In a previous study, we identified thioredoxin domain containing 16 (TXNDC16) as a meningioma-associated Ag by protein macroarray screening. Serological screening detected autoantibodies against TXNDC16 exclusively in meningioma patients' sera and not in sera of healthy controls. TXNDC16 was previously found to be an endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-luminal glycoprotein. In this study, we show an additional ER-associated localization of TXNDC16 in the cytosol by in vitro synthesis, molecular mass shift assay, and flow cytometry. We were able to show TXNDC16 secretion in different human cell lines due to masked and therefore nonfunctional ER retrieval motif. A previously indicated exosomal TXNDC16 secretion could not be confirmed in HEK293 cells. The secreted serum protein TXNDC16 is bound in circulating immune complexes, which were found both in meningioma and healthy blood donor sera. Employing a customized array with 163 overlapping TXNDC16 peptides and measuring autoantibody reactivity, we achieved discrimination of meningioma sera from healthy controls with an accuracy of 87.2% using a set of only five immunogenic TXNDC16 epitopes.
ComplexinII (CpxII) and SynaptotagminI (SytI) have been implicated in regulating the function of SNARE proteins in exocytosis, but their precise mode of action and potential interplay have remained unknown. In this paper, we show that CpxII increases Ca(2+)-triggered vesicle exocytosis and accelerates its secretory rates, providing two independent, but synergistic, functions to enhance synchronous secretion. Specifically, we demonstrate that the C-terminal domain of CpxII increases the pool of primed vesicles by hindering premature exocytosis at submicromolar Ca(2+) concentrations, whereas the N-terminal domain shortens the secretory delay and accelerates the kinetics of Ca(2+)-triggered exocytosis by increasing the Ca(2+) affinity of synchronous secretion. With its C terminus, CpxII attenuates fluctuations of the early fusion pore and slows its expansion but is functionally antagonized by SytI, enabling rapid transmitter discharge from single vesicles. Thus, our results illustrate how key features of CpxII, SytI, and their interplay transform the constitutively active SNARE-mediated fusion mechanism into a highly synchronized, Ca(2+)-triggered release apparatus.
Large dense core vesicle (LDCV) exocytosis in chromaffin cells follows a well characterized process consisting of docking, priming, and fusion. Total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRFM) studies suggest that some LDCVs, although being able to dock, are resistant to calcium-triggered release. This phenomenon termed dead-end docking has not been investigated until now. We characterized dead-end vesicles using a combination of membrane capacitance measurement and visualization of LDCVs with TIRFM. Stimulation of bovine chromaffin cells for 5 min with 6 ?m free intracellular Ca2+ induced strong secretion and a large reduction of the LDCV density at the plasma membrane. Approximately 15% of the LDCVs were visible at the plasma membrane throughout experiments, indicating they were permanently docked dead-end vesicles. Overexpression of Munc18-2 or SNAP-25 reduced the fraction of dead-end vesicles. Conversely, expressing open-syntaxin increased the fraction of dead-end vesicles. These results indicate the existence of the unproductive target soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor acceptor complex composed of 2:1 syntaxin-SNAP-25 in vivo. More importantly, they define a novel function for this acceptor complex in mediating dead-end docking.
CTLs kill target cells via fusion of lytic granules (LGs) at the immunological synapse (IS). Soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptors (SNAREs) function as executors of exocytosis. The importance of SNAREs in CTL function is evident in the form of familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis type 4 that is caused by mutations in Syntaxin11 (Stx11), a Qa-SNARE protein. Here, we investigate the molecular mechanism of Stx11 function in primary human effector CTLs with high temporal and spatial resolution. Downregulation of endogenous Stx11 resulted in a complete inhibition of LG fusion that was paralleled by a reduction in LG dwell time at the IS. Dual color evanescent wave imaging suggested a sequential process, in which first Stx11 is transported to the IS through a subpopulation of recycling endosomes. The resulting Stx11 clusters at the IS then serve as a platform to mediate fusion of arriving LGs. We conclude that Stx11 functions as a t-SNARE for the final fusion of LG at the IS, explaining the severe phenotype of familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis type 4 on a molecular level.
