Lateral variation of the in-plane orientation of lipids in a bilayer is referred to as texture. The influence of the protein Shiga toxin on orientational membrane texture was studied in phosphatidylcholine lipid bilayers using polarization two-photon fluorescence microscopy and atomic force microscopy. A content of 1% of glycosphingolipid globotriaosylceramide (Gb3) receptor lipids in a bilayer was used to bind the Shiga toxin B-subunit to the surface of gel domains. Binding of the Shiga toxin B-subunit to lipids led to the modulation of orientational membrane texture in gel domains and induced membrane reordering. When Shiga toxin was added above the lipid chain melting temperature, the toxin interaction with the membrane induced rearrangement and clustering of Gb3 lipids that resulted in the long range order and alignment of lipids in gel domains. The toxin induced redistribution of Gb3 lipids inside gel domains is governed by the temperature at which Shiga toxin was added to the membrane: above or below the phase transition. The temperature is thus one of the critical factors controlling lipid organization and texture in the presence of Shiga toxin. Lipid chain ordering imposed by Shiga toxin binding can be another factor driving the reconstruction of lipid organization and crystallization of lipids inside gel domains.
Globotriaosylceramide (Gb3), a glycosphingolipid found in the plasma membrane of animal cells, is the endocytic receptor of the bacterial Shiga toxin. Using x-ray reflectivity (XR) and grazing incidence x-ray diffraction (GIXD), lipid monolayers containing Gb3 were investigated at the air-water interface. XR probed Gb3 carbohydrate conformation normal to the interface, whereas GIXD precisely characterized Gb3's influence on acyl chain in-plane packing and area per molecule (APM). Two phospholipids, 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DSPC) and 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (DPPE), were used to study Gb3 packing in different lipid environments. Furthermore, the impact on monolayer structure of a naturally extracted Gb3 mixture was compared to synthetic Gb3 species with uniquely defined acyl chain structures. XR results showed that lipid environment and Gb3 acyl chain structure impact carbohydrate conformation with greater solvent accessibility observed for smaller phospholipid headgroups and long Gb3 acyl chains. In general, GIXD showed that Gb3 condensed phospholipid packing resulting in smaller APM than predicted by ideal mixing. Gb3's capacity to condense APM was larger for DSPC monolayers and exhibited different dependencies on acyl chain structure depending on the lipid environment. The interplay between Gb3-induced changes in lipid packing and the lipid environment's impact on carbohydrate conformation has broad implications for glycosphingolipid macromolecule recognition and ligand binding.
Several cell surface molecules including signalling receptors are internalized by clathrin-independent endocytosis. How this process is initiated, how cargo proteins are sorted and membranes are bent remains unknown. Here, we found that a carbohydrate-binding protein, galectin-3 (Gal3), triggered the glycosphingolipid (GSL)-dependent biogenesis of a morphologically distinct class of endocytic structures, termed clathrin-independent carriers (CLICs). Super-resolution and reconstitution studies showed that Gal3 required GSLs for clustering and membrane bending. Gal3 interacted with a defined set of cargo proteins. Cellular uptake of the CLIC cargo CD44 was dependent on Gal3, GSLs and branched N-glycosylation. Endocytosis of ?1-integrin was also reliant on Gal3. Analysis of different galectins revealed a distinct profile of cargoes and uptake structures, suggesting the existence of different CLIC populations. We conclude that Gal3 functionally integrates carbohydrate specificity on cargo proteins with the capacity of GSLs to drive clathrin-independent plasma membrane bending as a first step of CLIC biogenesis.
Several exogenous and endogenous cargo proteins are internalized independently of clathrin, including the bacterial Shiga toxin. The mechanisms underlying early steps of clathrin-independent uptake remain largely unknown. In this study, we have designed a protocol to obtain gradient fractions containing Shiga toxin internalization intermediates. Using stable isotope labeling with amino acids in cell culture (SILAC) and quantitative mass spectrometry, Rab12 was found in association with these very early uptake carriers. The localization of the GTPase on Shiga toxin-induced plasma membrane invaginations was shown by fluorescence microscopy in cells transfected with GFP-Rab12. Furthermore, using a quantitative biochemical assay, it was found that the amount of receptor-binding B-subunit of Shiga toxin reaching the trans-Golgi/TGN membranes was decreased in Rab12-depleted cells, and that cells were partially protected against intoxication by Shiga-like toxin 1 under these conditions. These findings demonstrate the functional importance of Rab12 for retrograde toxin trafficking. Among several other intracellular transport pathways, only the steady-state localizations of TGN46 and cation-independent mannose-6-phosphate receptor were affected. These data thus strongly suggest that Rab12 functions in the retrograde transport route.
This study reports the synthesis, chromatographic separation, and pharmacological evaluation of the two enantiomers of a new compound, named Retro-2.1, active against toxins by inhibiting intracellular trafficking via the retrograde route. The absolute configuration of the bioactive enantiomer has been assigned from X-ray diffraction to the (S)-enantiomer. To date, (S)-Retro-2.1 is the most potent molecule to counteract the cytotoxic potential of ricin and Shiga toxin, with EC50 values of 23 and 54 nM, respectively.
