Literature context: nal antibody against Î±-tubulin (RRID:AB_1157911; 12G10, 1:1000) was obtained fr
Recent studies have uncovered various molecules that play key roles in neuronal morphogenesis. Nevertheless, the mechanisms underlying the neuron-type-dependent regulation of morphogenesis remain unknown. We have previously reported that inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK3) markedly reduced axonal length of cerebellar granule neurons (CGNs) in a neuron-type-dependent manner. In the present study, we investigated the mechanisms by which the growth of CGN axons was severely suppressed upon GSK3 inhibition. Using time-lapse imaging of cultured CGNs at early morphogenesis, we found that extension of the leading process was severely inhibited by the pharmacological inhibition of GSK3. The rate of somal migration was also reduced with a GSK3 inhibitor in dissociated culture as well as in microexplant culture. In addition, CGNs ectopically expressed with a catalytically inactive mutant of GSK3 exhibited a migration defect in vivo. In axonal leading processes of CGNs, detyrosination and acetylation of α-tubulin, which are known to correlate with microtubule stability, were decreased by GSK3 inhibition. A photoconversion analysis found that inhibition of GSK3 increases the turnover of microtubules. Furthermore, in the presence of paclitaxel, a microtubule-stabilizing reagent, inhibition of GSK3 recovered the axonal leading process extension that was reduced by paclitaxel. Our results suggest that GSK3 supports the extension of axonal processes by stabilizing microtubules, contrary to its function in other neuron-types, lending mechanical insight into neuron-type-dependent morphological regulation.
Literature context: Cat# 12G10 anti-alpha-tubulin, RRID:AB_1157911 Rabbit anti-Rel68 Paula I. Watn
Enteroendocrine cells (EEs) are interspersed between enterocytes and stem cells in the Drosophila intestinal epithelium. Like enterocytes, EEs express components of the immune deficiency (IMD) innate immune pathway, which activates transcription of genes encoding antimicrobial peptides. The discovery of large lipid droplets in intestines of IMD pathway mutants prompted us to investigate the role of the IMD pathway in the host metabolic response to its intestinal microbiota. Here we provide evidence that the short-chain fatty acid acetate is a microbial metabolic signal that activates signaling through the enteroendocrine IMD pathway in a PGRP-LC-dependent manner. This, in turn, increases transcription of the gene encoding the endocrine peptide Tachykinin (Tk), which is essential for timely larval development and optimal lipid metabolism and insulin signaling. Our findings suggest innate immune pathways not only provide the first line of defense against infection but also afford the intestinal microbiota control over host development and metabolism.
Literature context: hymena pyriformis DSHB, #12G10, RRID:AB_1157911 Mouse (monoclonal) 1:100
Stomatopods have an elaborate visual system served by a retina that is unique to this class of pancrustaceans. Its upper and lower eye hemispheres encode luminance and linear polarization while an equatorial band of photoreceptors termed the midband detects color, circularly polarized light and linear polarization in the ultraviolet. In common with many malacostracan crustaceans, stomatopods have stalked eyes, but they can move these independently within three degrees of rotational freedom. Both eyes separately use saccadic and scanning movements but they can also move in a coordinated fashion to track selected targets or maintain a forward eyestalk posture during swimming. Visual information is initially processed in the first two optic neuropils, the lamina and the medulla, where the eye's midband is represented by enlarged regions within each neuropil that contain populations of neurons, the axons of which are segregated from the neuropil regions subtending the hemispheres. Neuronal channels representing the midband extend from the medulla to the lobula where populations of putative inhibitory glutamic acid decarboxylase-positive neurons and tyrosine hydroxylase-positive neurons intrinsic to the lobula have specific associations with the midband. Here we investigate the organization of the midband representation in the medulla and the lobula in the context of their overall architecture. We discuss the implications of observed arrangements, in which midband inputs to the lobula send out collaterals that extend across the retinotopic mosaic pertaining to the hemispheres. This organization suggests an integrative design that diverges from the eumalacostracan ground pattern and, for the stomatopod, enables color and polarization information to be integrated with luminance information that presumably encodes shape and motion.
