Alpha-synuclein (aSyn) misfolding and aggregation are pathological features common to several neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease (PD). Mounting evidence suggests that aSyn can be secreted and transferred from cell to cell, participating in the propagation and spreading of pathological events. Rab11, a small GTPase, is an important regulator in both endocytic and secretory pathways. Here, we show that Rab11 is involved in regulating aSyn secretion. Rab11 knockdown or overexpression of either Rab11a wild-type (Rab11a WT) or Rab11a GDP-bound mutant (Rab11a S25N) increased secretion of aSyn. Furthermore, we demonstrate that Rab11 interacts with aSyn and is present in intracellular inclusions together with aSyn. Moreover, Rab11 reduces aSyn aggregation and toxicity. Our results suggest that Rab11 is involved in modulating the processes of aSyn secretion and aggregation, both of which are important mechanisms in the progression of aSyn pathology in PD and other synucleinopathies.
Malaria parasites go through an obligatory liver stage before they infect erythrocytes and cause disease symptoms. In the host hepatocytes, the parasite is enclosed by a parasitophorous vacuole membrane (PVM). Here, we dissected the interaction between the Plasmodium parasite and the host cell late endocytic pathway and show that parasite growth is dependent on the phosphoinositide 5-kinase (PIKfyve) that converts phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate [PI(3)P] into phosphatidylinositol 3,5-bisphosphate [PI(3,5)P2 ] in the endosomal system. We found that inhibition of PIKfyve by either pharmacological or non-pharmacological means causes a delay in parasite growth. Moreover, we show that the PI(3,5)P2 effector protein TRPML1 that is involved in late endocytic membrane fusion, is present in vesicles closely contacting the PVM and is necessary for parasite growth. Thus, our studies suggest that the parasite PVM is able to fuse with host late endocytic vesicles in a PI(3,5)P2 -dependent manner, allowing the exchange of material between the host and the parasite, which is essential for successful infection.
The Arf-like protein Arl13b has been implicated in ciliogenesis and Sonic hedgehog signaling. Furthermore, we have previously shown that it regulates endocytic recycling traffic and interacts with actin. Herein, we report that the non-muscle myosin heavy chain IIA, also known as Myh9, is an Arl13b effector. Moreover, we found that both proteins localized to circular dorsal ruffles (CDRs) induced by platelet-derived growth factor stimulation and are required for their formation. CDRs are ring-shaped actin-dependent structures formed on the dorsal cell surface and are involved in diverse processes, such as macropinocytosis, integrin recycling, internalization of receptor tyrosine kinases and cell migration. We found that Arl13b or Myh9 silencing impaired cell migration, suggesting that Arl13b is required for this function through the interaction with Myh9. Moreover, Arl13b silencing impaired neural crest cell migration in zebrafish embryos. Furthermore, we showed that Arl13b is required for the formation of CDRs in migrating cells. Thus, our results indicate a new role for Arl13b in actin cytoskeleton remodeling through the interaction with Myh9, by driving the formation of CDRs necessary for cell migration.
Rab and ADP-ribosylation factor (Arf) family proteins are master regulators of membrane trafficking and are involved in all steps of vesicular transport. These families of small guanine-nucleotide-binding (G) proteins are well suited to regulate membrane trafficking processes since their nucleotide state determines their conformation and the capacity to bind to a multitude of effectors, which mediate their functions. In recent years, several inherited diseases have been associated with mutations in genes encoding proteins belonging to these two families or in proteins that regulate their GTP-binding cycle. The genetic diseases that are caused by defects in Rabs, Arfs or their regulatory proteins are heterogeneous and display diverse symptoms. However, these diseases mainly affect two types of subcellular compartments, namely lysosome-related organelles and cilia. Also, several of these diseases affect the nervous system. Thus, the study of these diseases represents an opportunity to understand their etiology and the molecular mechanisms involved, as well as to develop novel therapeutic strategies.
The transfer of melanin from melanocytes to keratinocytes is a crucial process underlying maintenance of skin pigmentation and photoprotection against UV damage. Here, we present evidence supporting coupled exocytosis of the melanin core, or melanocore, by melanocytes and subsequent endocytosis by keratinocytes as a predominant mechanism of melanin transfer. Electron microscopy analysis of human skin samples revealed three lines of evidence supporting this: (1) the presence of melanocores in the extracellular space; (2) within keratinocytes, melanin was surrounded by a single membrane; and (3) this membrane lacked the melanosomal membrane protein tyrosinase-related protein 1 (TYRP1). Moreover, co-culture of melanocytes and keratinocytes suggests that melanin exocytosis is specifically induced by keratinocytes. Furthermore, depletion of Rab11b, but not Rab27a, caused a marked decrease in both keratinocyte-stimulated melanin exocytosis and transfer to keratinocytes. Thus, we propose that the predominant mechanism of melanin transfer is keratinocyte-induced exocytosis, mediated by Rab11b through remodeling of the melanosome membrane, followed by subsequent endocytosis by keratinocytes.Journal of Investigative Dermatology advance online publication, 14 November 2013; doi:10.1038/jid.2013.432.
