Kinetic studies of the Arf activator Arno on model membranes in the presence of Arf effectors suggest control by a positive feedback loop.
ABSTRACT: Proteins of the cytohesin/Arno/Grp1 family of Arf activators are positive regulators of the insulin-signaling pathway and control various remodeling events at the plasma membrane. Arno has a catalytic Sec7 domain, which promotes GDP to GTP exchange on Arf, followed by a pleckstrin homology (PH) domain. Previous studies have revealed two functions of the PH domain: inhibition of the Sec7 domain and membrane targeting. Interestingly, the Arno PH domain interacts not only with a phosphoinositide (phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate or phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate) but also with an activating Arf family member, such as Arf6 or Arl4. Using the full-length membrane-bound forms of Arf1 and Arf6 instead of soluble forms, we show here that the membrane environment dramatically affects the mechanism of Arno activation. First, Arf6-GTP stimulates Arno at nanomolar concentrations on liposomes compared with micromolar concentrations in solution. Second, mutations in the PH domain that abolish interaction with Arf6-GTP render Arno completely inactive when exchange reactions are reconstituted on liposomes but have no effect on Arno activity in solution. Third, Arno is activated by its own product Arf1-GTP in addition to a distinct activating Arf isoform. Consequently, Arno activity is strongly modulated by competition with Arf effectors. These results show that Arno behaves as a bistable switch, having an absolute requirement for activation by an Arf protein but, once triggered, becoming highly active through the positive feedback effect of Arf1-GTP. This property of Arno might provide an explanation for its function in signaling pathways that, once triggered, must move forward decisively.
Project description:ARNO is a soluble guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) for the Arf family of GTPases. Although in biochemical assays ARNO prefers Arf1 over Arf6 as a substrate, its localization in cells at the plasma membrane (PM) suggests an interaction with Arf6. In this study, we found that ARNO activated Arf1 in HeLa and COS-7 cells resulting in the recruitment of Arf1 on to dynamic PM ruffles. By contrast, Arf6 was activated less by ARNO than EFA6, a canonical Arf6 GEF. Remarkably, Arf6 in its GTP-bound form recruited ARNO to the PM and the two proteins could be immunoprecipitated. ARNO binding to Arf6 was not mediated through the catalytic Sec7 domain, but via the pleckstrin homology (PH) domain. Active Arf6 also bound the PH domain of Grp1, another ARNO family member. This interaction was direct and required both inositol phospholipids and GTP. We propose a model of sequential Arf activation at the PM whereby Arf6-GTP recruits ARNO family GEFs for further activation of other Arf isoforms.
Project description:Small molecules that produce nonfunctional protein-protein complexes are an alternative to competitive inhibitors for the inhibition of protein functions. Here we target the activation of the small GTP-binding protein Arf1, a major regulator of membrane traffic, by the Sec7 catalytic domain of its guanine nucleotide exchange factor ARNO. The crystal structure of the Arf1-GDP/ARNO complex, which initiates the exchange reaction, was used to discover an inhibitor, LM11, using in silico screening of a flexible pocket near the Arf1/ARNO interface. Using fluorescence kinetics and anisotropy, NMR spectroscopy and mutagenesis, we show that LM11 acts following a noncompetitive mechanism in which the inhibitor targets both Arf1-GDP and the Arf1-GDP/ARNO complex and produces a nonfunctional Arf-GDP/ARNO complex whose affinity is similar to that of the native complex. In addition, LM11 recognizes features of both Arf and ARNO near the Arf/Sec7 interface, a characteristic reminiscent of the paradigm interfacial inhibitor Brefeldin A. We then show that LM11 is a cell-active inhibitor that impairs Arf-dependent trafficking structures at the Golgi. Furthermore, LM11 inhibits ARNO-dependent migration of Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells, demonstrating that ARNO is a target of LM11 in cells. Remarkably, LM11 inhibits the activation of Arf1 but not Arf6 in vitro, pointing to a possible synergy between Arf1 and Arf6 activation by ARNO in cell migration. Our design method shows that flexible regions in protein-protein complexes provide drugable sites with the potential to develop novel tools for investigating and inhibiting signaling pathways.
