The chaperone ERp29 is required for tunneling nanotube formation by stabilizing MSec.
ABSTRACT: Tunneling nanotubes (TNTs) are membrane conduits that mediate long-distance intercellular cross-talk in several organisms and play vital roles during development, pathogenic transmission, and cancer metastasis. However, the molecular mechanisms of TNT formation and function remain poorly understood. The protein MSec (also known as TNF?-induced protein 2 (TNFAIP2) and B94) is essential for TNT formation in multiple cell types. Here, using affinity protein purification, mass spectrometric identification, and confocal immunofluorescence microscopy assays, we found that MSec interacts with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) chaperone ERp29. siRNA-mediated ERp29 depletion in mammalian cells significantly reduces TNT formation, whereas its overexpression induces TNT formation, but in a strictly MSec-dependent manner. ERp29 stabilized MSec protein levels, but not its mRNA levels, and the chaperone activity of ERp29 was required for maintaining MSec protein stability. Subcellular ER fractionation and subsequent limited proteolytic treatment suggested that MSec is associated with the outer surface of the ER. The ERp29-MSec interaction appeared to require the presence of other bridging protein(s), perhaps triggered by post-translational modification of ERp29. Our study implicates MSec as a target of ERp29 and reveals an indispensable role for the ER in TNT formation, suggesting new modalities for regulating TNT numbers in cells and tissues.
Project description:Tunneling NanoTubes (TNTs) are membrane conduits that mediate long distance intercellular crosstalk in several organisms and play vital roles during development, pathogenic transmission and cancer metastasis. However, the molecular mechanisms of TNT formation and function remain poorly understood. The protein MSec is essential for TNT formation in multiple cell types. We identified a novel interaction of MSec with the endoplasmic reticulum chaperone ERp29. ERp29 depletion in mammalian cells led to a significant reduction in TNT formation, while its over-expression induced TNT formation, but strictly in an MSec-dependent manner. ERp29 stabilized MSec protein levels but not its mRNA levels, and the chaperone activity of ERp29 was required for maintaining MSec protein stability. Our study implicates MSec as a new target of ERp29 and reveals an indispensable role for the endoplasmic reticulum in the biogenesis of TNTs, thus suggesting new modalities for regulating TNT numbers.
Project description:Connexin43 (Cx43) is a gap junction protein that forms multimeric channels that enable intercellular communication through the direct transfer of signals and metabolites. Although most multimeric protein complexes form in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), Cx43 seems to exit from the ER as monomers and subsequently oligomerizes in the Golgi complex. This suggests that one or more protein chaperones inhibit premature Cx43 oligomerization in the ER. Here, we provide evidence that an ER-localized, 29-kDa thioredoxin-family protein (ERp29) regulates Cx43 trafficking and function. Interfering with ERp29 function destabilized monomeric Cx43 oligomerization in the ER, caused increased Cx43 accumulation in the Golgi apparatus, reduced transport of Cx43 to the plasma membrane, and inhibited gap junctional communication. ERp29 also formed a specific complex with monomeric Cx43. Together, this supports a new role for ERp29 as a chaperone that helps stabilize monomeric Cx43 to enable oligomerization to occur in the Golgi apparatus.
Project description:The environment within the Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) influences Insulin biogenesis. In particular, ER stress may contribute to the development of Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) and Cystic Fibrosis Related Diabetes (CFRD), where evidence of impaired Insulin processing, including elevated secreted Proinsulin/Insulin ratios, are observed. Our group has established the role of a novel ER chaperone ERp29 (ER protein of 29 kDa) in the biogenesis of the Epithelial Sodium Channel, ENaC. The biogenesis of Insulin and ENaC share may key features, including their potential association with COP II machinery, their cleavage into a more active form in the Golgi or later compartments, and their ability to bypass such cleavage and remain in a less active form. Given these similarities we hypothesized that ERp29 is a critical factor in promoting the efficient conversion of Proinsulin to Insulin. Here, we confirmed that Proinsulin associates with the COP II vesicle cargo recognition component, Sec24D. When Sec24D expression was decreased, we observed a corresponding decrease in whole cell Proinsulin levels. In addition, we found that Sec24D associates with ERp29 in co-precipitation experiments and that ERp29 associates with Proinsulin in co-precipitation experiments. When ERp29 was overexpressed, a corresponding increase in whole cell Proinsulin levels was observed, while depletion of ERp29 decreased whole cell Proinsulin levels. Together, these data suggest a potential role for ERp29 in regulating Insulin biosynthesis, perhaps in promoting the exit of Proinsulin from the ER via Sec24D/COPII vesicles.
