Cooperative activation of PI3K by Ras and Rho family small GTPases.
ABSTRACT: Phosphoinositide 3-kinases (PI3Ks) and Ras and Rho family small GTPases are key regulators of cell polarization, motility, and chemotaxis. They influence each other's activities by direct and indirect feedback processes that are only partially understood. Here, we show that 21 small GTPase homologs activate PI3K. Using a microscopy-based binding assay, we show that K-Ras, H-Ras, and five homologous Ras family small GTPases function upstream of PI3K by directly binding the PI3K catalytic subunit, p110. In contrast, several Rho family small GTPases activated PI3K by an indirect cooperative positive feedback that required a combination of Rac, CDC42, and RhoG small GTPase activities. Thus, a distributed network of Ras and Rho family small GTPases induces and reinforces PI3K activity, explaining past challenges to elucidate the specific relevance of different small GTPases in regulating PI3K and controlling cell polarization and chemotaxis.
Project description:RAS proteins are important direct activators of p110?, p110?, and p110? type I phosphoinositide 3-kinases (PI3Ks), interacting via an amino-terminal RAS-binding domain (RBD). Here, we investigate the regulation of the ubiquitous p110? isoform of PI3K, implicated in G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signaling, PTEN-loss-driven cancers, and thrombocyte function. Unexpectedly, RAS is unable to interact with p110?, but instead RAC1 and CDC42 from the RHO subfamily of small GTPases bind and activate p110? via its RBD. In fibroblasts, GPCRs couple to PI3K through Dock180/Elmo1-mediated RAC activation and subsequent interaction with p110?. Cells from mice carrying mutations in the p110? RBD show reduced PI3K activity and defective chemotaxis, and these mice are resistant to experimental lung fibrosis. These findings revise our understanding of the regulation of type I PI3K by showing that both RAS and RHO family GTPases directly regulate distinct ubiquitous PI3K isoforms and that RAC activates p110? downstream of GPCRs.
Project description:The aberrant activity of Ras homologous (Rho) family small GTPases (20 human members) has been implicated in cancer and other human diseases. However, in contrast to the direct mutational activation of Ras found in cancer and developmental disorders, Rho GTPases are activated most commonly in disease by indirect mechanisms. One prevalent mechanism involves aberrant Rho activation via the deregulated expression and/or activity of Rho family guanine nucleotide exchange factors (RhoGEFs). RhoGEFs promote formation of the active GTP-bound state of Rho GTPases. The largest family of RhoGEFs is comprised of the Dbl family RhoGEFs with 70 human members. The multitude of RhoGEFs that activate a single Rho GTPase reflects the very specific role of each RhoGEF in controlling distinct signaling mechanisms involved in Rho activation. In this review, we summarize the role of Dbl RhoGEFs in development and disease, with a focus on Ect2 (epithelial cell transforming squence 2), Tiam1 (T-cell lymphoma invasion and metastasis 1), Vav and P-Rex1/2 (PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 (phosphatidylinositol (3,4,5)-triphosphate)-dependent Rac exchanger).
Project description:Directional sensing, a process in which cells convert an external chemical gradient into internal signaling events, is essential in chemotaxis. We previously showed that a Rho GTPase, RacE, regulates gradient sensing in Dictyostelium cells. Here, using affinity purification and mass spectrometry, we identify a novel RacE-binding protein, GflB, which contains a Ras GEF domain and a Rho GAP domain. Using biochemical and gene knockout approaches, we show that GflB balances the activation of Ras and Rho GTPases, which enables cells to precisely orient signaling events toward higher concentrations of chemoattractants. Furthermore, we find that GflB is located at the leading edge of migrating cells, and this localization is regulated by the actin cytoskeleton and phosphatidylserine. Our findings provide a new molecular mechanism that connects directional sensing and morphological polarization.