Literature context: a-tubulin RRID:AB_1157911
Bidirectional interactions between neurons and myelinating glial cells result in formation of axonal domains along myelinated fibers. Loss of axonal domains leads to detrimental consequences on nerve structure and function, resulting in reduced conductive properties and the diminished ability to reliably transmit signals to the targets they innervate. Thus, impairment of peripheral myelinated axons that project to the surface of muscle fibers and form neuromuscular junction (NMJ) synapses leads to muscle dysfunction. The goal of our studies was to determine how altered electrophysiological properties due to axonal domain disorganization lead to muscle pathology, which is relevant to a variety of peripheral neuropathies, demyelinating diseases, and neurodegenerative disorders. Using conventional Contactin-Associated Protein 1 (Caspr1) and Caspr2 single or double mutants with disrupted paranodal, juxtaparanodal, or both regions, respectively, in peripheral myelinated axons, we correlated defects in NMJ integrity and muscle pathology. Our data show that loss of axonal domains in Caspr1 and Caspr2 single and double mutants primarily alters distal myelinated fibers together with presynaptic terminals, eventually leading to NMJ denervation and reduction in postsynaptic endplate areas. Moreover, reduction in conductive properties of peripheral myelinated fibers together with NMJ disintegration leads to muscle atrophy in Caspr1 mutants or muscle fiber degeneration accompanied by mitochondrial dysfunction in Caspr1/Caspr2 double mutants. Together, our data indicate that proper organization of axonal domains in myelinated fibers is critical for optimal propagation of electrical signals, NMJ integrity, and muscle health, and provide insights into a wide range of pathologies that result in reduced nerve conduction leading to muscle atrophy. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Literature context: dies Hybridoma Bank Cat# 12G10; RRID:AB_1157911 Mouse monoclonal anti-HA-probe
Cell growth and cell differentiation are two distinct yet coupled developmental processes, but how they are coordinated is not well understood. During Drosophila oogenesis, we found that the growth-promoting InR/Akt/TOR pathway was involved in suppressing the fate determination of the migratory border cells. The InR/Akt/TOR pathway signals through TOR and Raptor, components of TORC1, to downregulate the JAK/STAT pathway, which is necessary and sufficient for border cell fate determination. TORC1 promotes the protein stability of SOCS36E, the conserved negative regulator of JAK/STAT signaling, through physical interaction, suggesting that TORC1 acts as a key regulator coordinating both cell growth and cell differentiation.
Literature context: Cat# 12G10 anti-alpha-tubulin, RRID:AB_1157911) used at a concentration of 1:1
Mushroom bodies are the iconic learning and memory centers of insects. No previously described crustacean possesses a mushroom body as defined by strict morphological criteria although crustacean centers called hemiellipsoid bodies, which serve functions in sensory integration, have been viewed as evolutionarily convergent with mushroom bodies. Here, using key identifiers to characterize neural arrangements, we demonstrate insect-like mushroom bodies in stomatopod crustaceans (mantis shrimps). More than any other crustacean taxon, mantis shrimps display sophisticated behaviors relating to predation, spatial memory, and visual recognition comparable to those of insects. However, neuroanatomy-based cladistics suggesting close phylogenetic proximity of insects and stomatopod crustaceans conflicts with genomic evidence showing hexapods closely related to simple crustaceans called remipedes. We discuss whether corresponding anatomical phenotypes described here reflect the cerebral morphology of a common ancestor of Pancrustacea or an extraordinary example of convergent evolution.
