Analyzing membrane remodeling and fission using supported bilayers with excess membrane reservoir.
ABSTRACT: A complete understanding of the molecular mechanisms governing vesicle formation requires quantitative assays and vesicle reconstitution using purified components. We describe a simple model membrane template for studying protein-mediated membrane remodeling and vesicle formation or fission that is amenable to both quantitative biochemical analysis and real-time imaging by epifluorescence microscopy. Supported bilayers with excess membrane reservoir (SUPER) templates are compositionally well-defined unilamellar membrane systems prepared on 2-5-?m silica beads under conditions that enable incorporation of excess membrane to form a loosely fitting bilayer that can be used to study membrane remodeling and fission. This protocol describes methods for SUPER template formation and characterization, as well as for the qualitative observation and quantitative measurement of vesicle formation and fission via microscopy and a simple sedimentation assay. SUPER templates can be prepared within 60 min. Results from either sedimentation-based or microscopy-based assays can be obtained within an additional 60 min.
Project description:A complete mechanistic understanding of membrane-localized processes in vesicular transport, such as membrane budding and fission, requires their reconstitution with biochemically-defined components from a biochemically-defined substrate. Supported bilayers formed by vesicle fusion represent an attractive substrate for this purpose. However, conventional supported bilayers lack a sufficient membrane reservoir to recreate membrane budding and fission events. We describe the formation of supported bilayers with excess membrane reservoir (SUPER) templates from the fusion of liposomes containing negatively charged lipids on silica beads under high-ionic-strength conditions. Using a fluorescence microscopy-based assay to monitor early and late stages of supported bilayer formation, we show that an increase in ionic strength leads to an increase in the rates of liposome adsorption and subsequent fusion during formation of supported bilayers. The two rates, however, increase disproportionally, leading to accumulation of excess reservoir with an increase in ionic strength. SUPER templates allow the seamless application of microscopy-based assays to analyze membrane-localized processes together with sedimentation-based assays to isolate vesicular and nonvesicular products released from the membrane. The results presented here emphasize the general utility of these templates for analyzing vesicular and nonvesicular transport processes.
Project description:The GTPase dynamin assembles at the necks of budded vesicles in vivo and functions in membrane fission. We have developed fluid supported bilayers with excess membrane reservoir, (SUPER) templates, to assay vesicle formation and membrane fission. Consistent with previous studies, in the absence of GTP, dynamin assembles in spirals, forming long membrane tubules. GTP addition triggers disassembly, but not membrane fission, arguing against models in which fission is mediated by concerted and global GTP-driven conformational changes. In contrast, under physiological conditions in the constant presence of GTP, dynamin mediates membrane fission. Under these conditions, fluorescently labeled dynamin cooperatively organizes into self-limited assemblies that continuously cycle at the membrane and drive vesicle release. When visualized at the necks of emergent vesicles, self-limited dynamin assemblies display intensity fluctuations and persist for variable time periods before fission. Thus, self-limited assemblies of dynamin generated in the constant presence of GTP catalyze membrane fission.
Project description:Membrane fission, which divides membrane surfaces into separate compartments, is essential to diverse cellular processes including membrane trafficking and cell division. Quantitative assays are needed to elucidate the physical mechanisms by which proteins drive membrane fission. Toward this goal, several experimental tools have been developed, including visualizing fission products using electron microscopy, measuring membrane shedding from a lipid reservoir, and observing fission of individual membrane tubes pulled from giant vesicles. However, no existing assay of membrane fission provides a quantitative, high-throughput measure of the distribution of vesicle curvatures generated by fission-driving proteins. Toward addressing this challenge, here we describe a novel approach that uses confocal fluorescence imaging to quantify the diameter distribution of membrane vesicles that have been tethered to a coverslip surface following exposure to fission-driving proteins. We employ this assay to measure the progressive appearance of high curvature fission products upon exposure of vesicles to increasing protein concentration. Results from this approach are in quantitative agreement with measurements from electron microscopy, but can be collected with considerably greater throughput, enabling examination of a broad range of experimental conditions. Using the tethered vesicle approach, we have recently found that membrane-bound intrinsically disordered proteins are surprisingly potent drivers of membrane fission. The capacity to drive fission arises from steric pressure generated when disordered domains with large hydrodynamic radii bind to membranes at high local densities. More broadly, the experimental tools described here have the potential to improve our mechanistic understanding of membrane fission in diverse biophysical contexts.
Project description:The mechanisms by which cytosolic proteins reversibly bind the membrane and induce the curvature for membrane trafficking and remodeling remain elusive. The epsin N-terminal homology (ENTH) domain has potent vesicle tubulation activity despite a lack of intrinsic molecular curvature. EPR revealed that the N-terminal alpha-helix penetrates the phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate-containing membrane at a unique oblique angle and concomitantly interacts closely with helices from neighboring molecules in an antiparallel orientation. The quantitative fluorescence microscopy showed that the formation of highly ordered ENTH domain complexes beyond a critical size is essential for its vesicle tubulation activity. The mutations that interfere with the formation of large ENTH domain complexes abrogated the vesicle tubulation activity. Furthermore, the same mutations in the intact epsin 1 abolished its endocytic activity in mammalian cells. Collectively, these results show that the ENTH domain facilitates the cellular membrane budding and fission by a novel mechanism that is distinct from that proposed for BAR domains.
