Hanna Fares

The trafficking of macromolecules between different compartments is an essential process in all eukaryotic cells and is used to maintain cellular integrity, to interact with the extracellular environment, and to generally modulate various cellular activities. Numerous advances have been made in understanding different pathways of membrane trafficking and in elucidating some of the factors that regulate them; these advances have demonstrated a striking conservation of these pathways among all eukaryotic cells.  We are studying membrane trafficking, focusing on lysosomal transport, using primarily the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system.  We are also using mouse macrophages as a parallel system that complements the genetic studies we carry out in C. elegans.  Current projects in the laboratory are:1) Elucidating mechanisms of lysosome biogenesis, starting with CUP-5 in C. elegans and its mammalian ortholog TRPML1.  Mutations in MCOLN1, the gene that encodes TRPML1, results in the lysosome storage disorder Mucolipidosis type IV.2) Defining the basis for the lysosomal and cell death phenotypes in the absence of CUP-5.  We identified several suppressors of cup-5 mutant defects.  The analysis of these suppressors will identify the molecular events that exacerbate cup-5 mutant phenotypes.  These suppressors also constitute leads towards identifying treatments for Mucolipidosis type IV.
Systematic Screens For Proteins That Interact With The Mucolipidosis Type Iv Protein Trpml1. Source: Plo S One
February 13th, 2013 PMID: 23418601 Hanna Fares
Mucolipidosis type IV is a lysosomal storage disorder resulting from mutations in the MCOLN1 gene, which encodes the endosomal/lysosomal Transient Receptor Potential channel protein mucolipin-1/TRPML1. Cells isolated from Mucolipidosis type IV patients and grown in vitro and in in vivo models of this disease both show several lysosome-associated defects. However, it is still unclear how TRPML1 regulates the transport steps implicated by these defects. Identifying proteins that associate with TRPML1 will facilitate the elucidation of its cellular and biochemical functions. We report here two saturation screens for proteins that interact with TRPML1: one that is based on immunoprecipitation/mass spectrometry and the other using a genetic yeast two-hybrid approach. From these screens, we identified largely non-overlapping proteins, which represent potential TRPML1-interactors., Using additional interaction assays on some of the potential interactors from each screen, we validated some proteins as candidate TRPML1 interactors In addition, our analysis indicates that each of the two screens not only identified some false-positive interactors, as expected from any screen, but also failed to uncover potential TRPML1 interactors. Future studies on the true interactors, first identified in these screens, will help elucidate the structure and function of protein complexes containing TRPML1.<br /><br />
Different Endocytic Functions Of Agef 1 In C. Elegans Coelomocytes. Source: Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta
March 14th, 2012 PMID: 22446376 Hanna Fares
BACKGROUND:<br />ADP-ribosylation factors (ARFs) are a family of small GTP-binding proteins that play roles in membrane dynamics and vesicle trafficking. AGEF-1, which is thought to act as a guanine nucleotide exchange factor of class I ARFs, is required for caveolin-1 body formation and receptor-mediated endocytosis in oocytes of Caenorhabditis elegans. This study explores additional roles of AGEF-1 in endocytic transport.<br /><br />METHODS:<br />agef-1 expression was knocked down by using RNAi in C. elegans. Markers that allow analysis of endocytic transport in scavenger cells were investigated for studying the effect of AGEF-1 on different steps of membrane transport.<br /><br />RESULTS:<br />Knockdown of AGEF-1 levels results in two apparent trafficking defects in coelomocytes of C. elegans. First, there is a delay in the uptake of solutes from the extracellular medium. Second, there is a dramatic enlargement of the sizes of lysosomes, even though lysosomal acidification is normal and degradation still occurs.<br /><br />CONCLUSION:<br />Our results suggest that AGEF-1 regulates endosome/lysosome fusion or fission events, in addition to earlier steps in endocytic transport.<br /><br />GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE:<br />AGEF-1 is the first identified GTPase regulator that functions at the lysosome fusion or fission stage of the endocytic pathway. Our study provides insight into lysosome dynamics in C. elegans.<br /><br />
Derlin Dependent Retrograde Transport From Endosomes To The Golgi Apparatus. Source: Traffic (Copenhagen, Denmark)
July 27th, 2011 PMID: 21722281 Hanna Fares
Cells have to maintain stable plasma membrane protein and lipid compositions under normal conditions and to remodel their plasma membranes in response to stimuli. This maintenance and remodeling require that integral membrane proteins at the plasma membrane that become misfolded, because of the relatively harsher extracellular milieu or carbohydrate and amino acid sequence changes, are degraded. We had previously shown that Derlin proteins, required for quality control mechanisms in the endoplasmic reticulum, also localize to endosomes and function in the degradation of misfolded integral membrane proteins at the plasma membrane. In this study, we show that Derlin proteins physically associate with sorting nexins that function in retrograde membrane transport from endosomes to the Golgi apparatus. Using genetic studies in Caenorhabditis elegans and ricin pulse-chase analyses in murine RAW264.7 macrophages, we show that the Derlin-sorting nexin interaction is physiologically relevant. Our studies suggest that at least some integral membrane proteins that are misfolded at the plasma membrane are retrogradely transported to the Golgi apparatus and ultimately to the endoplasmic reticulum for degradation via resident quality control mechanisms.<br /><br />
