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Clostridium difficile strains within the hypervirulent clade 2 are responsible for nosocomial outbreaks worldwide. The increased pathogenic potential of these strains has been attributed to several factors but is still poorly understood. During a C. difficile outbreak, a strain from this clade was found to induce a variant cytopathic effect (CPE), different from the canonical arborizing CPE. This strain (NAP1V) belongs to the NAP1 genotype but to a ribotype different from the epidemic NAP1/RT027 strain. NAP1V and NAP1 share some properties, including the overproduction of toxins, the binary toxin, and mutations in tcdC. NAP1V is not resistant to fluoroquinolones, however. A comparative analysis of TcdB proteins from NAP1/RT027 and NAP1V strains indicated that both target Rac, Cdc42, Rap, and R-Ras but only the former glucosylates RhoA. Thus, TcdB from hypervirulent clade 2 strains possesses an extended substrate profile, and RhoA is crucial for the type of CPE induced. Sequence comparison and structural modeling revealed that TcdBNAP1 and TcdBNAP1V share the receptor-binding and autoprocessing activities but vary in the glucosyltransferase domain, consistent with the different substrate profile. Whereas the two toxins displayed identical cytotoxic potencies, TcdBNAP1 induced a stronger proinflammatory response than TcdBNAP1V as determined in ex vivo experiments and animal models. Since immune activation at the level of intestinal mucosa is a hallmark of C. difficile-induced infections, we propose that the panel of substrates targeted by TcdB is a determining factor in the pathogenesis of this pathogen and in the differential virulence potential seen among C. difficile strains.
Copyright © 2016 Quesada-Gómez et al.
In vertebrate epithelia, p120-catenin (hereafter referred to as p120; also known as CTNND1) mediates E-cadherin stability and suppression of RhoA. Genetic ablation of p120 in various epithelial tissues typically causes striking alterations in tissue function and morphology. Although these effects could very well involve p120's activity towards Rho, ascertaining the impact of this relationship has been complicated by the fact that p120 is also required for cell-cell adhesion. Here, we have molecularly uncoupled p120's cadherin-stabilizing and RhoA-suppressing activites. Unexpectedly, removing p120's Rho-suppressing activity dramatically disrupted the integrity of the apical surface, irrespective of E-cadherin stability. The physical defect was tracked to excessive actomyosin contractility along the vertical axis of lateral membranes. Thus, we suggest that p120's distinct activities towards E-cadherin and Rho are molecularly and functionally coupled and this, in turn, enables the maintenance of cell shape in the larger context of an epithelial monolayer. Importantly, local suppression of contractility by cadherin-bound p120 appears to go beyond regulating cell shape, as loss of this activity also leads to major defects in epithelial lumenogenesis.
© 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
CD148 is a transmembrane tyrosine phosphatase that is expressed at cell junctions. Recent studies have shown that CD148 associates with the cadherin/catenin complex and p120 catenin (p120) may serve as a substrate. However, the role of CD148 in cadherin cell-cell adhesion remains unknown. Therefore, here we addressed this issue using a series of stable cells and cell-based assays. Wild-type (WT) and catalytically inactive (CS) CD148 were introduced to A431D (lacking classical cadherins), A431D/E-cadherin WT (expressing wild-type E-cadherin), and A431D/E-cadherin 764AAA (expressing p120-uncoupled E-cadherin mutant) cells. The effects of CD148 in cadherin adhesion were assessed by Ca2+ switch and cell aggregation assays. Phosphorylation of E-cadherin/catenin complex and Rho family GTPase activities were also examined. Although CD148 introduction did not alter the expression levels and complex formation of E-cadherin, p120, and β-catenin, CD148 WT, but not CS, promoted cadherin contacts and strengthened cell-cell adhesion in A431D/E-cadherin WT cells. This effect was accompanied by an increase in Rac1, but not RhoA and Cdc42, activity and largely diminished by Rac1 inhibition. Further, we demonstrate that CD148 reduces the tyrosine phosphorylation of p120 and β-catenin; causes the dephosphorylation of Y529 suppressive tyrosine residue in Src, a well-known CD148 site, increasing Src activity and enhancing the phosphorylation of Y228 (a Src kinase site) in p120, in E-cadherin contacts. Consistent with these findings, CD148 dephosphorylated both p120 and β-catenin in vitro. The shRNA-mediated CD148 knockdown in A431 cells showed opposite effects. CD148 showed no effects in A431D and A431D/E-cadherin 764AAA cells. In aggregate, these findings provide the first evidence that CD148 promotes E-cadherin adhesion by regulating Rac1 activity concomitant with modulation of p120, β-catenin, and Src tyrosine phosphorylation. This effect requires E-cadherin and p120 association.
