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In JoVE (1)
- Affinity Precipitation of Active Rho-GEFs Using a GST-tagged Mutant Rho Protein (GST-RhoA(G17A)) from Epithelial Cell Lysates
Other Publications (27)
- Journal of Biochemistry
- Traffic (Copenhagen, Denmark)
- EMBO Reports
- Molecular Biology of the Cell
- Molecular Biology of the Cell
- European Journal of Cell Biology
- Traffic (Copenhagen, Denmark)
- Methods in Enzymology
- Journal of Cell Science
- Trends in Cell Biology
- The Journal of Cell Biology
- Molecular and Cellular Biology
- Journal of Cell Science
- International Review of Cell and Molecular Biology
- F1000 Biology Reports
- Small GTPases
- Acta Otorrinolaringológica Española
- Nature Cell Biology
- Nature Reviews. Molecular Cell Biology
- Trends in Cell Biology
- PloS One
- PloS One
- Nature Cell Biology
- Nature Protocols
- Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.)
- PLoS Pathogens
- FASEB Journal : Official Publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Articles by Rafael Garcia-Mata in JoVE
Affinity Precipitation of Active Rho-GEFs Using a GST-tagged Mutant Rho Protein (GST-RhoA(G17A)) from Epithelial Cell Lysates
Faiza Waheed1,2, Pamela Speight1,2, Qinghong Dan1,2, Rafael Garcia-Mata3, Katalin Szaszi1,2
1Keenan Research Centre, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael's Hospital, 2Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, 3Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The method presented here describes an assay to follow activation of RhoA specific GDP/GTP Exchange Factors (GEFs) in cultured cells by making use of a mutant RhoA GST fusion protein that has high affinity for activated GEFs. GEFs are precipitated from cell lysates, detected by Western blotting and quantified by densitometry.
Other articles by Rafael Garcia-Mata on PubMed
Inhibition of Proteasomes Induces Accumulation, Phosphorylation, and Recruitment of HSP27 and AlphaB-crystallin to Aggresomes
Journal of Biochemistry. Apr, 2002 | Pubmed ID: 11926998
Molecular chaperones and the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway are known to participate in the quality control of proteins in cells. In this study, we examined the responses of small heat shock proteins to proteasome inhibitors to clarify their roles under conditions where misfolded proteins are abnormally accumulated. HSP27 and alphaB-crystallin accumulated in both soluble and, more prominently, insoluble fractions after exposure to MG-132, a proteasome inhibitor. Enhanced expression of mRNAs for HSP27 and alphaB-crystallin was observed, suggesting transcriptional activation. Phosphorylation of HSP27 and alphaB-crystallin in cells treated with MG-132 was enhanced concomitantly with activation of p38 and p44/42 MAP kinase pathways. Immunofluorescence analysis revealed that exposure to proteasome inhibitors induced the formation of aggresomes in U373 MG cells, to which HSP27 and alphaB-crystallin were recruited. However, phosphorylation was not required for this accumulation in aggresomes. Thus, HSP27 and alphaB-crystallin are increased, phosphorylated and localized in aggresomes when proteasome activity is inhibited.
Traffic (Copenhagen, Denmark). Jun, 2002 | Pubmed ID: 12010457
Diverse human diseases ranging from amyloidosis to neurodegenerative diseases are now recognized as 'conformational diseases' caused by protein misfolding and protein aggregation. Misfolded and aggregated proteins are usually handled in the cell through chaperone-mediated refolding, or when that is impossible, destroyed by proteasomal degradation. Recent evidence suggests that cells might have evolved a third pathway that involves the sequestration of aggregated proteins into specialized 'holding stations' called aggresomes. The aggresomal pathway provides a mechanism by which aggregated proteins form particulate (approximately 200 nm) mini-aggregates that are transported on microtubules (MTs) towards the MT organizing center (MTOC) by a process mediated by the minus-end motor protein dynein. Once at the MTOC, the individual particles pack into a single, usually spherical aggresome (1-3 microm) that surrounds the MTOC. Aggresomes are dynamic: they recruit various chaperones and proteasomes, presumably to aid in the disposal of the aggregated proteins. In addition, the formation of an aggresome is likely to activate the autophagic clearance mechanism that terminates in lysosomal degradation. Hence, the aggresome pathway may provide a novel system to deliver aggregated proteins from the cytoplasm to lysosomes for degradation. Although it is clear that many pathological states correlate with the formation of aggresomes, their causal relationships remain hotly debated. Here, we describe the current state of our knowledge of the aggresome pathway and outline the open questions that provide the focus of current research.