Literature context: at#12G10; RRID:AB_1157911 Anti-Myc S
Clearance of bacteria by macrophages involves internalization of the microorganisms into phagosomes, which are then delivered to endolysosomes for enzymatic degradation. These spatiotemporally segregated processes are not known to be functionally coupled. Here, we show that lysosomal degradation of bacteria sustains phagocytic uptake. In Drosophila and mammalian macrophages, lysosomal dysfunction due to loss of the endolysosomal Cl- transporter ClC-b/CLCN7 delayed degradation of internalized bacteria. Unexpectedly, defective lysosomal degradation of bacteria also attenuated further phagocytosis, resulting in elevated bacterial load. Exogenous application of bacterial peptidoglycans restored phagocytic uptake in the lysosomal degradation-defective mutants via a pathway requiring cytosolic pattern recognition receptors and NF-κB. Mammalian macrophages that are unable to degrade internalized bacteria also exhibit compromised NF-κB activation. Our findings reveal a role for phagolysosomal degradation in activating an evolutionarily conserved signaling cascade, which ensures that continuous uptake of bacteria is preceded by lysosomal degradation of microbes.
Literature context: City, IA; RRID:AB_1157911), anti-act
Rapid cellular proliferation in early development and cancer depends on glucose metabolism to fuel macromolecule biosynthesis. Metabolic enzymes are presumed regulators of this glycolysis-driven metabolic program, known as the Warburg effect; however, few have been identified. We uncover a previously unappreciated role for Mannose phosphate isomerase (MPI) as a metabolic enzyme required to maintain Warburg metabolism in zebrafish embryos and in both primary and malignant mammalian cells. The functional consequences of MPI loss are striking: glycolysis is blocked and cells die. These phenotypes are caused by induction of p53 and accumulation of the glycolytic intermediate fructose 6-phosphate, leading to engagement of the hexosamine biosynthetic pathway (HBP), increased O-GlcNAcylation, and p53 stabilization. Inhibiting the HBP through genetic and chemical methods reverses p53 stabilization and rescues the Mpi-deficient phenotype. This work provides mechanistic evidence by which MPI loss induces p53, and identifies MPI as a novel regulator of p53 and Warburg metabolism.
Literature context: 10, DSHB; RRID:AB_1157911), rabbit a
The mechanisms that govern node of Ranvier organization, stability, and long-term maintenance remain to be fully elucidated. One of the molecular components of the node is the cytoskeletal scaffolding protein, ankyrin G (AnkG), which interacts with multiple members of the nodal complex. The role of AnkG in nodal organization and maintenance is still not clearly defined as to whether AnkG functions as an initial nodal organizer or whether it functions as a nodal stabilizer after the nodal complex has been assembled. Using a mouse model system, we report here that perinatal and juvenile neuronal ablation of AnkG has differential consequences on nodal stability. Early loss of AnkG creates immature nodes with abnormal morphology, which undergo accelerated destabilization within a month, resulting in rapid voltage-gated sodium (NaV) channel and βIV spectrin loss with reduced effects on neurofascin 186. On the other hand, late ablation of AnkG from established nodal complexes leads to slow but progressive nodal destabilization over 10 months, primarily affecting βIV spectrin, followed by NaV channels, with modest impact on neurofascin 186. We also show that ankyrin R and βI spectrin are not sufficient to prevent nodal disorganization after AnkG ablation. Additionally, nodal disorganization in both early and late AnkG mutants is accompanied by axonal pathology and neurological dysfunction. Together, our results suggest that AnkG plays an indispensable role in the maturation and long-term stabilization of the newly assembled nodal complex, and that loss of AnkG after nodal stabilization does not lead to rapid nodal disassembly but to loss of specific nodal components in a time-dependent manner.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Nodes of Ranvier are the myelin-free gaps along myelinated axons that allow fast communication between neurons and their target cells by propagating action potentials in a saltatory manner. The cytoskeletal scaffolding protein ankyrin G (AnkG) has been thought to play an important role in node formation; however, its precise role in nodal assembly, stability, and maintenance is still not clear. By using spatiotemporal ablation of AnkG, we report its differential role in nodal maturation and stabilization. We show that early AnkG-deficient nodes fail to mature and undergo rapid destabilization. In contrast, nodes that assemble with AnkG are much more stable and undergo gradual disintegration with sequential loss of nodal components in the absence of AnkG.
