Switching of membrane organelles between cytoskeletal transport systems is determined by regulation of the microtubule-based transport.
ABSTRACT: Intracellular transport of membrane organelles occurs along microtubules (MTs) and actin filaments (AFs). Although transport along each type of the cytoskeletal tracks is well characterized, the switching between the two types of transport is poorly understood because it cannot be observed directly in living cells. To gain insight into the regulation of the switching of membrane organelles between the two major transport systems, we developed a novel approach that combines live cell imaging with computational modeling. Using this approach, we measured the parameters that determine how fast membrane organelles switch back and forth between MTs and AFs (the switching rate constants) and compared these parameters during different signaling states. We show that regulation involves a major change in a single parameter: the transferring rate from AFs onto MTs. This result suggests that MT transport is the defining factor whose regulation determines the choice of the cytoskeletal tracks during the transport of membrane organelles.
Project description:Bidirectional transport of membrane organelles along microtubules (MTs) is driven by plus-end directed kinesins and minus-end directed dynein bound to the same cargo. Activities of opposing MT motors produce bidirectional movement of membrane organelles and cytoplasmic particles along MT transport tracks. Directionality of MT-based transport might be controlled by a protein complex that determines which motor type is active at any given moment of time, or determined by the outcome of a tug-of-war between MT motors dragging cargo organelles in opposite directions. However, evidence in support of each mechanisms of regulation is based mostly on the results of theoretical analyses or indirect experimental data. Here, we test whether the direction of movement of membrane organelles in vivo can be controlled by the tug-of-war between opposing MT motors alone, by attaching a large number of kinesin-1 motors to organelles transported by dynein to minus-ends of MTs. We find that recruitment of kinesin significantly reduces the length and velocity of minus-end-directed dynein-dependent MT runs, leading to a reversal of the overall direction of dynein-driven organelles in vivo. Therefore, in the absence of external regulators tug-of-war between opposing MT motors alone is sufficient to determine the directionality of MT transport in vivo.
Project description:Regulation of organelle transport along microtubules is important for proper distribution of membrane organelles and protein complexes in the cytoplasm. RNAi-mediated knockdown in cultured Drosophila S2 cells demonstrates that two microtubule-binding proteins, a unique isoform of Darkener of apricot (DOA) protein kinase, and its substrate, translational elongation factor EF1?, negatively regulate transport of several classes of membrane organelles along microtubules. Inhibition of transport by EF1? requires its phosphorylation by DOA on serine 294. Together, our results indicate a new role for two proteins that have not previously been implicated in regulation of the cytoskeleton. These results further suggest that the biological role of some of the proteins binding to the microtubule track is to regulate cargo transport along these tracks.
Project description:Cytoplasmic microtubules (MTs) continuously grow and shorten at free plus ends. During mitosis, this dynamic behavior allows MTs to capture chromosomes to initiate their movement to the spindle poles; however, the role of MT dynamics in capturing organelles for transport in interphase cells has not been demonstrated. Here we use Xenopus melanophores to test the hypothesis that MT dynamics significantly contribute to the efficiency of MT minus-end directed transport of membrane organelles. We demonstrate that initiation of transport of membrane-bounded melanosomes (pigment granules) to the cell center involves their capture by MT plus ends, and that inhibition of MT dynamics or loss of the MT plus-end tracking protein CLIP-170 from MT tips dramatically inhibits pigment aggregation. We conclude that MT dynamics are required for the initiation of MT transport of membrane organelles in interphase cells, and that +TIPs such as CLIP-170 play an important role in this process.
Project description:The organization of the cytoplasm is regulated by molecular motors, which transport organelles and other cargoes along cytoskeleton tracks. In this work, we use single particle tracking to study the in vivo regulation of the transport driven by myosin-V along actin filaments in Xenopus laevis melanophores. Melanophores have pigment organelles or melanosomes, which, in response to hormones, disperse in the cytoplasm or aggregate in the perinuclear region. We followed the motion of melanosomes in cells treated to depolymerize microtubules during aggregation and dispersion, focusing the analysis on the dynamics of these organelles in a time window not explored before to our knowledge. These data could not be explained by previous models that only consider active transport. We proposed a transport-diffusion model in which melanosomes may detach from actin tracks and reattach to nearby filaments to resume the active motion after a given time of diffusion. This model predicts that organelles spend approximately 70% and 10% of the total time in active transport during dispersion and aggregation, respectively. Our results suggest that the transport along actin filaments and the switching from actin to microtubule networks are regulated by changes in the diffusion time between periods of active motion driven by myosin-V.
Project description:Microtubule (MT)-based transport of organelles driven by the opposing MT motors kinesins and dynein is tightly regulated in cells, but the underlying molecular mechanisms remain largely unknown. Here we tested the regulation of MT transport by the ubiquitous protein MAP4 using Xenopus melanophores as an experimental system. In these cells, pigment granules (melanosomes) move along MTs to the cell center (aggregation) or to the periphery (dispersion) by means of cytoplasmic dynein and kinesin-2, respectively. We found that aggregation signals induced phosphorylation of threonine residues in the MT-binding domain of the Xenopus MAP4 (XMAP4), thus decreasing binding of this protein to MTs. Overexpression of XMAP4 inhibited pigment aggregation by shortening dynein-dependent MT runs of melanosomes, whereas removal of XMAP4 from MTs reduced the length of kinesin-2-dependent runs and suppressed pigment dispersion. We hypothesize that binding of XMAP4 to MTs negatively regulates dynein-dependent movement of melanosomes and positively regulates kinesin-2-based movement. Phosphorylation during pigment aggregation reduces binding of XMAP4 to MTs, thus increasing dynein-dependent and decreasing kinesin-2-dependent motility of melanosomes, which stimulates their accumulation in the cell center, whereas dephosphorylation of XMAP4 during dispersion has an opposite effect.