Roles Of Cup 5, The Caenorhabditis Elegans Orthologue Of Human Trpml1, In Lysosome And Gut Granule Biogenesis. Source: Bmc Cell Biology
June 11th, 2010 PMID: 20540742 Hanna Fares
BACKGROUND:<br>CUP-5 is a Transient Receptor Potential protein in C. elegans that is the orthologue of mammalian TRPML1. Loss of TRPML1 results in the lysosomal storage disorder Mucolipidosis type IV. Loss of CUP-5 results in embryonic lethality and the accumulation of enlarged yolk granules in developing intestinal cells. The embryonic lethality of cup-5 mutants is rescued by mutations in mrp-4, which is required for gut granule differentiation. Gut granules are intestine-specific lysosome-related organelles that accumulate birefringent material. This link between CUP-5 and gut granules led us to determine the roles of CUP-5 in lysosome and gut granule biogenesis in developing intestinal cells.<br><br>RESULTS:<br>We show that CUP-5 protein localizes to lysosomes, but not to gut granules, in developing intestinal cells. Loss of CUP-5 results in defects in endo-lysosomal transport in developing intestinal cells of C. elegans embryos. This ultimately leads to the appearance of enlarged terminal vacuoles that show defective lysosomal degradation and that have lysosomal and endosomal markers. In contrast, gut granule biogenesis is normal in the absence of CUP-5. Furthermore, loss of CUP-5 does not result in inappropriate fusion or mixing of content between lysosomes and gut granules.<br><br>CONCLUSIONS:<br>Using an in vivo model of MLIV, we show that there is a defect in lysosomal transport/biogenesis that is earlier than the presumed function of TRPML1 in terminal lysosomes. Our results indicate that CUP-5 is required for the biogenesis of lysosomes but not of gut granules. Thus, cellular phenotypes in Mucolipidosis type IV are likely not due to defects in lysosome-related organelle biogenesis, but due to progressive defects in lysosomal transport that lead to severe lysosomal dysfunction.<br><br>
Detoxification Of Multiple Heavy Metals By A Half Molecule Abc Transporter, Hmt 1, And Coelomocytes Of Caenorhabditis Elegans. Source: Plo S One
March 5th, 2010 PMID: 20221439 Hanna Fares
BACKGROUND:<br>Developing methods for protecting organisms in metal-polluted environments is contingent upon our understanding of cellular detoxification mechanisms. In this regard, half-molecule ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters of the HMT-1 subfamily are required for cadmium (Cd) detoxification. HMTs have conserved structural architecture that distinguishes them from other ABC transporters and allows the identification of homologs in genomes of different species including humans. We recently discovered that HMT-1 from the simple, unicellular organism, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, SpHMT1, acts independently of phytochelatin synthase (PCS) and detoxifies Cd, but not other heavy metals. Whether HMTs from multicellular organisms confer tolerance only to Cd or also to other heavy metals is not known.<br><br>METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:<br>Using molecular genetics approaches and functional in vivo assays we showed that HMT-1 from a multicellular organism, Caenorhabditis elegans, functions distinctly from its S. pombe counterpart in that in addition to Cd it confers tolerance to arsenic (As) and copper (Cu) while acting independently of pcs-1. Further investigation of hmt-1 and pcs-1 revealed that these genes are expressed in different cell types, supporting the notion that hmt-1 and pcs-1 operate in distinct detoxification pathways. Interestingly, pcs-1 and hmt-1 are co-expressed in highly endocytic C. elegans cells with unknown function, the coelomocytes. By analyzing heavy metal and oxidative stress sensitivities of the coelomocyte-deficient C. elegans strain we discovered that coelomocytes are essential mainly for detoxification of heavy metals, but not of oxidative stress, a by-product of heavy metal toxicity.<br><br>CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:<br>We established that HMT-1 from the multicellular organism confers tolerance to multiple heavy metals and is expressed in liver-like cells, the coelomocytes, as well as head neurons and intestinal cells, which are cell types that are affected by heavy metal poisoning in humans. We also showed that coelomocytes are involved in detoxification of heavy metals. Therefore, the HMT-1-dependent detoxification pathway and coelomocytes of C. elegans emerge as novel models for studies of heavy metal-promoted diseases.<br><br>
Discrete Domains Of March1 Mediate Its Localization, Functional Interactions, And Posttranscriptional Control Of Expression. Source: Journal Of Immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)
October 30th, 2009 PMID: 19880452 Hanna Fares
Within APCs, ubiquitination regulates the trafficking of immune modulators such as MHC class II and CD86 (B7.2) molecules. MARCH1 (membrane-associated RING-CH), a newly identified ubiquitin E3 ligase expressed in APCs, ubiquitinates MHC class II, thereby reducing its surface expression. Following LPS-induced maturation of dendritic cells, MARCH1 mRNA is down-regulated and MHC class II is redistributed to the cell surface from endosomal compartments. Here, we show that MARCH1 expression is also regulated at the posttranscriptional level. In primary dendritic cell and APC cell lines of murine origin, MARCH1 had a half-life of <30 min. MARCH1 degradation appears to occur partly in lysosomes, since inhibiting lysosomal activity stabilized MARCH1. Similar stabilization was observed when MARCH1-expressing cells were treated with cysteine protease inhibitors. Mutational analyses of MARCH1 defined discrete domains required for destabilization, proper localization, and functional interaction with substrates. Taken together, these data suggest that MARCH1 expression is regulated at a posttranscriptional level by trafficking within the endolysosomal pathway where MARCH1 is proteolyzed. The short half-life of MARCH1 permits very rapid changes in the levels of the protein in response to changes in the mRNA, resulting in efficient induction of Ag presentation once APCs receive maturational signals.<br><br>