Literature context: Bank at the University of Iowa RRID:AB_1157911 Mouse monoclonal anti-MIC2 (clo
Apicomplexan parasites are leading causes of human and livestock diseases such as malaria and toxoplasmosis, yet most of their genes remain uncharacterized. Here, we present the first genome-wide genetic screen of an apicomplexan. We adapted CRISPR/Cas9 to assess the contribution of each gene from the parasite Toxoplasma gondii during infection of human fibroblasts. Our analysis defines ∼200 previously uncharacterized, fitness-conferring genes unique to the phylum, from which 16 were investigated, revealing essential functions during infection of human cells. Secondary screens identify as an invasion factor the claudin-like apicomplexan microneme protein (CLAMP), which resembles mammalian tight-junction proteins and localizes to secretory organelles, making it critical to the initiation of infection. CLAMP is present throughout sequenced apicomplexan genomes and is essential during the asexual stages of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. These results provide broad-based functional information on T. gondii genes and will facilitate future approaches to expand the horizon of antiparasitic interventions.
Literature context: l., 2002; RRID:AB_1157911) obtained
Cephalopods have the largest and most complex nervous system of all invertebrates, and the brain-to-body weight ratio exceeds those of most fish and reptiles. The brain is composed of lobe units, the functions of which have been studied through surgical manipulation and electrical stimulation. However, how information is processed in each lobe for the animal to make a behavioral decision has rarely been investigated. To perform such functional analyses, it is necessary to precisely describe how brain lobes are spatially organized and mutually interconnected as a whole. We thus made three-dimensional digital brain atlases of both hatchling and juvenile pygmy squid, Idiosepius paradoxus. I. paradoxus is the smallest squid and has a brain small enough to scan as a whole region in the field-of-view of a low-magnification laser scan microscope objective. Precise analyses of the confocal images of the brains revealed one newly identified lobe and also that the relative volume of the vertical lobe system, the higher association center, in the pygmy squid represents the largest portion compared with the cephalopod species reported previously. In addition, principal component analyses of relative volumes of lobe complexes revealed that the organization of I. paradoxus brain is comparable to those of Decapodiformes species commonly used to analyze complex behaviors such as Sepia officinalis and Sepioteuthis sepioidea. These results suggest that the pygmy squid can be a good model to investigate the brain functions of coleoids utilizing physiological methods. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:2142-2157, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
The R2TP is a recently identified Hsp90 co-chaperone, composed of four proteins as follows: Pih1D1, RPAP3, and the AAA(+)-ATPases RUVBL1 and RUVBL2. In mammals, the R2TP is involved in the biogenesis of cellular machineries such as RNA polymerases, small nucleolar ribonucleoparticles and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-related kinases. Here, we characterize the spaghetti (spag) gene of Drosophila, the homolog of human RPAP3. This gene plays an essential function during Drosophila development. We show that Spag protein binds Drosophila orthologs of R2TP components and Hsp90, like its yeast counterpart. Unexpectedly, Spag also interacts and stimulates the chaperone activity of Hsp70. Using null mutants and flies with inducible RNAi, we show that spaghetti is necessary for the stabilization of snoRNP core proteins and target of rapamycin activity and likely the assembly of RNA polymerase II. This work highlights the strong conservation of both the HSP90/R2TP system and its clients and further shows that Spag, unlike Saccharomyces cerevisiae Tah1, performs essential functions in metazoans. Interaction of Spag with both Hsp70 and Hsp90 suggests a model whereby R2TP would accompany clients from Hsp70 to Hsp90 to facilitate their assembly into macromolecular complexes.