Project description:Budding of transport vesicles in the Golgi apparatus requires the recruitment of coat proteins and is regulated by ADP ribosylation factor (ARF) 1. ARF1 activation is promoted by guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs), which catalyze the transition to GTP-bound ARF1. We recently have identified a human protein, ARNO (ARF nucleotide-binding-site opener), as an ARF1-GEF that shares a conserved domain with the yeast Sec7 protein. We now describe a human Sec7 domain-containing GEF referred to as ARNO3. ARNO and ARNO3, as well as a third GEF called cytohesin-1, form a family of highly related proteins with identical structural organization that consists of a central Sec7 domain and a carboxy-terminal pleckstrin homology domain. We show that all three proteins act as ARF1 GEF in vitro, whereas they have no effect on ARF6, an ARF protein implicated in the early endocytic pathway. Substrate specificity of ARNO-like GEFs for ARF1 depends solely on the Sec7 domain. Overexpression of ARNO3 in mammalian cells results in (i) fragmentation of the Golgi apparatus, (ii) redistribution of Golgi resident proteins as well as the coat component beta-COP, and (iii) inhibition of SEAP transport (secreted form of alkaline phosphatase). In contrast, the distribution of endocytic markers is not affected. This study indicates that Sec7 domain-containing GEFs control intracellular membrane compartment structure and function through the regulation of specific ARF proteins in mammalian cells.
Project description:Arf GTPases regulate membrane trafficking and actin dynamics. Grp1, ARNO, and Cytohesin-1 comprise a family of phosphoinositide-dependent Arf GTPase exchange factors with a Sec7-pleckstrin homology (PH) domain tandem. Here, we report that the exchange activity of the Sec7 domain is potently autoinhibited by conserved elements proximal to the PH domain. The crystal structure of the Grp1 Sec7-PH tandem reveals a pseudosubstrate mechanism of autoinhibition in which the linker region between domains and a C-terminal amphipathic helix physically block the docking sites for the switch regions of Arf GTPases. Mutations within either element result in partial or complete activation. Critical determinants of autoinhibition also contribute to insulin-stimulated plasma membrane recruitment. Autoinhibition can be largely reversed by binding of active Arf6 to Grp1 and by phosphorylation of tandem PKC sites in Cytohesin-1. These observations suggest that Grp1 family GEFs are autoregulated by mechanisms that depend on plasma membrane recruitment for activation.
Project description:Membrane recruitment of cytohesin family Arf guanine nucleotide exchange factors depends on interactions with phosphoinositides and active Arf GTPases that, in turn, relieve autoinhibition of the catalytic Sec7 domain through an unknown structural mechanism. Here, we show that Arf6-GTP relieves autoinhibition by binding to an allosteric site that includes the autoinhibitory elements in addition to the PH domain. The crystal structure of a cytohesin-3 construct encompassing the allosteric site in complex with the head group of phosphatidyl inositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate and N-terminally truncated Arf6-GTP reveals a large conformational rearrangement, whereby autoinhibition can be relieved by competitive sequestration of the autoinhibitory elements in grooves at the Arf6/PH domain interface. Disposition of the known membrane targeting determinants on a common surface is compatible with multivalent membrane docking and subsequent activation of Arf substrates, suggesting a plausible model through which membrane recruitment and allosteric activation could be structurally integrated.