Project description:Cell biologists generally consider that microtubules and actin play complementary roles in long- and short-distance transport in animal cells. On the contrary, using melanosomes of melanocytes as a model, we recently discovered that the motor protein myosin-Va works with dynamic actin tracks to drive long-range organelle dispersion in opposition to microtubules. This suggests that in animals, as in yeast and plants, myosin/actin can drive long-range transport. Here, we show that the SPIRE-type actin nucleators (predominantly SPIRE1) are Rab27a effectors that co-operate with formin-1 to generate actin tracks required for myosin-Va-dependent transport in melanocytes. Thus, in addition to melanophilin/myosin-Va, Rab27a can recruit SPIREs to melanosomes, thereby integrating motor and track assembly activity at the organelle membrane. Based on this, we suggest a model in which organelles and force generators (motors and track assemblers) are linked, forming an organelle-based, cell-wide network that allows their collective activity to rapidly disperse the population of organelles long-distance throughout the cytoplasm.
Project description:Axonal microtubule (MT) arrays are the major cytoskeleton substrate for cargo transport. How MT organization, i.e., polymer length, number, and minus-end spacing, is regulated and how it impinges on axonal transport are unclear. We describe a method for analyzing neuronal MT organization using light microscopy. This method circumvents the need for electron microscopy reconstructions and is compatible with live imaging of cargo transport and MT dynamics. Examination of a C. elegans motor neuron revealed how age, MT-associated proteins, and signaling pathways control MT length, minus-end spacing, and coverage. In turn, MT organization determines axonal transport progression: cargoes pause at polymer termini, suggesting that switching MT tracks is rate limiting for efficient transport. Cargo run length is set by MT length, and higher MT coverage correlates with shorter pauses. These results uncover the principles and mechanisms of neuronal MT organization and its regulation of axonal cargo transport.
Project description:LIS1 was first identified as a gene mutated in human classical lissencephaly sequence. LIS1 is required for dynein activity, but the underlying mechanism is poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that LIS1 suppresses the motility of cytoplasmic dynein on microtubules (MTs), whereas NDEL1 releases the blocking effect of LIS1 on cytoplasmic dynein. We demonstrate that LIS1, cytoplasmic dynein and MT fragments co-migrate anterogradely. When LIS1 function was suppressed by a blocking antibody, anterograde movement of cytoplasmic dynein was severely impaired. Immunoprecipitation assay indicated that cytoplasmic dynein forms a complex with LIS1, tubulins and kinesin-1. In contrast, immunoabsorption of LIS1 resulted in disappearance of co-precipitated tubulins and kinesin. Thus, we propose a novel model of the regulation of cytoplasmic dynein by LIS1, in which LIS1 mediates anterograde transport of cytoplasmic dynein to the plus end of cytoskeletal MTs as a dynein-LIS1 complex on transportable MTs, which is a possibility supported by our data.
Project description:The activity of PI3K is necessary for polarized cell motility. To guide extending axons, environmental cues polarize the growth cone via asymmetric generation of Ca(2+) signals and subsequent intracellular mechanical events, including membrane trafficking and cytoskeletal reorganization. However, it remains unclear how PI3K is involved in such events for axon guidance. Here, we demonstrate that PI3K plays a permissive role in growth cone turning by facilitating microtubule (MT)-dependent membrane transport. Using embryonic chick dorsal root ganglion neurons in culture, attractive axon turning was induced by Ca(2+) elevations on one side of the growth cone by photolyzing caged Ca(2+) or caged inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate. We show that PI3K activity was required downstream of Ca(2+) signals for growth cone turning. Attractive Ca(2+) signals, generated with caged Ca(2+) or caged inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate, triggered asymmetric transport of membrane vesicles from the center to the periphery of growth cones in a MT-dependent manner. This centrifugal vesicle transport was abolished by PI3K inhibitors, suggesting that PI3K is involved in growth cone attraction at the level of membrane trafficking. Consistent with this observation, immunocytochemistry showed that PI3K inhibitors reduced MTs in the growth cone peripheral domain. Time-lapse imaging of EB1 on the plus-end of MTs revealed that MT advance into the growth cone peripheral domain was dependent on PI3K activity: inhibition of the PI3K signaling pathway attenuated MT advance, whereas exogenous phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate, the product of PI3K-catalyzed reactions, promoted MT advance. This study demonstrates the importance of PI3K-dependent membrane trafficking in chemotactic cell migration.
Project description:Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS) is a rare inherited disease caused by defects in the BBSome, an octameric complex of BBS proteins. The BBSome is conserved in most organisms with cilia, which are microtubule (MT)-based cell organelles that protrude from the cell surface and function in motility and sensing. Cilia assembly, maintenance, and function require intraflagellar transport (IFT), a bidirectional motility of multi-megadalton IFT trains propelled by molecular motors along the ciliary MTs. IFT has been shown to transport structural proteins, including tubulin, into growing cilia. The BBSome is an adapter for the transport of ciliary membrane proteins and cycles through cilia via IFT. While both the loss and the abnormal accumulation of ciliary membrane proteins have been observed in bbs mutants, recent data converge on a model where the BBSome mainly functions as a cargo adapter for the removal of certain transmembrane and peripheral membrane proteins from cilia. Here, we review recent data on the ultrastructure of the BBSome and how the BBSome recognizes its cargoes and mediates their removal from cilia.