Studies of muscle physiology and muscular disorders often require muscle biopsies to answer questions about muscle biology. In this context, we have often wondered if muscle biopsies, especially if performed repeatedly, would affect interpretation of muscle morphology and cellular signaling. We hypothesized that muscle morphology and cellular signaling involved in myogenesis/regeneration and protein turnover can be changed by a previous muscle biopsy in close proximity to the area under investigation. Here we report a case where a past biopsy or biopsies affect cellular signaling of the surrounding muscle tissue for at least 3 weeks after the biopsy was performed and magnetic resonance imaging suggests that an effect of a biopsy may persist for at least 5 months. Cellular signaling after a biopsy resembles what is seen in severe limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2I with respect to protein synthesis and myogenesis despite normal histologic appearance.
Recent publications demonstrated that a fragment of a Neospora caninum ROP2 family member antigen represents a promising vaccine candidate. We here report on the cloning of the cDNA encoding this protein, N. caninum ROP2 family member 1 (NcROP2Fam-1), its molecular characterization and localization. The protein possesses the hallmarks of ROP2 family members and is apparently devoid of catalytic activity. NcROP2Fam-1 is synthesized as a pre-pro-protein that is matured to 2 proteins of 49 and 55 kDa that localize to rhoptry bulbs. Upon invasion the protein is associated with the nascent parasitophorous vacuole membrane (PVM), evacuoles surrounding the host cell nucleus and, in some instances, the surface of intracellular parasites. Staining was also observed within the cyst wall of 'cysts' produced in vitro. Interestingly, NcROP2Fam-1 was also detected on the surface of extracellular parasites entering the host cells and antibodies directed against NcROP2Fam-1-specific peptides partially neutralized invasion in vitro. We conclude that, in spite of the general belief that ROP2 family proteins are intracellular antigens, NcROP2Fam-1 can also be considered as an extracellular antigen, a property that should be taken into account in further experiments employing ROP2 family proteins as vaccines.
Sargassum fulvellum (Turner) C. Agardh is an edible brown macroalgae having pharmacological importance. In previous reports, we described the screening of marine algae for their neuritogenic activity in developing hippocampal neurons and found that ethanol extract of S. fulvellum (SFE) possesses promising neurite-outgrowth-promoting activity. In this study, we evaluated whether the initial neurite promoting effect of SFE was followed on the further neuronal maturation and synapse formation. SFE exhibited dose-dependent effect on neurite maturation with an optimum concentration of 5 μg/mL. The initial neuronal differentiation is significantly promoted by SFE. Subsequently, compared with control culture, SFE increased the indices of axonal and dendritic developments such as the number and the length of primary processes, and branching frequencies. In addition to its effect on neurite development, SFE significantly increased the number of puncta for postsynaptic density-95, synaptic vesicle 2, and synapse (about 35%, 67%, and 125%, respectively, of control). Moreover, SFE dose-dependently protects neurons from naturally occurring death in normal culture condition. Taken together, our data demonstrate that SFE can promote neuronal maturation and synaptogenesis and support neuronal survival, suggesting the beneficial effect of this alga in nervous system.
Apical actomyosin activity in animal epithelial cells influences tissue morphology and drives morphogenetic movements during development. The molecular mechanisms leading to myosin II accumulation at the apical membrane and its exclusion from other membranes are poorly understood. We show that in the nonmetazoan Dictyostelium discoideum, myosin II localizes apically in tip epithelial cells that surround the stalk, and constriction of this epithelial tube is required for proper morphogenesis. IQGAP1 and its binding partner cortexillin I function downstream of α- and β-catenin to exclude myosin II from the basolateral cortex and promote apical accumulation of myosin II. Deletion of IQGAP1 or cortexillin compromises epithelial morphogenesis without affecting cell polarity. These results reveal that apical localization of myosin II is a conserved morphogenetic mechanism from nonmetazoans to vertebrates and identify a hierarchy of proteins that regulate the polarity and organization of an epithelial tube in a simple model organism.