Project description:Background:Metastasis is the cause of most cancer-related deaths. It is known that breast cancer cells in proximity to macrophages become more invasive in an Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) dependent manner. Tunneling nanotubes (TNTs) are thin, F-actin containing, cellular protrusions that mediate intercellular communication and have been identified in many tumors. The mechanism of TNT formation varies between different cell types. M-Sec (TNFAIP2) has been demonstrated to be involved in TNT formation in some cell types including macrophages. Yet, the requirement of M-Sec in tumor cell TNT formation in response to macrophages has not been explored. Aim:The aim of this study was to determine whether EGF was required for macrophage induced tumor cell TNTs in an M-Sec dependent manner and what possible roles tumor cell TNTs play in tumor cell migration and invasion. Methods and Results:Macrophage Conditioned Media (CM) was used to induce an increase in TNTs in a number of breast cancer cell lines as measured by live cell microscopy. Tumor cell TNT formation by CM was dependent on the presence of EGF which was sufficient to induce TNT formation. CM treatment enhanced the level of M-Sec identified using western blot analysis. Reduction of endogenous M-Sec levels via shRNA in MTLn3 mammary adenocarcinoma cells inhibited the formation of TNTs. The role of tumor cell TNTs in cell behavior was tested using in vitro transwell and 3D invasion assays. No effect on chemotaxis was detected but 3D invasion was reduced following the knockdown of M-Sec in tumor cell TNTs. Conclusions:Our results show that EGF was necessary and sufficient for tumor cell TNT formation which was dependent on cellular M-Sec levels. While tumor cell TNTs may not play a role in individual cell behaviors like chemotaxis, they may be important in more complex tumor cell behaviors such as 3D invasion.
Project description:The interaction between tumor cells and macrophages is crucial in promoting tumor invasion and metastasis. In this study, we examined a novel mechanism of intercellular communication, namely membranous actin-based tunneling nanotubes (TNTs), that occurs between macrophages and tumor cells in the promotion of macrophage-dependent tumor cell invasion. The presence of heterotypic TNTs between macrophages and tumor cells induced invasive tumor cell morphology, which was dependent on EGF-EGFR signaling. Furthermore, reduction of a protein involved in TNT formation, M-Sec (TNFAIP2), in macrophages inhibited tumor cell elongation, blocked the ability of tumor cells to invade in 3D and reduced macrophage-dependent long-distance tumor cell streaming in vitro Using an in vivo zebrafish model that recreates macrophage-mediated tumor cell invasion, we observed TNT-mediated macrophage-dependent tumor cell invasion, distant metastatic foci and areas of metastatic spread. Overall, our studies support a role for TNTs as a novel means of interaction between tumor cells and macrophages that leads to tumor progression and metastasis.
Project description:Tunneling nanotubes (TNTs) are actin-based membranous structures bridging distant cells for intercellular communication. We define roles for TNTs in stress adaptation and treatment resistance in prostate cancer (PCa). Androgen receptor (AR) blockade and metabolic stress induce TNTs, but not in normal prostatic epithelial or osteoblast cells. Co-culture assays reveal enhanced TNT formation between stressed and unstressed PCa cells as well as from stressed PCa to osteoblasts. Stress-induced chaperones clusterin and YB-1 localize within TNTs, are transported bi-directionally via TNTs and facilitate TNT formation in PI3K/AKT and Eps8-dependent manner. AR variants, induced by AR antagonism to mediate resistance to AR pathway inhibition, also enhance TNT production and rescue loss of clusterin- or YB-1-repressed TNT formation. TNT disruption sensitizes PCa to treatment-induced cell death. These data define a mechanistic network involving stress induction of chaperone and AR variants, PI3K/AKT signaling, actin remodeling and TNT-mediated intercellular communication that confer stress adaptative cell survival.
