PAR-3 controls endothelial planar polarity and vascular inflammation under laminar flow.
ABSTRACT: Impaired cell polarity is a hallmark of diseased tissue. In the cardiovascular system, laminar blood flow induces endothelial planar cell polarity, represented by elongated cell shape and asymmetric distribution of intracellular organelles along the axis of blood flow. Disrupted endothelial planar polarity is considered to be pro-inflammatory, suggesting that the establishment of endothelial polarity elicits an anti-inflammatory response. However, a causative relationship between polarity and inflammatory responses has not been firmly established. Here, we find that a cell polarity protein, PAR-3, is an essential gatekeeper of GSK3? activity in response to laminar blood flow. We show that flow-induced spatial distribution of PAR-3/aPKC? and aPKC?/GSK3? complexes controls local GSK3? activity and thereby regulates endothelial planar polarity. The spatial information for GSK3? activation is essential for flow-dependent polarity to the flow axis, but is not necessary for flow-induced anti-inflammatory response. Our results shed light on a novel relationship between endothelial polarity and vascular homeostasis highlighting avenues for novel therapeutic strategies.
Project description:A cell polarity complex consisting of partitioning defective 3 (PAR-3), atypical protein kinase C (aPKC) and PAR-6 has a central role in the development of cell polarity in epithelial cells. In vertebrate epithelial cells, this complex localizes to tight junctions. Here, we provide evidence for the existence of a distinct PAR protein complex in endothelial cells. Both PAR-3 and PAR-6 associate directly with the adherens junction protein vascular endothelial cadherin (VE-cadherin). This association is direct and mediated through non-overlapping domains in VE-cadherin. PAR-3 and PAR-6 are recruited independently to cell-cell contacts. Surprisingly, the VE-cadherin-associated PAR protein complex lacks aPKC. Ectopic expression of VE-cadherin in epithelial cells affects tight junction formation. Our findings suggest that in endothelial cells, another PAR protein complex exists that localizes to adherens junctions and does not promote cellular polarization through aPKC activity. They also point to a direct role of a cadherin in the regulation of cell polarity in vertebrates.
Project description:In epithelia, cells adhere to each other in a dynamic fashion, allowing the cells to change their shape and move along each other during morphogenesis. The regulation of adhesion occurs at the belt-shaped adherens junction, the zonula adherens (ZA). Formation of the ZA depends on components of the Par-atypical PKC (Par-aPKC) complex of polarity regulators. We have identified the Lin11, Isl-1, Mec-3 (LIM) protein Smallish (Smash), the orthologue of vertebrate LMO7, as a binding partner of Bazooka/Par-3 (Baz), a core component of the Par-aPKC complex. Smash also binds to Canoe/Afadin and the tyrosine kinase Src42A and localizes to the ZA in a planar polarized fashion. Animals lacking Smash show loss of planar cell polarity (PCP) in the embryonic epidermis and reduced cell bond tension, leading to severe defects during embryonic morphogenesis of epithelial tissues and organs. Overexpression of Smash causes apical constriction of epithelial cells. We propose that Smash is a key regulator of morphogenesis coordinating PCP and actomyosin contractility at the ZA.
Project description:The conserved polarity effector proteins PAR-3, PAR-6, CDC-42, and atypical protein kinase C (aPKC) form a core unit of the PAR protein network, which plays a central role in polarizing a broad range of animal cell types. To functionally polarize cells, these proteins must activate aPKC within a spatially defined membrane domain on one side of the cell in response to symmetry-breaking cues. Using the Caenorhabditis elegans zygote as a model, we find that the localization and activation of aPKC involve distinct, specialized aPKC-containing assemblies: a PAR-3-dependent assembly that responds to polarity cues and promotes efficient segregation of aPKC toward the anterior but holds aPKC in an inactive state, and a CDC-42-dependent assembly in which aPKC is active but poorly segregated. Cycling of aPKC between these distinct functional assemblies, which appears to depend on aPKC activity, effectively links cue-sensing and effector roles within the PAR network to ensure robust establishment of polarity.
