The semaphorin receptor plexin-B1 specifically interacts with active Rac in a ligand-dependent manner.
ABSTRACT: Semaphorin molecules serve as axon guidance signals that regulate the navigation of neuronal growth cones. Semaphorins have also been implicated in other biological processes, including the immune response. Plexins, acting either alone or in complex with neuropilins, have recently been identified as functional semaphorin receptors. However, the mechanisms of signal transduction by plexins remain largely unknown. We have demonstrated a direct interaction between plexin-B1 and activated Rac. Rac specifically interacts with the cytosolic domain of plexin-B1, but not with that of plexin-A3 or -C1. Neither RhoA nor Cdc42 interacts with plexin-B1, indicating that the Rac/plexin-B1 interaction is highly specific. The binding of GTP and the integrity of the Rac effector domain are required for the interaction with plexin-B1. Furthermore, we have identified that a Cdc42/Rac interactive binding (CRIB) motif in the cytosolic domain of plexin-B1 is essential for its interaction with active Rac. We have also observed that the semaphorin CD100, a ligand for plexin-B1, stimulates the interaction between plexin-B1 and active Rac. Our results support a model by which activated Rac plays a role in mediating semaphorin signals, resulting in reorganization of actin cytoskeletal structure.
Project description:Semaphorins comprise a large family of ligands that regulate key cellular functions through their receptors, plexins. In this study, we show that the transmembrane semaphorin 4A (Sema4A) can also function as a receptor, rather than a ligand, and transduce signals triggered by the binding of Plexin-B1 through reverse signaling. Functionally, reverse Sema4A signaling regulates the migration of various cancer cells as well as dendritic cells. By combining mass spectrometry analysis with small interfering RNA screening, we identify the polarity protein Scrib as a downstream effector of Sema4A. We further show that binding of Plexin-B1 to Sema4A promotes the interaction of Sema4A with Scrib, thereby removing Scrib from its complex with the Rac/Cdc42 exchange factor ?PIX and decreasing the activity of the small guanosine triphosphatase Rac1 and Cdc42. Our data unravel a role for Plexin-B1 as a ligand and Sema4A as a receptor and characterize a reverse signaling pathway downstream of Sema4A, which controls cell migration.
Project description:Plexins are the first known transmembrane receptors that interact directly with small GTPases. On binding to certain Rho family GTPases, the receptor regulates the remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton and alters cell movement in response to semaphorin guidance cues. In a joint solution NMR spectroscopy and x-ray crystallographic study, we characterize a 120-residue cytoplasmic independent folding domain of plexin-B1 that directly binds three Rho family GTPases, Rac1, Rnd1, and RhoD. The NMR data show that, surprisingly, the Cdc42/Rac interactive binding-like motif of plexin-B1 is not involved in this interaction. Instead, all three GTPases interact with the same region, beta-strands 3 and 4 and a short alpha-helical segment of the plexin domain. The 2.0 A resolution x-ray structure shows that these segments are brought together by the tertiary structure of the ubiquitin-like fold. In the crystal, the protein is dimerized with C2 symmetry through a four-stranded antiparallel beta-sheet that is formed outside the fold by a long loop between the monomers. This region is adjacent to the GTPase binding motifs identified by NMR. Destabilization of the dimer in solution by binding of any one of the three GTPases suggests a model for receptor regulation that involves bidirectional signaling. The model implies a multifunctional role for the GTPase-plexin interaction that includes conformational change and a localization of active receptors in the signaling mechanism.
Project description:Plexins are cell surface receptors widely studied in the nervous system, where they mediate migration and morphogenesis though the Rho family of small GTPases. More recently, plexins have been implicated in immune processes including cell-cell interaction, immune activation, migration, and cytokine production. Plexin-B2 facilitates ligand induced cell guidance and migration in the nervous system, and induces cytoskeletal changes in overexpression assays through RhoGTPase. The function of Plexin-B2 in the immune system is unknown. This report shows that Plexin-B2 is highly expressed on cells of the innate immune system in the mouse, including macrophages, conventional dendritic cells, and plasmacytoid dendritic cells. However, Plexin-B2 does not appear to regulate the production of proinflammatory cytokines, phagocytosis of a variety of targets, or directional migration towards chemoattractants or extracellular matrix in mouse macrophages. Instead, Plxnb2(-/-) macrophages have greater cellular motility than wild type in the unstimulated state that is accompanied by more active, GTP-bound Rac and Cdc42. Additionally, Plxnb2(-/-) macrophages demonstrate faster in vitro wound closure activity. Studies have shown that a closely related family member, Plexin-B1, binds to active Rac and sequesters it from downstream signaling. The interaction of Plexin-B2 with Rac has only been previously confirmed in yeast and bacterial overexpression assays. The data presented here show that Plexin-B2 functions in mouse macrophages as a negative regulator of the GTPases Rac and Cdc42 and as a negative regulator of basal cell motility and wound healing.