Project description:Small guanosine triphosphatases (GTPases) of the Ras superfamily are key regulators of many key cellular events such as proliferation, differentiation, cell cycle regulation, migration, or apoptosis. To control these biological responses, GTPases activity is regulated by guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs), GTPase activating proteins (GAPs), and in some small GTPases also guanine nucleotide dissociation inhibitors (GDIs). Moreover, small GTPases transduce signals by their downstream effector molecules. Many studies demonstrate that small GTPases of the Ras family are involved in neurodegeneration processes. Here, in this review, we focus on the signaling pathways controlled by these small protein superfamilies that culminate in neurodegenerative pathologies, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD). Specifically, we concentrate on the two most studied families of the Ras superfamily: the Ras and Rho families. We summarize the latest findings of small GTPases of the Ras and Rho families in neurodegeneration in order to highlight these small proteins as potential therapeutic targets capable of slowing down different neurodegenerative diseases.
Project description:Small guanosine triphosphatases (GTPases) gathered in the Rat sarcoma (Ras) superfamily represent a large family of proteins involved in several key cellular mechanisms. Within the Ras superfamily, the Ras homolog (Rho) family is specialized in the regulation of actin cytoskeleton-based mechanisms. These proteins switch between an active and an inactive state, resulting in subsequent inhibiting or activating downstream signals, leading finally to regulation of actin-based processes. The On/Off status of Rho GTPases implicates two subsets of regulators: GEFs (guanine nucleotide exchange factors), which favor the active GTP (guanosine triphosphate) status of the GTPase and GAPs (GTPase activating proteins), which inhibit the GTPase by enhancing the GTP hydrolysis. In humans, the 20 identified Rho GTPases are regulated by over 70 GAP proteins suggesting a complex, but well-defined, spatio-temporal implication of these GAPs. Among the quite large number of RhoGAPs, we focus on p190RhoGAP, which is known as the main negative regulator of RhoA, but not exclusively. Two isoforms, p190A and p190B, are encoded by ARHGAP35 and ARHGAP5 genes, respectively. We describe here the function of each of these isoforms in physiological processes and sum up findings on their role in pathological conditions such as neurological disorders and cancers.
Project description:RAC1 is a small, Ras-related GTPase that was recently reported to harbor a recurrent UV-induced signature mutation in melanoma, resulting in substitution of P29 to serine (RAC1(P29S)), ranking this the third most frequently occurring gain-of-function mutation in melanoma. Although the Ras family GTPases are mutated in about 30% of all cancers, mutations in the Rho family GTPases have rarely been observed. In this study, we demonstrate that unlike oncogenic Ras proteins, which are primarily activated by mutations that eliminate GTPase activity, the activated melanoma RAC1(P29S) protein maintains intrinsic GTP hydrolysis and is spontaneously activated by substantially increased inherent GDP/GTP nucleotide exchange. Determination and comparison of crystal structures for activated RAC1 GTPases suggest that RAC1(F28L)--a known spontaneously activated RAC1 mutant--and RAC1(P29S) are self-activated in distinct fashions. Moreover, the mechanism of RAC1(P29S) and RAC1(F28L) activation differs from the common oncogenic mutations found in Ras-like GTPases that abrogate GTP hydrolysis. The melanoma RAC1(P29S) gain-of-function point mutation therefore represents a previously undescribed class of cancer-related GTPase activity.
Project description:During chemotaxis, cells sense extracellular chemical gradients and position Ras GTPase activation and phosphatidylinositol (3,4,5)-triphosphate (PIP3) production toward chemoattractants. These two major signaling events are visualized by biosensors in a crescent-like zone at the plasma membrane. Here, we show that a Dictyostelium Rho GTPase, RacE, and a guanine nucleotide exchange factor, GxcT, stabilize the orientation of Ras activation and PIP3 production in response to chemoattractant gradients, and this regulation occurred independently of the actin cytoskeleton and cell polarity. Cells lacking RacE or GxcT fail to persistently direct Ras activation and PIP3 production toward chemoattractants, leading to lateral pseudopod extension and impaired chemotaxis. Constitutively active forms of RacE and human RhoA are located on the portion of the plasma membrane that faces lower concentrations of chemoattractants, opposite of PIP3 production. Mechanisms that control the localization of the constitutively active form of RacE require its effector domain, but not PIP3. Our findings reveal a critical role for Rho GTPases in positioning Ras activation and thereby establishing the accuracy of directional sensing.