Electron microscopical observations of the hemiellipsoid bodies of the land hermit crab Coenobita clypeatus resolve microglomerular synaptic complexes that are comparable to those observed in the calyces of insect mushroom bodies and which characterize olfactory inputs onto intrinsic neurons. In an adult hermit crab, intrinsic neurons and one class of efferent neurons originate from neuronal somata of globuli cells covering the hemiellipsoid bodies. Counts of their nucleoli show that about 120,000 globuli cells supply each hemiellipsoid body in an adult hermit crab. This number is comparable to the number of globuli cells supplying mushroom bodies of certain insects, such as honey bees and cockroaches. Counts of axons in tracts leading from the olfactory lobes to the hemiellipsoid bodies resolve 20,000 afferent axons, however, an order of magnitude greater than known for any insect. These afferent axons provide numerous swollen varicosities, each presynaptic to many small profiles, and thus comparable to the microglomeruli that characterize insect mushroom body calyces. Also, common to mushroom bodies and hemiellipsoid bodies are arrangements of intrinsic neurons, afferent neurons containing dense core vesicles, and systems of serial synaptic complexes that relate to postsynaptic profiles of efferent neurons. Together, the ultrastructural organization of the hemiellipsoid bodies of C. clypeatus supports the proposition that this center may share a common origin with the insect mushroom body despite obvious divergent evolution of overall shape.
Communication between pre- and post-synaptic cells is a key process in the development and modulation of synapses. Reciprocal induction between pre- and postsynaptic cells involves regulation of gene transcription, yet the underlying genetic program remains largely unknown. To investigate how innervation-dependent gene expression in postsynaptic cells supports synaptic differentiation, we performed comparative microarray analysis of Drosophila muscles before and after innervation, and of prospero mutants, which show a delay in motor axon outgrowth. We identified 84 candidate genes that are potentially up- or downregulated in response to innervation. By systematic functional analysis, we found that one of the downregulated genes, longitudinals lacking (lola), which encodes a BTB-Zn-finger transcription factor, is required for proper expression of glutamate receptors. When the function of lola was knocked down in muscles by RNAi, the abundance of glutamate receptors (GluRs), GluRIIA, GluRIIB and GluRIII, as well as that of p-21 activated kinase (PAK), was greatly reduced at the neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). Recordings of the synaptic response revealed a decrease in postsynaptic quantal size, consistent with the reduction in GluR levels. Lola appears to regulate the expression of GluRs and PAK at the level of transcription, because the amount of mRNAs encoding these molecules was also reduced in the mutants. The transcriptional level of lola, in turn, is downregulated by increased neural activity. We propose that Lola coordinates expression of multiple postsynaptic components by transcriptional regulation.
The CFTR (cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator) protein is a large polytopic protein whose biogenesis is inefficient. To better understand the regulation of CFTR processing and trafficking, we conducted a genetic screen that identified COMMD1 as a new CFTR partner. COMMD1 is a protein associated with multiple cellular pathways, including the regulation of hepatic copper excretion, sodium uptake through interaction with ENaC (epithelial sodium channel) and NF-kappaB signaling. In this study, we show that COMMD1 interacts with CFTR in cells expressing both proteins endogenously. This interaction promotes CFTR cell surface expression as assessed by biotinylation experiments in heterologously expressing cells through regulation of CFTR ubiquitination. In summary, our data demonstrate that CFTR is protected from ubiquitination by COMMD1, which sustains CFTR expression at the plasma membrane. Thus, increasing COMMD1 expression may provide an approach to simultaneously inhibit ENaC absorption and enhance CFTR trafficking, two major issues in cystic fibrosis.
Polyglutamylation is a posttranslational modification that generates glutamate side chains on tubulins and other proteins. Although this modification has been shown to be reversible, little is known about the enzymes catalyzing deglutamylation. Here we describe the enzymatic mechanism of protein deglutamylation by members of the cytosolic carboxypeptidase (CCP) family. Three enzymes (CCP1, CCP4, and CCP6) catalyze the shortening of polyglutamate chains and a fourth (CCP5) specifically removes the branching point glutamates. In addition, CCP1, CCP4, and CCP6 also remove gene-encoded glutamates from the carboxyl termini of proteins. Accordingly, we show that these enzymes convert detyrosinated tubulin into Δ2-tubulin and also modify other substrates, including myosin light chain kinase 1. We further analyze Purkinje cell degeneration (pcd) mice that lack functional CCP1 and show that microtubule hyperglutamylation is directly linked to neurodegeneration. Taken together, our results reveal that controlling the length of the polyglutamate side chains on tubulin is critical for neuronal survival.