In order to fuse lytic granules (LGs) with the plasma membrane at the immunological synapse, cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) have to render these LGs fusion-competent through the priming process. In secretory tissues such as brain and neuroendocrine glands, this process is mediated by members of the Munc13 protein family. In human CTLs, mutations in the Munc13-4 gene cause a severe loss in killing efficiency, resulting in familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis type 3, suggesting a similar role of other Munc13 isoforms in the immune system. Here, we investigate the contribution of different Munc13 isoforms to the priming process of murine CTLs at both the mRNA and protein level. We demonstrate that Munc13-1 and Munc13-4 are the only Munc13 isoforms present in mouse CTLs. Both isoforms rescue the drastical secretion defect of CTLs derived from Munc13-4-deficient Jinx mice. Mobility studies using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy indicate that Munc13-4 and Munc13-1 are responsible for the priming process of LGs. Furthermore, the domains of the Munc13 protein, which is responsible for functional fusion, could be identified. We conclude from these data that both isoforms of the Munc13 family, Munc13-1 and Munc13-4, are functionally redundant in murine CTLs.
Snapin associates with SNAP-25 and with assembled SNARE complexes, stabilizing the coupling between Synaptotagmin-1 and SNAP-25. Deletion of Snapin reduces releasable pools of vesicles in chromaffin cells and reduces synchronous release of neurotransmitter in cortical neurons. Snapin deletion leads to a deficit in exocytosis at low calcium concentration with no change in the threshold calcium concentration for exocytosis in chromaffin cells. In order to determine whether Snapin deletion alters release rates or calcium dependence, we examined the effect of overexpression of wild type Snapin on readily releasable pool kinetics and pool size in mouse chromaffin cells. Modest increases in intracellular calcium induced by flash-photolysis unmasked a rapidly releasing component of secretion which was enhanced when Snapin was overexpressed. This result indicates that Snapin allows rapid release at lower intracellular calcium levels at which release of the remaining RRP occurs more slowly.
Cytotoxic T lymphocytes kill virus-infected and tumorigenic target cells through the release of perforin and granzymes via fusion of lytic granules at the contact site, the immunological synapse. It has been postulated that this fusion process is mediated by non-neuronal members of the soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor complex protein family. Here, using a synaptobrevin2-monomeric red fluorescence protein knock-in mouse we demonstrate that, surprisingly, the major neuronal v-SNARE synaptobrevin2 is expressed in cytotoxic T lymphocytes and exclusively localized on granzyme B-containing lytic granules. Cleavage of synaptobrevin2 by tetanus toxin or ablation of the synaptobrevin2 gene leads to a complete block of lytic granule exocytosis while leaving upstream events unaffected, identifying synaptobrevin2 as the v-SNARE responsible for the fusion of lytic granules at the immunological synapse.
Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) form an integral part of the adaptive immune system. Their main function is to eliminate bacteria- and virus-infected target cells by releasing perforin and granzymes (the lethal hit) contained within lytic granules (LGs), at the CTL-target-cell interface [the immunological synapse (IS)]. The formation of the IS as well as the final events at the IS leading to target-cell death are both highly complex and dynamic processes. In this review we highlight and discuss three high-resolution techniques that have proven invaluable in the effort to decipher key features of the mechanism of CTL effector function and in particular lytic granule maturation and fusion. Correlative light and electron microscopy allows the correlation between organelle morphology and localization of particular proteins, while total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRFM) enables the study of lytic granule dynamics at the IS in real time. The combination of TIRFM with patch-clamp membrane capacitance measurements finally provides a tool to quantify the size of fusing LGs at the IS.
Cell polarization enables restriction of signalling into microdomains. Polarization of lymphocytes following formation of a mature immunological synapse (IS) is essential for calcium-dependent T-cell activation. Here, we analyse calcium microdomains at the IS with total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy. We find that the subplasmalemmal calcium signal following IS formation is sufficiently low to prevent calcium-dependent inactivation of ORAI channels. This is achieved by localizing mitochondria close to ORAI channels. Furthermore, we find that plasma membrane calcium ATPases (PMCAs) are re-distributed into areas beneath mitochondria, which prevented PMCA up-modulation and decreased calcium export locally. This nano-scale distribution-only induced following IS formation-maximizes the efficiency of calcium influx through ORAI channels while it decreases calcium clearance by PMCA, resulting in a more sustained NFAT activity and subsequent activation of T cells.
