BBA - Molecular Cell Research (v.1693, #2)

Plasma membrane targeting of exocytic SNARE proteins by Christine Salaün; Declan J James; Jennifer Greaves; Luke H Chamberlain (81-89).
SNARE proteins play a central role in the process of intracellular membrane fusion. Indeed, the interaction of SNAREs present on two opposing membranes is generally believed to provide the driving force to initiate membrane fusion. Eukaryotic cells express a large number of SNARE isoforms, and the function of individual SNAREs is required for specific intracellular fusion events. Exocytosis, the fusion of secretory vesicles with the plasma membrane, employs the proteins syntaxin and SNAP-25 as plasma membrane SNAREs. As a result, exocytosis is dependent upon the targeting of these proteins to the plasma membrane; however, the mechanisms that underlie trafficking of exocytic syntaxin and SNAP-25 proteins to the cell surface are poorly understood. The intracellular trafficking itinerary of these proteins is particularly intriguing as syntaxins are tail-anchored (or Type IV) membrane proteins, whereas SNAP-25 is anchored to membranes via a central palmitoylated domain—there is no common consensus for the trafficking of such proteins within the cell. In this review, we discuss the plasma membrane targeting of these essential exocytic SNARE proteins.
Keywords: SNARE; Syntaxin; SNAP-25; Exocytosis; Membrane fusion; Munc18;

Transforming growth factor-β1 stimulates collagen matrix remodeling through increased adhesive and contractive potential by human renal fibroblasts by Shuji Kondo; Shoji Kagami; Maki Urushihara; Akiko Kitamura; Maki Shimizu; Frank Strutz; Gerhard A Müller; Yasuhiro Kuroda (91-100).
Renal tubulointerstitial fibrosis is the common final pathway leading to end-stage renal failure. Tubulointerstitial fibrosis is characterized by fibroblast proliferation and excessive matrix accumulation. Transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) has been implicated in the development of renal fibrosis accompanied by α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) expression in renal fibroblasts. To investigate the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in tubulointerstitial fibrosis, we examined the effect of TGF-β1 on collagen type I (collagen) gel contraction, an in vitro model of scar collagen remodeling. TGF-β1 enhanced collagen gel contraction by human renal fibroblasts in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Function-blocking anti-α1 or anti-α2 integrin subunit antibodies significantly suppressed TGF-β1-stimulated collagen gel contraction. Scanning electron microscopy showed that TGF-β1 enhanced the formation of the collagen fibrils by cell attachment to collagen via α1β1 and α2β1 integrins. Flow cytometry and cell adhesion analyses revealed that the stimulation of renal fibroblasts with TGF-β1 enhanced cell adhesion to collagen via the increased expression of α1 and α2 integrin subunits within collagen gels. Fibroblast migration to collagen was not up-regulated by TGF-β1. Furthermore, TGF-β1 increased the expression of a putative contractile protein, α-SMA, by human renal fibroblasts in collagen gels. These results suggest that TGF-β1 stimulates fibroblast–collagen matrix remodeling by increasing both integrin-mediated cell attachment to collagen and α-SMA expression, thereby contributing to pathological tubulointerstitial collagen matrix reorganization in renal fibrosis.
Keywords: Transforming growth factor-β1; Integrin; Collagen gel contraction; α-Smooth muscle actin;

Simultaneous imaging of initiator/effector caspase activity and mitochondrial membrane potential during cell death in living HeLa cells by Hiroshi Kawai; Takuo Suzuki; Tetsu Kobayashi; Hiroyuki Mizuguchi; Takao Hayakawa; Toru Kawanishi (101-110).
A family of cystein proteases, the caspases, plays a central role in mediating cell death. In this study, we measured the activation of the initiator and effector caspase in real time, and studied the relationship between caspase activity and mitochondrial membrane potential in living cells by means of bioimaging. We also designed and developed a fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based genetically encoded fluorescent indicator, which consisted of yellow fluorescent protein (YFP), a peptide sequence which can be cleaved by specific caspases, and cyan fluorescent protein (CFP). Two peptide sequences which could be cleaved by initiator caspases and effector caspases, respectively, were used. Simultaneous real-time measurements of the caspase activity and mitochondrial membrane potential in the cells treated with TNF-α and staurosporine revealed that dying cells showed caspase activation and mitochondrial depolarization, and that these events, however, were not firmly linked. Although it takes anywhere from 1 to over 10 h after the addition of the cell death inducer for the caspases to begin to be activated, initiator caspases and effector caspases are activated within a short period of time at the last stage in the entire process leading to cell death.
Keywords: Cell death; Caspase; Mitochondrial depolarization; Imaging; GFP; Confocal fluorescent microscopy;