Derlin Dependent Accumulation Of Integral Membrane Proteins At Cell Surfaces. Source: Journal Of Cell Science
June 9th, 2009 PMID: 19509052 Hanna Fares
Quality-control mechanisms of protein folding of transmembrane and secreted proteins is mediated by endoplasmic-reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD), which is used to detect and to degrade misfolded proteins in the ER. The ERAD machinery consists of chaperones, transmembrane proteins and ubiquitin-associated enzymes that detect, modify, and retro-translocate the misfolded proteins to the cytoplasm for degradation by the proteasome. In contrast to ERAD, little is known about the fates of integral membrane and secreted proteins that become misfolded at the plasma membrane or in the extracellular space. Derlin proteins are a family of proteins that are conserved in all eukaryotes, where they function in ERAD. Here, we show that loss of Derlin function in Caenorhabditis elegans and in mouse macrophages results in the accumulation of integral membrane proteins at the plasma membrane. Induction of LDL receptor misfolding at the plasma membrane results in a sharp decrease in its half-life, which can be rescued by proteasomal inhibitors or by reduction of Derlin-1 levels. We also show that Derlin proteins localize to endosomes as well as to the ER. Our data are consistent with a model where Derlin proteins function in a spatially segregated quality control pathway that is used for the recognition and degradation of transmembrane proteins that become misfolded at the plasma membrane and/or in endosomes.<br /><br />
Lysosomal Trafficking Functions Of Mucolipin 1 In Murine Macrophages. Source: Bmc Cell Biology
December 21st, 2007 PMID: 18154673 Hanna Fares
BACKGROUND:<br />Mucolipidosis Type IV is currently characterized as a lysosomal storage disorder with defects that include corneal clouding, achlorhydria and psychomotor retardation. MCOLN1, the gene responsible for this disease, encodes the protein mucolipin-1 that belongs to the "Transient Receptor Potential" family of proteins and has been shown to function as a non-selective cation channel whose activity is modulated by pH. Two cell biological defects that have been described in MLIV fibroblasts are a hyperacidification of lysosomes and a delay in the exit of lipids from lysosomes.<br /><br />RESULTS:<br />We show that mucolipin-1 localizes to lysosomal compartments in RAW264.7 mouse macrophages that show subcompartmental accumulations of endocytosed molecules. Using stable RNAi clones, we show that mucolipin-1 is required for the exit of lipids from these compartments, for the transport of endocytosed molecules to terminal lysosomes, and for the transport of the Major Histocompatibility Complex II to the plasma membrane.<br /><br />CONCLUSION:<br />Mucolipin-1 functions in the efficient exit of molecules, destined for various cellular organelles, from lysosomal compartments.<br /><br />
Genome Wide Analysis Identifies A General Requirement For Polarity Proteins In Endocytic Traffic. Source: Nature Cell Biology
August 19th, 2007 PMID: 17704769 Hanna Fares
In a genome-wide RNA-mediated interference screen for genes required in membrane traffic - including endocytic uptake, recycling from endosomes to the plasma membrane, and secretion - we identified 168 candidate endocytosis regulators and 100 candidate secretion regulators. Many of these candidates are highly conserved among metazoans but have not been previously implicated in these processes. Among the positives from the screen, we identified PAR-3, PAR-6, PKC-3 and CDC-42, proteins that are well known for their importance in the generation of embryonic and epithelial-cell polarity. Further analysis showed that endocytic transport in Caenorhabditis elegans coelomocytes and human HeLa cells was also compromised after perturbation of CDC-42/Cdc42 or PAR-6/Par6 function, indicating a general requirement for these proteins in regulating endocytic traffic. Consistent with these results, we found that tagged CDC-42/Cdc42 is enriched on recycling endosomes in C. elegans and mammalian cells, suggesting a direct function in the regulation of transport.<br /><br />
The Plasma Membrane Calcium At Pase Mca 3 Is Required For Clathrin Mediated Endocytosis In Scavenger Cells Of Caenorhabditis Elegans. Source: Traffic (Copenhagen, Denmark)
March 2nd, 2007 PMID: 17343680 Hanna Fares
Plasma membrane Ca2+ ATPases (PMCAs) maintain proper intracellular Ca2+ levels by extruding Ca2+ from the cytosol. PMCA genes and splice forms are expressed in tissue-specific patterns in vertebrates, suggesting that these isoforms may regulate specific biological processes. However, knockout mutants die as embryos or undergo cell death; thus, it is unclear whether other cell processes utilize PMCAs or whether these pumps are largely committed to the control of toxic levels of calcium. Here, we analyze the role of the PMCA gene, mca-3, in Caenorhabditis elegans. We report that partial loss-of-function mutations disrupt clathrin-mediated endocytosis in a class of scavenger cells called coelomocytes. Moreover, components of early endocytic machinery are mislocalized in mca-3 mutants, including phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate, clathrin and the Eps15 homology (EH) domain protein RME-1. This defect in endocytosis in the coelomocytes can be reversed by lowering calcium. Together, these data support a function for PMCAs in the regulation of endocytosis in the C. elegans coelomocytes. In addition, they suggest that endocytosis can be blocked by high calcium levels.<br /><br />