The NAD+-dependent SIRT6 deacetylase is a therapeutic candidate against the emerging metabolic syndrome epidemic. SIRT6, whose deficiency in mice results in premature aging phenotypes and metabolic defects, was implicated in a calorie restriction response that showed an opposite set of phenotypes from the metabolic syndrome. To explore the role of SIRT6 in metabolic stress, wild type and transgenic (TG) mice overexpressing SIRT6 were fed a high fat diet. In comparison to their wild-type littermates, SIRT6 TG mice accumulated significantly less visceral fat, LDL-cholesterol, and triglycerides. TG mice displayed enhanced glucose tolerance along with increased glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. Gene expression analysis of adipose tissue revealed that the positive effect of SIRT6 overexpression is associated with down regulation of a selective set of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-responsive genes, and genes associated with lipid storage, such as angiopoietin-like protein 4, adipocyte fatty acid-binding protein, and diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1, which were suggested as potential targets for drugs to control metabolic syndrome. These results demonstrate a protective role for SIRT6 against the metabolic consequences of diet-induced obesity and suggest a potentially beneficial effect of SIRT6 activation on age-related metabolic diseases.
How microtubule-associated motor proteins are regulated is not well understood. A potential mechanism for spatial regulation of motor proteins is provided by posttranslational modifications of tubulin subunits that form patterns on microtubules. Glutamylation is a conserved tubulin modification  that is enriched in axonemes. The enzymes responsible for this posttranslational modification, glutamic acid ligases (E-ligases), belong to a family of proteins with a tubulin tyrosine ligase (TTL) homology domain (TTL-like or TTLL proteins) . We show that in cilia of Tetrahymena, TTLL6 E-ligases generate glutamylation mainly on the B-tubule of outer doublet microtubules, the site of force production by ciliary dynein. Deletion of two TTLL6 paralogs caused severe deficiency in ciliary motility associated with abnormal waveform and reduced beat frequency. In isolated axonemes with a normal dynein arm composition, TTLL6 deficiency did not affect the rate of ATP-induced doublet microtubule sliding. Unexpectedly, the same TTLL6 deficiency increased the velocity of microtubule sliding in axonemes that also lack outer dynein arms, in which forces are generated by inner dynein arms. We conclude that tubulin glutamylation on the B-tubule inhibits the net force imposed on sliding doublet microtubules by inner dynein arms.
In most eukaryotic cells, tubulin is subjected to posttranslational glutamylation, a conserved modification of unclear function. The glutamyl side chains form as branches of the primary sequence glutamic acids in two biochemically distinct steps: initiation and elongation. The length of the glutamyl side chain is spatially controlled and microtubule type specific. Here, we probe the significance of the glutamyl side chain length regulation in vivo by overexpressing a potent side chain elongase enzyme, Ttll6Ap, in Tetrahymena. Overexpression of Ttll6Ap caused hyperelongation of glutamyl side chains on the tubulin of axonemal, cortical, and cytoplasmic microtubules. Strikingly, in the same cell, hyperelongation of glutamyl side chains stabilized cytoplasmic microtubules and destabilized axonemal microtubules. Our observations suggest that the cellular outcomes of glutamylation are mediated by spatially restricted tubulin interactors of diverse nature.
