Epsin is an evolutionarily conserved endocytic clathrin adaptor whose most critical function(s) in clathrin coat dynamics remain(s) elusive. To elucidate such function(s), we generated embryonic fibroblasts from conditional epsin triple KO mice. Triple KO cells displayed a dramatic cell division defect. Additionally, a robust impairment in clathrin-mediated endocytosis was observed, with an accumulation of early and U-shaped pits. This defect correlated with a perturbation of the coupling between the clathrin coat and the actin cytoskeleton, which we confirmed in a cell-free assay of endocytosis. Our results indicate that a key evolutionary conserved function of epsin, in addition to other roles that include, as we show here, a low affinity interaction with SNAREs, is to help generate the force that leads to invagination and then fission of clathrin-coated pits.
G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are integral membrane proteins that initiate responses to extracellular stimuli by mediating ligand-dependent activation of cognate heterotrimeric G proteins. In yeast, occupancy of GPCR Ste2 by peptide pheromone ?-factor initiates signaling by releasing a stimulatory G?? complex (Ste4-Ste18) from its inhibitory G? subunit (Gpa1). Prolonged pathway stimulation is detrimental, and feedback mechanisms have evolved that act at the receptor level to limit the duration of signaling and stimulate recovery from pheromone-induced G1 arrest, including upregulation of the expression of an ?-factor-degrading protease (Bar1), a regulator of G-protein signaling protein (Sst2) that stimulates Gpa1-GTP hydrolysis, and Gpa1 itself. Ste2 is also downregulated by endocytosis, both constitutive and ligand induced. Ste2 internalization requires its phosphorylation and subsequent ubiquitinylation by membrane-localized protein kinases (Yck1 and Yck2) and a ubiquitin ligase (Rsp5). Here, we demonstrate that three different members of the ?-arrestin family (Ldb19/Art1, Rod1/Art4, and Rog3/Art7) contribute to Ste2 desensitization and internalization, and they do so by discrete mechanisms. We provide genetic and biochemical evidence that Ldb19 and Rod1 recruit Rsp5 to Ste2 via PPXY motifs in their C-terminal regions; in contrast, the arrestin fold domain at the N terminus of Rog3 is sufficient to promote adaptation. Finally, we show that Rod1 function requires calcineurin-dependent dephosphorylation.
Cellular energy influences all aspects of cellular function. Although cells can adapt to a gradual reduction in energy, acute energy depletion poses a unique challenge. Because acute depletion hampers the transport of new energy sources into the cell, the cell must use endogenous substrates to replenish energy after acute depletion. In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, glucose starvation causes an acute depletion of intracellular energy that recovers during continued glucose starvation. However, how the cell replenishes energy during the early phase of glucose starvation is unknown. In this study, we investigated the role of pathways that deliver proteins and lipids to the vacuole during glucose starvation. We report that in response to glucose starvation, plasma membrane proteins are directed to the vacuole through reduced recycling at the endosomes. Furthermore, we found that vacuolar hydrolysis inhibits macroautophagy in a target of rapamycin complex 1-dependent manner. Accordingly, we found that endocytosis and hydrolysis are required for survival in glucose starvation, whereas macroautophagy is dispensable. Together, these results suggest that hydrolysis of components delivered to the vacuole independent of autophagy is the cell survival mechanism used by S. cerevisiae in response to glucose starvation.
Pan1 is a multi-domain scaffold that enables dynamic interactions with both structural and regulatory components of the endocytic pathway. Pan1 is composed of Eps15 Homology (EH) domains which interact with adaptor proteins, a central region that is responsible for its oligomerization and C-terminal binding sites for Arp2/3, F-actin, and type-I myosin motors. In this study, we have characterized the binding sites between Pan1 and its constitutive binding partner End3, another EH domain containing endocytic protein. The C-terminal End3 Repeats of End3 associate with the N-terminal part of Pan1s central coiled-coil region. These repeats appear to act independently of one another as tandem, redundant binding sites for Pan1. The end3-1 allele was sequenced, and corresponds to a C-terminal truncation lacking the End3 Repeats. Mutations of the End3 Repeats highlight that those residues which are identical between these repeats serve as contact sites for the interaction with Pan1.
The yeast scaffold protein Pan1 contains two EH domains at its N-terminus, a predicted coiled-coil central region, and a C-terminal proline-rich domain. Pan1 is also predicted to contain regions of intrinsic disorder, characteristic of proteins that have many binding partners. In vitro biochemical data suggest that Pan1 exists as a dimer, and we have identified amino acids 705 to 848 as critical for this homotypic interaction. Tryptophan fluorescence was used to further characterize Pan1 conformational states. Pan1 contains four endogenous tryptophans, each in a distinct region of the protein: Trp(312) and Trp(642) are each in an EH domain, Trp(957) is in the central region, and Trp(1280) is a critical residue in the Arp2/3 activation domain. To examine the local environment of each of these tryptophans, three of the four tryptophans were mutagenized to phenylalanine to create four proteins, each with only one tryptophan residue. When quenched with acrylamide, these single tryptophan mutants appeared to undergo collisional quenching exclusively and were moderately accessible to the acrylamide molecule. Quenching with iodide or cesium, however, revealed different Stern-Volmer constants due to unique electrostatic environments of the tryptophan residues. Time-resolved fluorescence anisotropy data confirmed structural and disorder predictions of Pan1. Further experimentation to fully develop a model of Pan1 conformational dynamics will assist in a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of endocytosis.
