Allosteric regulation of Arf GTPases and their GEFs at the membrane interface.
ABSTRACT: Arf GTPases assemble protein complexes on membranes to carry out major functions in cellular traffic. An essential step is their activation by guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs), whose Sec7 domain stimulates GDP/GTP exchange. ArfGEFs form 2 major families: ArfGEFs with DCB, HUS and HDS domains (GBF1 and BIG1/BIG2 in humans), which act at the Golgi; and ArfGEFs with a C-terminal PH domain (cytohesin, EFA6 and BRAG), which function at the plasma membrane and endosomes. In addition, pathogenic bacteria encode an ArfGEF with a unique membrane-binding domain. Here we review the allosteric regulation of Arf GTPases and their GEFs at the membrane interface. Membranes contribute several regulatory layers: at the GTPase level, where activation by GTP is coupled to membrane recruitment by a built-in structural device; at the Sec7 domain, which manipulates this device to ensure that Arf-GTP is attached to membranes; and at the level of non-catalytic ArfGEF domains, which form direct or GTPase-mediated interactions with membranes that enable a spectacular diversity of regulatory regimes. Notably, we show here that membranes increase the efficiency of a large ArfGEF (human BIG1) by 32-fold by interacting directly with its N-terminal DCB and HUS domains. The diversity of allosteric regulatory regimes suggests that ArfGEFs can function in cascades and circuits to modulate the shape, amplitude and duration of Arf signals in cells. Because Arf-like GTPases feature autoinhibitory elements similar to those of Arf GTPases, we propose that their activation also requires allosteric interactions of these elements with membranes or other proteins.
Project description:The intracellular bacterial pathogen Legionella pneumophila (Lp) evades destruction in macrophages by camouflaging in a specialized organelle, the Legionella-containing vacuole (LCV), where it replicates. The LCV maturates by incorporating ER vesicles, which are diverted by effectors that Lp injects to take control of host cell membrane transport processes. One of these effectors, RalF, recruits the trafficking small GTPase Arf1 to the LCV. LpRalF has a Sec7 domain related to host ArfGEFs, followed by a capping domain that intimately associates with the Sec7 domain to inhibit GEF activity. How RalF is activated to function as a LCV-specific ArfGEF is unknown. We combined the reconstitution of Arf activation on artificial membranes with cellular expression and Lp infection assays, to analyze how auto-inhibition is relieved for LpRalF to function in vivo. We find that membranes activate LpRalF by about 1000 fold, and identify the membrane-binding region as the region that inhibits the Sec7 active site. It is enriched in aromatic and positively charged residues, which establish a membrane sensor to control the GEF activity in accordance with specific lipid environments. A similar mechanism of activation is found in RalF from Rickettsia prowazekii (Rp), with a different aromatic/charged residues ratio that results in divergent membrane preferences. The membrane sensor is the primary determinant of the localization of LpRalF on the LCV, and drives the timing of Arf activation during infection. Finally, we identify a conserved motif in the capping domain, remote from the membrane sensor, which is critical for RalF activity presumably by organizing its active conformation. These data demonstrate that RalF proteins are regulated by a membrane sensor that functions as a binary switch to derepress ArfGEF activity when RalF encounters a favorable lipid environment, thus establishing a regulatory paradigm to ensure that Arf GTPases are efficiently activated at specific membrane locations.
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:BACKGROUND: Small G proteins, which are essential regulators of multiple cellular functions, are activated by guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) that stimulate the exchange of the tightly bound GDP nucleotide by GTP. The catalytic domain responsible for nucleotide exchange is in general associated with non-catalytic domains that define the spatio-temporal conditions of activation. In the case of small G proteins of the Arf subfamily, which are major regulators of membrane trafficking, GEFs form a heterogeneous family whose only common characteristic is the well-characterized Sec7 catalytic domain. In contrast, the function of non-catalytic domains and how they regulate/cooperate with the catalytic domain is essentially unknown. RESULTS: Based on Sec7-containing sequences from fully-annotated eukaryotic genomes, including our annotation of these sequences from Paramecium, we have investigated the domain architecture of large ArfGEFs of the BIG and GBF subfamilies, which are involved in Golgi traffic. Multiple sequence alignments combined with the analysis of predicted secondary structures, non-structured regions and splicing patterns, identifies five novel non-catalytic structural domains which are common to both subfamilies, revealing that they share a conserved modular organization. We also report a novel ArfGEF subfamily with a domain organization so far unique to alveolates, which we name TBS (TBC-Sec7). CONCLUSION: Our analysis unifies the BIG and GBF subfamilies into a higher order subfamily, which, together with their being the only subfamilies common to all eukaryotes, suggests that they descend from a common ancestor from which species-specific ArfGEFs have subsequently evolved. Our identification of a conserved modular architecture provides a background for future functional investigation of non-catalytic domains.