Numerous biological processes rely on endocytosis. The construction of endocytic pits is achieved by a bewildering complexity of biochemical factors that function in clathrin-dependent and -independent pathways. In this review, we argue that this complexity can be conceptualized by a deceptively small number of physical principles that fall into two broad categories: passive mechanisms, such as asymmetric transbilayer stress, scaffolding, line tension, and crowding, and active mechanisms driven by mechanochemical enzymes and/or cytoskeleton. We illustrate how the functional identity of biochemical modules depends on system parameters such as local protein density on membranes, thus explaining some of the controversy in the field. Different modules frequently operate in parallel in the same step and often are shared by apparently divergent uptake processes. The emergence of a novel endocytic classification system may thus be envisioned in which functional modules are the elementary bricks.
We have developed a chemical biology strategy to identify proteins that follow the retrograde transport route from the plasma membrane to the Golgi apparatus, via endosomes. The general principle is the following: plasma membrane proteins are covalently tagged with a first probe. Only the ones that are then transported to trans-Golgi/TGN membranes are covalently bound to a capture reagent that has been engineered into this compartment. Specifically, the first probe is benzylguanine (BG) that is conjugated onto primary amino groups of plasma-membrane proteins. The capture reagent includes an O(6)-alkylguanine-DNA alkyltransferase-derived fragment, the SNAP-tag, which forms a covalent linkage with BG. The SNAP-tag is fused to the GFP-tagged Golgi membrane anchor from galactosyl transferase for proper targeting to trans-Golgi/TGN membranes. Cell-surface BG-tagged proteins that are transported to trans-Golgi/TGN membranes (i.e., that are retrograde cargoes) are thereby covalently captured by the SNAP-tag fusion protein. For identification, the latter is immunopurified using GFP-Trap, and associated retrograde cargo proteins are identified by mass spectrometry. We here provide a step-by-step protocol of this method.
Newly synthesized proteins and lipids are transported across the Golgi complex via different mechanisms whose respective roles are not completely clear. We previously identified a non-vesicular intra-Golgi transport pathway for glucosylceramide (GlcCer)--the common precursor of the different series of glycosphingolipids-that is operated by the cytosolic GlcCer-transfer protein FAPP2 (also known as PLEKHA8) (ref. 1). However, the molecular determinants of the FAPP2-mediated transfer of GlcCer from the cis-Golgi to the trans-Golgi network, as well as the physiological relevance of maintaining two parallel transport pathways of GlcCer--vesicular and non-vesicular--through the Golgi, remain poorly defined. Here, using mouse and cell models, we clarify the molecular mechanisms underlying the intra-Golgi vectorial transfer of GlcCer by FAPP2 and show that GlcCer is channelled by vesicular and non-vesicular transport to two topologically distinct glycosylation tracks in the Golgi cisternae and the trans-Golgi network, respectively. Our results indicate that the transport modality across the Golgi complex is a key determinant for the glycosylation pattern of a cargo and establish a new paradigm for the branching of the glycosphingolipid synthetic pathway.
The inhibition of phosphatidic acid phosphatase (PAP) activity by propanolol indicates that diacylglycerol (DAG) is required for the formation of transport carriers at the Golgi and for retrograde trafficking to the ER. Here we report that the PAP2 family member lipid phosphate phosphatase 3 (LPP3, also known as PAP2b) localizes in compartments of the secretory pathway from ER export sites to the Golgi complex. The depletion of human LPP3: (i) reduces the number of tubules generated from the ER-Golgi intermediate compartment and the Golgi, with those formed from the Golgi being longer in LPP3-silenced cells than in control cells; (ii) impairs the Rab6-dependent retrograde transport of Shiga toxin subunit B from the Golgi to the ER, but not the anterograde transport of VSV-G or ssDsRed; and (iii) induces a high accumulation of Golgi-associated membrane buds. LPP3 depletion also reduces levels of de novo synthesized DAG and the Golgi-associated DAG contents. Remarkably, overexpression of a catalytically inactive form of LPP3 mimics the effects of LPP3 knockdown on Rab6-dependent retrograde transport. We conclude that LPP3 participates in the formation of retrograde transport carriers at the ER-Golgi interface, where it transitorily cycles, and during its route to the plasma membrane.
The Retro-2 molecule protects cells against Shiga toxins by specifically blocking retrograde transport from early endosomes to the trans-Golgi network. A SAR study has been carried out to identify more potent compounds. Cyclization and modifications of Retro-2 led to a compound with roughly 100-fold improvement of the EC50 against Shiga toxin cytotoxicity measured in a cell protein synthesis assay. We also demonstrated that only one enantiomer of the dihydroquinazolinone reported herein is bioactive.
The bacteria causing Legionnaires disease, Legionella pneumophila, replicate intracellularly within unique Legionella-containing vacuoles (LCVs). LCV formation involves a type IV secretion system (T4SS) that translocates effector proteins into host cells. We show that the T4SS effector RidL localizes to LCVs, supports intracellular bacterial growth, and alters retrograde trafficking, in which selected proteins are transported from endosomes to the Golgi. The retromer complex that mediates retrograde trafficking localizes to LCVs independently of RidL and restricts intracellular bacterial growth. RidL binds the Vps29 retromer subunit and the lipid PtdIns(3)P, which localizes retromer components to membranes. Additionally, specific retromer cargo receptors and sorting nexins that mediate protein capture and membrane remodeling preferentially localize to LCVs in the absence of ridL. Ectopic RidL production inhibits retrograde trafficking, and L. pneumophila blocks retrograde transport at endosome exit sites in a ridL-dependent manner. Collectively, these findings suggest that RidL inhibits retromer function to promote intracellular bacterial replication.