EMBO Reports. Mar, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 12634853
The membrane-transport factor p115 interacts with diverse components of the membrane-transport machinery. It binds two Golgi matrix proteins, a Rab GTPase, and various members of the soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor (SNARE) family. Here, we describe a novel interaction between p115 and Golgi-specific brefeldin-A-resistant factor 1 (GBF1), a guanine-nucleotide exchange factor for ADP ribosylation factor (ARF). GBF1 was identified in a yeast two-hybrid screen, using full-length p115 as bait. The interaction was confirmed biochemically, using in vitro and in vivo assays. The interacting domains were mapped to the proline-rich region of GBF1 and the head region of p115. These proteins colocalize extensively in the Golgi and in peripheral vesicular tubular clusters. Mutagenesis analysis indicates that the interaction is not required for targeting GBF1 or p115 to membranes. Expression of the p115-binding (pro-rich) region of GBF1 leads to Golgi disruption, indicating that the interaction between p115 and GBF1 is functionally relevant.
Molecular Biology of the Cell. May, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 12802079
The small GTPase Rab1b is essential for endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to Golgi transport, but its exact function remains unclear. We have examined the effects of wild-type and three mutant forms of Rab1b in vivo. We show that the inactive form of Rab1b (the N121I mutant with impaired guanine nucleotide binding) blocks forward transport of cargo and induces Golgi disruption. The phenotype is analogous to that induced by brefeldin A (BFA): it causes resident Golgi proteins to relocate to the ER and induces redistribution of ER-Golgi intermediate compartment proteins to punctate structures. The COPII exit machinery seems to be functional in cells expressing the N121I mutant, but COPI is compromised, as shown by the release of beta-COP into the cytosol. Our results suggest that Rab1b function influences COPI recruitment. In support of this, we show that the disruptive effects of N121I can be reversed by expressing known mediators of COPI recruitment, the GTPase ARF1 and its guanine nucleotide exchange factor GBF1. Further evidence is provided by the finding that cells expressing the active form of Rab1b (the Q67L mutant with impaired GTPase activity) are resistant to BFA. Our data suggest a novel role for Rab1b in ARF1- and GBF1-mediated COPI recruitment pathway.
ADP-ribosylation Factor/COPI-dependent Events at the Endoplasmic Reticulum-Golgi Interface Are Regulated by the Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factor GBF1
Molecular Biology of the Cell. Jun, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 12808027
ADP-ribosylation factor (ARF) mediated recruitment of COPI to membranes plays a central role in transport between the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and the Golgi. The activation of ARFs is mediated by guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs). Although several ARF-GEFs have been identified, the transport steps in which they function are still poorly understood. Here we report that GBF1, a member of the Sec7-domain family of GEFs, is responsible for the regulation of COPI-mediated events at the ER-Golgi interface. We show that GBF1 is essential for the formation, differentiation, and translocation of pre-Golgi intermediates and for the maintenance of Golgi integrity. We also show that the formation of transport-competent ER-to-Golgi intermediates proceeds in two stages: first, a COPI-independent event leads to the formation of an unstable compartment, which is rapidly reabsorbed in the absence of GBF1 activity. Second, the association of GBF1 with this compartment allows COPI recruitment and leads to its maturation into transport intermediates. The recruitment of GBF1 to this compartment is specifically inhibited by brefeldin A. Our findings imply that the continuous recruitment of GBF1 to spatially differentiated membrane domains is required for sustained membrane remodeling that underlies membrane traffic and Golgi biogenesis.