Project description:Mutations in IQSEC2, a guanine nucleotide exchange factor for the ADP-ribosylation factor (Arf) family of small GTPases have recently been shown to cause non-syndromic X-linked intellectual disability (ID), characterised by substantial limitations in intellectual functioning and adaptive behaviour. This discovery was revealed by a combination of large-scale resequencing of the X chromosome, and key functional assays that revealed a reduction, but not elimination, of IQSEC2 GEF activity for mutations affecting conserved amino acids in the IQ-like and Sec7 domains. Compromised GTP binding activity of IQSEC2 leading to reduced activation of selected Arf substrates (Arf1, Arf6) is expected to impact on cytoskeletal organization, dendritic spine morphology and synaptic organisation. This study highlights the need for further investigation of the IQSEC gene family and Arf GTPases in neuronal morphology and synaptic function, and suggests that the genes encoding the ArfGEFs IQSEC1 and IQSEC3 should be considered as candidates for screening in autosomal ID.
Project description:Traffic through the Golgi complex is controlled by small GTPases of the Arf and Rab families. Guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) proteins activate these GTPases to control Golgi function, yet the full assortment of signals regulating these GEFs is unknown. The Golgi Arf-GEF Sec7 and the homologous BIG1/2 proteins are effectors of the Arf1 and Arl1 GTPases. We demonstrate that Sec7 is also an effector of two Rab GTPases, Ypt1 (Rab1) and Ypt31/32 (Rab11), signifying unprecedented signaling crosstalk between GTPase pathways. The molecular basis for the role of Ypt31/32 and Rab11 in vesicle formation has remained elusive. We find that Arf1, Arl1, and Ypt1 primarily affect the membrane localization of Sec7, whereas Ypt31/32 exerts a dramatic stimulatory effect on the nucleotide exchange activity of Sec7. The convergence of multiple signaling pathways on a master regulator reveals a mechanism for balancing incoming and outgoing traffic at the Golgi.
Project description:The regulation of human Arf1 GTPase activity by ArfGEFs that stimulate GDP/GTP exchange and ArfGAPs that mediate GTP hydrolysis has attracted attention for the discovery of Arf1 inhibitors as potential anti-cancer agents. The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum encodes a Sec7 domain-containing protein - presumably an ArfGEF - and two putative ArfGAPs, as well as an Arf1 homologue (PfArf1) that is essential for blood-stage parasite viability. However, ArfGEF and ArfGAP-mediated activation/deactivation of PfArf1 has not been demonstrated. In this study, we established an in vitro colorimetric microtiter plate-based assay to detect the activation status of truncated human and P. falciparum Arf1 and used it to demonstrate the activation of both proteins by the Sec7 domain of ARNO, their deactivation by the GAP domain of human ArfGAP1 and the inhibition of the respective reactions by the compounds SecinH3 and QS11. In addition, we found that the GAP domains of both P. falciparum ArfGAPs have activities equivalent to that of human ArfGAP1, but are insensitive to QS11. Library screening identified a novel inhibitor which selectively inhibits one of the P. falciparum GAP domains (IC50 4.7?µM), suggesting that the assay format is suitable for screening compound collections for inhibitors of Arf1 regulatory proteins.
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.
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:Brefeldin A-inhibited guanine nucleotide-exchange factors BIG1 and BIG2 activate, through their Sec7 domains, ADP ribosylation factors (Arfs) by accelerating the replacement of Arf-bound GDP with GTP for initiation of vesicular transport or activation of specific enzymes that modify important phospholipids. They are also implicated in regulation of cell polarization and actin dynamics for directed migration. Reciprocal coimmunoprecipitation of endogenous HeLa cell BIG1 and BIG2 with myosin IIA was demonstrably independent of Arf guanine nucleotide-exchange factor activity, because effects of BIG1 and BIG2 depletion were reversed by overexpression of the cognate BIG molecule C-terminal sequence that follows the Arf activation site. Selective depletion of BIG1 or BIG2 enhanced specific phosphorylation of myosin regulatory light chain (T18/S19) and F-actin content, which impaired cell migration in Transwell assays. Our data are clear evidence of these newly recognized functions for BIG1 and BIG2 in transduction or integration of mechanical signals from integrin adhesions and myosin IIA-dependent actin dynamics. Thus, by anchoring or scaffolding the assembly, organization, and efficient operation of multimolecular myosin phosphatase complexes that include myosin IIA, protein phosphatase 1?, and myosin phosphatase-targeting subunit 1, BIG1 and BIG2 serve to integrate diverse biophysical and biochemical events in cells.
Project description:The Golgi complex is the central membrane and protein-sorting station in eukaryotic cells. Activation of Arf (ADP-ribosylation factor) GTPases is essential for vesicle formation via recruitment of cargo adaptors and coat proteins necessary for Golgi trafficking. Arf activation is spatially and temporally regulated by distinct guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) at different Golgi compartments. The yeast Arf-GEF Sec7 is a conserved and essential activator of Arf1 at the trans-Golgi network. Sec7 contains a highly conserved regulatory region, the homology upstream of Sec7 (HUS) box, with an unknown mechanistic role. In this study we explore how the HUS box, which is N-terminal to the catalytic domain, acts together with C-terminal regulatory domains in the allosteric activation of Sec7. We report that mutation of the HUS box disrupts positive feedback and allosteric activation of Sec7 by the GTPase Ypt31, a yeast Rab11 homolog. Taken together, our results support a model in which the inter- and intramolecular interactions of the HUS box and the C terminus are necessary for the allosteric activation of Sec7.