Activation of TLR signaling through recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns is essential for the innate immune response against bacterial and viral infections. We have shown that p120-catenin (p120) suppresses TLR4-mediated NF-кB signaling in LPS-challenged endothelial cells. In this article, we report that p120 differentially regulates LPS/TLR4 signaling in mouse bone marrow-derived macrophages. We observed that p120 inhibited MyD88-dependent NF-κB activation and release of TNF-α and IL-6, but enhanced TIR domain-containing adapter-inducing IFN-β-dependent IFN regulatory factor 3 activation and release of IFN-β upon LPS exposure. p120 silencing diminished LPS-induced TLR4 internalization, whereas genetic and pharmacological inhibition of RhoA GTPase rescued the decrease in endocytosis of TLR4 and TLR4-MyD88 signaling, and reversed the increase in TLR4-TIR domain-containing adapter-inducing IFN-β signaling induced by p120 depletion. Furthermore, we demonstrated that altered p120 expression in macrophages regulates the inflammatory phenotype of LPS-induced acute lung injury. These results indicate that p120 functions as a differential regulator of TLR4 signaling pathways by facilitating TLR4 endocytic trafficking in macrophages, and support a novel role for p120 in influencing the macrophages in the lung inflammatory response to endotoxin.
Copyright © 2014 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
Intestinal barrier function is regulated by epithelial tight junctions (TJs), structures that control paracellular permeability. Junctional adhesion molecule-A (JAM-A) is a TJ-associated protein that regulates barrier; however, mechanisms linking JAM-A to epithelial permeability are poorly understood. Here we report that JAM-A associates directly with ZO-2 and indirectly with afadin, and this complex, along with PDZ-GEF1, activates the small GTPase Rap2c. Supporting a functional link, small interfering RNA-mediated down-regulation of the foregoing regulatory proteins results in enhanced permeability similar to that observed after JAM-A loss. JAM-A-deficient mice and cultured epithelial cells demonstrate enhanced paracellular permeability to large molecules, revealing a potential role of JAM-A in controlling perijunctional actin cytoskeleton in addition to its previously reported role in regulating claudin proteins and small-molecule permeability. Further experiments suggest that JAM-A does not regulate actin turnover but modulates activity of RhoA and phosphorylation of nonmuscle myosin, both implicated in actomyosin contraction. These results suggest that JAM-A regulates epithelial permeability via association with ZO-2, afadin, and PDZ-GEF1 to activate Rap2c and control contraction of the apical cytoskeleton.
Syndecan-4 (S4) is a cell membrane-associated heparan sulfate proteoglycan that forms oligomers in muscle satellite cells. The S4 oligomers activate protein kinase Cα (PKCα) through the S4 cytoplasmic domain and may regulate the activation of ras homolog gene family member A (RhoA), a signal transduction molecule down-stream of PKCα which is thought to influence cell migration. However, little is known about the function of the S4 cytoplasmic domain in satellite cell migration and RhoA activation. The objective of the current study was to determine the function of S4 and its cytoplasmic domain in cell migration and RhoA activation. To study the objective, clones of S4 and S4 without the cytoplasmic domain (S4C) were used in overexpression studies, and small interference RNAs targeting S4 or RhoA were used in knockdown studies. Satellite cell migration was increased by S4 overexpression, but decreased by the knockdown or deletion of the S4 cytoplasmic domain. The RhoA protein was activated by the overexpression of S4, but not with the deletion of the S4 cytoplasmic domain. The treatment of Rho activator II or the knockdown of RhoA also modulated satellite cell migration. Finally, co-transfection (S4 overexpression and RhoA knockdown) and rescue (the knockdown of S4 and the treatment with Rho activator II) studies demonstrated that S4-mediated satellite cell migration was regulated through the activation of RhoA. The cytoplasmic domain of S4 is required for cell migration and RhoA activation which will affect muscle fiber formation.