Sel 2, The C. Elegans Neurobeachin/Lrba Homolog, Is A Negative Regulator Of Lin 12/Notch Activity And Affects Endosomal Traffic In Polarized Epithelial Cells. Source: Development (Cambridge, England)
January 10th, 2007 PMID: 17215302 Hanna Fares
The vulval precursor cells (VPCs) of Caenorhabditis elegans are polarized epithelial cells that adopt a precise pattern of fates through regulated activity of basolateral LET-23/EGF receptor and apical LIN-12/Notch. During VPC patterning, there is reciprocal modulation of endocytosis and trafficking of both LET-23 and LIN-12. We identified sel-2 as a negative regulator of lin-12/Notch activity in the VPCs, and found that SEL-2 is the homolog of two closely related human proteins, neurobeachin (also known as BCL8B) and LPS-responsive, beige-like anchor protein (LRBA). SEL-2, neurobeachin and LRBA belong to a distinct subfamily of BEACH-WD40 domain-containing proteins. Loss of sel-2 activity leads to basolateral mislocalization and increased accumulation of LIN-12 in VPCs in which LET-23 is not active, and to impaired downregulation of basolateral LET-23 in VPCs in which LIN-12 is active. Downregulation of apical LIN-12 in the VPC in which LET-23 is active is not affected. In addition, in sel-2 mutants, the polarized cells of the intestinal epithelium display an aberrant accumulation of the lipophilic dye FM4-64 when the dye is presented to the basolateral surface. Our observations indicate that SEL-2/neurobeachin/LRBA is involved in endosomal traffic and may be involved in efficient delivery of cell surface proteins to the lysosome. Our results also suggest that sel-2 activity may contribute to the appropriate steady-state level of LIN-12 or to trafficking events that affect receptor activation.<br /><br />
Caenorhabditis Elegans Sand 1 Is Essential For Rab 7 Function In Endosomal Traffic. Source: The Embo Journal
January 4th, 2007 PMID: 17203072 Hanna Fares
The small rab-GTPase RAB-7 acts in endosome and endosome to lysosome traffic. We identified SAND-1 as a protein required for RAB-7 function based on similarities between SAND-1 and RAB-7 RNAi phenotypes. Although the initial uptake of yolk protein in oocytes, or of soluble secreted (ss) GFP in coelomocytes, appeared normal, further transport along the endocytic traffic route was delayed in the absence of SAND-1 function, and yolk proteins failed to reach yolk granules efficiently. Moreover, in coelomocytes, ssGFP and BSA-Texas-Red were endocytosed but not transported to lysosomes. We show that SAND-1 is essential for RAB-7 function at the transition from early to late endosomes, but not for RAB-7 function at lysosomes.<br /><br />
Suppression Of The Cup 5 Mucolipidosis Type Iv Related Lysosomal Dysfunction By The Inactivation Of An Abc Transporter In C. Elegans. Source: Development (Cambridge, England)
August 30th, 2006 PMID: 16943270 Hanna Fares
Mutations in MCOLN1, which encodes the protein mucolipin 1, result in the lysosomal storage disease mucolipidosis Type IV. Studies on human mucolipin 1 and on CUP-5, the Caenorhabditis elegans ortholog of mucolipin 1, have shown that these proteins are required for lysosome biogenesis/function. Loss of CUP-5 results in a defect in lysosomal degradation, leading to embryonic lethality. We have identified a mutation in the ABC transporter MRP-4 that rescues the degradation defect and the corresponding lethality, owing to the absence of CUP-5. MRP-4 localizes to endocytic compartments and its levels are elevated in the absence of CUP-5. These results indicate that the lysosomal degradation defect is exacerbated in some cells because of the accumulation of MRP-4 in lysosomes rather than the loss of CUP-5 per se. We also show that under some conditions, loss of MRP-4 rescues the embryonic lethality caused by the loss of the cathepsin L protease, indicating that the accumulation of ABC transporters may be a more general mechanism whereby an initial lysosomal dysfunction is more severely compromised.<br /><br />
The Phosphoinositide Kinase Pi Kfyve/Fab1p Regulates Terminal Lysosome Maturation In Caenorhabditis Elegans. Source: Molecular Biology Of The Cell
June 27th, 2006 PMID: 16801682 Hanna Fares
Membrane dynamics is necessary for cell homeostasis and signal transduction and is in part regulated by phosphoinositides. Pikfyve/Fab1p is a phosphoinositide kinase that phosphorylates phosphatidylinositol 3-monophosphate into phosphatidylinositol-3,5-bisphosphate [PtdIns(3,5)P2] and is implicated in membrane homeostasis in yeast and in mammalian cells. These two phosphoinositides are substrates of myotubularin phosphatases found mutated in neuromuscular diseases. We studied the roles of phosphatidylinositol phosphate kinase 3 (PPK-3), the orthologue of PIKfyve/Fab1p, in a multicellular organism, Caenorhabditis elegans. Complete loss of ppk-3 function induces developmental defects characterized by embryonic lethality, whereas partial loss of function leads to growth retardation. At the cellular level, ppk-3 mutants display a striking enlargement of vacuoles positive for lysosome-associated membrane protein 1 in different tissues. In the intestine, RAB-7-positive late endosomes are also enlarged. Membranes of the enlarged lysosomes originate at least in part from smaller lysosomes, and functional and genetic analyses show that the terminal maturation of lysosomes is defective. Protein degradation is not affected in the hypomorphic ppk-3 mutant and is thus uncoupled from membrane retrieval. We measured the level of PtdIns(3,5)P2 and showed that its production is impaired in this mutant. This work strongly suggests that the main function of PPK-3 is to mediate membrane retrieval from matured lysosomes through regulation of PtdIns(3,5)P2.<br /><br />