Membrane Targeting of P115 Phosphorylation Mutants and Their Effects on Golgi Integrity and Secretory Traffic
European Journal of Cell Biology. Aug, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 14533739
The cytosolic phosphoprotein p115 is required for ER to Golgi traffic and for Golgi reassembly after mitosis. In cells, p115 is localized to ER exit sites, ER-Golgi Intermediate Compartment (ERGIC) and the Golgi, and cycles between these compartments. P115 is phosphorylated on serine 942, and this modification appears to control p115 association with membranes. P115 is likely to function by reversibly interacting with effector proteins, and in the Golgi, two proteins, GM130 and giantin, have been shown to bind p115. The GM130-p115 and the giantin-p115 interactions are enhanced by p115 phosphorylation. Phosphorylation appears to be essential for p115 function, since substitutions of serine 942 abolish p115 ability to sustain cisternal reformation in an in vitro assay reconstituting Golgi reassembly after mitosis. Here, we explored how phosphorylation of p115 affects its intracellular targeting to distinct cellular compartments, and its function in secretory traffic. We generated phosphorylation mutants of p115 and tested their ability to target to ER exit sites, ERGIC and the Golgi. In addition, we explored whether expression of the mutants causes disruption of Golgi structure and perturbs ER-Golgi traffic of a VSV-G cargo protein.
Traffic (Copenhagen, Denmark). May, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 15813748
ADP-ribosylation factor (ARF)-facilitated recruitment of COP I to membranes is required for secretory traffic. The guanine nucleotide exchange factor GBF1 activates ARF and regulates ARF/COP I dynamics at the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-Golgi interface. Like ARF and coatomer, GBF1 peripherally associates with membranes. ADP-ribosylation factor and coatomer have been shown to rapidly cycle between membranes and cytosol, but the membrane dynamics of GBF1 are unknown. Here, we used fluorescence recovery after photobleaching to characterize the behavior of GFP-tagged GBF1. We report that GBF1 rapidly cycles between membranes and the cytosol (t1/2 is approximately 17 +/- 1 seconds). GBF1 cycles faster than GFP-tagged ARF, suggesting that in each round of association/dissociation, GBF1 catalyzes a single event of ARF activation, and that the activated ARF remains on membrane after GBF1 dissociation. Using three different approaches [expression of an inactive (E794K) GBF1 mutant, expression of the ARF1 (T31N) mutant with decreased affinity for GTP and Brefeldin A treatment], we show that GBF1 is stabilized on membranes when in a complex with ARF-GDP. GBF1 dissociation from ARF and membranes is triggered by its catalytic activity, i.e. the displacement of GDP and the subsequent binding of GTP to ARF. Our findings imply that continuous cycles of recruitment and dissociation of GBF1 to membranes are required for sustained ARF activation and COP I recruitment that underlies ER-Golgi traffic.
Methods in Enzymology. 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16472675
An assay was developed that allows the precipitation of the active pools of Rho-GEFs, Rho-GAPs, or effectors from cell or tissue lysates. This assay can be used to identify GEFs, GAPs, and effectors involved in specific cellular pathways to determine their GTPase specificity and to monitor the temporal activation of GEFs and GAPs in response to upstream signals.
Palladin Binds to Eps8 and Enhances the Formation of Dorsal Ruffles and Podosomes in Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells
Journal of Cell Science. Aug, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16868024
Palladin is a widely expressed phosphoprotein that plays an important role in organizing the actin cytoskeleton. Palladin is concentrated in multiple actin-based structures involved in cell motility and adhesion, including stress fibers, focal adhesions, cell-cell junctions, growth cones and Z-discs. Here, we show that palladin also localizes to the dorsal, circular ruffles that form transiently in response to growth factor stimulation. More importantly, palladin knockdown results in decreased ruffle formation and decreased Rac activation following PDGF treatment. In addition, we describe a novel interaction between palladin and Eps8, a receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) substrate that participates in the activation of the Rac-specific guanine nucleotide-exchange function of Sos-1. Eps8 was identified as a molecular partner for palladin in a yeast two-hybrid screen, and the interaction was confirmed biochemically in co-immunoprecipitation assays. The two proteins were found to colocalize extensively in dorsal ruffles. Palladin also localizes to podosomes after phorbol ester stimulation, and palladin knockdown results in decreased podosome formation in response to PDBu. Together, these data provide strong evidence for a direct and specific interaction between palladin and Eps8, and suggest that they act together in the rapid and transient remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton, which promotes the formation of highly dynamic membrane protrusions in response to PDGF and phorbol ester treatment.