Project description:The PAR-3/PAR-6/atypical PKC (aPKC) complex is required for axon-dendrite specification of hippocampal neurons. However, the downstream effectors of this complex are not well defined. In this article, we report a role for microtubule affinity-regulating kinase (MARK)/PAR-1 in axon-dendrite specification. Knocking down MARK2 expression with small interfering RNAs induced formation of multiple axon-like neurites and promoted axon outgrowth. Ectopic expression of MARK2 caused phosphorylation of tau (S262) and led to loss of axons, and this phenotype was rescued by expression of PAR-3, PAR-6, and aPKC. In contrast, the polarity defects caused by an MARK2 mutant (T595A), which is not responsive to aPKC, were not rescued by the PAR-3/PAR-6/aPKC complex. Moreover, polarity was abrogated in neurons overexpressing a mutant of MARK2 with a deleted kinase domain but an intact aPKC-binding domain. Finally, suppression of MARK2 rescued the polarity defects induced by a dominant-negative aPKC mutant. These results suggest that MARK2 is involved in neuronal polarization and functions downstream of the PAR-3/PAR-6/aPKC complex. We propose that aPKC in complex with PAR-3/PAR-6 negatively regulates MARK(s), which in turn causes dephosphorylation of microtubule-associated proteins, such as tau, leading to the assembly of microtubules and elongation of axons.
Project description:A hallmark of polarized cells is the segregation of the PAR polarity regulators into asymmetric domains at the cell cortex. Antagonistic interactions involving two conserved kinases, atypical protein kinase C (aPKC) and PAR-1, have been implicated in polarity maintenance, but the mechanisms that initiate the formation of asymmetric PAR domains are not understood. Here, we describe one pathway used by the sperm-donated centrosome to polarize the PAR proteins in Caenorhabditis elegans zygotes. Before polarization, cortical aPKC excludes PAR-1 kinase and its binding partner PAR-2 by phosphorylation. During symmetry breaking, microtubules nucleated by the centrosome locally protect PAR-2 from phosphorylation by aPKC, allowing PAR-2 and PAR-1 to access the cortex nearest the centrosome. Cortical PAR-1 phosphorylates PAR-3, causing the PAR-3-aPKC complex to leave the cortex. Our findings illustrate how microtubules, independently of actin dynamics, stimulate the self-organization of PAR proteins by providing local protection against a global barrier imposed by aPKC.
Project description:The majority of excitatory synaptic transmission in the brain occurs at dendritic spines, which are actin-rich protrusions on the dendrites. The asymmetric nature of these structures suggests that proteins regulating cell polarity might be involved in their formation. Indeed, the polarity protein PAR-3 is required for normal spine morphogenesis. However, this function is independent of association with atypical protein kinase C (aPKC) and PAR-6. Here we show that PAR-6 together with aPKC plays a distinct but essential role in spine morphogenesis. Knockdown of PAR-6 inhibits spine morphogenesis, whereas overexpression of PAR-6 increases spine density, and these effects are mediated by aPKC. Using a FRET biosensor, we further show that p190 RhoGAP and RhoA act downstream of the PAR-6/aPKC complex. These results define a role for PAR-6 and aPKC in dendritic spine biogenesis and maintenance, and reveal an unexpected link between the PAR-6/aPKC complex and RhoA activity.
Project description:The Drosophila anterior-posterior axis is specified when the posterior follicle cells signal to polarise the oocyte, leading to the anterior/lateral localisation of the Par-6/aPKC complex and the posterior recruitment of Par-1, which induces a microtubule reorganisation that localises bicoid and oskar mRNAs. Here we show that oocyte polarity requires Slmb, the substrate specificity subunit of the SCF E3 ubiquitin ligase that targets proteins for degradation. The Par-6/aPKC complex is ectopically localised to the posterior of slmb mutant oocytes, and Par-1 and oskar mRNA are mislocalised. Slmb appears to play a related role in epithelial follicle cells, as large slmb mutant clones disrupt epithelial organisation, whereas small clones show an expansion of the apical domain, with increased accumulation of apical polarity factors at the apical cortex. The levels of aPKC and Par-6 are significantly increased in slmb mutants, whereas Baz is slightly reduced. Thus, Slmb may induce the polarisation of the anterior-posterior axis of the oocyte by targeting the Par-6/aPKC complex for degradation at the oocyte posterior. Consistent with this, overexpression of the aPKC antagonist Lgl strongly rescues the polarity defects of slmb mutant germline clones. The role of Slmb in oocyte polarity raises an intriguing parallel with C. elegans axis formation, in which PAR-2 excludes the anterior PAR complex from the posterior cortex to induce polarity, but its function can be substituted by overexpressing Lgl.