Annexins expressed on the cell surface serve as receptors for adhesion to immobilized fetuin-A by Madappa N. Kundranda; Sanhita Ray; Margaret Saria; David Friedman; Lynn M. Matrisian; Pavel Lukyanov; Josiah Ochieng (111-123).
Fetuin-A is a major constituent of the fetal bovine serum used extensively in cell culture media. We hereby present data demonstrating that breast carcinoma cells can adhere to immobilized fetuin-A in a calcium-dependent fashion. Interestingly, the cells can also divide and attain confluency under these conditions. Using a proteomic approach, we have identified annexin-II and -VI as the putative cell surface receptors for fetuin-A in the presence of Ca2+ ions. Biotinylation of cell surface proteins followed by immunoprecipitation revealed that annexin-VI was expressed on the extracytoplasmic surface of the cell membranes. Finally, to demonstrate that annexin-II and -VI were the adhesive receptors for fetuin-A, siRNA knockdown of expression of the annexins significantly reduced the calcium-mediated adhesion. Interestingly, we demonstrated that the tumor cells could also adhere to immobilized fetuin-A in the presence of magnesium ions, and that this adhesion was most likely mediated by integrins because neutralizing antibodies against β1 integrins substantially reduced the adhesion. Our studies suggest that the expression of annexin-II and -VI and possibly other members of the family mediate novel adhesion and signaling mechanisms in tumor cells.
Keywords: Fetuin-A; Annexin-II; Annexin-VI; Adhesion; MDA-MB-231; Calcium;

The finding that phospholipid micelles lowered the Ca2+ concentration required for autolysis of the calpains led to a hypothesis suggesting that the calpains are translocated to the plasma membrane where they interact with phospholipids to initiate their autolysis. However, the effect of plasma membranes themselves on the Ca2+ concentration required for calpain autolysis has never been reported. Also, if interaction with a membrane lowers the Ca2+ required for autolysis, the membrane-bound-calpain must autolyze itself, because it would be the only calpain having the reduced Ca2+ requirement. This implies that the autolysis is an intramolecular process, although several studies have shown that autolysis of the calpains in an in vitro assay and in the absence of phospholipid is an intermolecular process. Inside-out vesicles prepared from erythrocytes had no effect on the Ca2+ concentration required for autolysis of either μ- or m-calpain, although phosphatidylinositol (PI) decreased the Ca2+ concentration required for autolysis of the same calpains. The presence of a substrate for the calpains, β-casein, reduced the rate of autolysis of both μ- and m-calpain both in the presence and in the absence of PI, suggesting that μ- and m-calpain autolysis is an intermolecular process in the presence of PI just as it is in its absence. Because IOV have no effect on the Ca2+ concentration required for calpain autolysis, association with the plasma membrane, at least with erythrocyte plasma membranes, does not initiate calpain autolysis by reducing the Ca2+ concentration required for autolysis as suggested by the membrane-activation hypothesis. Interaction with a membrane may serve to bind calpains to their substrates rather than promoting autolysis.
Keywords: Calpain; Autolysis; Protease; Calcium;

We investigated G protein-stimulated release of ATP from human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) using the G protein stimulant compound 48/80. Application of compound 48/80 resulted in dose-dependent ATP evolution from cultured HUVECs. This release was not cytotoxic as demonstrated by a lactate dehydrogenase assay and the ability of the cells to load and retain the viability dye calcein following stimulation. Mastoparan also stimulated release of ATP, further suggesting the process was G-protein initiated. This G protein was insensitive to pertussis toxin and appeared to be of the Gq-subtype. The ATP efflux was completely abolished in the presence of EGTA and thapsigargin signifying a strict Ca2+ dependence. Furthermore, compound 48/80-induced release was significantly decreased in cells pretreated with the phospholipase C inhibitor U73122. Thus, the release pathway appears to proceed through an increase in intracellular Ca2+ via PLC activation. Additionally, the G protein-initiated release was attenuated by pretreatment of the cells with either phorbol ester or indolactam V, both activators of protein kinase C. Finally, ATP release was not affected by treating HUVECs with nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitors or glybenclamide.
Keywords: Signaling; Imaging; HUVEC cell; Chemiluminescence;

Signaling pathways elicited by protease-activated receptor-1 (PAR-1) agonists, thrombin receptor-activating peptide (TRAP) and thrombin, are markedly different. Here we show that TRAP-induced disaggregation of platelets is a function of extracellular calcium. Chelation of calcium with EGTA after the onset of aggregation precluded subsequent destabilization of the aggregates in TRAP-stimulated platelets, whereas disaggregation was not observed in the platelets stimulated with thrombin. TRAP-induced disaggregation was independent of the activity of the calcium-dependent thiol protease, calpain. Inhibition of phosphoinositide 3-kinase activity provoked further destabilization of the platelet aggregates in the presence of calcium; however, EGTA attenuated this effect. Activation of protein kinase C (PKC) by phorbol ester prevented disaggregation of the TRAP-stimulated platelets independent of the extracellular calcium. Two proteins of relative mobilities 67 and 75 kD were found to be significantly dephosphorylated on tyrosine in calcium-pretreated platelets as compared to the EGTA-treated platelets following continued stimulation with either TRAP or thrombin for 15 min. Inhibition of phosphoinositide 3-kinase by two pharmacologically independent inhibitors also caused dephosphorylation of p67, which was completely abrogated by chelation of extracellular calcium. Platelet activation by phorbol ester was not associated with disaggregation, although dephosphorylation of p67 was induced under this condition. SHP-1, an abundant tyrosine phosphatase in platelets, co-migrated with the p67 protein and co-localized to the actin-based cytoskeleton of aggregated platelets; however, its identity with p67 was ruled out from immunoprecipitation studies.
Keywords: Platelet; Protease-activated receptor-1; Thrombin receptor-activating peptide; Protein tyrosine phosphatase; Protein tyrosine kinase;