Project description:Penetration of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane by polyomavirus (PyV) is a decisive step in virus entry. We showed previously that the ER-resident factor ERp29 induces the local unfolding of PyV to initiate the ER membrane penetration process. ERp29 contains an N-terminal thioredoxin domain (NTD) that mediates its dimerization and a novel C-terminal all-helical domain (CTD) whose function is unclear. The NTD-mediated dimerization of ERp29 is critical for its unfolding activity; whether the CTD plays any role in PyV unfolding is unknown. We now show that three hydrophobic residues within the last helix of the ERp29 CTD that were individually mutated to either lysine or alanine abolished ERp29's ability to stimulate PyV unfolding and infection. This effect was not due to global misfolding of the mutant proteins, as they dimerize and do not form aggregates or display increased protease sensitivity. Moreover, the mutant proteins stimulated secretion of the secretory protein thyroglobulin with an efficiency similar to that of wild-type ERp29. Using a cross-linking coimmunoprecipitation assay, we found that the physical interaction of the ERp29 CTD mutants with PyV is inefficient. Our data thus demonstrate that the ERp29 CTD plays a crucial role in PyV unfolding and infection, likely by serving as part of a substrate-binding domain.
Project description:ERp29 is a novel endoplasmic reticulum (ER) protein that plays an important role in protein unfolding and secretion. Recently, it has been reported to be widely implicated in control of tumorigenesis in some tumors. However, the potential function of ERp29 in gastric cancer remains poorly understood. In this study, we found that the positive rate of ERp29 in gastric cancer tissues was significantly lower than that in adjacent non-tumor tissues. And tumor with high ERp29 expression had inclinations towards smaller tumor size and earlier TNM stage. The in vitro experiments indicated that over-expression of ERp29 in gastric cancer cells significantly suppressed the proliferation and migration of tumor cells, which is consistent with the result of the in vivo animal experiments. Furthermore, our mechanistic investigations revealed that ERp29 reversed EMT process in gastric carcinoma, and its effect was related to the inactivation of ERK1/2 and AKT phosphorylation. Thus, we conclude that ERp29 acts as a tumor suppressor gene in gastric cancer, and is expected to become a novel target of the treatment of GC.
Project description:Endothelial barrier formation is maintained by intercellular communication through junctional proteins. The mechanisms involved in maintaining endothelial communication subsequent to barrier disruption remain unclear. It is known that low numbers of endothelial cells can be interconnected by homotypic actin-driven tunneling nanotubes (TNTs) which could be important for intercellular transfer of information in vascular physiology. Here we sought insight into the triggers for TNT formation. Wheat germ agglutinin, a C-type lectin and known label for TNTs, unexpectedly caused striking induction of TNTs. A succinylated derivative was by contrast inactive, suggesting mediation by a sialylated protein. Through siRNA-mediated knockdown we identified that this protein was likely to be CD31, an important sialylated membrane protein normally at endothelial cell junctions. We subsequently considered thrombin as a physiological inducer of endothelial TNTs because it reduces junctional contact. Thrombin reduced junctional contact, redistributed CD31 and induced TNTs, but its effect on TNTs was CD31-independent. Thrombin-induced TNTs nevertheless required PKC?, a known mediator of thrombin-dependent junctional remodelling, suggesting a necessity for junctional proteins in TNT formation. Indeed, TNT-inducing effects of wheat germ agglutinin and thrombin were both correlated with cortical actin rearrangement and similarly Ca2+-dependent, suggesting common underlying mechanisms. Once formed, Ca2+ signalling along TNTs was observed.
Project description:Tunneling Nanotubes (TNTs) are actin enriched filopodia-like protrusions that play a pivotal role in long-range intercellular communication. Different pathogens use TNT-like structures as "freeways" to propagate across cells. TNTs are also implicated in cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, making them promising therapeutic targets. Understanding the mechanism of their formation, and their relation with filopodia is of fundamental importance to uncover their physiological function, particularly since filopodia, differently from TNTs, are not able to mediate transfer of cargo between distant cells. Here we studied different regulatory complexes of actin, which play a role in the formation of both these structures. We demonstrate that the filopodia-promoting CDC42/IRSp53/VASP network negatively regulates TNT formation and impairs TNT-mediated intercellular vesicle transfer. Conversely, elevation of Eps8, an actin regulatory protein that inhibits the extension of filopodia in neurons, increases TNT formation. Notably, Eps8-mediated TNT induction requires Eps8 bundling but not its capping activity. Thus, despite their structural similarities, filopodia and TNTs form through distinct molecular mechanisms. Our results further suggest that a switch in the molecular composition in common actin regulatory complexes is critical in driving the formation of either type of membrane protrusion.