Project description:We have previously shown that during early Caenorhabditis elegans embryogenesis PKC-3, a C. elegans atypical PKC (aPKC), plays critical roles in the establishment of cell polarity required for subsequent asymmetric cleavage by interacting with PAR-3 [Tabuse, Y., Y. Izumi, F. Piano, K.J. Kemphues, J. Miwa, and S. Ohno. 1998. Development (Camb.). 125:3607--3614]. Together with the fact that aPKC and a mammalian PAR-3 homologue, aPKC-specific interacting protein (ASIP), colocalize at the tight junctions of polarized epithelial cells (Izumi, Y., H. Hirose, Y. Tamai, S.-I. Hirai, Y. Nagashima, T. Fujimoto, Y. Tabuse, K.J. Kemphues, and S. Ohno. 1998. J. Cell Biol. 143:95--106), this suggests a ubiquitous role for aPKC in establishing cell polarity in multicellular organisms. Here, we show that the overexpression of a dominant-negative mutant of aPKC (aPKCkn) in MDCK II cells causes mislocalization of ASIP/PAR-3. Immunocytochemical analyses, as well as measurements of paracellular diffusion of ions or nonionic solutes, demonstrate that the biogenesis of the tight junction structure itself is severely affected in aPKCkn-expressing cells. Furthermore, these cells show increased interdomain diffusion of fluorescent lipid and disruption of the polarized distribution of Na(+),K(+)-ATPase, suggesting that epithelial cell surface polarity is severely impaired in these cells. On the other hand, we also found that aPKC associates not only with ASIP/PAR-3, but also with a mammalian homologue of C. elegans PAR-6 (mPAR-6), and thereby mediates the formation of an aPKC-ASIP/PAR-3-PAR-6 ternary complex that localizes to the apical junctional region of MDCK cells. These results indicate that aPKC is involved in the evolutionarily conserved PAR protein complex, and plays critical roles in the development of the junctional structures and apico-basal polarization of mammalian epithelial cells.
Project description:Cell polarity plays a critical role in neuronal differentiation during development of the central nervous system (CNS). Recent studies have established the significance of atypical protein kinase C (aPKC) and its interacting partners, which include PAR-3, PAR-6 and Lgl, in regulating cell polarization during neuronal differentiation. However, their roles in neuronal maintenance after CNS development remain unclear. Here we performed conditional deletion of aPKC?, a major aPKC isoform in the brain, in differentiated neurons of mice by camk2a-cre or synapsinI-cre mediated gene targeting. We found significant reduction of aPKC? and total aPKCs in the adult mouse brains. The aPKC? deletion also reduced PAR-6?, possibly by its destabilization, whereas expression of other related proteins such as PAR-3 and Lgl-1 was unaffected. Biochemical analyses suggested that a significant fraction of aPKC? formed a protein complex with PAR-6? and Lgl-1 in the brain lysates, which was disrupted by the aPKC? deletion. Notably, the aPKC? deletion mice did not show apparent cell loss/degeneration in the brain. In addition, neuronal orientation/distribution seemed to be unaffected. Thus, despite the polarity complex disruption, neuronal deletion of aPKC? does not induce obvious cell loss or disorientation in mouse brains after cell differentiation.
Project description:Inflammatory cells acquire a polarized phenotype to migrate towards sites of infection or injury. A conserved polarity complex comprising PAR-3, PAR-6 and atypical protein kinase C (aPKC) relays extracellular polarizing cues to control cytoskeletal and signaling networks affecting morphological and functional polarization. However, there is no evidence that myeloid cells use PAR signaling to migrate vectorially in three-dimensional (3D) environments in vivo. Using genetically encoded bioprobes and high-resolution live imaging, we reveal the existence of F-actin oscillations in the trailing edge and constant repositioning of the microtubule organizing center (MTOC) to direct leukocyte migration in wounded medaka fish larvae (Oryzias latipes). Genetic manipulation in live myeloid cells demonstrates that the catalytic activity of aPKC and the regulated interaction with PAR-3 and PAR-6 are required for consistent F-actin oscillations, MTOC perinuclear mobility, aPKC repositioning and wound-directed migration upstream of Rho kinase (also known as ROCK or ROK) activation. We propose that the PAR complex coordinately controls cytoskeletal changes affecting both the generation of traction force and the directionality of leukocyte migration to sites of injury.