Basis Of Lethality In C. Elegans Lacking Cup 5, The Mucolipidosis Type Iv Orthologue. Source: Developmental Biology
June 6th, 2006 PMID: 16530747 Hanna Fares
Mutations in MCOLN1, which encodes the protein h-mucolipin-1, result in the lysosomal storage disease Mucolipidosis Type IV. Studies on CUP-5, the human orthologue of h-mucolipin-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans, have shown that these proteins are required for lysosome biogenesis. We show here that the lethality in cup-5 mutant worms is due to two defects, starvation of embryonic cells and general developmental defects. Starvation leads to apoptosis through a CED-3-mediated pathway. We also show that providing worms with a lipid-soluble metabolite partially rescues the embryonic lethality but has no effect on the developmental defects, the major cause of the lethality. These results indicate that supplementing the metabolic deficiency of Mucolipidosis Type IV patients mat not be sufficient to alleviate the symptoms due to tissue degeneration.<br /><br />
Endocytosis Function Of A Ligand Gated Ion Channel Homolog In Caenorhabditis Elegans. Source: Current Biology : Cb
June 6th, 2005 PMID: 15936276 Hanna Fares
Ligand-gated ion channels are transmembrane proteins that respond to a variety of transmitters, including acetylcholine, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), glycine, and glutamate [1 and 2]. These proteins play key roles in neurotransmission and are typically found in the nervous system and at neuromuscular junctions [3]. Recently, acetylcholine receptor family members also have been found in nonneuronal cells, including macrophages [4], keratinocytes [5], bronchial epithelial cells [5], and endothelial cells of arteries [6]. The function of these channels in nonneuronal cells in mammals remains to be elucidated, though it has been shown that the acetylcholine receptor alpha7 subunit is required for acetylcholine-mediated inhibition of tumor necrosis factor release by activated macrophages [4]. We show that cup-4, a gene required for efficient endocytosis of fluids by C. elegans coelomocytes, encodes a protein that is homologous to ligand-gated ion channels, with the highest degree of similarity to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Worms lacking CUP-4 have reduced phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate levels at the plasma membrane, suggesting that CUP-4 regulates endocytosis through modulation of phospholipase C activity.<br /><br />
Caenorhabditis Elegans Functional Orthologue Of Human Protein H Mucolipin 1 Is Required For Lysosome Biogenesis. Source: Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America
March 15th, 2004 PMID: 15070744 Hanna Fares
Mucolipidosis type IV (MLIV) is an autosomal recessive lysosomal storage disease characterized by severe psychomotor retardation, achlorhydria, and ophthalmological abnormalities. Cells from several tissues in MLIV patients accumulate large vacuoles that are presumed to be lysosomes, but whose exact nature remains to be determined. Other defects include the deterioration of neuronal integrity in the retina and the cerebellum. MCOLN1, the gene mutated in MLIV patients, encodes a protein called h-mucolipin-1 that has six predicted transmembrane domains and functions as a Ca(2+)-permeable channel that is modulated by changes in Ca2+ concentration. CUP-5 is the Caenorhabditis elegans functional orthologue of h-mucolipin-1. Mutations in cup-5 result in the accumulation of large vacuoles in several cells, in increased cell death, and in embryonic lethality. We demonstrate here that CUP-5 functions in the biogenesis of lysosomes originating from hybrid organelles. We also show that at least two h-mucolipin family members rescue cup-5 mutant endocytic defects, indicating that there may be functional redundancy among the human proteins. Finally, we propose a model that relates the lysosome biogenesis defect in the absence of CUP-5/h-mucolipin-1 to cellular phenotypes in worms and in humans.<br /><br />
Disease Related Myotubularins Function In Endocytic Traffic In Caenorhabditis Elegans. Source: Molecular Biology Of The Cell
October 17th, 2003 PMID: 14565969 Hanna Fares
MTM1, MTMR2, and SBF2 belong to a family of proteins called the myotubularins. X-linked myotubular myopathy, a severe congenital disorder characterized by hypotonia and generalized muscle weakness in newborn males, is caused by mutations in MTM1 (Laporte et al., 1996). Charcot-Marie-Tooth types 4B1 and 4B2 are severe demyelinating neuropathies caused by mutations in MTMR2 (Bolino et al., 2000) and SBF2/MTMR13 (Senderek et al., 2003), respectively. Although several myotubularins are known to regulate phosphoinositide-phosphate levels in cells, little is known about the actual cellular process that is defective in patients with these diseases. Mutations in worm MTM-6 and MTM-9, myotubularins belonging to two subgroups, disorganize phosphoinositide 3-phosphate localization and block endocytosis in the coelomocytes of Caenorhabditis elegans. We demonstrate that MTM-6 and MTM-9 function as part of a complex to regulate an endocytic pathway that involves the Arf6 GTPase, and we define protein domains required for MTM-6 activity.<br /><br />
Genetic Analysis Of The Myotubularin Family Of Phosphatases In Caenorhabditis Elegans. Source: The Journal Of Biological Chemistry
June 4th, 2003 PMID: 12788949 Hanna Fares