The cell-biological events that guide early-embryonic development occur with great precision within species but can be quite diverse across species. How these cellular processes evolve and which molecular components underlie evolutionary changes is poorly understood. To begin to address these questions, we systematically investigated early embryogenesis, from the one- to the four-cell embryo, in 34 nematode species related to C. elegans. We found 40 cell-biological characters that captured the phenotypic differences between these species. By tracing the evolutionary changes on a molecular phylogeny, we found that these characters evolved multiple times and independently of one another. Strikingly, all these phenotypes are mimicked by single-gene RNAi experiments in C. elegans. We use these comparisons to hypothesize the molecular mechanisms underlying the evolutionary changes. For example, we predict that a cell polarity module was altered during the evolution of the Protorhabditis group and show that PAR-1, a kinase localized asymmetrically in C. elegans early embryos, is symmetrically localized in the one-cell stage of Protorhabditis group species. Our genome-wide approach identifies candidate molecules-and thereby modules-associated with evolutionary changes in cell-biological phenotypes.
Polyglycylation is a posttranslational modification that generates glycine side chains on proteins. Here we identify a family of evolutionarily conserved glycine ligases that modify tubulin using different enzymatic mechanisms. In mammals, two distinct enzyme types catalyze the initiation and elongation steps of polyglycylation, whereas Drosophila glycylases are bifunctional. We further show that the human elongating glycylase has lost enzymatic activity due to two amino acid changes, suggesting that the functions of protein glycylation could be sufficiently fulfilled by monoglycylation. Depletion of a glycylase in Drosophila using RNA interference results in adult flies with strongly decreased total glycylation levels and male sterility associated with defects in sperm individualization and axonemal maintenance. A more severe RNAi depletion is lethal at early developmental stages, indicating that protein glycylation is essential. Together with the observation that multiple proteins are glycylated, our functional data point towards a general role of glycylation in protein functions.
The vertebrate thymus consists of distinctive subpopulations of epithelial cells that contain a diverse repertoire of cytoskeletal proteins. In this study of the thymus in the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri, immunohistochemistry was used to distinguish the cytoskeletal proteins present in each class of thymic epithelial cell. A panel of antibodies (Abs), each specific for a different cytoskeletal polypeptide (keratins, vimentin, desmin, actin and tubulins), was used on paraffin and ultrathin resin sections of thymus. Ab AE I (reactive against human type I cytokeratins (CK) 14, 16 and 19) selectively stained the cytoplasm of capsular, trabecular and the outermost epithelial cells of Hassall's corpuscles. Anti-CK 10 Abs strongly labelled the capsular epithelial cells and less than 20% of cortical and medullary epithelial cells. The anti-50-kDa desmin Ab did not react with any thymic cells, whereas the anti-53-kDa desmin Ab labelled some capsular, cortical and medullary thymic epithelial cells. The anti-vimentin Ab stained most of the capsular and ~60% of the cortical epithelium. Thymic nurse cells and Hassall's corpuscles were found to be devoid of actin, which was strongly detected in medullary and perivascular epithelium. Both alpha and beta tubulins were detected in all thymic cells. This study extends the concept of thymic epithelial heterogeneity. The complexity of thymic epithelium in N. forsteri may indicate a relationship between thymic epithelial subpopulations and the thymic microenvironment. These data identify anti-keratin Abs as a valuable tool for studying differentiation and ontogeny of the thymic epithelium in N. forsteri.
Polyglycylation occurs through the post-translational addition of a polyglycine peptide to the gamma-carboxyl group of glutamic acids near the C terminus of alpha- and beta-tubulin, and has been found only in cells with axonemes, from protists to humans. In Tetrahymena thermophila, multiple sites of polyglycylation on alpha-tubulin are dispensable. By contrast, mutating similar sites on beta-tubulin has site-specific effects, affecting cell motility and cytokinesis, or resulting in cell death. Here, we address the lethality of a polyglycylation deficiency in T. thermophila using heterokaryons. Cells with a lethal mutation in the polyglycylation domain of beta-tubulin assembled axonemes that lack the central pair, B-subfibres and the transitional zone of outer microtubules (MTs). Furthermore, an arrest in cytokinesis occurred, and was associated with incomplete severing of cortical MTs positioned near the cleavage furrow. Thus, tubulin polyglycylation is required for the maintenance of some stable microtubular organelles that are all known to be polyglycylated in vivo, but its effects on MTs appear to be organelle-specific.