Trends in Cell Biology. Jan, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17126549
The activation of Rho GTPases is mediated by guanine-nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs), which catalyze the exchange of GDP for GTP. Rho-GEFs are a very diverse family, with >70 members in humans. Bioinformatics analysis of the human Rho-GEFs shows that approximately 40% contain a putative PDZ-binding motif at the C-terminus. PDZ domains are protein-protein interaction domains that act as scaffolds to concentrate signaling molecules at specialized regions in the cell. We propose that the interaction between Rho-GEFs and PDZ-domain proteins is a general mechanism that controls Rho-GEF targeting and activation, helping to restrict and concentrate the exchange activity to appropriate subcellular destinations. Here, we summarize recent data that highlight the importance of these interactions in Rho-GEF regulation.
RhoG Regulates Endothelial Apical Cup Assembly Downstream from ICAM1 Engagement and is Involved in Leukocyte Trans-endothelial Migration
The Journal of Cell Biology. Sep, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17875742
During trans-endothelial migration (TEM), leukocytes use adhesion receptors such as intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM1) to adhere to the endothelium. In response to this interaction, the endothelium throws up dynamic membrane protrusions, forming a cup that partially surrounds the adherent leukocyte. Little is known about the signaling pathways that regulate cup formation. In this study, we show that RhoG is activated downstream from ICAM1 engagement. This activation requires the intracellular domain of ICAM1. ICAM1 colocalizes with RhoG and binds to the RhoG-specific SH3-containing guanine-nucleotide exchange factor (SGEF). The SH3 domain of SGEF mediates this interaction. Depletion of endothelial RhoG by small interfering RNA does not affect leukocyte adhesion but decreases cup formation and inhibits leukocyte TEM. Silencing SGEF also results in a substantial reduction in RhoG activity, cup formation, and TEM. Together, these results identify a new signaling pathway involving RhoG and its exchange factor SGEF downstream from ICAM1 that is critical for leukocyte TEM.
The Nuclear RhoA Exchange Factor Net1 Interacts with Proteins of the Dlg Family, Affects Their Localization, and Influences Their Tumor Suppressor Activity
Molecular and Cellular Biology. Dec, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17938206
Net1 is a RhoA-specific guanine nucleotide exchange factor which localizes to the nucleus at steady state. A deletion in its N terminus redistributes the protein to the cytosol, where it activates RhoA and can promote transformation. Net1 contains a PDZ-binding motif at the C terminus which is essential for its transformation properties. Here, we found that Net1 interacts through its PDZ-binding motif with tumor suppressor proteins of the Dlg family, including Dlg1/SAP97, SAP102, and PSD95. The interaction between Net1 and its PDZ partners promotes the translocation of the PDZ proteins to nuclear subdomains associated with PML bodies. Interestingly, the oncogenic mutant of Net1 is unable to shuttle the PDZ proteins to the nucleus, although these proteins still associate as clusters in the cytosol. Our results suggest that the ability of oncogenic Net1 to transform cells may be in part related to its ability to sequester tumor suppressor proteins like Dlg1 in the cytosol, thereby interfering with their normal cellular function. In agreement with this, the transformation potential of oncogenic Net1 is reduced when it is coexpressed with Dlg1 or SAP102. Together, our results suggest that the interaction between Net1 and Dlg1 may contribute to the mechanism of Net1-mediated transformation.
