The Sec1/Munc18 protein Vps45 holds the Qa-SNARE Tlg2 in an open conformation.
ABSTRACT: Fusion of intracellular trafficking vesicles is mediated by the assembly of SNARE proteins into membrane-bridging complexes. SNARE-mediated membrane fusion requires Sec1/Munc18-family (SM) proteins, SNARE chaperones that can function as templates to catalyze SNARE complex assembly. Paradoxically, the SM protein Munc18-1 traps the Qa-SNARE protein syntaxin-1 in an autoinhibited closed conformation. Here we present the structure of a second SM-Qa-SNARE complex, Vps45-Tlg2. Strikingly, Vps45 holds Tlg2 in an open conformation, with its SNARE motif disengaged from its Habc domain and its linker region unfolded. The domain 3a helical hairpin of Vps45 is unfurled, exposing the presumptive R-SNARE binding site to allow template complex formation. Although Tlg2 has a pronounced tendency to form homo-tetramers, Vps45 can rescue Tlg2 tetramers into stoichiometric Vps45-Tlg2 complexes. Our findings demonstrate that SM proteins can engage Qa-SNAREs using at least two different modes, one in which the SNARE is closed and one in which it is open.
Project description:Sec1Munc18-like (SM) proteins functionally interact with soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptors (SNARE) in membrane fusion, but the mechanisms of these interactions differ. In vertebrates, SM proteins that mediate exocytosis (Munc18-1, 18-2, and 18c) bind to the closed conformation of syntaxins 1-4, which requires the N-terminal H(abc) domains and SNARE motifs of these syntaxins. In contrast, SM proteins that mediate Golgi and endoplasmic reticulum fusion (Sly1 and Vps45) bind only to short N-terminal sequences of syntaxins 5, 16, or 18, independently of their H(abc) domains and SNARE motifs. We now show that Munc18-1, Sly1, and Vps45 interact with cognate syntaxins via similar, autonomously folded N-terminal domains, but the syntaxin 5-binding surface of the Sly1 N-terminal domain is opposite to the syntaxin 1-binding surface of the Munc18-1 N-terminal domain. In transfected cells, the N-terminal domain of Sly1 specifically disrupts the structure of the Golgi complex, supporting the notion that the interaction of Sly1 with syntaxin 5 is essential for fusion. These data, together with previous results, suggest that a relatively small N-terminal domain of SM proteins is dedicated to mechanistically distinct interactions with SNAREs, leaving the remaining large parts of SM proteins free to execute their as yet unknown function as effector domains.
Project description:Soluble N-ethylmaleimide sensitive factor-attachment protein receptors (SNAREs) and Sec1p/Munc18-homologs (SM proteins) play key roles in intracellular membrane fusion. The SNAREs form tight four-helix bundles (core complexes) that bring the membranes together, but it is unclear how this activity is coupled to SM protein function. Studies of the yeast trans-Golgi network (TGN)/endosomal SNARE complex, which includes the syntaxin-like SNARE Tlg2p, have suggested that its assembly requires activation by binding of the SM protein Vps45p to the cytoplasmic region of Tlg2p folded into a closed conformation. Nuclear magnetic resonance and biochemical experiments now show that Tlg2p and Pep12p, a late- endosomal syntaxin that interacts functionally but not directly with Vps45p, have a domain structure characteristic of syntaxins but do not adopt a closed conformation. Tlg2p binds tightly to Vps45p via a short N-terminal peptide motif that is absent in Pep12p. The Tlg2p/Vps45p binding mode is shared by the mammalian syntaxin 16, confirming that it is a Tlg2p homolog, and resembles the mode of interaction between the SM protein Sly1p and the syntaxins Ufe1p and Sed5p. Thus, this mechanism represents the most widespread mode of coupling between syntaxins and SM proteins.