Lytic granule (LG)-mediated apoptosis is the main mechanism by which CTL kill virus-infected and tumorigenic target cells. CTL form a tight junction with the target cells, which is called the immunological synapse (IS). To avoid unwanted killing of neighboring cells, exocytosis of lytic granules (LG) is tightly controlled and restricted to the IS. In this study, we show that in activated human primary CD8(+) T cells, docking of LG at the IS requires tethering LG with CD3-containing endosomes (CD3-endo). Combining total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy and fast deconvolution microscopy (both in living cells) with confocal microscopy (in fixed cells), we found that LG and CD3-endo tether and are cotransported to the IS. Paired but not single LG are accumulated at the IS. The dwell time of LG at the IS is substantially enhanced by tethering with CD3-endo, resulting in a preferential release of paired LG over single LG. The SNARE protein Vti1b is required for tethering of LG and CD3-endo. Downregulation of Vti1b reduces tethering of LG with CD3-endo. This leads to an impaired accumulation and docking of LG at the IS and a reduction of target cell killing. Therefore, Vti1b-dependent tethering of LG and CD3-endo determines accumulation, docking, and efficient lytic granule secretion at the IS.
SNARE proteins are essential fusion mediators for many intracellular trafficking events. Here, we investigate the role of Syntaxin7 (Stx7) in the release of lytic granules from cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). We show that Stx7 is expressed in CTLs and is preferentially localized to the region of lytic granule release, the immunological synapse (IS). Interference of Stx7 function by expression of a dominant-negative Stx7 construct or by small interfering RNA leads to a dramatic reduction of CTL-mediated killing of target cells. Real-time visualization of individual lytic granules at the IS by evanescent wave microscopy reveals that lytic granules in Stx7-deprived CTLs not only fail to fuse with the plasma membrane but even fail to accumulate at the IS. Surprisingly, the accumulation defect is not caused by an overall reduction in lytic granule number, but by a defect in the trafficking of T cell receptors (TCRs) through endosomes. Subsequent high-resolution nanoscopy shows that Stx7 colocalizes with Rab7 on late endosomes. We conclude from these data that the accumulation of recycling TCRs at the IS is a SNARE-dependent process and that Stx7-mediated processing of recycling TCRs through endosomes is a prerequisite for the cytolytic function of CTLs.
The adrenal chromaffin cell serves as a model system to study fast Ca2+-dependent exocytosis. Membrane capacitance measurements in combination with Ca2+ uncaging offers a temporal resolution in the millisecond range and reveals that catecholamine release occurs in three distinct phases. Release of a readily releasable (RRP) and a slowly releasable (SRP) pool are followed by sustained release, due to maturation, and release of vesicles which were not release-ready at the start of the stimulus. Trains of depolarizations, a more physiological stimulus, induce release from a small immediately releasable pool of vesicles residing adjacent to calcium channels, as well as from the RRP. The SRP is poorly activated by depolarization. A sequential model, in which non-releasable docked vesicles are primed to a slowly releasable state, and then further mature to the readily releasable state, has been proposed. The docked state, dependent on membrane proximity, requires SNAP-25, synaptotagmin, and syntaxin. The ablation or modification of SNAP-25 and syntaxin, components of the SNARE complex, as well as of synaptotagmin, the calcium sensor, and modulators such complexins and Snapin alter the properties and/or magnitudes of different phases of release, and in particular can ablate the RRP. These results indicate that the composition of the SNARE complex and its interaction with modulatory molecules drives priming and provides a molecular basis for different pools of releasable vesicles.
Engineered nanoparticles (NPs) offer great application potential in various fields, for example the chemical industry, energy management or medical sciences. Nanoparticles are increasingly being incorporated into daily products. But what happens, if living organisms are exposed to those NPs? Their ability to move seemingly barrier-free in organic tissue could be both beneficial and harmful. Even though research concerning nanotoxicity has already begun, there are still many open questions to be addressed. In this report, we propose a computational model applying the steady-state Hodgkin-Huxley-equations and the Differential Evolution Algorithm for fitting the model to the data of patch-clamp measurements carried out by our group: Coated silvernanoparticles (Ag-Nano) in different concentrations were applied to single chromaffin cells while measuring the ionic currents in the whole-cell configuration. Compared to controls, significant differences in sodium-currents were observed after the application of NPs. Using the computational model, we could evaluate the parameters which model the change in behavior of neuronal cells due to the addition of Ag-Nano. This can ultimately give insight to underlying mechanisms. An integration to model the dynamic behavior of neuronal networks exposed to NP is easily conceivable using this technique.