Although many human cancers are located in mucosal sites, most cancer vaccines are tested against subcutaneous tumors in preclinical models. We therefore wondered whether mucosa-specific homing instructions to the immune system might influence mucosal tumor outgrowth. We showed that the growth of orthotopic head and neck or lung cancers was inhibited when a cancer vaccine was delivered by the intranasal mucosal route but not the intramuscular route. This antitumor effect was dependent on CD8? T cells. Indeed, only intranasal vaccination elicited mucosal-specific CD8? T cells expressing the mucosal integrin CD49a. Blockade of CD49a decreased intratumoral CD8? T cell infiltration and the efficacy of cancer vaccine on mucosal tumor. We then showed that after intranasal vaccination, dendritic cells from lung parenchyma, but not those from spleen, induced the expression of CD49a on cocultured specific CD8? T cells. Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes from human mucosal lung cancer also expressed CD49a, which supports the relevance and possible extrapolation of these results in humans. We thus identified a link between the route of vaccination and the induction of a mucosal homing program on induced CD8? T cells that controlled their trafficking. Immunization route directly affected the efficacy of the cancer vaccine to control mucosal tumors.
Regulatory T cells (Tregs) may impede cancer vaccine efficacy in hematologic malignancies and cancer. CCR4 antagonists, an emergent class of Treg inhibitor, have been shown to block recruitment of Tregs mediated by CCL22 and CCL17. Our aim was to demonstrate the ability of a CCR4 antagonist (a small chemical molecule identified in silico) when combined with vaccines to break peripheral tolerance controlled by Tregs, a prerequisite for the induction of CD8(+) T cells against self Ags. Immunization of transgenic or normal mice expressing tumor-associated self Ags (Her2/neu, OVA, gp100) with a CCR4 antagonist combined with various vaccines led to the induction of effector CD8(+) T cells and partial inhibition of tumor growth expressing self Ags in both prophylactic and therapeutic settings. The CCR4 antagonist was more efficient than cyclophosphamide to elicit anti-self CD8(+) T cells. We also showed that the population of Tregs expressing CCR4 corresponded to memory (CD44(high)) and activated (ICOS(+)) Tregs, an important population to be targeted to modulate Treg activity. CCR4 antagonist represents a competitive class of Treg inhibitor able to induce functional anti-self CD8(+) T cells and tumor growth inhibition when combined with vaccines. High expression of CCR4 on human Tregs also supports the clinical development of this strategy.
The architecture of the plasma membrane is not only determined by the lipid and protein composition, but is also influenced by its attachment to the underlying cytoskeleton. Herein, we show that microscopic phase separation of "raft-like" lipid mixtures in pore-spanning bilayers is strongly determined by the underlying highly ordered porous substrate. In detail, lipid membranes composed of DOPC/sphingomyelin/cholesterol/Gb(3) were prepared on ordered pore arrays in silicon with pore diameters of 0.8, 1.2 and 2 ?m, respectively, by spreading and fusion of giant unilamellar vesicles. The upper part of the silicon substrate was first coated with gold and then functionalized with a thiol-bearing cholesterol derivative rendering the surface hydrophobic, which is prerequisite for membrane formation. Confocal laser scanning fluorescence microscopy was used to investigate the phase behavior of the obtained pore-spanning membranes. Coexisting liquid-ordered- (l(o)) and liquid-disordered (l(d)) domains were visualized for DOPC/sphingomyelin/cholesterol/Gb(3) (40:35:20:5) membranes. The size of the l(o)-phase domains was strongly affected by the underlying pore size of the silicon substrate and could be controlled by temperature, and the cholesterol content in the membrane, which was modulated by the addition of methyl-?-cyclodextrin. Binding of Shiga toxin B-pentamers to the Gb(3)-doped membranes increased the l(o)-phase considerably and even induced l(o)-phase domains in non-phase separated bilayers composed of DOPC/sphingomyelin/cholesterol/Gb(3) (65:10:20:5).
Pancreatic carcinoma is one of the most aggressive tumor entities, and standard chemotherapy provides only modest benefit. Therefore, specific targeting of pancreatic cancer for early diagnosis and therapeutic intervention is of great interest. We have previously shown that the cellular receptor for Shiga toxin B (STxB), the glycosphingolipid globotriaosylceramide (Gb(3) or CD77) is strongly increased in colorectal adenocarcinoma and their metastases. Here, we report an upregulation of Gb(3) in pancreatic adenocarcinoma (21 of 27 cases) as compared with matched normal tissue (n = 27). The mean expression was highly significantly increased from 30 ± 16 ng Gb(3)/mg tissue in normal pancreas to 61 ± 41 ng Gb(3)/mg tissue (mean ± SD, P = 0.0006), as evidenced by thin layer chromatography. Upregulation of Gb(3) levels did not depend on tumor stage or grading and showed no correlation with clinical outcome. Tumor cells and endothelial cells were identified as the source of increased Gb(3) expression by immunocytochemistry. Pancreatic cancer cell lines showed rapid intracellular uptake of STxB to the Golgi apparatus, following the retrograde pathway. The therapeutic application of STxB was tested by specific delivery of covalently coupled SN38, an active metabolite of the topoisomerase I inhibitor irinotecan. The cytotoxic effect of the STxB-SN38 compound in pancreatic cancer cell lines was increased more than 100-fold compared with irinotecan. Moreover, this effect was effectively blocked by competing incubation with nonlabeled STxB, showing the specificity of the targeting. Thus, STxB constitutes a promising new tool for specific targeting of pancreatic cancer.