Project description:A human cDNA encoding an 841-aa guanine nucleotide-exchange protein (GEP) for ADP-ribosylation factors (ARFs), named ARF-GEP(100), which contains a Sec7 domain, a pleckstrin homology (PH)-like domain, and an incomplete IQ-motif, was identified. On Northern blot analysis of human tissues, a approximately 8-kb mRNA that hybridized with an ARF-GEP(100) cDNA was abundant in peripheral blood leukocytes, brain, and spleen. ARF-GEP(100) accelerated [(35)S]GTPgammaS binding to ARF1 (class I) and ARF5 (class II) 2- to 3-fold, and to ARF6 (class III) ca. 12-fold. The ARF-GEP(100) Sec7 domain contains Asp(543) and Met(555), corresponding to residues associated with sensitivity to the inhibitory effect of the fungal metabolite brefeldin A (BFA) in yeast Sec7, but also Phe(535) and Ala(536), associated with BFA-insensitivity. The PH-like domain differs greatly from those of other ARF GEPs in regions involved in phospholipid binding. Consistent with its structure, ARF-GEP(100) activity was not affected by BFA or phospholipids. After subcellular fractionation of cultured T98G human glioblastoma cells, ARF6 was almost entirely in the crude membrane fraction, whereas ARF-GEP(100), a 100-kDa protein detected with antipeptide antibodies, was cytosolic. On immunofluorescence microscopy, both proteins had a punctate pattern of distribution throughout the cells, with apparent colocalization only in peripheral areas. The coarse punctate distribution of EEA-1 in regions nearer the nucleus appeared to coincide with that of ARF-GEP(100) in those areas. No similar coincidence of ARF-GEP(100) with AP-1, AP-2, catenin, LAMP-1, or 58K was observed. The new human BFA-insensitive GEP may function with ARF6 in specific endocytic processes.
Project description:Membrane dynamic processes require Arf GTPase activation by guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) with a Sec7 domain. Cytohesin family Arf GEFs function in signaling and cell migration through Arf GTPase activation on the plasma membrane and endosomes. In this study, the structural organization of two cytohesins (Grp1 and ARNO) was investigated in solution by size exclusion-small angle X-ray scattering and negative stain-electron microscopy and on membranes by dynamic light scattering, hydrogen-deuterium exchange-mass spectrometry and guanosine diphosphate (GDP)/guanosine triphosphate (GTP) exchange assays. The results suggest that cytohesins form elongated dimers with a central coiled coil and membrane-binding pleckstrin-homology (PH) domains at opposite ends. The dimers display significant conformational heterogeneity, with a preference for compact to intermediate conformations. Phosphoinositide-dependent membrane recruitment is mediated by one PH domain at a time and alters the conformational dynamics to prime allosteric activation by Arf-GTP. A structural model for membrane targeting and allosteric activation of full-length cytohesin dimers is discussed.
Project description:Guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) of the exchange factor for Arf6 (EFA6), brefeldin A-resistant Arf guanine nucleotide exchange factor (BRAG), and cytohesin subfamilies activate small GTPases of the Arf family in endocytic events. These ArfGEFs carry a pleckstrin homology (PH) domain in tandem with their catalytic Sec7 domain, which is autoinhibitory and supports a positive feedback loop in cytohesins but not in BRAGs, and has an as-yet unknown role in EFA6 regulation. In this study, we analyzed how EFA6A is regulated by its PH and C terminus (Ct) domains by reconstituting its GDP/GTP exchange activity on membranes. We found that EFA6 has a previously unappreciated high efficiency toward Arf1 on membranes and that, similar to BRAGs, its PH domain is not autoinhibitory and strongly potentiates nucleotide exchange on anionic liposomes. However, in striking contrast to both cytohesins and BRAGs, EFA6 is regulated by a negative feedback loop, which is mediated by an allosteric interaction of Arf6-GTP with the PH-Ct domain of EFA6 and monitors the activation of Arf1 and Arf6 differentially. These observations reveal that EFA6, BRAG, and cytohesins have unanticipated commonalities associated with divergent regulatory regimes. An important implication is that EFA6 and cytohesins may combine in a mixed negative-positive feedback loop. By allowing EFA6 to sustain a pool of dormant Arf6-GTP, such a circuit would fulfill the absolute requirement of cytohesins for activation by Arf-GTP before amplification of their GEF activity by their positive feedback loop.