Yeast is a powerful model organism for dissecting the temporal stages and choreography of the complex protein machinery during endocytosis. The only known mechanism for endocytosis in yeast is clathrin-mediated endocytosis, even though clathrin-independent endocytic pathways have been described in other eukaryotes. Here, we provide evidence for a clathrin-independent endocytic pathway in yeast. In cells lacking the clathrin-binding adaptor proteins Ent1, Ent2, Yap1801, and Yap1802, we identify a second endocytic pathway that depends on the GTPase Rho1, the downstream formin Bni1, and the Bni1 cofactors Bud6 and Spa2. This second pathway does not require components of the better-studied endocytic pathway, including clathrin and Arp2/3 complex activators. Thus, our results reveal the existence of a second pathway for endocytosis in yeast, which suggests similarities with the RhoA-dependent endocytic pathways of mammalian cells.
Receptor-mediated endocytosis is a dynamic process that is crucial for maintaining plasma membrane composition and controlling cell-signaling pathways. A variety of entry routes have evolved to ensure that the vast array of molecules on the cell surface can be differentially internalized by endocytosis. This diversity has extended to include a growing list of endocytic adaptor proteins, which are thought to initiate the internalization process. The key function of adaptors is to select the proteins that should be removed from the cell surface. Thus, they have a central role in defining the physiology of a cell. This has made the study of adaptor proteins a very active area of research that is ripe for exciting future discoveries. Here, we review recent work on how adaptors mediate endocytosis and address the following questions: what characteristics define an endocytic adaptor protein? What roles do these proteins fulfill in addition to selecting cargo and how might adaptors function in clathrin-independent endocytic pathways? Through the findings discussed in this Commentary, we hope to stimulate further characterization of known adaptors and expansion of the known repertoire by identification of new adaptors.
The sorting nexins SNX1 and SNX2 are members of the retromer complex involved in protein sorting within the endocytic pathway. While retromer-dependent functions of SNX1 and SNX2 have been well documented, potential retromer-independent roles remain unclear. Here, we show that SNX1 and SNX2 interact with the Rac1 and RhoG guanine nucleotide exchange factor Kalirin-7. Simultaneous overexpression of SNX1 or SNX2 and Kalirin-7 in epithelial cells causes partial redistribution of both SNX isoforms to the plasma membrane, and results in RhoG-dependent lamellipodia formation that requires functional Phox homology (PX) and Bin/Amphiphysin/Rvs (BAR) domains of SNX, but is Rac1- and retromer-independent. Conversely, depletion of endogenous SNX1 or SNX2 inhibits Kalirin-7-mediated lamellipodia formation. Finally, we demonstrate that SNX1 and SNX2 interact directly with inactive RhoG, suggesting a novel role for these SNX proteins in recruiting an inactive Rho GTPase to its exchange factor.
The pH-sensitive green fluorescent protein (GFP) variant pHluorin is typically fused to the extracellular domain of transmembrane proteins to monitor endocytosis. Here, we have turned pHluorin inside-out, and show that cytoplasmic fusions of pHluorin are effective quantitative reporters for endocytosis and multivesicular body (MVB) sorting. In yeast in particular, fusion of GFP and its variants on the extracellular side of transmembrane proteins can result in perturbed trafficking. In contrast, cytoplasmic fusions are well tolerated, allowing for the quantitative assessment of trafficking of virtually any transmembrane protein. Quenching of degradation-resistant pHluorin in the acidic vacuole permits quantification of extravacuolar cargo proteins at steady-state levels and is compatible with kinetic analysis of endocytosis in live cells.
Actin polymerization by Arp2/3 complex must be tightly regulated to promote clathrin-mediated endocytosis. Although many Arp2/3 complex activators have been identified, mechanisms for its negative regulation have remained more elusive. To address this, we analyzed the yeast arp2-7 allele, which is biochemically unique in causing unregulated actin assembly in vitro in the absence of Arp2/3 activators.
The epsins are a family of adaptors involved in recruiting other endocytic proteins, binding of ubiquitylated cargo and induction of membrane curvature. These molecules bear a characteristic epsin N-terminal homology (ENTH) domain and multiple peptide motifs that mediate protein-protein interactions. We have previously demonstrated that the ENTH domain of epsin is involved in Cdc42 signaling regulation. Here, we present evidence that yeast epsin 2 (Ent2) plays a signaling role during cell division. We observed that overexpression of the ENTH domain of Ent2 (ENTH2), but not Ent1, promoted the formation of chains of cells and aberrant septa. This dominant-negative effect resulted from ENTH2-mediated interference with septin assembly pathways. We mapped the ENTH2 determinants responsible for induction of the phenotype and found them to be important for efficient binding to the septin regulatory protein, Bem3. Supporting a physiological role for epsin 2 in cell division, the protein localized to sites of polarized growth and cytokinesis and rescued a defect in cell division induced by Bem3 misregulation. Collectively, our findings provide a potential molecular mechanism linking endocytosis (via epsin 2) with signaling pathways regulating cell division.