Project description:Semaphorins are a large class of secreted or membrane-associated proteins that act as chemotactic cues for cell movement via their transmembrane receptors, plexins. We hypothesized that the function of the semaphorin signaling pathway in the control of cell migration could be harnessed by cancer cells during invasion and metastasis. We now report 13 somatic missense mutations in the cytoplasmic domain of the Plexin-B1 gene. Mutations were found in 89% (8 of 9) of prostate cancer bone metastases, in 41% (7 of 17) of lymph node metastases, and in 46% (41 of 89) of primary cancers. Forty percent of prostate cancers contained the same mutation. Overexpression of the Plexin-B1 protein was found in the majority of primary tumors. The mutations hinder Rac and R-Ras binding and R-RasGAP activity, resulting in an increase in cell motility, invasion, adhesion, and lamellipodia extension. These results identify a key role for Plexin-B1 and the semaphorin signaling pathway it mediates in prostate cancer.
Project description:Plexins are cell surface receptors for the semaphorin family of cell guidance cues. The cytoplasmic region comprises a Ras GTPase-activating protein (GAP) domain and a RhoGTPase binding domain. Concomitant binding of extracellular semaphorin and intracellular RhoGTPase triggers GAP activity and signal transduction. The mechanism of this intricate regulation remains elusive. We present two crystal structures of the human Plexin-B1 cytoplasmic region in complex with a constitutively active RhoGTPase, Rac1. The structure of truncated Plexin-B1-Rac1 complex provides no mechanism for coupling RhoGTPase and Ras binding sites. On inclusion of the juxtamembrane helix, a trimeric structure of Plexin-B1-Rac1 complexes is stabilised by a second, novel, RhoGTPase binding site adjacent to the Ras site. Site-directed mutagenesis combined with cellular and biophysical assays demonstrate that this new binding site is essential for signalling. Our findings are consistent with a model in which extracellular and intracellular plexin clustering events combine into a single signalling output.
Project description:Plexin cell surface receptors bind to semaphorin ligands and transduce signals for regulating neuronal axon guidance. The intracellular region of plexins is essential for signaling and contains a R-Ras/M-Ras GTPase activating protein (GAP) domain that is divided into two segments by a Rho GTPase-binding domain (RBD). The regulation mechanisms for plexin remain elusive, although it is known that activation requires both binding of semaphorin to the extracellular region and a Rho-family GTPase (Rac1 or Rnd1) to the RBD. Here we report the crystal structure of the plexin A3 intracellular region. The structure shows that the N- and C-terminal portions of the GAP homologous regions together form a GAP domain with an overall fold similar to other Ras GAPs. However, the plexin GAP domain adopts a closed conformation and cannot accommodate R-Ras/M-Ras in its substrate-binding site, providing a structural basis for the autoinhibited state of plexins. A comparison with the plexin B1 RBD/Rnd1 complex structure suggests that Rnd1 binding alone does not induce a conformational change in plexin, explaining the requirement of both semaphorin and a Rho GTPase for activation. The structure also identifies an N-terminal segment that is important for regulation. Both the N-terminal segment and the RBD make extensive interactions with the GAP domain, suggesting the presence of an allosteric network connecting these three domains that integrates semaphorin and Rho GTPase signals to activate the GAP. The importance of these interactions in plexin signaling is shown by both cell-based and in vivo axon guidance assays.
Project description:CD100, also known as Sema4D, is an immune semaphorin constitutively expressed on natural killer (NK) cells and T cells. As an immune activation molecule, CD100 has important immunoregulatory effects on NK functions by enhancing the interactions between NK cells and target cells. The aim of this study was to investigate whether hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection affects CD100 expression, and whether interferon-? treatment enhances NK killing activity to facilitate HCV clearance via CD100.Expression of CD100 on NK cells was evaluated by flow cytometry in patients with chronic HCV infection, with or without pegylated interferon-?-based therapy. NK cell cytotoxicity and interferon (IFN)-? production were measured by flow cytometry upon culturing the NK cells with K562 and Huh7.5 or HCV JFH-1-infected Huh7.5 cells.The frequency of CD100+ NK cells in HCV-infected individuals was slightly suppressed compared to healthy subjects. IFN-? treatment could significantly upregulate CD100 expression, which was confirmed by in vitro studies using peripheral blood mononuclear cells cocultured with HCV-expressing Huh7.5 cells or IFN-?. Importantly, the expression of CD100 on NK cells from HCV patients was inversely associated with the HCV-RNA levels in the early phase of IFN-? therapy, and the IFN-? upregulated CD100 led to an enhanced NK killing activity through ligations with its receptors plexin-B1/B2 on target cells.These results implied a novel mechanism by which IFN-? enhanced CD100/Plexin-B1/B2 interaction plays an important role in promoting NK functions in patients with chronic hepatitis C.