Intracellular transport of cholesterol contributes to the regulation of cellular cholesterol homeostasis by mechanisms that are yet poorly defined. In this study, we characterized the impact of dynasore, a recently described drug that specifically inhibits the enzymatic activity of dynamin, a GTPase regulating receptor endocytosis and cholesterol trafficking. Dynasore strongly inhibited the uptake of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in HeLa cells, and to a lower extent in human macrophages. In both cell types, dynasore treatment led to the abnormal accumulation of LDL and free cholesterol (FC) within the endolysosomal network. The measure of cholesterol esters (CE) further showed that the delivery of regulatory cholesterol to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) was deficient. This resulted in the inhibition of the transcriptional control of the three major sterol-sensitive genes, sterol-regulatory element binding protein 2 (SREBP-2), 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-coenzymeA reductase (HMGCoAR), and low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR). The sequestration of cholesterol in the endolysosomal compartment impaired both the active and passive cholesterol efflux in HMDM. Our data further illustrate the importance of membrane trafficking in cholesterol homeostasis and validate dynasore as a new pharmacological tool to study the intracellular transport of cholesterol.
The retromer complex coordinates retrograde transport of cargo proteins between endosomes and the trans-Golgi network. The sorting nexin SNX3 is required for the retrograde trafficking of Wntless, but not of other retrograde cargo proteins, revealing that the cargo specificity of retromer is provided by the sorting nexins.
Some proteins and lipids traffic from the plasma membrane to the trans Golgi network (TGN)/Golgi apparatus and the endoplasmic reticulum, via the retrograde transport route. Endosomes are an obligatory through station. Whether early, recycling and late endosomes all hand off material to the TGN have remained a matter of debate. In this review, we give a short historical overview on how retrograde transport was discovered and explored. We then summarize and critically discuss data that have been put forward in favour of the existence of trafficking interfaces between each of the different endocytic localizations and the TGN. We finally point out some conceptual and technological challenges that will have to be met to establish definite conclusions for each of these scenarios.
The present study demonstrates the targeting of ultrasound contrast agents to human xenograft tumors by exploiting the overexpression of the glycolipid Gb3 in neovasculature. To this end, microbubbles were functionalized with a natural Gb3 ligand, the B subunit of the Shiga toxin (STxB). The targeting of Gb3-expressing tumor cells by STxB microbubbles was first shown by flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy. A significantly higher proportion of STxB microbubbles were associated with Gb3-expressing tumor cells compared to cells in which Gb3 expression was inhibited. Moreover, ultrasonic imaging of culture plates showed a 12 dB contrast enhancement in average backscattered acoustic intensity on the surface of Gb3-expressing cells compared to Gb3-negative cells. Also, a 18 dB contrast enhancement was found in favor of STxB microbubbles compared to unspecific microbubbles. Microbubble signal intensity in subcutaneous tumors in mice was more than twice as high after the injection of STxB-functionalized microbubbles compared to the injection of unspecific microbubbles. These in vitro and in vivo experiments demonstrated that STxB-functionalized microbubbles bind specifically to cells expressing the Gb3 glycolipid. The cell-binding moieties of toxins thus appear as a new group of ligands for angiogenesis imaging with ultrasound.
The functions of caveolae, the characteristic plasma membrane invaginations, remain debated. Their abundance in cells experiencing mechanical stress led us to investigate their role in membrane-mediated mechanical response. Acute mechanical stress induced by osmotic swelling or by uniaxial stretching results in a rapid disappearance of caveolae, in a reduced caveolin/Cavin1 interaction, and in an increase of free caveolins at the plasma membrane. Tether-pulling force measurements in cells and in plasma membrane spheres demonstrate that caveola flattening and disassembly is the primary actin- and ATP-independent cell response that buffers membrane tension surges during mechanical stress. Conversely, stress release leads to complete caveola reassembly in an actin- and ATP-dependent process. The absence of a functional caveola reservoir in myotubes from muscular dystrophic patients enhanced membrane fragility under mechanical stress. Our findings support a new role for caveolae as a physiological membrane reservoir that quickly accommodates sudden and acute mechanical stresses.
Clostridial binary toxins, such as Clostridium perfringens Iota and Clostridium botulinum C2, are composed of a binding protein (Ib and C2II respectively) that recognizes distinct membrane receptors and mediates internalization of a catalytic protein (Ia and C2-I respectively) with ADP-ribosyltransferase activity that disrupts the actin cytoskeleton. We show here that the endocytic pathway followed by these toxins is independent of clathrin but requires the activity of dynamin and is regulated by Rho-GDI. This endocytic pathway is similar to a recently characterized clathrin-independent pathway followed by the interleukin-2 (IL2) receptor. We found indeed that Ib and C2II colocalized intracellularly with the IL2 receptor but not the transferrin receptor after different times of endocytosis. Accordingly, the intracellular effects of Iota and C2 on the cytoskeleton were inhibited by inactivation of dynamin or by Rho-GDI whereas inhibitors of clathrin-dependent endocytosis had no protective effect.