Myotubularins (MTMs) constitute a large family of lipid phosphatases that specifically dephosphorylate phosphatidylinositol (3)P. MTM1 and MTM2 are mutated in X-linked myotubular myopathy and Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (type 4B), respectively, although the mechanisms whereby MTM dysfunction leads to these diseases is unknown. To gain insight into MTM function, we undertook the study of MTMs in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, which possesses representative homologues of the four major subgroups of MTMs identified in mammals. As in mammals, we found that C. elegans MTMs mediate distinct functions. let-512 (vps34) encodes the C. elegans homologue of the yeast and mammalian homologue of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase Vps34. We found that reduction of mtm-6 (F53A2.8) function by RNA inhibition rescued the larval lethality of let-512 (vps34) mutants and that the reduction of mtm-1 (Y110A7A.5) activity by RNA inhibition rescued the endocytosis defect of let-512 animals. Together, these observations provide genetic evidence that MTMs negatively regulate phosphatidylinositol (3)P levels. Analysis of MTM expression patterns using transcriptional green fluorescence protein reporters demonstrated that these two MTMs exhibit mostly non-overlapping expression patterns and that MTM-green fluorescence protein fusion proteins are localized to different subcellular locations. These observations suggest that some of the different functions of MTMs might, in part, be a consequence of unique expression and localization patterns. However, our finding that at least three C. elegans MTMs play essential roles in coelomocyte endocytosis, a process that also requires VPS34, indicates that MTMs do not simply turn off VPS34 but unexpectedly also function as positive regulators of biological processes.<br /><br />
Deciphering Endocytosis In Caenorhabditis Elegans. Source: Traffic (Copenhagen, Denmark)
March 1st, 2002 PMID: 11872138 Hanna Fares
We discuss in this review recent studies using the worm Caenorhabditis elegans to decipher endocytic trafficking in a multicellular organism. Recent advances, including in vivo assay systems, new genetic screens, comparative functional analysis of conserved proteins, and RNA-mediated interference (RNAi) in C. elegans, are being used to study the functions of known membrane trafficking factors and to identify new ones. The ability to monitor endocytosis in vivo in worms allows one to test current endocytosis models and to demonstrate the physiological significance of factors identified by genetic and biochemical methods. The available human genome sequence facilitates comparative studies where human homologs of new factors identified in C. elegans can be quickly assayed for similar function using traditional cell biological methods in mammalian cell systems. New studies in C. elegans have used a combination of these techniques to reveal novel metazoan-specific trafficking factors required for endocytosis. Many more metazoan-specific trafficking factors and insights into the mechanisms of endocytosis are likely to be uncovered by analysis in C. elegans.<br /><br />
Genetic Analysis Of Endocytosis In Caenorhabditis Elegans: Coelomocyte Uptake Defective Mutants. Source: Genetics
September 18th, 2001 PMID: 11560892 Hanna Fares
The coelomocytes of Caenorhabditis elegans are scavenger cells that continuously and nonspecifically endocytose fluid from the pseudocoelom (body cavity). Green fluorescent protein (GFP) secreted into the pseudocoelom from body wall muscle cells is endocytosed and degraded by coelomocytes. We show that toxin-mediated ablation of coelomocytes results in viable animals that fail to endocytose pseudocoelomic GFP, indicating that endocytosis by coelomocytes is not essential for growth or survival of C. elegans under normal laboratory conditions. We examined known viable endocytosis mutants, and performed RNAi for other known endocytosis genes, for coelomocyte uptake defective (Cup) phenotypes. We also screened for new genes involved in endocytosis by isolating viable mutants with Cup defects; this screen identified 14 different genes, many with multiple alleles. A variety of Cup terminal phenotypes were observed, consistent with defects at various steps in the endocytic pathway. Available molecular information indicates that the Cup mutant screen has identified novel components of the endocytosis machinery that are conserved in mammals but not in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the only other organism for which large-scale genetic screens for endocytosis mutants have been performed.<br /><br />
Regulation Of Endocytosis By Cup 5, The Caenorhabditis Elegans Mucolipin 1 Homolog. Source: Nature Genetics
April 30th, 2001 PMID: 11326278 Hanna Fares
Loss of the human mucolipin-1 gene underlies mucolipidosis type IV (MLIV), a lysosomal storage disease that results in severe developmental neuropathology. Unlike other lysosomal storage diseases, MLIV is not associated with a lack of lysosomal hydrolases; instead, MLIV cells display abnormal endocytosis of lipids and accumulate large vesicles, indicating that a defect in endocytosis may underlie the disease. Here we report the identification of a loss-of-function mutation in the Caenorhabditis elegans mucolipin-1 homolog, cup-5, and show that this mutation results in an enhanced rate of uptake of fluid-phase markers, decreased degradation of endocytosed protein and accumulation of large vacuoles. Overexpression of cup-5(+) causes the opposite phenotype, indicating that cup-5 activity controls aspects of endocytosis. Studies in model organisms such as C. elegans have helped illuminate fundamental mechanisms involved in normal cellular function and human disease; thus the C. elegans cup-5 mutant may be a useful model for studying conserved aspects of mucolipin-1 structure and function and for assessing the effects of potential therapeutic compounds.<br /><br />
Sel 5, A Serine/Threonine Kinase That Facilitates Lin 12 Activity In Caenorhabditis Elegans. Source: Genetics
February 8th, 2000 PMID: 10581273 Hanna Fares