Project description:The Rnd family of proteins, Rnd1, Rnd2 and Rnd3, are atypical Rho family GTPases, which bind to but do not hydrolyse GTP. They interact with plexins, which are receptors for semaphorins, and are hypothesised to regulate plexin signalling. We recently showed that each Rnd protein has a distinct profile of interaction with three plexins, Plexin-B1, Plexin-B2 and Plexin-B3, in mammalian cells, although it is unclear which region(s) of these plexins contribute to this specificity. Here we characterise the binary interactions of the Rnd proteins with the Rho-binding domain (RBD) of Plexin-B1 and Plexin-B2 using biophysical approaches. Isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) experiments for each of the Rnd proteins with Plexin-B1-RBD and Plexin-B2-RBD showed similar association constants for all six interactions, although Rnd1 displayed a small preference for Plexin-B1-RBD and Rnd3 for Plexin-B2-RBD. Furthermore, mutagenic analysis of Rnd3 suggested similarities in its interaction with both Plexin-B1-RBD and Plexin-B2-RBD. These results suggest that Rnd proteins do not have a clear-cut specificity for different Plexin-B-RBDs, possibly implying the contribution of additional regions of Plexin-B proteins in conferring functional substrate selection.
Project description:Plexins are cell surface receptors that bind to semaphorins and transduce signals that regulate neuronal development, immune responses, and other processes. Signaling through plexins has been proposed to rely on specific guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase)-activating protein (GAP) activity for R-Ras and M-Ras. Activation of this GAP activity of plexins appears to require simultaneous binding of semaphorin to the plexin extracellular domain and of the Rho GTPases Rac1 or Rnd1 to the cytoplasmic region. However, GAP activity of plexins has eluded detection in several recent studies. We show that the purified cytoplasmic region of plexin uses a noncanonical catalytic mechanism to act as a GAP for Rap, but not for R-Ras or M-Ras. The RapGAP activity of plexins was autoinhibited and was activated by induced dimerization. Biochemical and crystallographic analyses demonstrated that binding of Rho GTPases did not directly contribute to activation of plexin RapGAP activity. Semaphorin stimulated the RapGAP activity of full-length plexin in cells, which was required for plexin-mediated neuronal growth cone collapse. Together, these findings define a pathway for plexin signaling and provide insights into the mechanism for semaphorin-induced activation of plexins.
Project description:Cell-cell signalling of semaphorin ligands through interaction with plexin receptors is important for the homeostasis and morphogenesis of many tissues and is widely studied for its role in neural connectivity, cancer, cell migration and immune responses. SEMA4D and Sema6A exemplify two diverse vertebrate, membrane-spanning semaphorin classes (4 and 6) that are capable of direct signalling through members of the two largest plexin classes, B and A, respectively. In the absence of any structural information on the plexin ectodomain or its interaction with semaphorins the extracellular specificity and mechanism controlling plexin signalling has remained unresolved. Here we present crystal structures of cognate complexes of the semaphorin-binding regions of plexins B1 and A2 with semaphorin ectodomains (human PLXNB1(1-2)-SEMA4D(ecto) and murine PlxnA2(1-4)-Sema6A(ecto)), plus unliganded structures of PlxnA2(1-4) and Sema6A(ecto). These structures, together with biophysical and cellular assays of wild-type and mutant proteins, reveal that semaphorin dimers independently bind two plexin molecules and that signalling is critically dependent on the avidity of the resulting bivalent 2:2 complex (monomeric semaphorin binds plexin but fails to trigger signalling). In combination, our data favour a cell-cell signalling mechanism involving semaphorin-stabilized plexin dimerization, possibly followed by clustering, which is consistent with previous functional data. Furthermore, the shared generic architecture of the complexes, formed through conserved contacts of the amino-terminal seven-bladed ?-propeller (sema) domains of both semaphorin and plexin, suggests that a common mode of interaction triggers all semaphorin-plexin based signalling, while distinct insertions within or between blades of the sema domains determine binding specificity.