A Novel Role for Lsc/p115 RhoGEF and LARG in Regulating RhoA Activity Downstream of Adhesion to Fibronectin
Journal of Cell Science. Nov, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17971419
Adhesion of cells to extracellular matrix proteins such as fibronectin initiates signaling cascades that affect cell morphology, migration and survival. Some of these signaling pathways involve the Rho family of GTPases, such as Cdc42, Rac1 and RhoA, which play a key role in regulating the organization of the cytoskeleton. Although significant advances have been made in understanding how Rho proteins control cytoskeletal architecture, less is known about the signals controlling activation of the GTPases themselves. The focus of this study was to determine which guanine nucleotide exchange factor(s) are responsible for activation of RhoA downstream of adhesion to fibronectin. Using an affinity pulldown assay for activated exchange factors, we show that the RhoA-specific exchange factors Lsc/p115 RhoGEF and LARG are activated when cells are plated onto fibronectin, but not other exchange factors such as Ect2 or Dbl. Knockdown of Lsc and LARG together significantly decreases RhoA activation and formation of stress fibers and focal adhesions downstream of fibronectin adhesion. Similarly, overexpression of a catalytically inactive mutant of Lsc/p115 RhoGEF inhibits RhoA activity and formation of stress fibers and focal adhesions on fibronectin. These data establish a previously uncharacterized role for the exchange factors Lsc/p115 RhoGEF and LARG in linking fibronectin signals to downstream RhoA activation.
International Review of Cell and Molecular Biology. 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19766966
Focal adhesions have been intensely studied ever since their discovery in 1971. The last three decades have seen major advances in understanding the structure of focal adhesions and the functions they serve in cellular adhesion, migration, and other biological processes. In this chapter, we begin with a historical perspective of focal adhesions, provide an overview of focal adhesion biology, and highlight recent major advances in the field. Specifically, we review the different types of matrix adhesions and the role different Rho GTPases play in their formation. We discuss the relative contributions of integrin and syndecan adhesion receptors to the formation of focal adhesions. We also focus on new insights gained from studying focal adhesions on biomaterial surfaces and from the growing field of mechanotransduction. Throughout this chapter, we have highlighted areas of focal adhesion biology where major questions still remain to be answered.
F1000 Biology Reports. 2009 | Pubmed ID: 20948645
The Rho-family GTPases are proving to have a variety of biological functions apart from their well known effects on the cytoskeleton. Recent work indicates their involvement in signaling between the adhesion receptors integrin and syndecan, effects on the recruitment of beta-catenin to the nucleus, and potential roles in the nucleus as well as the cytoplasm.
Small GTPases. 7, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 21686121
Regulation of the Rho switch has been typically centered on their main regulators, RhoGEFs and RhoGAPs. On the side, RhoGDI proteins have been considered mostly as passive regulators devoid of catalytic activity simply holding Rho proteins in the cytosol. In the May issue of Nature Cell Biology,1 we describe a novel evolutionary conserved function for RhoGDI1 as a chaperoning protein which prevents degradation of prenylated Rho GTPases. The limited amount of RhoGDI1 in cells generates a competitive balance between GTPases in order to prevent their degradation. Therefore, this creates a crosstalk regulatory mechanism of Rho proteins, whereby the level of one Rho protein can affect both the level and activity of the others. For example, overexpression of a single GTPase will promote the degradation and inactivation of all endogenous Rho proteins bound to GDI. These results suggest that some of the conclusions drawn from studies that manipulate Rho protein levels may need to be reevaluated. Here, we discuss some of the consequences of this mechanism on the regulation of Rho proteins, the dissociation of Rho-RhoGDI complexes by GDF and whether this regulation might be extended to other GTPases of the Ras superfamily.
Acta Otorrinolaringológica Española. May-Jun, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20097320
To evaluate the usefulness of fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) in the study of parotid gland tumour malignancy in order to plan the most suitable treatment in each case.
Nature Cell Biology. May, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20400958
At steady state, most Rho GTPases are bound in the cytosol to Rho guanine nucleotide dissociation inhibitors (RhoGDIs). RhoGDIs have generally been considered to hold Rho proteins passively in an inactive state within the cytoplasm. Here we describe an evolutionarily conserved mechanism by which RhoGDI1 controls the homeostasis of Rho proteins in eukaryotic cells. We found that depletion of RhoGDI1 promotes misfolding and degradation of the cytosolic geranylgeranylated pool of Rho GTPases while activating the remaining membrane-bound fraction. Because RhoGDI1 levels are limiting, and Rho proteins compete for binding to RhoGDI1, overexpression of an exogenous Rho GTPase displaces endogenous Rho proteins bound to RhoGDI1, inducing their degradation and inactivation. These results raise important questions about the conclusions drawn from studies that manipulate Rho protein levels. In many cases the response observed may arise not simply from the overexpression itself but from additional effects on the levels and activity of other Rho GTPases as a result of competition for binding to RhoGDI1; this may require a re-evaluation of previously published studies that rely exclusively on these techniques.