To maintain cell membrane homeostasis, lipids must be dynamically redistributed during the formation of transport intermediates, but the mechanisms driving lipid sorting are not yet fully understood. Lowering sphingolipid concentration can reduce the bending energy of a membrane, and this effect could account for sphingolipid depletion along the retrograde pathway. However, sphingolipids and cholesterol are enriched along the anterograde pathway, implying that other lipid sorting mechanisms, such as protein-mediated sorting, can dominate. To characterize the influence of protein binding on the lipid composition of highly curved membranes, we studied the interactions of the B-subunit of Shiga toxin (STxB) with giant unilamellar vesicles containing its glycosphingolipid receptor [globotriaosylceramide (Gb3)]. STxB binding induced the formation of tubular membrane invaginations, and fluorescence microscopy images of these highly curved membranes were consistent with co-enrichment of Gb3 and sphingolipids. In agreement with theory, sorting was stronger for membrane compositions close to demixing. These results strongly support the hypothesis that proteins can indirectly mediate the sorting of lipids into highly curved transport intermediates via interactions between lipids and the membrane receptor of the protein.
Lipid segregation occurs in biological membranes, but how this plays into cellular processes like endocytosis has been unclear. Here, we discuss how the active or passive induction of lipid-protein domain formation in membranes can alter membrane mechanics and thus affect processes such as the generation of curvature, the scission of buds and tubules, and lipid sorting.
The retrograde transport route links early endosomes and the TGN. Several endogenous and exogenous cargo proteins use this pathway, one of which is the well-explored bacterial Shiga toxin. ADP-ribosylation factors (Arfs) are approximately 20 kDa GTP-binding proteins that are required for protein traffic at the level of the Golgi complex and early endosomes. In this study, we expressed mutants and protein fragments that bind to Arf-GTP to show that Arf1, but not Arf6 is required for transport of Shiga toxin from early endosomes to the TGN. We depleted six Arf1-specific ARF-GTPase-activating proteins and identified AGAP2 as a crucial regulator of retrograde transport for Shiga toxin, cholera toxin and the endogenous proteins TGN46 and mannose 6-phosphate receptor. In AGAP2-depleted cells, Shiga toxin accumulates in transferrin-receptor-positive early endosomes, suggesting that AGAP2 functions in the very early steps of retrograde sorting. A number of other intracellular trafficking pathways are not affected under these conditions. These results establish that Arf1 and AGAP2 have key trafficking functions at the interface between early endosomes and the TGN.
Nascent transport intermediates detach from donor membranes by scission. This process can take place in the absence of dynamin, notably in clathrin-independent endocytosis, by mechanisms that are yet poorly defined. We show here that in cells scission of Shiga toxin-induced tubular endocytic membrane invaginations is preceded by cholesterol-dependent membrane reorganization and correlates with the formation of membrane domains on model membranes, suggesting that domain boundary forces are driving tubule membrane constriction. Actin triggers scission by inducing such membrane reorganization process. Tubule occurrence is indeed increased upon cellular depletion of the actin nucleator component Arp2, and the formation of a cortical actin shell in liposomes is sufficient to trigger the scission of Shiga toxin-induced tubules in a cholesterol-dependent but dynamin-independent manner. Our study suggests that membranes in tubular Shiga toxin-induced invaginations are poised to undergo actin-triggered reorganization leading to scission by a physical mechanism that may function independently from or in synergy with pinchase activity.
The integrated analysis of intracellular trafficking pathways is one of the current challenges in the field of cell biology, and functional proteomics has become a powerful technique for the large-scale identification of proteins or lipids and the elucidation of biological processes in their natural contexts. For this, new dynamic strategies must be devised to trace proteins that follow a specific pathway such that their initial and final destinations can be detected by automated means.
Bacterial Shiga-like toxins are virulence factors that constitute a significant public health threat worldwide, and the plant toxin ricin is a potential bioterror weapon. To gain access to their cytosolic target, ribosomal RNA, these toxins follow the retrograde transport route from the plasma membrane to the endoplasmic reticulum, via endosomes and the Golgi apparatus. Here, we used high-throughput screening to identify small molecule inhibitors that protect cells from ricin and Shiga-like toxins. We identified two compounds that selectively block retrograde toxin trafficking at the early endosome-TGN interface, without affecting compartment morphology, endogenous retrograde cargos, or other trafficking steps, demonstrating an unexpected degree of selectivity and lack of toxicity. In mice, one compound clearly protects from lethal nasal exposure to ricin. Our work discovers the first small molecule that shows efficacy against ricin in animal experiments and identifies the retrograde route as a potential therapeutic target.
Clathrin heavy chain 22 (CHC22) is an isoform of the well-characterized CHC17 clathrin heavy chain, a coat component of vesicles that mediate endocytosis and organelle biogenesis. CHC22 has a distinct role from CHC17 in trafficking glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) in skeletal muscle and fat, though its transfection into HEK293 cells suggests functional redundancy. Here, we show that CHC22 is eightfold less abundant than CHC17 in muscle, other cell types have variably lower amounts of CHC22, and endogenous CHC22 and CHC17 function independently in nonmuscle and muscle cells. CHC22 was required for retrograde trafficking of certain cargo molecules from endosomes to the trans-Golgi network (TGN), defining a novel endosomal-sorting step distinguishable from that mediated by CHC17 and retromer. In muscle cells, depletion of syntaxin 10 as well as CHC22 affected GLUT4 targeting, establishing retrograde endosome-TGN transport as critical for GLUT4 trafficking. Like CHC22, syntaxin 10 is not expressed in mice but is present in humans and other vertebrates, implicating two species-restricted endosomal traffic proteins in GLUT4 transport.
