by a single-point mutation within HSE1, paralleling the effect of these mutations on noninduced transcript levels. We propose that the remodeled chromatin phenotype previously shown for HSE1 point mutants (and lost in HSE1 deletion mutants) stems from the retention of productive, cooperative interactions between HSF and its target binding sites. (+info
The histone acetylase PCAF is a phorbol-ester-inducible coactivator of the IRF family that confers enhanced interferon responsiveness.
Transcription factors of the interferon regulatory factor (IRF) family bind to the type I interferon (IFN)-responsive element (ISRE) and activate transcription from IFN-inducible genes. To identify cofactors that associate with IRF proteins, DNA affinity binding assays were performed with nuclear extracts prepared from tissue culture cells. The results demonstrated that the endogenous IRFs bound to the ISRE are complexed with the histone acetylases, PCAF, GCN5, and p300/CREB binding protein and that histone acetylase activities are accumulated on the IRF-ISRE complexes. By testing recombinant proteins, we show that PCAF directly binds to some but not all members of the IRF family through distinct domains of the two proteins. This interaction was functionally significant, since transfection of PCAF strongly enhanced IRF-1- and IRF-2-dependent promoter activities. Further studies showed that expression of PCAF and other histone acetylases was markedly induced in U937 cells upon phorbol ester treatment, which led to increased recruitment of PCAF to the IRF-ISRE complexes. Coinciding with the induction of histone acetylases, phorbol ester markedly enhanced IFN-alpha-stimulated gene expression in U937 cells. Supporting the role for PCAF in conferring IFN responsiveness, transfection of PCAF into U937 cells led to a large increase in IFN-alpha-inducible promoter activity. These results demonstrate that PCAF is a phorbol ester-inducible coactivator of the IRF proteins which contributes to the establishment of type I IFN responsiveness. (+info
The 3'-->5' exonucleases of DNA polymerases delta and epsilon and the 5'-->3' exonuclease Exo1 have major roles in postreplication mutation avoidance in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Replication fidelity is controlled by DNA polymerase proofreading and postreplication mismatch repair. We have genetically characterized the roles of the 5'-->3' Exo1 and the 3'-->5' DNA polymerase exonucleases in mismatch repair in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae by using various genetic backgrounds and highly sensitive mutation detection systems that are based on long and short homonucleotide runs. Genetic interactions were examined among DNA polymerase epsilon (pol2-4) and delta (pol3-01) mutants defective in 3'-->5' proofreading exonuclease, mutants defective in the 5'-->3' exonuclease Exo1, and mismatch repair mutants (msh2, msh3, or msh6). These three exonucleases play an important role in mutation avoidance. Surprisingly, the mutation rate in an exo1 pol3-01 mutant was comparable to that in an msh2 pol3-01 mutant, suggesting that they participate directly in postreplication mismatch repair as well as in other DNA metabolic processes. (+info