Nature Reviews. Molecular Cell Biology. Aug, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21779026
The 'invisible hand' is a term originally coined by Adam Smith in The Theory of Moral Sentiments to describe the forces of self-interest, competition and supply and demand that regulate the resources in society. This metaphor continues to be used by economists to describe the self-regulating nature of a market economy. The same metaphor can be used to describe the RHO-specific guanine nucleotide dissociation inhibitor (RHOGDI) family, which operates in the background, as an invisible hand, using similar forces to regulate the RHO GTPase cycle.
Trends in Cell Biology. Dec, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21924908
Many fundamental processes in cell biology are regulated by Rho GTPases, including cell adhesion, migration and differentiation. While regulating cellular functions, members of the Rho protein family cooperate or antagonize each other. The resulting molecular network exhibits many levels of interaction dynamically regulated in time and space. In the first part of this review we describe the main mechanisms of this crosstalk, which can occur at three different levels of the pathway: (i) through regulation of activity, (ii) through regulation of protein expression and stability, and (iii) through regulation of downstream signaling pathways. In the second part we illustrate the importance of Rho protein crosstalk with two examples: integrin-based adhesion and cell migration.
PloS One. 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21966369
Plexins are cell surface receptors widely studied in the nervous system, where they mediate migration and morphogenesis though the Rho family of small GTPases. More recently, plexins have been implicated in immune processes including cell-cell interaction, immune activation, migration, and cytokine production. Plexin-B2 facilitates ligand induced cell guidance and migration in the nervous system, and induces cytoskeletal changes in overexpression assays through RhoGTPase. The function of Plexin-B2 in the immune system is unknown. This report shows that Plexin-B2 is highly expressed on cells of the innate immune system in the mouse, including macrophages, conventional dendritic cells, and plasmacytoid dendritic cells. However, Plexin-B2 does not appear to regulate the production of proinflammatory cytokines, phagocytosis of a variety of targets, or directional migration towards chemoattractants or extracellular matrix in mouse macrophages. Instead, Plxnb2(-/-) macrophages have greater cellular motility than wild type in the unstimulated state that is accompanied by more active, GTP-bound Rac and Cdc42. Additionally, Plxnb2(-/-) macrophages demonstrate faster in vitro wound closure activity. Studies have shown that a closely related family member, Plexin-B1, binds to active Rac and sequesters it from downstream signaling. The interaction of Plexin-B2 with Rac has only been previously confirmed in yeast and bacterial overexpression assays. The data presented here show that Plexin-B2 functions in mouse macrophages as a negative regulator of the GTPases Rac and Cdc42 and as a negative regulator of basal cell motility and wound healing.
PloS One. 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21390328
Rho GTPases control many cellular processes, including cell survival, gene expression and migration. Rho proteins reside mainly in the cytosol and are targeted to the plasma membrane (PM) upon specific activation by guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs). Accordingly, most GEFs are also cytosolic or associated with the PM. However, Net1, a RhoA-specific GEF predominantly localizes to the cell nucleus at steady-state. Nuclear localization for Net1 has been seen as a mechanism for sequestering the GEF away from RhoA, effectively rendering the protein inactive. However, considering the prominence of nuclear Net1 and the fact that a biological stimulus that promotes Net1 translocation out the nucleus to the cytosol has yet to be discovered, we hypothesized that Net1 might have a previously unidentified function in the nucleus of cells.
Nature Cell Biology. Jun, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21572419
How individual cells respond to mechanical forces is of considerable interest to biologists as force affects many aspects of cell behaviour. The application of force on integrins triggers cytoskeletal rearrangements and growth of the associated adhesion complex, resulting in increased cellular stiffness, also known as reinforcement. Although RhoA has been shown to play a role during reinforcement, the molecular mechanisms that regulate its activity are unknown. By combining biochemical and biophysical approaches, we identified two guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs), LARG and GEF-H1, as key molecules that regulate the cellular adaptation to force. We show that stimulation of integrins with tensional force triggers activation of these two GEFs and their recruitment to adhesion complexes. Surprisingly, activation of LARG and GEF-H1 involves distinct signalling pathways. Our results reveal that LARG is activated by the Src family tyrosine kinase Fyn, whereas GEF-H1 catalytic activity is enhanced by ERK downstream of a signalling cascade that includes FAK and Ras.