Ligands present on neighboring cells activate receptors of the LIN-12/Notch family by inducing a proteolytic cleavage event that releases the intracellular domain. Mutations that appear to eliminate sel-5 activity are able to suppress constitutive activity of lin-12(d) mutations that are point mutations in the extracellular domain of LIN-12, but cannot suppress lin-12(intra), the untethered intracellular domain. These results suggest that sel-5 acts prior to or during ligand-dependent release of the intracellular domain. In addition, sel-5 suppression of lin-12(d) mutations is tissue specific: loss of sel-5 activity can suppress defects in the anchor cell/ventral uterine precursor cell fate decision and a sex myoblast/coelomocyte decision, but cannot suppress defects in two different ventral hypodermal cell fate decisions in hermaphrodites and males. sel-5 encodes at least two proteins, from alternatively spliced mRNAs, that share an amino-terminal region and differ in the carboxy-terminal region. The amino-terminal region contains the hallmarks of a serine/threonine kinase domain, which is most similar to mammalian GAK1 and yeast Pak1p.<br /><br />
Role Of The Yeast Gin4p Protein Kinase In Septin Assembly And The Relationship Between Septin Assembly And Septin Function. Source: The Journal Of Cell Biology
December 10th, 1998 PMID: 9813093 Hanna Fares
To identify septin-interacting proteins in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, we screened for mutations that are synthetically lethal with a cdc12 septin mutation. One of the genes identified was GIN4, which encodes a protein kinase related to Hsl1p/Nik1p and Ycl024Wp in S. cerevisiae and to Nim1p/Cdr1p and Cdr2p in Schizosaccharomyces pombe. The Gin4p kinase domain displayed a two-hybrid interaction with the COOH-terminal portion of the Cdc3p septin, and Gin4p colocalized with the septins at the mother-bud neck. This localization depended on the septins and on the COOH-terminal (nonkinase) region of Gin4p, and overproduction of this COOH-terminal region led to a loss of septin organization and associated morphogenetic defects. We detected no effect of deleting YCL024W, either alone or in combination with deletion of GIN4. Deletion of GIN4 was not lethal but led to a striking reorganization of the septins accompanied by morphogenetic abnormalities and a defect in cell separation; however, remarkably, cytokinesis appeared to occur efficiently. Two other proteins that localize to the neck in a septin-dependent manner showed similar reorganizations and also appeared to remain largely functional. The septin organization observed in gin4Delta vegetative cells resembles that seen normally in cells responding to mating pheromone, and no Gin4p was detected in association with the septins in such cells. The organization of the septins observed in gin4Delta cells and in cells responding to pheromone appears to support some aspects of the model for septin organization suggested previously by Field et al. (Field, C.M., O. Al-Awar, J. Rosenblatt, M.L. Wong, B. Alberts, and T.J. Mitchison. 1996. J. Cell Biol. 133:605-616).<br /><br />
A Septin Based Hierarchy Of Proteins Required For Localized Deposition Of Chitin In The Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Cell Wall. Source: The Journal Of Cell Biology
February 18th, 1998 PMID: 9314530 Hanna Fares
Just before bud emergence, a Saccharomyces cerevisiae cell forms a ring of chitin in its cell wall; this ring remains at the base of the bud as the bud grows and ultimately forms part of the bud scar marking the division site on the mother cell. The chitin ring seems to be formed largely or entirely by chitin synthase III, one of the three known chitin synthases in S. cerevisiae. The chitin ring does not form normally in temperature-sensitive mutants defective in any of four septins, a family of proteins that are constituents of the "neck filaments" that lie immediately subjacent to the plasma membrane in the mother-bud neck. In addition, a synthetic-lethal interaction was found between cdc12-5, a temperature-sensitive septin mutation, and a mutant allele of CHS4, which encodes an activator of chitin synthase III. Two-hybrid analysis revealed no direct interaction between the septins and Chs4p but identified a novel gene, BNI4, whose product interacts both with Chs4p and Cdc10p and with one of the septins, Cdc10p; this analysis also revealed an interaction between Chs4p and Chs3p, the catalytic subunit of chitin synthase III. Bni4p has no known homologues; it contains a predicted coiled-coil domain, but no other recognizable motifs. Deletion of BNI4 is not lethal, but causes delocalization of chitin deposition and aberrant cellular morphology. Overexpression of Bni4p also causes delocalization of chitin deposition and produces a cellular morphology similar to that of septin mutants. Immunolocalization experiments show that Bni4p localizes to a ring at the mother-bud neck that lies predominantly on the mother-cell side (corresponding to the predominant site of chitin deposition). This localization depends on the septins but not on Chs4p or Chs3p. A GFP-Chs4p fusion protein also localizes to a ring at the mother-bud neck on the mother-cell side. This localization is dependent on the septins, Bni4p, and Chs3p. Chs3p, whose normal localization is similar to that of Chs4p, does not localize properly in bni4, chs4, or septin mutant strains or in strains that accumulate excess Bni4p. In contrast, localization of the septins is essentially normal in bni4, chs4, and chs3 mutant strains and in strains that accumulate excess Bni4p. Taken together, these results suggest that the normal localization of chitin synthase III activity is achieved by assembly of a complex in which Chs3p is linked to the septins via Chs4p and Bni4p.<br /><br />
Establishment Of Cell Polarity In Yeast. Source: Cold Spring Harbor Symposia On Quantitative Biology
January 14th, 1997 PMID: 8824448 Hanna Fares