Peptide-protein conjugates are useful tools in different fields of research as, for instance, the development of vaccines and drugs or for studying biological mechanisms, to cite only few applications. N-Succinimidyl carbamate (NSC) chemistry has been scarcely used in this area. We show that unprotected peptides, featuring one lysine residue within their sequences, can be converted in good yield into NSC derivatives by reaction with disuccinimidylcarbonate (DSC). No hydrolysis of the NSC group was observed during RP-HPLC purification, lyophilization, or storage. NSC peptides reacted efficiently within minutes with lysozyme used as model protein. To illustrate usefulness of the method consisting of the synthesis of a peptide-protein conjugate of biological interest, a NSC peptide derived from a peptide substrate for tyrosylprotein sulfotransferase (TS) was synthesized and ligated to receptor-binding nontoxic B-subunit of Shiga toxin (STxB). Immunofluorescence studies showed the intracellular delivery of the TS-STxB conjugate and its ability to circulate to the Golgi as the native STxB protein. Moreover, we demonstrate that the TS label could be sulfated by tyrosylprotein sulfotransferases present in the Golgi. Thus, NSC chemistry permitted rapid synthesis of a peptide-protein conjugate worthwhile for studying the transport of proteins from the plasma membrane to the Golgi. The second part of this article describes a more general method for synthesizing peptide-protein conjugates without any limitation of the peptide sequence. The conjugates were assembled by combining NSC chemistry and alpha-oxo semicarbazone ligation. To this end, a glyoxylyl NSC peptide was synthesized and reacted with lysozyme. The glyoxylyl groups on the protein were then reacted with a semicarbazide peptide to produce the target peptide-protein conjugate. Both reactions, namely, urea bond formation and alpha-oxo semicarbazone ligation, were carried at pH 8.0 using a one-pot procedure.
Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli is an emergent pathogen that can induce haemolytic uraemic syndrome. The toxin has received considerable attention not only from microbiologists but also in the field of cell biology, where it has become a powerful tool to study intracellular trafficking. In this Review, we summarize the Shiga toxin family members and their structures, receptors, trafficking pathways and cellular targets. We discuss how Shiga toxin affects cells not only by inhibiting protein biosynthesis but also through the induction of signalling cascades that lead to apoptosis. Finally, we discuss how Shiga toxins might be exploited in cancer therapy and immunotherapy.
Clathrin and retromer have key functions for retrograde trafficking between early endosomes and the trans-Golgi network (TGN). Previous studies on Shiga toxin suggested that these two coat complexes operate in a sequential manner. Here, we show that the curvature recognition subunit component sorting nexin 1 (SNX1) of retromer interacts with receptor-mediated endocytosis-8 (RME-8) protein, and that RME-8 and SNX1 colocalize on early endosomes together with a model cargo of the retrograde route, the receptor-binding B-subunit of Shiga toxin (STxB). RME-8 has previously been found to bind to the clathrin uncoating adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase) Hsc70, and we now report that depletion of RME-8 or Hsc70 affects retrograde trafficking at the early endosomes-TGN interface of STxB and the cation-independent mannose 6-phosphate receptor, an endogenous retrograde cargo protein. We also provide evidence that retromer interacts with the clathrin-binding protein hepatocyte growth factor-regulated tyrosine kinase substrate (Hrs) not only via SNX1, as previously published (Chin Raynor MC, Wei X, Chen HQ, Li L. Hrs interacts with sorting nexin 1 and regulates degradation of epidermal growth factor receptor. J Biol Chem 2001;276:7069-7078), but also via the core complex component Vps35. Hrs codistributes at the ultrastructural level with STxB on early endosomes, and interfering with Hrs function using antibodies or mild overexpression inhibits retrograde transport. Our combined data suggest a model according to which the functions in retrograde sorting on early endosomes of SNX1/retromer and clathrin are articulated by RME-8, and possibly also by Hrs.
Incoming simian virus 40 (SV40) particles enter tight-fitting plasma membrane invaginations after binding to the carbohydrate moiety of GM1 gangliosides in the host cell plasma membrane through pentameric VP1 capsid proteins. This is followed by activation of cellular signalling pathways, endocytic internalization and transport of the virus via the endoplasmic reticulum to the nucleus. Here we show that the association of SV40 (as well as isolated pentameric VP1) with GM1 is itself sufficient to induce dramatic membrane curvature that leads to the formation of deep invaginations and tubules not only in the plasma membrane of cells, but also in giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs). Unlike native GM1 molecules with long acyl chains, GM1 molecular species with short hydrocarbon chains failed to support such invagination, and endocytosis and infection did not occur. To conceptualize the experimental data, a physical model was derived based on energetic considerations. Taken together, our analysis indicates that SV40, other polyoma viruses and some bacterial toxins (Shiga and cholera) use glycosphingolipids and a common pentameric protein scaffold to induce plasma membrane curvature, thus directly promoting their endocytic uptake into cells.
Type I interferons (IFNs) bind IFNAR receptors and activate Jak kinases and Stat transcription factors to stimulate the transcription of genes downstream from IFN-stimulated response elements. In this study, we analyze the role of protein palmitoylation, a reversible post-translational lipid modification, in the functional properties of IFNAR. We report that pharmacological inhibition of protein palmitoylation results in severe defects of IFN receptor endocytosis and signaling. We generated mutants of the IFNAR1 subunit of the type I IFN receptor, in which each or both of the two cysteines present in the cytoplasmic domain are replaced by alanines. We show that cysteine 463 of IFNAR1, the more proximal of the two cytoplasmic cysteines, is palmitoylated. A thorough microscopic and biochemical analysis of the palmitoylation-deficient IFNAR1 mutant revealed that IFNAR1 palmitoylation is not required for receptor endocytosis, intracellular distribution, or stability at the cell surface. However, the lack of IFNAR1 palmitoylation affects selectively the activation of Stat2, which results in a lack of efficient Stat1 activation and nuclear translocation and IFN-alpha-activated gene transcription. Thus, receptor palmitoylation is a previously undescribed mechanism of regulating signaling activity by type I IFNs in the Jak/Stat pathway.
