Membrane fusion: structure snared at last.
The structure of the core of the neuronal 'SNARE complex', involved in neurotransmitter release, has been determined recently. Its topological similarity to viral fusion proteins suggests how the SNARE complex might facilitate membrane fusion. (+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)
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)
The endosome fusion regulator early-endosomal autoantigen 1 (EEA1) is a dimer.
EEA1, an early-endosomal protein originally identified as an autoantigen, is essential for endocytic membrane fusion. It interacts with early endosomes via binding to the membrane lipid phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate (PtdIns3P) and the active form of the small GTPase Rab5. Most of the EEA1 sequence contains heptad repeats characteristic of proteins involved in coiled-coil protein-protein interactions. Here we have investigated the ability of EEA1 to self-interact. Crosslinking of cytosolic and recombinant EEA1 resulted in the disappearance of the 180-kDa monomer in SDS/PAGE and the strong appearance of a approximately 350-kDa crosslinked product. Glycerol gradient centrifugation experiments indicated that native EEA1 had the same hydrodynamic properties as the approximately 350-kDa crosslinked complex. Two-hybrid analysis indicated that N- and C-terminal fragments of EEA1 can interact with themselves, but not with each other, suggesting that EEA1 forms parallel coiled-coil dimers. The ability of the C-terminus of EEA1 to dimerize correlates with its ability to bind to Rab5 and early endosomes, whereas its binding to PtdIns3P is independent of dimerization. These data enable us to propose a model for the quaternary structure of EEA1. (+info)
Structural basis of Rab effector specificity: crystal structure of the small G protein Rab3A complexed with the effector domain of rabphilin-3A.
The small G protein Rab3A plays an important role in the regulation of neurotransmitter release. The crystal structure of activated Rab3A/GTP/Mg2+ bound to the effector domain of rabphilin-3A was solved to 2.6 A resolution. Rabphilin-3A contacts Rab3A in two distinct areas. The first interface involves the Rab3A switch I and switch II regions, which are sensitive to the nucleotide-binding state of Rab3A. The second interface consists of a deep pocket in Rab3A that interacts with a SGAWFF structural element of rabphilin-3A. Sequence and structure analysis, and biochemical data suggest that this pocket, or Rab complementarity-determining region (RabCDR), establishes a specific interaction between each Rab protein and its effectors. RabCDRs could be major determinants of effector specificity during vesicle trafficking and fusion. (+info)
SNARE interactions are not selective. Implications for membrane fusion specificity.
The SNARE hypothesis proposes that membrane trafficking specificity is mediated by preferential high affinity interactions between particular v (vesicle membrane)- and t (target membrane)-SNARE combinations. The specificity of interactions among a diverse set of SNAREs, however, is unknown. We have tested the SNARE hypothesis by analyzing potential SNARE complexes between five proteins of the vesicle-associated membrane protein (VAMP) family, three members of the synaptosome-associated protein-25 (SNAP-25) family and three members of the syntaxin family. All of the 21 combinations of SNAREs tested formed stable complexes. Sixteen were resistant to SDS denaturation, and most complexes thermally denatured between 70 and 90 degreesC. These results suggest that the specificity of membrane fusion is not encoded by the interactions between SNAREs. (+info)
Presence of the vesicular inhibitory amino acid transporter in GABAergic and glycinergic synaptic terminal boutons.
The characterization of the Caenorhabditis elegans unc-47 gene recently allowed the identification of a mammalian (gamma)-amino butyric acid (GABA) transporter, presumed to be located in the synaptic vesicle membrane. In situ hybridization data in rat brain suggested that it might also take up glycine and thus represent a general Vesicular Inhibitory Amino Acid Transporter (VIAAT). In the present study, we have investigated the localization of VIAAT in neurons by using a polyclonal antibody raised against the hydrophilic N-terminal domain of the protein. Light microscopy and immunocytochemistry in primary cultures or tissue sections of the rat spinal cord revealed that VIAAT was localized in a subset (63-65%) of synaptophysin-immunoreactive terminal boutons; among the VIAAT-positive terminals around motoneuronal somata, 32.9% of them were also immunoreactive for GAD65, a marker of GABAergic presynaptic endings. Labelling was also found apposed to clusters positive for the glycine receptor or for its associated protein gephyrin. At the ultrastructural level, VIAAT immunoreactivity was restricted to presynaptic boutons exhibiting classical inhibitory features and, within the boutons, concentrated over synaptic vesicle clusters. Pre-embedding detection of VIAAT followed by post-embedding detection of GABA or glycine on serial sections of the spinal cord or cerebellar cortex indicated that VIAAT was present in glycine-, GABA- or GABA- and glycine-containing boutons. Taken together, these data further support the view of a common vesicular transporter for these two inhibitory transmitters, which would be responsible for their costorage in the same synaptic vesicle and subsequent corelease at mixed GABA-and-glycine synapses. (+info)
LYVE-1, a new homologue of the CD44 glycoprotein, is a lymph-specific receptor for hyaluronan.
The extracellular matrix glycosaminoglycan hyaluronan (HA) is an abundant component of skin and mesenchymal tissues where it facilitates cell migration during wound healing, inflammation, and embryonic morphogenesis. Both during normal tissue homeostasis and particularly after tissue injury, HA is mobilized from these sites through lymphatic vessels to the lymph nodes where it is degraded before entering the circulation for rapid uptake by the liver. Currently, however, the identities of HA binding molecules which control this pathway are unknown. Here we describe the first such molecule, LYVE-1, which we have identified as a major receptor for HA on the lymph vessel wall. The deduced amino acid sequence of LYVE-1 predicts a 322-residue type I integral membrane polypeptide 41% similar to the CD44 HA receptor with a 212-residue extracellular domain containing a single Link module the prototypic HA binding domain of the Link protein superfamily. Like CD44, the LYVE-1 molecule binds both soluble and immobilized HA. However, unlike CD44, the LYVE-1 molecule colocalizes with HA on the luminal face of the lymph vessel wall and is completely absent from blood vessels. Hence, LYVE-1 is the first lymph-specific HA receptor to be characterized and is a uniquely powerful marker for lymph vessels themselves. (+info)