Antigen presentation and microbial killing are critical arms of host defense that depend upon cargo trafficking into lysosomes. Yet, the molecular regulators of traffic into lysosomes are only partly understood. Here, using a lysosome-dependent immunological screen of a trafficking shRNA library, we identified the Arf-like GTPase Arl8b as a critical regulator of cargo delivery to lysosomes. Homotypic fusion and vacuole protein sorting (HOPS) complex members were identified as effectors of Arl8b and were dependent on Arl8b for recruitment to lysosomes, suggesting that Arl8b-HOPS plays a general role in directing traffic to lysosomes. Moreover, the formation of CD1 antigen-presenting complexes in lysosomes, their delivery to the plasma membrane, and phagosome-lysosome fusion were all markedly impaired in Arl8b silenced cells resulting in corresponding defects in T cell activation and microbial killing. Together, these results define Arl8b as a key regulator of lysosomal cellular and immunological functions.
Abetalipoproteinemia (ABL) is a rare Mendelian disorder of lipid metabolism due to genetic deficiency in microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP). It is associated with defects in MTP-mediated lipid transfer onto apolipoprotein B (APOB) and impaired secretion of APOB-containing lipoproteins. Recently, MTP was shown to regulate the CD1 family of lipid antigen-presenting molecules, but little is known about immune function in ABL patients. Here, we have shown that ABL is characterized by immune defects affecting presentation of self and microbial lipid antigens by group 1 (CD1a, CD1b, CD1c) and group 2 (CD1d) CD1 molecules. In dendritic cells isolated from ABL patients, MTP deficiency was associated with increased proteasomal degradation of group 1 CD1 molecules. Although CD1d escaped degradation, it was unable to load antigens and exhibited functional defects similar to those affecting the group 1 CD1 molecules. The reduction in CD1 function resulted in impaired activation of CD1-restricted T and invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells and reduced numbers and phenotypic alterations of iNKT cells consistent with central and peripheral CD1 defects in vivo. These data highlight MTP as a unique regulator of human metabolic and immune pathways and reveal that ABL is not only a disorder of lipid metabolism but also an immune disease involving CD1.
For major histocompatibility complex class I and II molecules, the binding of specific peptide antigens is essential for assembly and trafficking and is at the center of their quality control mechanism. However, the role of lipid antigen binding in stabilization and quality control of CD1 heavy chain (HC).beta(2)-microglobulin (beta(2)m) complexes is unclear. Furthermore, the distinct trafficking and loading routes of CD1 proteins take them from mildly acidic pH in early endososmal compartments (pH 6.0) to markedly acidic pH in lysosomes (pH 5.0) and back to neutral pH of the cell surface (pH 7.4). Here, we present evidence that the stability of each CD1 HC.beta(2)m complex is determined by the distinct pH optima identical to that of the intracellular compartments in which each CD1 isoform resides. Although stable at acidic endosomal pH, complexes are only stable at cell surface pH 7.4 when bound to specific lipid antigens. The proposed model outlines a quality control program that allows lipid exchange at low endosomal pH without dissociation of the CD1 HC.beta(2)m complex and then stabilizes the antigen-loaded complex at neutral pH at the cell surface.
The recent discovery of dideoxymycobactin (DDM) as a ligand for CD1a demonstrates how a nonribosomal lipopeptide antigen is presented to T cells. DDM contains an unusual acylation motif and a peptide sequence present only in mycobacteria, but its discovery raises the possibility that ribosomally produced viral or mammalian proteins that commonly undergo lipidation might also function as antigens. To test this, we measured T cell responses to synthetic acylpeptides that mimic lipoproteins produced by cells and viruses. CD1c presented an N-acyl glycine dodecamer peptide (lipo-12) to human T cells, and the response was specific for the acyl linkage as well as the peptide length and sequence. Thus, CD1c represents the second member of the CD1 family to present lipopeptides. lipo-12 was efficiently recognized when presented by intact cells, and unlike DDM, it was inactivated by proteases and augmented by protease inhibitors. Although lysosomes often promote antigen presentation by CD1, rerouting CD1c to lysosomes by mutating CD1 tail sequences caused reduction in lipo-12 presentation. Thus, although certain antigens require antigen processing in lysosomes, others are destroyed there, providing a hypothesis for the evolutionary conservation of large CD1 families containing isoforms that survey early endosomal pathways.