Priming of large dense-core vesicles (LDCVs) is a Ca(2+)-dependent step by which LDCVs enter a release-ready pool, involving the formation of the soluble N-ethyl-maleimide sensitive fusion protein attachment protein (SNAP) receptor complex consisting of syntaxin, SNAP-25, and synaptobrevin. Using mice lacking both isoforms of the calcium-dependent activator protein for secretion (CAPS), we show that LDCV priming in adrenal chromaffin cells entails two distinct steps. CAPS is required for priming of the readily releasable LDCV pool and sustained secretion in the continued presence of high Ca(2+) concentrations. Either CAPS1 or CAPS2 can rescue secretion in cells lacking both CAPS isoforms. Furthermore, the deficit in the readily releasable LDCV pool resulting from CAPS deletion is reversed by a constitutively open form of syntaxin but not by Munc13-1, a priming protein that facilitates the conversion of syntaxin to the open conformation. Our data indicate that CAPS functions downstream of Munc13s but also interacts functionally with Munc13s in the LDCV-priming process.
The protein tomosyn decreases synaptic transmission and release probability of vesicles, and is essential for modulating synaptic transmission in neurons. In this study, we provide a detailed description of the expression and localization patterns of tomosyn1 and tomosyn2 in the subareas of the mouse hippocampus. Using confocal and two-photon high-resolution microscopy we demonstrate that tomosyn colocalizes with several pre- and postsynaptic markers and is found mainly in glutamatergic synapses. Specifically, we show that tomosyn1 is differentially distributed in the mouse hippocampus and concentrated mainly in the hilus and mossy fibers. Surprisingly, we found that tomosyn2 is expressed in the subiculum, CA1 and CA2 pyramidal cell bodies, dendrites and spines, and colocalizes with PSD95, suggesting a postsynaptic role. These results suggest that in addition to the well-characterized presynaptic function of tomosyn in neurotransmitter release, tomosyn2 might have a postsynaptic function, and place tomosyn as a more general regulator of synaptic transmission and plasticity.
Neuronal communication relies on rapid and discrete intercellular signaling but neither the molecular mechanisms of the exocytotic machinery that define the timing of the action potential-evoked response nor those controlling the kinetics of transmitter release from single synaptic vesicles are known. Here, we investigate how interference with the putative force transduction between the complex-forming SNARE (soluble N-ethylamide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor) domain and the transmembrane anchor of synaptobrevin II (SybII) affects action potential-evoked currents and spontaneous, quantal transmitter release at mouse hippocampal synapses. The results indicate that SybII-generated membrane stress effectively determines the kinetics of the action potential-evoked response and show that SNARE force modulates the concentration profile of cleft glutamate by controlling the rate of transmitter release from the single synaptic vesicle. Thus, multiple SybII actions determine the exquisite temporal regulation of neuronal signaling.
Regulation of exocytosis by voltage-gated K(+) channels has classically been viewed as inhibition mediated by K(+) fluxes. We recently identified a new role for Kv2.1 in facilitating vesicle release from neuroendocrine cells, which is independent of K(+) flux. Here, we show that Kv2.1-induced facilitation of release is not restricted to neuroendocrine cells, but also occurs in the somatic-vesicle release from dorsal-root-ganglion neurons and is mediated by direct association of Kv2.1 with syntaxin. We further show in adrenal chromaffin cells that facilitation induced by both wild-type and non-conducting mutant Kv2.1 channels in response to long stimulation persists during successive stimulation, and can be attributed to an increased number of exocytotic events and not to changes in single-spike kinetics. Moreover, rigorous analysis of the pools of released vesicles reveals that Kv2.1 enhances the rate of vesicle recruitment during stimulation with high Ca(2+), without affecting the size of the readily releasable vesicle pool. These findings place a voltage-gated K(+) channel among the syntaxin-binding proteins that directly regulate pre-fusion steps in exocytosis.
Abeta accumulation has an important function in the etiology of Alzheimers disease (AD) with its typical clinical symptoms, like memory impairment and changes in personality. However, the mode of this toxic activity is still a matter of scientific debate. We used the APP/PS1KI mouse model for AD, because it is the only model so far which develops 50% hippocampal CA1 neuron loss at the age of 1 year. Previously, we have shown that this model develops severe learning deficits occurring much earlier at the age of 6 months. This observation prompted us to study the anatomical and cellular basis at this time point in more detail. In the current report, we observed that at 6 months of age there is already a 33% CA1 neuron loss and an 18% atrophy of the hippocampus, together with a drastic reduction of long-term potentiation and disrupted paired pulse facilitation. Interestingly, at 4 months of age, there was no long-term potentiation deficit in CA1. This was accompanied by reduced levels of pre- and post-synaptic markers. We also observed that intraneuronal and total amount of different Abeta peptides including N-modified, fibrillar and oligomeric Abeta species increased and coincided well with CA1 neuron loss. Overall, these data provide the basis for the observed robust working memory deficits in this mouse model for AD at 6 months of age.