Nature Protocols. Dec, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 22134128
We have recently shown that a fraction of the total cellular pool of the small GTPase RhoA resides in the nucleus, and that the nuclear guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) Net1 has a role in the regulation of its activity. In this protocol, we describe a method to measure both the activities of the nuclear pools of RhoA and Rho GEFs. This process required the development of a nuclear isolation protocol that is both fast and virtually free of cytosolic and membrane contaminants, as well as a redesign of existing RhoA and Rho GEF activity assays so that they work in nuclear samples. This protocol can be also used for other Rho GTPases and Rho GEFs, which have also been found in the nucleus. Completion of the procedure, including nuclear isolation and RhoA or Rho GEF activity assay, takes 1 h 40 min. We also include details of how to perform a basic assay of whole-cell extracts.
Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.). 2012 | Pubmed ID: 22144270
RhoGDI1 is one of the three major regulators of the Rho switch along with RhoGEFs and RhoGAPs. RhoGDI1 extracts prenylated Rho proteins from lipid membranes, sequesters them in the cytosol, and prevents nucleotide exchange or hydrolysis. In addition, RhoGDI1 protects prenylated Rho proteins from degradation. Here, we describe techniques to monitor Rho proteins degradation upon depletion of RhoGDI1 and their dependence upon prenylation for degradation.
The Invasive Capacity of HPV Transformed Cells Requires the HDlg-Dependent Enhancement of SGEF/RhoG Activity
PLoS Pathogens. Feb, 2012 | Pubmed ID: 22383878
A major target of the HPV E6 oncoprotein is the human Discs Large (hDlg) tumour suppressor, although how this interaction contributes to HPV-induced malignancy is still unclear. Using a proteomic approach we show that a strong interacting partner of hDlg is the RhoG-specific guanine nucleotide exchange factor SGEF. The interaction between hDlg1 and SGEF involves both PDZ and SH3 domain recognition, and directly contributes to the regulation of SGEF's cellular localization and activity. Consistent with this, hDlg is a strong enhancer of RhoG activity, which occurs in an SGEF-dependent manner. We also show that HPV-18 E6 can interact indirectly with SGEF in a manner that is dependent upon the presence of hDlg and PDZ binding capacity. In HPV transformed cells, E6 maintains a high level of RhoG activity, and this is dependent upon the presence of hDlg and SGEF, which are found in complex with E6. Furthermore, we show that E6, hDlg and SGEF each directly contributes to the invasive capacity of HPV-16 and HPV-18 transformed tumour cells. These studies demonstrate that hDlg has a distinct oncogenic function in the context of HPV induced malignancy, one of the outcomes of which is increased RhoG activity and increased invasive capacity.
FASEB Journal : Official Publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Feb, 2012 | Pubmed ID: 22038046
Rho proteins are small GTPases of the Ras superfamily that regulate a wide variety of biological processes, ranging from gene expression to cell migration. Mechanistically, the major Rho GTPases function as molecular switches cycling between an inactive GDP-bound and an active GTP-bound conformation, although several Rho proteins spontaneously exchange nucleotides or are simply devoid of GTPase activity. For over a decade, RhoGEFs and RhoGAPs have been established as the mainstream regulators of Rho proteins, respectively flipping the switch on or off. However, regulation by GEFs and GAPs leaves several fundamental questions on the operation of the Rho switch unanswered, indicating that the regulation of Rho proteins does not rely exclusively on RhoGEFs and RhoGAPs. Recent evidence indeed suggests that Rho GTPases are finely tuned by multiple alternative regulatory mechanisms, including post-translational modifications and protein degradation, as well as crosstalk mechanisms between Rho proteins. Here we review these alternative mechanisms and discuss how they alter Rho protein function and signaling. We also envision how the classic binary Rho switch may indeed function more like a switchboard with multiple switches and dials that can all contribute to the regulation of Rho protein function.