Intracellular recycling pathways play critical roles in internalizing membrane and fluid phase cargo and in balancing the inflow and outflow of membrane and cell surface molecules. To identify proteins involved in the regulation of endocytic recycling, we used an shRNA trafficking library and screened for changes in the surface expression of CD1a antigen-presenting molecules that follow an endocytic recycling route. We found that silencing of the ADP-ribosylation factor (Arf)-like small GTPase Arl13b led to a decrease in CD1a surface expression, diminished CD1a function, and delayed CD1a recycling, suggesting that Arl13b is involved in the regulation of endocytic recycling traffic. Arl13b appears to be required for the major route of endocytic trafficking, causing clustering of early endosomes and leading to the accumulation of endocytic cargo. Moreover, Arl13b colocalized with markers of the endocytic recycling pathway followed by CD1a, namely Arf6 and Rab22a. We also detected an interaction between Arl13b and the actin cytoskeleton. Arl13b was previously implicated in cilia formation and function. Our present results indicate a previously unidentified role for Arl13b in endocytic recycling traffic and suggest a link between Arl13b function and the actin cytoskeleton.
Phagocytic cells represent an important line of innate defense against microorganisms. Uptake of microorganisms by these cells involves the formation of a phagosome that matures by fusing with endocytic compartments, resulting in killing of the enclosed microbe. Small GTPases of the Rab family are key regulators of vesicular trafficking in the endocytic pathway. Intracellular pathogens can interfere with the function of these proteins in order to subvert host immune responses. However, it is unknown if this subversion can be achieved through the modulation of Rab gene expression. We compared the expression level of 23 distinct Rab GTPases in mouse macrophages after infection with the protozoan Plasmodium berghei, and the bacteria Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica. We found that P. berghei induces an increase in the expression of a different set of Rab genes than E. coli and S. enterica, which behaved similarly. Strikingly, when one of the Rab proteins whose expression was increased by P. berghei, namely Rab14, was silenced, we observed a significant increase in the phagocytosis of P. berghei, whereas Rab14 overexpression led to a decrease in phagocytosis. This suggests that the parasite might induce the increase of Rab14 expression for its own advantage. Similarly, when Rab9a, whose expression was increased by E. coli and S. enterica, was silenced, we observed an increase in the phagocytosis of both bacterial species, whereas Rab9a overexpression caused a reduction in phagocytosis. This further suggests that the modulation of Rab gene expression could represent a mechanism of immune evasion. Thus, our study analyzes the modulation of Rab gene expression induced by bacteria and protozoa and suggests that this modulation could be necessary for the success of microbial infection.
The obligate intracellular liver stage of the Plasmodium parasite represents a bottleneck in the parasite life cycle and remains a promising target for therapeutic intervention. During this stage, parasites undergo dramatic morphological changes and achieve one of the fastest replication rates among eukaryotic species. Nevertheless, relatively little is known about the parasite interactions with the host hepatocyte. Using immunofluorescence, live cell imaging and electron microscopy, we show that Plasmodium berghei parasites are surrounded by vesicles from the host late endocytic pathway. We found that these vesicles are acidic and contain the membrane markers Rab7a, CD63 and LAMP1. When host cell vesicle acidification was disrupted using ammonium chloride or Concanamycin A during the late liver stage of infection, parasite survival was not affected, but schizont size was significantly decreased. Furthermore, when the host cell endocytic pathway was loaded with BSA-gold, gold particles were found within the parasite cytoplasm, showing the transport of material from the host endocytic pathway toward the parasite interior. These observations reveal a novel Plasmodium-host interaction and suggest that vesicles from the host endolysosomal pathway could represent an important source of nutrients exploited by the fast-growing late liver stage parasites.
Transferring lipid antigens from membranes into CD1 antigen-presenting proteins represents a major molecular hurdle necessary for T-cell recognition. Saposins facilitate this process, but the mechanisms used are not well understood. We found that saposin B forms soluble saposin protein-lipid complexes detected by native gel electrophoresis that can directly load CD1 proteins. Because saposin B must bind lipids directly to function, we found it could not accommodate long acyl chain containing lipids. In contrast, saposin C facilitates CD1 lipid loading in a different way. It uses a stable, membrane-associated topology and was capable of loading lipid antigens without forming soluble saposin-lipid antigen complexes. These findings reveal how saposins use different strategies to facilitate transfer of structurally diverse lipid antigens.
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