Project description:The Sec7 domain of the guanine nucleotide exchange factor ARNO (ARNO-Sec7) is responsible for the exchange activity on the small GTP-binding protein ARF1. ARNO-Sec7 forms a stable complex with the nucleotide-free form of [Delta17]ARF1, a soluble truncated form of ARF1. The crystal structure of ARNO-Sec7 has been solved recently, and a site-directed mutagenesis approach identified a hydrophobic groove and an adjacent hydrophilic loop as the ARF1-binding site. We show that Glu156 in the hydrophilic loop of ARNO-Sec7 is involved in the destabilization of Mg2+ and GDP from ARF1. The conservative mutation E156D and the charge reversal mutation E156K reduce the exchange activity of ARNO-Sec7 by several orders of magnitude. Moreover, [E156K]ARNO-Sec7 forms a complex with the Mg2+-free form of [Delta17]ARF1-GDP without inducing the release of GDP. Other mutations in ARNO-Sec7 and in [Delta17]ARF1 suggest that prominent hydrophobic residues of the switch I region of ARF1 insert into the groove of the Sec7 domain, and that Lys73 of the switch II region of ARF1 forms an ion pair with Asp183 of ARNO-Sec7.
Project description:In eukaryotes, GTP-bound ARF GTPases promote intracellular membrane traffic by mediating the recruitment of coat proteins, which in turn sort cargo proteins into the forming membrane vesicles. Mammals employ several classes of ARF GTPases which are activated by different ARF guanine-nucleotide exchange factors (ARF-GEFs). In contrast, flowering plants only encode evolutionarily conserved ARF1 GTPases (class I) but not the other classes II and III known from mammals, as suggested by phylogenetic analysis of ARF family members across the five major clades of eukaryotes. Instead, flowering plants express plant-specific putative ARF GTPases such as ARFA and ARFB, in addition to evolutionarily conserved ARF-LIKE (ARL) proteins. Here we show that all eight ARF-GEFs of Arabidopsis interact with the same ARF1 GTPase, whereas only a subset of post-Golgi ARF-GEFs also interacts with ARFA, as assayed by immunoprecipitation. Both ARF1 and ARFA were detected at the Golgi stacks and the trans-Golgi network (TGN) by both live-imaging with the confocal microscope and nano-gold labeling followed by EM analysis. ARFB representing another plant-specific putative ARF GTPase was detected at both the plasma membrane and the TGN. The activation-impaired form (T31N) of ARF1, but neither ARFA nor ARFB, interfered with development, although ARFA-T31N interfered, like ARF1-T31N, with the GDP-GTP exchange. Mutant plants lacking both ARFA and ARFB transcripts were viable, suggesting that ARF1 is sufficient for all essential trafficking pathways under laboratory conditions. Detailed imaging of molecular markers revealed that ARF1 mediated all known trafficking pathways whereas ARFA was not essential to any major pathway. In contrast, the hydrolysis-impaired form (Q71L) of both ARF1 and ARFA, but not ARFB, had deleterious effects on development and various trafficking pathways. However, the deleterious effects of ARFA-Q71L were abolished by ARFA-T31N inhibiting cognate ARF-GEFs, both in cis (ARFA-T31N,Q71L) and in trans (ARFA-T31N + ARFA-Q71L), suggesting indirect effects of ARFA-Q71L on ARF1-mediated trafficking. The deleterious effects of ARFA-Q71L were also suppressed by strong over-expression of ARF1, which was consistent with a subset of BIG1-4 ARF-GEFs interacting with both ARF1 and ARFA. Indeed, the SEC7 domain of BIG5 activated both ARF1 and ARFA whereas the SEC7 domain of BIG3 only activated ARF1. Furthermore, ARFA-T31N impaired root growth if ARF1-specific BIG3 was knocked out and only ARF1- and ARFA-activating BIG4 was functional. Activated ARF1 recruits different coat proteins to different endomembrane compartments, depending on its activation by different ARF-GEFs. Unlike ARF GTPases, ARF-GEFs not only localize at distinct compartments but also regulate specific trafficking pathways, suggesting that ARF-GEFs might play specific roles in traffic regulation beyond the activation of ARF1 by GDP-GTP exchange.