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The sarcomere is the contractile unit within cardiomyocytes driving heart muscle contraction. We sought to test the mechanisms regulating actin and myosin filament assembly during sarcomere formation. Therefore, we developed an assay using human cardiomyocytes to monitor sarcomere assembly. We report a population of muscle stress fibers, similar to actin arcs in non-muscle cells, which are essential sarcomere precursors. We show sarcomeric actin filaments arise directly from muscle stress fibers. This requires formins (e.g., FHOD3), non-muscle myosin IIA and non-muscle myosin IIB. Furthermore, we show short cardiac myosin II filaments grow to form ~1.5 μm long filaments that then 'stitch' together to form the stack of filaments at the core of the sarcomere (i.e., the A-band). A-band assembly is dependent on the proper organization of actin filaments and, as such, is also dependent on FHOD3 and myosin IIB. We use this experimental paradigm to present evidence for a unifying model of sarcomere assembly.
© 2018, Fenix et al.
Proper morphogenesis of dendrites plays a fundamental role in the establishment of neural circuits. The molecular mechanism by which dendrites grow highly complex branches is not well understood. Here, using the Caenorhabditis elegans PVD neuron, we demonstrate that high-order dendritic branching requires actin polymerization driven by coordinated interactions between two membrane proteins, DMA-1 and HPO-30, with their cytoplasmic interactors, the RacGEF TIAM-1 and the actin nucleation promotion factor WAVE regulatory complex (WRC). The dendrite branching receptor DMA-1 directly binds to the PDZ domain of TIAM-1, while the claudin-like protein HPO-30 directly interacts with the WRC. On dendrites, DMA-1 and HPO-30 form a receptor-associated signaling complex to bring TIAM-1 and the WRC to close proximity, leading to elevated assembly of F-actin needed to drive high-order dendrite branching. The synergistic activation of F-actin assembly by scaffolding distinct actin regulators might represent a general mechanism in promoting complex dendrite arborization.
Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.
In , cytokinesis requires the assembly and constriction of an actomyosin-based contractile ring (CR). A single essential formin, Cdc12, localizes to the cell middle upon mitotic onset and nucleates the F-actin of the CR. Cdc12 medial recruitment is mediated in part by its direct binding to the F-BAR scaffold Cdc15. Given that Cdc12 is hyperphosphorylated in M phase, we explored whether Cdc12 phosphoregulation impacts its association with Cdc15 during mitosis. We found that Cdk1, a major mitotic kinase, phosphorylates Cdc12 on six N-terminal residues near the Cdc15-binding site, and phosphorylation on these sites inhibits its interaction with the Cdc15 F-BAR domain. Consistent with this finding, a mutant with all six Cdk1 sites changed to phosphomimetic residues () displays phenotypes similar to , in which the Cdc15-binding motif is disrupted; both show reduced Cdc12 at the CR and delayed CR formation. Together, these results indicate that Cdk1 phosphorylation of formin Cdc12 antagonizes its interaction with Cdc15 and thereby opposes Cdc12's CR localization. These results are consistent with a general role for Cdk1 in inhibiting cytokinesis until chromosome segregation is complete.
© 2018 Willet et al. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
Arrestins recruit a variety of signaling proteins to active phosphorylated G protein-coupled receptors in the plasma membrane and to the cytoskeleton. Loss of arrestins leads to decreased cell migration, altered cell shape, and an increase in focal adhesions. Small GTPases of the Rho family are molecular switches that regulate actin cytoskeleton and affect a variety of dynamic cellular functions including cell migration and cell morphology. Here we show that non-visual arrestins differentially regulate RhoA and Rac1 activity to promote cell spreading via actin reorganization, and focal adhesion formation via two distinct mechanisms. Arrestins regulate these small GTPases independently of G-protein-coupled receptor activation.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Most epithelial cells contain apical membrane structures associated to bundles of actin filaments, which constitute the brush border. Whereas microtubule participation in the maintenance of the brush border identity has been characterized, their contribution to de novo microvilli organization remained elusive. Hereby, using a cell model of individual enterocyte polarization, we found that nocodazole induced microtubule depolymerization prevented the de novo brush border formation. Microtubule participation in brush border actin organization was confirmed in polarized kidney tubule MDCK cells. We also found that centrosome, but not Golgi derived microtubules, were essential for the initial stages of brush border development. During this process, microtubule plus ends acquired an early asymmetric orientation toward the apical membrane, which clearly differs from their predominant basal orientation in mature epithelia. In addition, overexpression of the microtubule plus ends associated protein CLIP170, which regulate actin nucleation in different cell contexts, facilitated brush border formation. In combination, the present results support the participation of centrosomal microtubule plus ends in the activation of the polarized actin organization associated to brush border formation, unveiling a novel mechanism of microtubule regulation of epithelial polarity.
© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
An interaction between the C-terminus of aquaporin-0 (AQP0) and lens beaded filament protein filensin has been reported previously; however, the region of filensin that is involved in the interaction has not been determined. This study is designed to identify the region of filensin that interacts with AQP0. Chemical crosslinking coupled with mass spectrometry was used to identify the site of interaction. The protein complex was crosslinked with zero-length crosslinker: 1-Ethyl-3-[3-dimethylaminopropyl]carbodiimide Hydrochloride (EDC). The crosslinked membrane fraction was digested by trypsin and crosslinked peptides were identified by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. A crosslinked peptide between bovine filensin 450-465 (VKGPKEPEPPADLYTK) and bovine AQP0 239-259 (GSRPSESNGQPEVTGEPVELK) was detected. AQP0/filensin crosslinking was not detected in superficial young fiber cells, but increased with fiber cell age in the lens cortex. AQP0/filensin crosslinking and filensin truncation were observed in the same regions of the lens. This crosslinked peptide can be detected in 75 kDa gel band confirming that AQP0/filensin crosslinking can occur between AQP0 and the filensin C-terminal fragment. These results suggest that the AQP0 C-terminus directly interacts with the region of filensin that is adjacent to the major truncation site and the polybasic cluster of residues in the filensin C-terminal tail. This interaction occurs in a specific region of the lens and could only occur between AQP0 and filensin C-terminal fragment in vivo. This interaction supports the dual roles of filensin in the lens; roles that could be important during lens development.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
PURPOSE - To quantify protein changes in the morphologically distinct remodeling zone (RZ) and adjacent regions of the human lens outer cortex using spatially directed quantitative proteomics.
METHODS - Lightly fixed human lens sections were deparaffinized and membranes labeled with fluorescent wheat germ agglutinin (WGA-TRITC). Morphology directed laser capture microdissection (LCM) was used to isolate tissue from four distinct regions of human lens outer cortex: differentiating zone (DF), RZ, transition zone (TZ), and inner cortex (IC). Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) of the plasma membrane fraction from three lenses (21-, 22-, and 27-year) revealed changes in major cytoskeletal proteins including vimentin, filensin, and phakinin. Peptides from proteins of interest were quantified using multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) mass spectrometry and isotopically-labeled internal peptide standards.
RESULTS - Results revealed an intermediate filament switch from vimentin to beaded filament proteins filensin and phakinin that occurred at the RZ. Several other cytoskeletal proteins showed significant changes between regions, while most crystallins remained unchanged. Targeted proteomics provided accurate, absolute quantification of these proteins and confirmed vimentin, periplakin, and periaxin decrease from the DF to the IC, while filensin, phakinin, and brain acid soluble protein 1 (BASP1) increase significantly at the RZ.
CONCLUSIONS - Mass spectrometry-compatible fixation and morphology directed laser capture enabled proteomic analysis of narrow regions in the human lens outer cortex. Results reveal dramatic cytoskeletal protein changes associated with the RZ, suggesting that one role of these proteins is in membrane deformation and/or the establishment of ball and socket joints in the human RZ.