The Septins: Roles In Cytokinesis And Other Processes. Source: Current Opinion In Cell Biology
November 13th, 1996 PMID: 8791410 Hanna Fares
The septins are a novel family of proteins that were first recognized in yeast as proteins associated with the neck filaments. Recent work has shown that septins are also present in other fungi, insects, and vertebrates. Despite the apparent differences in modes of cytokinesis amongst species, septins appear to be essential for this process in both fungal and animal cells. The septins also appear to be involved in various other aspects of the organization of the cell surface.<br /><br />
Identification Of A Developmentally Regulated Septin And Involvement Of The Septins In Spore Formation In Saccharomyces Cerevisiae. Source: The Journal Of Cell Biology
July 5th, 1996 PMID: 8636217 Hanna Fares
The Saccharomyces cerevisiae CDC3, CDC10, CDC11, and CDC12 genes encode a family of related proteins, the septins, which are involved in cell division and the organization of the cell surface during vegetative growth. A search for additional S. cerevisiae septin genes using the polymerase chain reaction identified SPR3, a gene that had been identified previously on the basis of its sporulation-specific expression. The predicted SPR3 product shows 25-40% identity in amino acid sequence to the previously known septins from S. cerevisiae and other organisms. Immunoblots confirmed the sporulation-specific expression of Spr3p and showed that other septins are also present at substantial levels in sporulating cells. Consistent with the expression data, deletion of SPR3 in either of two genetic backgrounds had no detectable effect on exponentially growing cells. In one genetic background, deletion of SPR3 produced a threefold reduction in sporulation efficiency, although meiosis appeared to be completed normally. In this background, deletion of CDC10 had no detectable effect on sporulation. In the other genetic background tested, the consequences of the two deletions were reversed. Immunofluorescence observations suggest that Spr3p, Cdc3p, and Cdc11p are localized to the leading edges of the membrane sacs that form near the spindle-pole bodies and gradually extend to engulf the nuclear lobes that contain the haploid chromosome sets, thus forming the spores. Deletion of SPR3 does not prevent the localization of Cdc3p and Cdc11p, but these proteins appear to be less well organized, and the intensity of their staining is reduced. Taken together, the results suggest that the septins play important but partially redundant roles during the process of spore formation.<br /><br />
Localization And Possible Functions Of Drosophila Septins. Source: Molecular Biology Of The Cell
April 4th, 1996 PMID: 8590810 Hanna Fares
The septins are a family of homologous proteins that were originally identified in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, where they are associated with the "neck filaments" and are involved in cytokinesis and other aspects of the organization of the cell surface. We report here the identification of Sep1, a Drosophila melanogaster septin, based on its homology to the yeast septins. The predicted Sep1 amino acid sequence is 35-42% identical to the known S. cerevisiae septins; 52% identical to Pnut, a second D. melanogaster septin; and 53-73% identical to the known mammalian septins. Sep1-specific antibodies have been used to characterize its expression and localization. The protein is concentrated at the leading edge of the cleavage furrows of dividing cells and cellularizing embryos, suggesting a role in furrow formation. Other aspects of Sep1 localization suggest roles not directly related to cytokinesis. For example, Sep1 exhibits orderly, cell-cycle-coordinated rearrangements within the cortex of syncytial blastoderm embryos and in the cells of post-gastrulation embryos; Sep1 is also concentrated at the leading edge of the epithelium during dorsal closure in the embryo, in the neurons of the embryonic nervous system, and at the baso-lateral surfaces of ovarian follicle cells. The distribution of Sep1 typically overlaps, but is distinct from, that of actin. Both immunolocalization and biochemical experiments show that Sep1 is intimately associated with Pnut, suggesting that the Drosophila septins, like those in yeast, function as part of a complex.<br /><br />
Enhancer Of Rudimentaryp1, E(R)P1, A Highly Conserved Enhancer Of The Rudimentary Gene. Source: Genetics
April 26th, 1995 PMID: 7896098 Hanna Fares
A hybrid dysgenesis-induced mutation, enhancer of rudimentaryp1 (e(r)p1), is a recessive enhancer of a weak rudimentary mutant phenotype in Drosophila melanogaster. The e(r) gene was cloned using P element tagging and localized to region 8B on the X chromosome. It encodes a 1.0-kb and a 1.2-kb transcript. The 1.0-kb transcript is present in both adult males and females, while the 1.2-kb transcript is predominantly found in females. The difference in the lengths of the two e(r) transcripts is caused by two different polyadenylation sites spaced 228 bp apart. The amounts of both of these transcripts are drastically reduced in the e(r)p1 mutant. The P element in e(r)p1 is inserted in the 5'-untranslated leader region near the start of transcription. It may be producing its effect by suppressing transcription and/or by providing transcription termination and polyadenylation signals. The putative e(r) protein is 104 amino acids in length and bears no striking resemblance to protein sequences in GenBank or PIR. While its biochemical function is unknown at this time, sequence analysis indicates that the e(r) protein is highly conserved and, presumably, functionally very important. The amino acid sequences of the D. melanogaster and the Drosophila virilis proteins are 95% identical.<br /><br />
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