Project description:The battle for iron between invading microorganisms and mammalian hosts is a pivotal determinant of the outcome of infection. The pathogenic fungus, Cryptococcus neoformans, employs multiple mechanisms to compete for iron during cryptococcosis, a disease primarily of immunocompromised hosts. In this study, we examined the role of endocytic trafficking in iron uptake by characterizing a mutant defective in the Sec1/Munc18 (SM) protein Vps45. This protein is known to regulate the machinery for vesicle trafficking and fusion via interactions with SNARE proteins. As expected, a vps45 deletion mutant was impaired in endocytosis and showed sensitivity to trafficking inhibitors. The mutant also showed poor growth on iron-limited media and a defect in transporting the Cfo1 ferroxidase of the high-affinity iron uptake system from the plasma membrane to the vacuole. Remarkably, we made the novel observation that Vps45 also contributes to mitochondrial function in that a Vps45-Gfp fusion protein associated with mitotracker, and a vps45 mutant showed enhanced sensitivity to inhibitors of electron transport complexes as well as changes in mitochondrial membrane potential. Consistent with mitochondrial function, the vps45 mutant was impaired in calcium homeostasis. To assess the relevance of these defects for virulence, we examined cell surface properties of the vps45 mutant and found increased sensitivity to agents that challenge cell wall integrity and to antifungal drugs. A change in cell wall properties was consistent with our observation of altered capsule polysaccharide attachment, and with attenuated virulence in a mouse model of cryptococcosis. Overall, our studies reveal a novel role for Vps45-mediated trafficking for iron uptake, mitochondrial function and virulence.
Project description:Sec1/Munc18-like (SM) proteins functionally interact with SNARE proteins in vesicular fusion. Despite their high sequence conservation, structurally disparate binding modes for SM proteins with syntaxins have been observed. Several SM proteins appear to bind only to a short peptide present at the N terminus of syntaxin, designated the N-peptide, while Munc18a binds to a 'closed' conformation formed by the remaining portion of syntaxin 1a. Here, we show that the syntaxin 16 N-peptide binds to the SM protein Vps45, but the remainder of syntaxin 16 strongly enhances the affinity of the interaction. Likewise, the N-peptide of syntaxin 1a serves as a second binding site in the Munc18a/syntaxin 1a complex. When the syntaxin 1a N-peptide is bound to Munc18a, SNARE complex formation is blocked. Removal of the N-peptide enables binding of syntaxin 1a to its partner SNARE SNAP-25, while still bound to Munc18a. This suggests that Munc18a controls the accessibility of syntaxin 1a to its partners, a role that might be common to all SM proteins.
Project description:The small GTPase Rab5 has emerged as an important regulator of animal development, and it is essential for endocytic trafficking. However, the mechanisms that link Rab5 activation to cargo entry into early endosomes remain unclear. We show here that Drosophila Rabenosyn (Rbsn) is a Rab5 effector that bridges an interaction between Rab5 and the Sec1/Munc18-family protein Vps45, and we further identify the syntaxin Avalanche (Avl) as a target for Vps45 activity. Rbsn and Vps45, like Avl and Rab5, are specifically localized to early endosomes and are required for endocytosis. Ultrastructural analysis of rbsn, Vps45, avl, and Rab5 null mutant cells, which show identical defects, demonstrates that all four proteins are required for vesicle fusion to form early endosomes. These defects lead to loss of epithelial polarity in mutant tissues, which overproliferate to form neoplastic tumors. This work represents the first characterization of a Rab5 effector as a tumor suppressor, and it provides in vivo evidence for a Rbsn-Vps45 complex on early endosomes that links Rab5 to the SNARE fusion machinery.
Project description:Both SM proteins (for Sec1/Munc18-like proteins) and SNARE proteins (for soluble NSF-attachment protein receptors) are essential for intracellular membrane fusion, but the general mechanism of coupling between their functions is unclear, in part because diverse SM protein/SNARE binding modes have been described. During synaptic vesicle exocytosis, the SM protein Munc18-1 is known to bind tightly to the SNARE protein syntaxin-1, but only when syntaxin-1 is in a closed conformation that is incompatible with SNARE complex formation. We now show that Munc18-1 also binds tightly to assembled SNARE complexes containing syntaxin-1. The newly discovered Munc18-1/SNARE complex interaction involves contacts of Munc18-1 with the N-terminal H(abc) domain of syntaxin-1 and the four-helical bundle of the assembled SNARE complex. Together with earlier studies, our results suggest that binding of Munc18-1 to closed syntaxin-1 is a specialization that evolved to meet the strict regulatory requirements of neuronal exocytosis, whereas binding of Munc18-1 to assembled SNARE complexes reflects a general function of SM proteins involved in executing membrane fusion.