The homopentameric B-subunit of bacterial protein Shiga toxin (STxB) binds to the glycolipid Gb(3) in plasma membranes, which is the initial step for entering cells by a clathrin-independent mechanism. It has been suggested that protein clustering and lipid reorganization determine toxin uptake into cells. Here, we elucidated the molecular requirements for STxB induced Gb(3) clustering and for the proposed lipid reorganization in planar membranes. The influence of binding site III of the B-subunit as well as the Gb(3) lipid structure was investigated by means of high resolution methods such as fluorescence and scanning force microscopy. STxB was found to form protein clusters on homogenous 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DOPC)/cholesterol/Gb(3) (65:30:5) bilayers. In contrast, membranes composed of DOPC/cholesterol/sphingomyelin/Gb(3) (40:35:20:5) phase separate into a liquid ordered and liquid disordered phase. Dependent on the fatty acid composition of Gb(3), STxB-Gb(3) complexes organize within the liquid ordered phase upon protein binding. Our findings suggest that STxB is capable of forming a new membrane phase that is characterized by lipid compaction. The significance of this finding is discussed in the context of Shiga toxin-induced formation of endocytic membrane invaginations.
Both Shiga holotoxin and the isolated B subunit, navigate a retrograde pathway from the plasma membrane to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of mammalian cells to deliver catalytic A subunits into the cytosol. This route passes through early/recycling endosomes and then through the Golgi. Although passage through the endosomes takes only 30 min, passage through the Golgi is much slower, taking hours. This suggests that Golgi passage is a key step in retrograde traffic. However, there is no empirical data demonstrating that Golgi passage is required for the toxins to enter the ER. In fact, an alternate pathway bypassing the Golgi is utilized by SV40 virus. Here we find that blocking Shiga toxin B access to the entire Golgi with AlF(4)(-) treatment, temperature block or subcellular surgery prevented Shiga toxin B from reaching the ER. This suggests that there is no direct endosome to ER route available for retrograde traffic. Curiously, when Shiga toxin B was trapped in endosomes, it entered the cytosol directly from the endosomal compartment. Our results suggest that trafficking through the Golgi apparatus is required for Shiga toxin B to reach the ER and that diversion into the Golgi may prevent toxin escape from endosomes into the cytosol.
ARFRP1 and ARL1, which are both ARF-like small GTPases, are mammalian orthologs of yeast Arl3p and Arl1p, respectively. In yeast, Arl3p targeted to trans-Golgi network (TGN) membranes activates Arl1p, and the activated Arl1p in turn recruits a GRIP domain-containing protein; this complex regulates retrograde transport to the TGN and anterograde transport from the TGN. In the present study, using RNA interference-mediated knockdown of ARFRP1 and ARL1, we have examined whether the orthologs of Arl3p-Arl1p-GRIP story serve similar functions in mammalian cells. However, we have unexpectedly found differential roles of ARL1 and ARFRP1. Specifically, ARL1 and ARFRP1 regulate retrograde transport of Shiga toxin to the TGN and anterograde transport of VSVG from the TGN, respectively. Furthermore, we have obtained evidence suggesting that a SNARE complex containing Vti1a, syntaxin 6, and syntaxin 16 is involved in Shiga toxin transport downstream of ARL1.
A spectrin-based cytoskeleton is associated with endomembranes, including the Golgi complex and cytoplasmic vesicles, but its role remains poorly understood. Using new generated antibodies to specific peptide sequences of the human ?III spectrin, we here show its distribution in the Golgi complex, where it is enriched in the trans-Golgi and trans-Golgi network. The use of a drug-inducible enzymatic assay that depletes the Golgi-associated pool of PI4P as well as the expression of PH domains of Golgi proteins that specifically recognize this phosphoinositide both displaced ?III spectrin from the Golgi. However, the interference with actin dynamics using actin toxins did not affect the localization of ?III spectrin to Golgi membranes. Depletion of ?III spectrin using siRNA technology and the microinjection of anti-?III spectrin antibodies into the cytoplasm lead to the fragmentation of the Golgi. At ultrastructural level, Golgi fragments showed swollen distal Golgi cisternae and vesicular structures. Using a variety of protein transport assays, we show that the endoplasmic reticulum-to-Golgi and post-Golgi protein transports were impaired in ?III spectrin-depleted cells. However, the internalization of the Shiga toxin subunit B to the endoplasmic reticulum was unaffected. We state that ?III spectrin constitutes a major skeletal component of distal Golgi compartments, where it is necessary to maintain its structural integrity and secretory activity, and unlike actin, PI4P appears to be highly relevant for the association of ?III spectrin the Golgi complex.