The "Ca(2+)-dependent activator protein for secretion" (CAPS) is a protein which reconstitutes regulated secretion in permeabilized neuroendocrine cells. It is generally accepted that CAPS plays an important role in the release of the contents of dense core vesicles in the nervous system as well as in a variety of other secretory tissues. At which step in the exocytotic process CAPS functions as well as its role in the fusion of synaptic vesicles is still under dispute. A recent growth spurt in the CAPS field has been fueled by genetic approaches in Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila as well as the application of knockout and knockdown approaches in mouse cells and in cell lines, respectively. We have attempted to review the body of work that established CAPS as an important regulator of secretion and to describe new information that has furthered our understanding of how CAPS may function. We discuss the conclusions, point out areas where controversy remains, and suggest directions for future experiments.
Many regulatory steps precede final membrane fusion in neuroendocrine cells. Some parts of this preparatory cascade, including fusion and priming, are dependent on the intracellular Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)). However, the functional implications of [Ca(2+)](i) in the regulation of docking remain elusive and controversial due to an inability to determine the modulatory effect of [Ca(2+)](i). Using a combination of TIRF-microscopy and electrophysiology we followed the movement of large dense core vesicles (LDCVs) close to the plasma membrane, simultaneously measuring membrane capacitance and [Ca(2+)](i). We found that a free [Ca(2+)](i) of 700 nM maximized the immediately releasable pool and minimized the lateral mobility of vesicles, which is consistent with a maximal increase of the pool size of primed LDCVs. The parameters that reflect docking, i.e. axial mobility and the fraction of LDCVs residing at the plasma membrane for less than 5 seconds, were strongly decreased at a free [Ca(2+)](i) of 500 nM. These results provide the first evidence that docking and priming occur at different free intracellular Ca(2+) concentrations, with docking efficiency being the most robust at 500 nM.
Chromaffin cells from the adrenal medulla secrete catecholamines into the blood stream as part of the fight-or-flight response. Cytotoxic T lymphocytes from the immune system release cytotoxic substances to kill antigen-presenting cells. While at first glance these two cell types do not seem to have much in common, evidence from human diseases indicates that the molecular mechanisms of exocytosis of the respective granules share many similar features. In this review we highlight the similarities and differences of individual aspects of granule maturation and release in both cell types. In addition, we discuss established and putative molecules involved in distinct steps and suggest technical approaches which might facilitate future studies in chromaffin cells and cytotoxic T lymphocytes.
The efficient synthesis, physicochemical and photolytical properties of a photoactivable BAPTA-based Ca(2+) cage containing two photosensitive o-nitrobenzhydryl groups attached to the aromatic core are described. Ca(2+) release in living cells was evaluated. The double substitution with the chromophores caused a significant improvement of the Ca(2+) release properties of nitr-T versus singly substituted reported nitr-x derivatives without compromising Ca(2+)/Mg(2+) selectivity or pH insensitivity. Our results demonstrate a general strategy to improve light-triggered Ca(2+) release which may result in more efficient, selective, and pH-insensitive photolabile Ca(2+) chelators.
Co-translational transport of polypeptides into the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) involves the Sec61 channel and additional components such as the ER lumenal Hsp70 BiP and its membrane-resident co-chaperone Sec63p in yeast. We investigated whether silencing the SEC61A1 gene in human cells affects co- and post-translational transport of presecretory proteins into the ER and post-translational membrane integration of tail-anchored proteins. Although silencing the SEC61A1 gene in HeLa cells inhibited co- and post-translational transport of signal-peptide-containing precursor proteins into the ER of semi-permeabilized cells, silencing the SEC61A1 gene did not affect transport of various types of tail-anchored protein. Furthermore, we demonstrated, with a similar knockdown approach, a precursor-specific involvement of mammalian Sec63 in the initial phase of co-translational protein transport into the ER. By contrast, silencing the SEC62 gene inhibited only post-translational transport of a signal-peptide-containing precursor protein.
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