Coronary vessel development requires transfer of mesothelial cells to the heart surface to form the epicardium where some cells subsequently undergo epithelial-mesenchymal transformation (EMT) and invade the subepicardial matrix. Tgfbr3(-/-) mice die due to failed coronary vessel formation associated with decreased epicardial cell invasion but the mediators downstream of TGFβR3 are not well described. TGFβR3-dependent endocardial EMT stimulated by either TGFβ2 or BMP-2 requires activation of the Par6/Smurf1/RhoA 1pathway where Activin Receptor Like Kinase (ALK5) signals Par6 to act downstream of TGFβ to recruit Smurf1 to target RhoA for degradation to regulate apical-basal polarity and tight junction dissolution. Here we asked if this pathway was operant in epicardial cells and if TGFβR3 was required to access this pathway. Targeting of ALK5 in Tgfbr3(+/+) cells inhibited loss of epithelial character and invasion. Overexpression of wild-type (wt) Par6, but not dominant negative (dn) Par6, induced EMT and invasion while targeting Par6 by siRNA inhibited EMT and invasion. Overexpression of Smurf1 and dnRhoA induced loss of epithelial character and invasion. Targeting of Smurf1 by siRNA or overexpression of constitutively active (ca) RhoA inhibited EMT and invasion. In Tgfbr3(-/-) epicardial cells which have a decreased ability to invade collagen gels in response to TGFβ2, overexpression of wtPar6, Smurf1, or dnRhoA had a diminished ability to induce invasion. Overexpression of TGFβR3 in Tgfbr3(-/-) cells, followed by siRNA targeting of Par6 or Smurf1, diminished the ability of TGFβR3 to rescue invasion demonstrating that the Par6/Smurf1/RhoA pathway is activated downstream of TGFβR3 in epicardial cells.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Cytokinesis in mammalian cells requires actin assembly at the equatorial region. Although functions of RhoA in this process have been well established, additional mechanisms are likely involved. We have examined if Cdc42 is involved in actin assembly during cytokinesis. Depletion of Cdc42 had no apparent effects on the duration of cytokinesis, while overexpression of constitutively active Cdc42 (CACdc42) caused cytokinesis failure in normal rat kidney epithelial cells. Cells depleted of Cdc42 displayed abnormal cell morphology and caused a failure of tight accumulation of actin and RhoA at the equator. In contrast, in cells overexpressing CACdc42, actin formed abnormal bundles and RhoA was largely eliminated from the equator. Our results suggest that accurate regulation of Cdc42 activity is crucial for proper equatorial actin assembly and RhoA localization during cytokinesis. Notably, our observations also suggest that tight actin concentration is not essential for cytokinesis in adherent mammalian cells.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Blood vessel epicardial substance (Bves) is a transmembrane adhesion protein that regulates tight junction (TJ) formation in a variety of epithelia. The role of TJs within epithelium extends beyond the mechanical properties. They have been shown to play a direct role in regulation of RhoA and ZONAB/DbpA, a y-box transcription factor. We hypothesize that Bves can modulate RhoA activation and ZONAB/DbpA activity through its regulatory effect on TJ formation. Immortalized human corneal epithelial (HCE) cells were stably transfected with Flag-tagged full length chicken Bves (w-Bves) or C-terminus truncated Bves (t-Bves). We found that stably transfected w-Bves and t-Bves were interacting with endogenous human Bves. However, interaction with t-Bves appeared to disrupt cell membrane localization of endogenous Bves and interaction with ZO-1. w-Bves cells exhibited increased TJ function reflected by increased trans-epithelial electrical resistance, while t-Bves cells lost TJ protein immunolocalization at cell-cell contacts and exhibited decreased trans-epithelial electrical resistance. In parental HCE and w-Bves cells ZONAB/DbpA and GEF-H1 were seen at cell borders in the same pattern as ZO-1. However, expression of t-Bves led to decreased membrane localization of both ZONAB/DbpA and GEF-H1. t-Bves cells had increased RhoA activity, as indicated by a significant 30% increase in FRET activity compared to parental HCE cells. ZONAB/DbpA transcriptional activity, assessed using a luciferase reporter probe, was increased in t-Bves cells. These studies demonstrate that Bves expression and localization can regulate RhoA and ZONAB/DbpA activity.
In common with other p120-catenin subfamily members, Xenopus ARVCF (xARVCF) binds cadherin cytoplasmic domains to enhance cadherin metabolic stability or, when dissociated, modulates Rho-family GTPases. We report here that xARVCF binds and is stabilized by Xenopus KazrinA (xKazrinA), a widely expressed conserved protein that bears little homology to established protein families, and which is known to influence keratinocyte proliferation and differentiation and cytoskeletal activity. Although we found that xKazrinA binds directly to xARVCF, we did not resolve xKazrinA within a larger ternary complex with cadherin, nor did it co-precipitate with core desmosomal components. Instead, screening revealed that xKazrinA binds spectrin, suggesting a potential means by which xKazrinA localizes to cell-cell borders. This was supported by the resolution of a ternary biochemical complex of xARVCF-xKazrinA-xβ2-spectrin and, in vivo, by the finding that ectodermal shedding followed depletion of xKazrin in Xenopus embryos, a phenotype partially rescued with exogenous xARVCF. Cell shedding appeared to be the consequence of RhoA activation, and thereby altered actin organization and cadherin function. Indeed, we also revealed that xKazrinA binds p190B RhoGAP, which was likewise capable of rescuing Kazrin depletion. Finally, xKazrinA was found to associate with δ-catenins and p0071-catenins but not with p120-catenin, suggesting that Kazrin interacts selectively with additional members of the p120-catenin subfamily. Taken together, our study supports the essential role of Kazrin in development, and reveals the biochemical and functional association of KazrinA with ARVCF-catenin, spectrin and p190B RhoGAP.