Ciliopathies are genetic disorders arising from dysfunction of microtubule-based cellular appendages called cilia. Different cilia types possess distinct stereotypic microtubule doublet arrangements with non-motile or 'primary' cilia having a 9+0 and motile cilia have a 9+2 array of microtubule doublets. Primary cilia are critical sensory and signaling centers needed for normal mammalian development. Defects in their structure/function result in a spectrum of clinical and developmental pathologies including abnormal neural tube and limb patterning. Altered patterning phenotypes in the limb and neural tube are due to perturbations in the hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway. Motile cilia are important in fluid movement and defects in motility result in chronic respiratory infections, altered left-right asymmetry, and infertility. These features are the hallmarks of Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD, OMIM 244400). While mutations in several genes are associated with PCD in patients and animal models, the genetic lesion in many cases is unknown. We assessed the in vivo functions of Growth Arrest Specific 8 (GAS8). GAS8 shares strong sequence similarity with the Chlamydomonas Nexin-Dynein Regulatory Complex (NDRC) protein 4 (DRC4) where it is needed for proper flagella motility. In mammalian cells, the GAS8 protein localizes not only to the microtubule axoneme of motile cilia, but also to the base of non-motile cilia. Gas8 was recently implicated in the Hh signaling pathway as a regulator of Smoothened trafficking into the cilium. Here, we generate the first mouse with a Gas8 mutation and show that it causes severe PCD phenotypes; however, there were no overt Hh pathway phenotypes. In addition, we identified two human patients with missense variants in Gas8. Rescue experiments in Chlamydomonas revealed a subtle defect in swim velocity compared to controls. Further experiments using CRISPR/Cas9 homology driven repair (HDR) to generate one of these human missense variants in mice demonstrated that this allele is likely pathogenic.
Cordon-bleu (COBL) is a multifunctional WASP-Homology 2 (WH2) domain-containing protein implicated in a wide variety of cellular functions ranging from dendritic arborization in neurons to the assembly of microvilli on the surface of transporting epithelial cells. In vitro biochemical studies suggest that COBL is capable of nucleating and severing actin filaments, among other activities. How the multiple activities of COBL observed in vitro contribute to its function in cells remains unclear. Here, we used live imaging to evaluate the impact of COBL expression on the actin cytoskeleton in cultured cells. We found that COBL induces the formation of dynamic linear actin structures throughout the cytosol. We also found that stabilizing these dynamic structures with the parallel actin-bundling protein espin slows down their turnover and enables the robust formation of self-supported protrusions on the dorsal cell surface. Super-resolution imaging revealed a global remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton in cells expressing these two factors. Taken together, these results provide insight as to how COBL contributes to the assembly of actin-based structures such as epithelial microvilli. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
The final steps of cell division are tightly coordinated in space and time, but whether mechanisms exist to couple the actin and microtubule (MT) cytoskeletons during anaphase and cytokinesis (C phase) is largely unknown. During anaphase, MTs are incorporated into an anti-parallel array termed the spindle midzone (midzone MTs), whereas F-actin and non-muscle myosin II, together with other factors, organize into the cleavage furrow . Previous studies in somatic cells have shown that midzone MTs become highly stable after furrows have begun ingression , indicating that furrow-to-MT communication may occur. Midzone formation is also inhibited in fly spermatocytes that fail to form a cleavage furrow  and during monopolar cytokinesis when myosin contractility is blocked by blebbistatin . We show here that midzone MT stabilization is dependent on actomyosin contraction, suggesting that there is active coordination between furrow ingression and microtubule dynamics. Midzone microtubule stabilization also depends on the kinase activity of Aurora B, the catalytic subunit of the chromosomal passenger complex (CPC), uncovering a feedback mechanism that couples furrowing with microtubule dynamics. We further show that the CPC scaffolding protein INCENP (inner centromere protein) binds actin, an interaction that is important for cytokinesis and for midzone MT stabilization following furrow ingression. Stabilization of midzone MTs with low amounts of Taxol rescues cytokinesis in INCENP actin-binding mutant-expressing cells. Collectively, our work demonstrates that the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons are coordinated during cytokinesis and suggests that the CPC is integral for coupling furrow ingression with midzone microtubule stabilization.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.