Biological and structural characterization of glycosylation on ephrin-A1, a preferred ligand for EphA2 receptor tyrosine kinase.
ABSTRACT: The EphA2 receptor tyrosine kinase is overexpressed in a number of malignancies and is activated by ephrin ligands, most commonly by ephrin-A1. The crystal structure of the ligand-receptor complex revealed a glycosylation on the Asn-26 of ephrin-A1. Here we report for the first time the significance of the glycosylation in the biology of EphA2 and ephrin-A1. Ephrin-A1 was enzymatically deglycosylated, and its activity was evaluated in several assays using glioblastoma (GBM) cells and recombinant EphA2. We found that deglycosylated ephrin-A1 does not efficiently induce EphA2 receptor internalization and degradation, and does not activate the downstream signaling pathways involved in cell migration and proliferation. Data obtained by surface plasmon resonance confirms that deglycosylated ephrin-A1 does not bind EphA2 with high affinity. Mutations in the glycosylation site on ephrin-A1 result in protein aggregation and mislocalization. Analysis of Eph/ephrin crystal structures reveals an interaction between the ligand's carbohydrates and two residues of EphA2: Asp-78 and Lys-136. These findings suggest that the glycosylation on ephrin-A1 plays a critical role in the binding and activation of the EphA2 receptor.
Project description:The receptor tyrosine kinase EphA2 interacts with its glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-linked ephrin-A1 ligand in a juxtacrine configuration. The soluble ephrin-A1 protein, without its GPI membrane linker, fails to activate EphA2. However, preclustered ephrin-A1 protein is active in solution and has been frequently used to trigger the EphA2 receptor. Although this approach has yielded insights into EphA2 signaling, preclustered ligands bypass natural receptor clustering processes and thus mask any role of clustering as a signal regulatory mechanism. Here, we present EphA2-expressing cells with a fusion protein of monomeric ephrin-A1 (mEA1) and enhanced monomeric yellow fluorescent protein that is linked to a supported lipid bilayer via a nickel-decahistidine anchor. The mEA1 is homogeneously dispersed, laterally mobile, and monomeric as measured by fluorescence imaging, correlation spectroscopy, and photon counting histogram analysis, respectively. Ephrin-A1 presented in this manner activates EphA2 on the surface of MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells, as measured by EphA2 phosphorylation and degradation. Spatial mutation experiments in which nanopatterns on the underlying substrate restrict mEA1 movement in the supported lipid bilayer reveal spatio-mechanical regulation of this signaling pathway, consistent with recently reported observations using a synthetically cross-linked ephrin-A1 dimer.
Project description:C1GALT1 controls the crucial step of GalNAc-type O-glycosylation and is associated with both physiologic and pathologic conditions, including cancers. EPH receptors comprise the largest family of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) and modulate a diverse range of developmental processes and human diseases. However, the role of C1GALT1 in the signaling of EPH receptors remains largely overlooked. Here, we showed that C1GALT1 high expression in gastric adenocarcinomas correlated with adverse clinicopathologic features and is an independent prognostic factor for poor overall survival. Silencing or loss of C1GALT1 inhibited cell viability, migration, invasion, tumor growth and metastasis, as well as increased apoptosis and cytotoxicity of 5-fluorouracil in AGS and MKN45 cells. Phospho-RTK array and western blot analysis showed that C1GALT1 depletion suppressed tyrosine phosphorylation of EPHA2 induced by soluble Ephrin A1-Fc. O-glycans on EPHA2 were modified by C1GALT1 and both S277A and T429A mutants, which are O-glycosites on EPHA2, dramatically enhanced phosphorylation of Y588, suggesting that not only overall O-glycan structures but also site-specific O-glycosylation can regulate EPHA2 activity. Furthermore, depletion of C1GALT1 decreased Ephrin A1-Fc induced migration and reduced Ephrin A1 binding to cell surfaces. The effects of C1GALT1 knockdown or knockout on cell invasiveness in vitro and in vivo were phenocopied by EPHA2 knockdown in gastric cancer cells. These results suggest that C1GALT1 promotes phosphorylation of EPHA2 and enhances soluble Ephrin A1-mediated migration primarily by modifying EPHA2 O-glycosylation. Our study highlights the importance of GalNAc-type O-glycosylation in EPH receptor-regulated diseases and identifies C1GALT1 as a potential therapeutic target for gastric cancer.