Endocytosis of receptors at the plasma membrane is controlled by a complex mechanism that includes clathrin, adaptors, and actin regulators. Many of these proteins are conserved in yeast yet lack observable mutant phenotypes, which suggests that yeast endocytosis may be subject to different regulatory mechanisms. Here, we have systematically defined genes required for internalization using a quantitative genome-wide screen that monitors localization of the yeast vesicle-associated membrane protein (VAMP)/synaptobrevin homologue Snc1. Genetic interaction mapping was used to place these genes into functional modules containing known and novel endocytic regulators, and cargo selectivity was evaluated by an array-based comparative analysis. We demonstrate that clathrin and the yeast AP180 clathrin adaptor proteins have a cargo-specific role in Snc1 internalization. We additionally identify low dye binding 17 (LDB17) as a novel conserved component of the endocytic machinery. Ldb17 is recruited to cortical actin patches before actin polymerization and regulates normal coat dynamics and actin assembly. Our findings highlight the conserved machinery and reveal novel mechanisms that underlie endocytic internalization.
Internalization of diverse transmembrane cargos from the plasma membrane requires a similarly diverse array of specialized adaptors, yet only a few adaptors have been characterized. We report the identification of the muniscin family of endocytic adaptors that is conserved from yeast to human beings. Solving the structures of yeast muniscin domains confirmed the unique combination of an N-terminal domain homologous to the crescent-shaped membrane-tubulating EFC/F-BAR domains and a C-terminal domain homologous to cargo-binding mu homology domains (muHDs). In vitro and in vivo assays confirmed membrane-tubulation activity for muniscin EFC/F-BAR domains. The muHD domain has conserved interactions with the endocytic adaptor/scaffold Ede1/eps15, which influences muniscin localization. The transmembrane protein Mid2, earlier implicated in polarized Rho1 signalling, was identified as a cargo of the yeast adaptor protein. These and other data suggest a model in which the muniscins provide a combined adaptor/membrane-tubulation activity that is important for regulating endocytosis.
The plasmid pEG(KT) is a widely used plasmid for expressing high levels of GST fusion proteins in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Unfortunately, a complete sequence file has been lacking, thus complicating efforts to design cloning projects or to modify the plasmid for other uses (e.g. exchanging selection markers, epitope tags or protease cleavage sites to remove the epitope tag). Here, the complete sequence of the pEG(KT) plasmid is reported, thus facilitating its use. Additionally, its use as a vector backbone for high-level expression of a TAP-tagged protein is shown.
Eukaryotic cells use numerous endocytic pathways for nutrient uptake, protein turnover and response to the extracellular environment. While clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME) has been extensively studied in yeast and mammalian cells, recent studies in higher eukaryotes have described multiple clathrin-independent endocytic pathways that depend upon Rho family GTPases and their effector proteins. In contrast, yeast cells have been thought to rely solely on CME. In a recent study, we used CME-defective yeast cells lacking clathrin-binding endocytic adaptor proteins in a genetic screen to identify novel factors involved in endocytosis. This approach revealed the existence of a clathrin-independent endocytic pathway involving the GTPase Rho1, which is the yeast homolog of RhoA. Further characterization of the yeast Rho1-mediated endocytic pathway suggested that the Rho1 pathway requires additional proteins that appear to play conserved roles in RhoA-dependent, clathrin-independent endocytic pathways in mammalian cells. Here, we discuss the parallels between the yeast Rho1-dependent and mammalian RhoA-dependent endocytic pathways, as well as the applications of yeast as a model for studying clathrin-independent endocytosis in higher eukaryotes.
Clathrin-mediated endocytosis occurs at multiple independent import sites on the plasma membrane, but how these positions are selected and how different cargo is simultaneously recognized is obscure. FCHO1 and FCHO2 are early-arriving proteins at surface clathrin assemblies and are speculated to act as compulsory coat nucleators, preceding the core clathrin adaptor AP-2. Here, we show that the ?-homology domain of FCHO1/2 represents an endocytic interaction hub. Translational silencing of fcho1 in zebrafish embryos causes strong dorsoventral patterning defects analogous to Bmp signal failure. The Fcho1 ?-homology domain interacts with the Bmp receptor Alk8, uncovering an endocytic component that positively modulates Bmp signal transmission. Still, the fcho1 morphant phenotype is distinct from severe embryonic defects apparent when AP-2 is depleted. Our data thus challenge the primacy of FCHO1/2 in coat initiation.
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