Project description:Small GTPases alternatively bind GDP/GTP guanine nucleotides to gate signaling pathways that direct most cellular processes. Numerous GTPases are implicated in oncogenesis, particularly the three RAS isoforms HRAS, KRAS, and NRAS and the RHO family GTPase RAC1. Signaling networks comprising small GTPases are highly connected, and there is some evidence of direct biochemical cross-talk between their functional G-domains. The activation potential of a given GTPase is contingent on a codependent interaction with the nucleotide and a Mg2+ ion, which bind to individual variants with distinct affinities coordinated by residues in the GTPase nucleotide-binding pocket. Here, we utilized a selective-labeling strategy coupled with real-time NMR spectroscopy to monitor nucleotide exchange, GTP hydrolysis, and effector interactions of multiple small GTPases in a single complex system. We provide insight into nucleotide preference and the role of Mg2+ in activating both WT and oncogenic mutant enzymes. Multiplexing revealed guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF), GTPase-activating protein (GAP), and effector-binding specificities in mixtures of GTPases and resolved that the three related RAS isoforms are biochemically equivalent. This work establishes that direct quantitation of the nucleotide-bound conformation is required to accurately determine an activation potential for any given GTPase, as small GTPases such as RAS-like proto-oncogene A (RALA) or the G12C mutant of KRAS display fast exchange kinetics but have a high affinity for GDP. Furthermore, we propose that the G-domains of small GTPases behave autonomously in solution and that nucleotide cycling proceeds independently of protein concentration but is highly impacted by Mg2+ abundance.
Project description:Chemotactic responsiveness is crucial to neutrophil recruitment to sites of infection. During chemotaxis, highly divergent cytoskeletal programs are executed at the leading and trailing edge of motile neutrophils. The Rho family of small GTPases plays a critical role in cell migration, and recent work has focused on elucidating the specific roles played by Rac1, Rac2, Cdc42, and Rho during cellular chemotaxis. Rac GTPases regulate actin polymerization and extension of the leading edge, whereas Rho GTPases control myosin-based contraction of the trailing edge. Rac and Rho signaling are thought to crosstalk with one another, and previous research has focused on mutual inhibition of Rac and Rho signaling during chemotaxis. Indeed, polarization of neutrophils has been proposed to involve the activity of a negative feedback system where Rac activation at the front of the cell inhibits local Rho activation, and vice versa. Using primary human neutrophils and neutrophils derived from a Rac1/Rac2-null transgenic mouse model, we demonstrate here that Rac1 (and not Rac2) is essential for Rho and myosin activation at the trailing edge to regulate uropod function. We conclude that Rac plays both positive and negative roles in the organization of the Rhomyosin "backness" program, thereby promoting stable polarity in chemotaxing neutrophils.
Project description:Directed cell migration in response to chemical cues, also known as chemotaxis, is an important physiological process involved in wound healing, foraging, and the immune response. Cell migration requires the simultaneous formation of actin polymers at the leading edge and actomyosin complexes at the sides and back of the cell. An unresolved question in eukaryotic chemotaxis is how the same chemoattractant signal determines both the cell's front and back. Recent experimental studies have begun to reveal the biochemical mechanisms necessary for this polarized cellular response. We propose a mathematical model of neutrophil gradient sensing and polarization based on experimentally characterized biochemical mechanisms. The model demonstrates that the known dynamics for Rho GTPase and phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) activation are sufficient for both gradient sensing and polarization. In particular, the model demonstrates that these mechanisms can correctly localize the "front" and "rear" pathways in response to both uniform concentrations and gradients of chemical attractants, including in actin-inhibited cells. Furthermore, the model predictions are robust to the values of many parameters. A key result of the model is the proposed coincidence circuit involving PI3K and Ras that obviates the need for the "global inhibitors" proposed, though never experimentally verified, in many previous mathematical models of eukaryotic chemotaxis. Finally, experiments are proposed to (in)validate this model and further our understanding of neutrophil chemotaxis.