Project description:Eph/ephrin signaling proteins are present in the corneal epithelium, where their function remains unknown. The authors examined the role of the EphA2 receptor and ephrin-A1 ligand in human corneal epithelial cell migration.Immunohistochemical analysis of EphA2 and ephrin-A1 in healthy and diabetic corneas was performed in concert with linear scratch wound healing studies in primary and telomerase-immortalized human corneal epithelial cells. Corneal epithelial cells were exposed to a soluble ephrin-A1-Fc peptide mimetic that targets EphA2 to trigger receptor phosphorylation and subsequent downregulation. Genetic modulation of EphA2 and ephrin-A1 levels was combined with manipulation of Erk1/2 or Akt signaling during wound healing.EphA2 was immunolocalized to human corneal epithelial cells in vivo and in vitro. Ephrin-A1 ligand targeting of EphA2 restricted the ability of corneal epithelial cells to seal linear scratch wounds in a manner that was associated with a transient reduction in Erk1/2 and Akt activation state. Ephrin-A1-Fc treatment delayed wound healing independently of Mek-Erk1/2 signaling but was no longer capable of restricting migration after pharmacologic blockade of the PI3K-Akt pathway. Interestingly, ephrin-A1 immunoreactivity was increased in the corneal epithelia of diabetic individuals, mice maintained on a high-fat diet, or cultured corneal epithelial cells exposed to high glucose, which exhibit impaired Akt signaling and slower wound healing responses.EphA2 attenuates corneal epithelial cell migration when stimulated by ephrin-A1 ligand in a manner that involves the suppression of Akt. Elevated levels of ephrin-A1 may contribute to diabetic keratopathies by persistently engaging EphA2 and prohibiting Akt-dependent corneal epithelial repair processes.
Project description:EphA2 receptor tyrosine kinase is activated by ephrin-A1 ligand, which harbors a glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchor that enhances lipid raft localization. Although EphA2 and ephrin-A1 modulate keratinocyte migration and differentiation, the ability of this cell-cell communication complex to localize to different membrane regions in keratinocytes remains unknown. Using a combination of biochemical and imaging approaches, we provide evidence that ephrin-A1 and a ligand-activated form of EphA2 partition outside of lipid raft domains in response to calcium-mediated cell-cell contact stabilization in normal human epidermal keratinocytes. EphA2 transmembrane domain swapping with a shorter and molecularly distinct transmembrane domain of EphA1 resulted in decreased localization of this receptor tyrosine kinase at cell-cell junctions and increased expression of ephrin-A1, which is a negative regulator of keratinocyte migration. Accordingly, altered EphA2 membrane distribution at cell-cell contacts limited the ability of keratinocytes to seal linear scratch wounds in vitro in an ephrin-A1-dependent manner. Collectively, these studies highlight a key role for the EphA2 transmembrane domain in receptor-ligand membrane distribution at cell-cell contacts that modulates ephrin-A1 levels to allow for efficient keratinocyte migration with relevance for cutaneous wound healing.
Project description:EphA2 is a receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) that triggers keratinocyte differentiation upon activation and subsequent downregulation by ephrin-A1 ligand. The objective of this study was to determine whether the EphA2/ephrin-A1 signaling axis was altered in psoriasis, an inflammatory skin condition in which keratinocyte differentiation is abnormal. Microarray analysis of skin biopsies from psoriasis patients revealed increased mRNA transcripts for several members of this RTK family in plaques, including the EphA1, EphA2, and EphA4 subtypes prominently expressed by keratinocytes. Of these, EphA2 showed the greatest upregulation, a finding that was confirmed by quantitative reverse-transcriptase-PCR, immunohistochemistry (IHC), and ELISA. In contrast, psoriatic lesions exhibited reduced ephrin-A ligand immunoreactivity. Exposure of primary keratinocytes induced to differentiate in high calcium or a three-dimensional (3D) raft culture of human epidermis to a combination of growth factors and cytokines elevated in psoriasis increased EphA2 mRNA and protein expression while inducing S100A7 and disrupting differentiation. Pharmacological delivery of a soluble ephrin-A1 peptidomimetic ligand led to a reduction in EphA2 expression and ameliorated proliferation and differentiation in raft cultures exposed to EGF and IL-1?. These findings suggest that ephrin-A1-mediated downregulation of EphA2 supports keratinocyte differentiation in the context of cytokine perturbation.
Project description:Juxtacrine signaling interactions between the EphA2 receptor tyrosine kinase and its ephrin-A1 ligand contribute to healthy tissue maintenance and misregulation of this system is observed in at least 40% of human breast cancer. Hybrid live cell-supported membrane experiments in which membrane-linked ephrin-A1 displayed in supported membranes interacts with EphA2 in living cells have revealed large scale clustering of EphA2/ephrin-A1 complexes as well as their lateral transport across the cell surface during triggering. Here, we utilize 100 nm spaced hexagonally ordered arrays of gold nanodots embedded within supported membranes to present defined obstacles to the movement and assembly of EphA2 clusters. By functionalizing both the supported membrane and the nanodots with ephrin-A1, we perform a type of affinity chromatography on EphA2 signaling clusters in live cell membranes. Analysis of 10 different breast cancer cell lines reveals that EphA2 transport is most frustrated by nanodot arrays in the most diseased cell lines. These observations suggest that strong physical association among EphA2 receptors, as well as their assembly into larger clusters, correlates with and may contribute to the pathological misregulation of the EphA2/ephrin-A1 pathway in breast cancer.