Project description:Soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor (SNARE) and Sec1/Munc18 (SM) proteins constitute the core of an ancient vesicle fusion machine that diversified into distinct sets that now function in different trafficking steps in eukaryotic cells. Deciphering their precise mode of action has proved challenging. SM proteins are thought to act primarily through one type of SNARE protein, the syntaxins. Despite high structural similarity, however, contrasting binding modes have been found for different SM proteins and syntaxins. Whereas the secretory SM protein Munc18 binds to the ?closed conformation" of syntaxin 1, the ER-Golgi SM protein Sly1 interacts only with the N-peptide of Sed5. Recent findings, however, indicate that SM proteins might interact simultaneously with both syntaxin regions. In search for a common mechanism, we now reinvestigated the Sly1/Sed5 interaction. We found that individual Sed5 adopts a tight closed conformation. Sly1 binds to both the closed conformation and the N-peptide of Sed5, suggesting that this is the original binding mode of SM proteins and syntaxins. In contrast to Munc18, however, Sly1 facilitates SNARE complex formation by loosening the closed conformation of Sed5.
Project description:Sec1/Munc18 (SM) proteins contribute to membrane fusion by interacting with Qa-SNAREs or nascent trans-SNARE complexes. Gymnosperms and the basal angiosperm Amborella have only a single SEC1 gene related to the KEULE gene in Arabidopsis However, the genomes of most angiosperms including Arabidopsis encode three SEC1-related SM proteins of which only KEULE has been functionally characterized as interacting with the cytokinesis-specific Qa-SNARE KNOLLE during cell-plate formation. Here we analyze the closest paralog of KEULE named SEC1B. In contrast to the cytokinesis defects of keule mutants, sec1b mutants are homozygous viable. However, the keule sec1b double mutant was nearly gametophytically lethal, displaying collapsed pollen grains, which suggests substantial overlap between SEC1B and KEULE functions in secretion-dependent growth. SEC1B had a strong preference for interaction with the evolutionarily ancient Qa-SNARE SYP132 involved in secretion and cytokinesis, whereas KEULE interacted with both KNOLLE and SYP132. This differential interaction with Qa-SNAREs is likely conferred by domains 1 and 2a of the two SM proteins. Comparative analysis of all four possible combinations of the relevant SEC1 Qa-SNARE double mutants revealed that in cytokinesis, the interaction of SEC1B with KNOLLE plays no role, whereas the interaction of KEULE with KNOLLE is prevalent and functionally as important as the interactions of both SEC1B and KEU with SYP132 together. Our results suggest that functional diversification of the two SEC1-related SM proteins during angiosperm evolution resulted in enhanced interaction of SEC1B with Qa-SNARE SYP132, and thus a predominant role of SEC1B in secretion.
Project description:The Sec1/Munc18 (SM) protein Munc18-1 and the SNAREs syntaxin-1, SNAP-25 and synaptobrevin form the core of the membrane fusion machinery that triggers neurotransmitter release. Munc18-1 binds to syntaxin-1 folded into a closed conformation and to the SNARE complex formed by the three SNAREs, which involves an open syntaxin-1 conformation. The former interaction is likely specialized for neurotransmitter release, whereas SM protein/SNARE complex interactions are likely key for all types of intracellular membrane fusion. It is currently unclear whether the closed conformation is highly or only marginally populated in isolated syntaxin-1, and whether Munc18-1 stabilizes the close conformation or helps to open it to facilitate SNARE complex formation. A detailed NMR analysis now suggests that the closed conformation is almost quantitatively populated in isolated syntaxin-1 in the absence of oligomerization, and indicates that its structure is very similar to that observed previously in the crystal structure of the Munc18-1/syntaxin-1 complex. Moreover, we demonstrate that Munc18-1 binding prevents opening of the syntaxin-1 closed conformation. These results support a model whereby the closed conformation constitutes a key intrinsic property of isolated syntaxin-1 and Munc18-1 binding stabilizes this conformation; in this model, Munc18-1 plays in addition an active role in downstream events after another factor(s) helps to open the syntaxin-1 conformation.
Project description:Endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-associated degradation (ERAD) is a specialized activity of the ubiquitin-proteasome system that is involved in clearing the ER of aberrant proteins and regulating the levels of specific ER-resident proteins. Here we show that the yeast ER-SNARE Ufe1, a syntaxin (Qa-SNARE) involved in ER membrane fusion and retrograde transport from the Golgi to the ER, is prone to degradation by an ERAD-like mechanism. Notably, Ufe1 is protected against degradation through binding to Sly1, a known SNARE regulator of the Sec1-Munc18 (SM) protein family. This mechanism is specific for Ufe1, as the stability of another Sly1 partner, the Golgi Qa-SNARE Sed5, is not influenced by Sly1 interaction. Thus, our findings identify Sly1 as a discriminating regulator of SNARE levels and indicate that Sly1-controlled ERAD might regulate the balance between different Qa-SNARE proteins.