Project description:Studies on vesicle formation by the Coat Protein I (COPI) complex have contributed to a basic understanding of how vesicular transport is initiated. We have identified that short chain lipids promote membrane properties that are conducive for fission. Here we investigated short chain PCs on Golgi membrane. These findings will advance the understanding of how lipid geometry contributes to membrane deformation needed for vesicle fission.
Project description:Cell-free reconstitution of membrane traffic reactions and the morphological characterization of membrane intermediates that accumulate under these conditions have helped to elucidate the physical and molecular mechanisms involved in membrane transport. To gain a better understanding of endocytosis, we have reconstituted vesicle budding and fission from isolated plasma membrane sheets and imaged these events. Electron and fluorescence microscopy, including subdiffraction-limit imaging by stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM), revealed F-BAR (FBP17) domain coated tubules nucleated by clathrin-coated buds when fission was blocked by GTPgammaS. Triggering fission by replacing GTPgammaS with GTP led not only to separation of clathrin-coated buds, but also to vesicle formation by fragmentation of the tubules. These results suggest a functional link between FBP17-dependent membrane tubulation and clathrin-dependent budding. They also show that clathrin spatially directs plasma membrane invaginations that lead to the generation of endocytic vesicles larger than those enclosed by the coat.
Project description:An endocytic vesicle is formed from a flat plasma membrane patch by a sequential process of invagination, bud formation and fission. The scission step requires the formation of a tubular membrane neck (the fission pore) that connects the endocytic vesicle with the plasma membrane. Progress in vesicle fission can be measured by the formation and closure of the fission pore. Live-cell imaging and sensitive biophysical measurements have provided various glimpses into the structure and behaviour of the fission pore. In the present study, the role of non-muscle myosin II (NM-2) in vesicle fission was tested by analyzing the kinetics of the fission pore with perforated-patch clamp capacitance measurements to detect single vesicle endocytosis with millisecond time resolution in peritoneal mast cells. Blebbistatin, a specific inhibitor of NM-2, dramatically increased the duration of the fission pore and also prevented closure during large endocytic events. Using the fluorescent markers FM1-43 and pHrodo Green dextran, we found that NM-2 inhibition greatly arrested vesicle fission in a late phase of the scission event when the pore reached a final diameter of ? 5 nm. Our results indicate that loss of the ATPase activity of myosin II drastically reduces the efficiency of membrane scission by making vesicle closure incomplete and suggest that NM-2 might be especially relevant in vesicle fission during compound endocytosis.
Project description:Pex11p family proteins are key players in peroxisomal fission, but their molecular mechanisms remains mostly unknown. In the present study, overexpression of Pex11p? caused substantial vesiculation of peroxisomes in mammalian cells. This vesicle formation was dependent on dynamin-like protein 1 (DLP1) and mitochondrial fission factor (Mff), as knockdown of these proteins diminished peroxisomal fission after Pex11p? overexpression. The fission-deficient peroxisomes exhibited an elongated morphology, and peroxisomal marker proteins, such as Pex14p or matrix proteins harboring peroxisomal targeting signal 1, were discernible in a segmented staining pattern, like beads on a string. Endogenous Pex11p? was also distributed a striped pattern, but which was not coincide with Pex14p and PTS1 matrix proteins. Altered morphology of the lipid membrane was observed when recombinant Pex11p proteins were introduced into proteo-liposomes. Constriction of proteo-liposomes was observed under confocal microscopy and electron microscopy, and the reconstituted Pex11p? protein localized to the membrane constriction site. Introducing point mutations into the N-terminal amphiphathic helix of Pex11p? strongly reduced peroxisomal fission, and decreased the oligomer formation. These results suggest that Pex11p contributes to the morphogenesis of the peroxisomal membrane, which is required for subsequent fission by DLP1.
Project description:Quantitative microscopy is a valuable tool for inferring molecular mechanisms of cellular processes such as clathrin-mediated endocytosis, but, for quantitative microscopy to reach its potential, both data collection and analysis needed improvement. We introduce new tools to track and count endocytic patches in fission yeast to increase the quality of the data extracted from quantitative microscopy movies. We present a universal method to achieve "temporal superresolution" by aligning temporal data sets with higher temporal resolution than the measurement intervals. These methods allowed us to extract new information about endocytic actin patches in wild-type cells from measurements of the fluorescence of fimbrin-mEGFP. We show that the time course of actin assembly and disassembly varies <600 ms between patches. Actin polymerizes during vesicle formation, but we show that polymerization does not participate in vesicle movement other than to limit the complex diffusive motions of newly formed endocytic vesicles, which move faster as the surrounding actin meshwork decreases in size over time. Our methods also show that the number of patches in fission yeast is proportional to cell length and that the variability in the repartition of patches between the tips of interphase cells has been underestimated.
Project description:The GTPase dynamin catalyzes the scission of deeply invaginated clathrin-coated pits at the plasma membrane, but the mechanisms governing dynamin-mediated membrane fission remain poorly understood. Through mutagenesis, we have altered the hydrophobic nature of the membrane-inserting variable loop 1 (VL1) of the pleckstrin homology (PH) domain of dynamin-1 and demonstrate that its stable insertion into the lipid bilayer is critical for high membrane curvature generation and subsequent membrane fission. Dynamin PH domain mutants defective in curvature generation regain function when assayed on precurved membrane templates in vitro, but they remain defective in the scission of clathrin-coated pits in vivo. These results demonstrate that, in concert with dynamin self-assembly, PH domain membrane insertion is essential for fission and vesicle release in vitro and for clathrin-mediated endocytosis in vivo.