Project description:Bidirectional signals mediated by Eph receptor tyrosine kinases and their membrane-bound ligands, ephrins, play pivotal roles in the formation of neural networks by induction of both collapse and elongation of neurites. However, the downstream molecular modules to deliver these cues are largely unknown. We report here that the interaction of a Rac1-specific guanine nucleotide-exchanging factor, Tiam1, with ephrin-B1 and EphA2 mediates neurite outgrowth. In cells coexpressing Tiam1 and ephrin-B1, Rac1 is activated by the extracellular stimulation of clustered soluble EphB2 receptors. Similarly, soluble ephrin-A1 activates Rac1 in cells coexpressing Tiam1 and EphA2. Cortical neurons from the E14 mouse embryos and neuroblastoma cells significantly extend neurites when placed on surfaces coated with the extracellular domain of EphB2 or ephrin-A1, which were abolished by the forced expression of the dominant-negative mutant of ephrin-B1 or EphA2. Furthermore, the introduction of a dominant-negative form of Tiam1 also inhibits neurite outgrowth induced by the ephrin-B1 and EphA2 signals. These results indicate that Tiam1 is required for neurite outgrowth induced by both ephrin-B1-mediated reverse signaling and EphA2-mediated forward signaling.
Project description:Progenitor cells of the limbal epithelium reside in a discrete area peripheral to the more differentiated corneal epithelium and maintain tissue homeostasis. What regulates the limbal-corneal epithelial boundary is a major unanswered question. Ephrin-A1 ligand is enriched in the limbal epithelium, whereas EphA2 receptor is concentrated in the corneal epithelium. This reciprocal pattern led us to assess the role of ephrin-A1 and EphA2 in limbal-corneal epithelial boundary organization.EphA2-expressing corneal epithelial cells engineered to express ephrin-A1 were used to study boundary formation in vitro in a manner that mimicked the relative abundance of these juxtamembrane signaling proteins in the limbal and corneal epithelium in vivo. Interaction of these two distinct cell populations following initial seeding into discrete culture compartments was assessed by live cell imaging. Immunofluoresence and immunoblotting was used to evaluate the contribution of downstream growth factor signaling and cell-cell adhesion systems to boundary formation at sites of heterotypic contact between ephrin-A1 and EphA2 expressing cells.Ephrin-A1-expressing cells impeded and reversed the migration of EphA2-expressing corneal epithelial cells upon heterotypic contact formation leading to coordinated migration of the two cell populations in the direction of an ephrin-A1-expressing leading front. Genetic silencing and pharmacologic inhibitor studies demonstrated that the ability of ephrin-A1 to direct migration of EphA2-expressing cells depended on an a disintegrin and metalloproteinase domain-containing protein 10 (ADAM10) and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling pathway that limited E-cadherin-mediated adhesion at heterotypic boundaries.Ephrin-A1/EphA2 signaling complexes play a key role in limbal-corneal epithelial compartmentalization and the response of these tissues to injury.
Project description:RATIONALE:Understanding the mechanisms that regulate trafficking of human cardiac stem cells (hCSCs) may lead to development of new therapeutic approaches for the failing heart. OBJECTIVE:We tested whether the motility of hCSCs in immunosuppressed infarcted animals is controlled by the guidance system that involves the interaction of Eph receptors with ephrin ligands. METHODS AND RESULTS:Within the cardiac niches, cardiomyocytes expressed preferentially the ephrin A1 ligand, whereas hCSCs possessed the EphA2 receptor. Treatment of hCSCs with ephrin A1 resulted in the rapid internalization of the ephrin A1-EphA2 complex, posttranslational modifications of Src kinases, and morphological changes consistent with the acquisition of a motile cell phenotype. Ephrin A1 enhanced the motility of hCSCs in vitro, and their migration in vivo following acute myocardial infarction. At 2 weeks after infarction, the volume of the regenerated myocardium was 2-fold larger in animals injected with ephrin A1-activated hCSCs than in animals receiving control hCSCs; this difference was dictated by a greater number of newly formed cardiomyocytes and coronary vessels. The increased recovery in myocardial mass with ephrin A1-treated hCSCs was characterized by further restoration of cardiac function and by a reduction in arrhythmic events. CONCLUSIONS:Ephrin A1 promotes the motility of EphA2-positive hCSCs, facilitates their migration to the area of damage, and enhances cardiac repair. Thus, in situ stimulation of resident hCSCs with ephrin A1 or their ex vivo activation before myocardial delivery improves cell targeting to sites of injury, possibly providing a novel strategy for the management of the diseased heart.