Head and neck cancers positive for human papillomavirus (HPV) have a more favorable clinical outcome than HPV-negative cancers, but it is unknown why this is the case. We hypothesized that prognosis was affected by intrinsic features of HPV-infected tumor cells or differences in host immune response. In this study, we focused on a comparison of regulatory Foxp3(+) T cells and programmed death-1 (PD-1)(+) T cells in the microenvironment of tumors that were positive or negative for HPV, in two groups that were matched for various clinical and biologic parameters. HPV-positive head and neck cancers were more heavily infiltrated by regulatory T cells and PD-1(+) T cells and the levels of PD-1(+) cells were positively correlated with a favorable clinical outcome. In explaining this paradoxical result, we showed that these PD-1(+) T cells expressed activation markers and were functional after blockade of the PD-1-PD-L1 axis in vitro. Approximately 50% of PD-1(+) tumor-infiltrating T cells lacked Tim-3 expression and may indeed represent activated T cells. In mice, administration of a cancer vaccine increased PD-1 on T cells with concomitant tumor regression. In this setting, PD-1 blockade synergized with vaccine in eliciting antitumor efficacy. Our findings prompt a need to revisit the significance of PD-1-infiltrating T cells in cancer, where we suggest that PD-1 detection may reflect a previous immune response against tumors that might be reactivated by PD-1/PD-L1 blockade.
Galectin-3 binding to cell surface glycoproteins, including branched N-glycans generated by N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase V (Mgat5) activity, forms a multivalent, heterogeneous, and dynamic lattice. This lattice has been shown to regulate integrin and receptor tyrosine kinase signaling promoting tumor cell migration. N-cadherin is a homotypic cell-cell adhesion receptor commonly overexpressed in tumor cells that contributes to cell motility. Here we show that galectin-3 and N-cadherin interact and colocalize with the lipid raft marker GM1 ganglioside in cell-cell junctions of mammary epithelial cancer cells. Disruption of the lattice by deletion of Mgat5, siRNA depletion of galectin-3, or competitive inhibition with lactose stabilizes cell-cell junctions. It also reduces, in a p120-catenin-dependent manner, the dynamic pool of junctional N-cadherin. Proteomic analysis of detergent-resistant membranes (DRMs) revealed that the galectin lattice opposes entry of many proteins into DRM rafts. N-cadherin and catenins are present in DRMs; however, their DRM distribution is not significantly affected by lattice disruption. Galectin lattice integrity increases the mobile fraction of the raft marker, GM1 ganglioside binding cholera toxin B subunit Ctb, at cell-cell contacts in a p120-catenin-independent manner, but does not affect the mobility of either Ctb-labeled GM1 or GFP-coupled N-cadherin in nonjunctional regions. Our results suggest that the galectin lattice independently enhances lateral molecular diffusion by direct interaction with specific glycoconjugates within the adherens junction. By promoting exchange between raft and non-raft microdomains as well as molecular dynamics within junction-specific raft microdomains, the lattice may enhance turnover of N-cadherin and other glycoconjugates that determine junctional stability and rates of cell migration.
Proteomics is a powerful technique for protein identification at large scales. A number of proteomics approaches have been developed to study the steady state composition of intracellular compartments. Here, we report a novel vectorial proteomics strategy to identify plasma membrane proteins that undergo retrograde transport to the trans-Golgi network (TGN). This strategy is based on the covalent modification of the plasma membrane proteome with a membrane impermeable benzylguanine derivative. Benzylguanine-tagged plasma membrane proteins that are subsequently targeted to the retrograde route are covalently captured by a TGN-localized SNAP-tagged fusion protein, which allows for their identification. The approach was validated step-by-step using a well explored retrograde cargo protein, the B-subunit of Shiga toxin. It was then extended to the proteomics format. Among other hits we found one of the historically first identified cargo proteins that undergo retrograde transport, which further validated our approach. Most of the other hits were kinases, receptors or transporters. In conclusion, we have pioneered a vectorial proteomics approach that complements traditional methods for the study of retrograde protein trafficking. This approach is of generic nature and could in principle be extended to other endocytic pathways.
Throughout the last decade, efforts to identify and develop effective inhibitors of the ricin toxin have focused on targeting its N-glycosidase activity. Alternatively, molecules disrupting intracellular trafficking have been shown to block ricin toxicity. Several research teams have recently developed high-throughput phenotypic screens for small molecules acting on the intracellular targets required for entry of ricin into cells. These screens have identified inhibitory compounds that can protect cells, and sometimes even animals against ricin. We review these newly discovered cellular inhibitors of ricin intoxication, discuss the advantages and drawbacks of chemical-genetics approaches, and address the issues to be resolved so that the therapeutic development of these small-molecule compounds can progress.
The small GTPases of the Rab family act as a molecular switch regulating various aspects of membrane trafficking through the selective recruitment of effector proteins. Whereas Rab7 has been classically involved in the regulation of transport within the endolysosomal network, persistent controversy remains as to whether Rab7 plays also a role in earlier steps of endosomal trafficking. In this study, we show that Rab7 depletion or inactivation results in enlargement of both early and late endosomes. Rab7 depletion led to the retention of a significant fraction of internalized LDL mainly in enlarged EE. As a result, LDL processing and the transcriptional regulation of sterol-sensitive genes were impaired. We found that Rab7 activity was also required for the sorting of the mannose-6-phosphate receptor, the interferon alpha-receptor, and the Shiga toxin B-subunit. In contrast, EGF sorting at the EE or the recycling of transferrin and LDL-R were not affected by Rab7 depletion. Our findings demonstrate that in addition to regulating LE to lysosomes transport, Rab7 plays a functional role in the selective sorting of distinct cargos at the EE and that the Rab5 to Rab7 exchange occurs early in the endosomal maturation process.
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