Multiple mechanisms contribute to cancer cell progression and metastatic activity, including changes in endocytic trafficking and signaling of cell surface receptors downstream of gain-of-function (GOF) mutant p53. We report that dynamin-1 (Dyn1) is up-regulated at both the mRNA and protein levels in a manner dependent on expression of GOF mutant p53. Dyn1 is required for the recruitment and accumulation of the signaling scaffold, APPL1, to a spatially localized subpopulation of endosomes at the cell perimeter. We developed new tools to quantify peripherally localized early endosomes and measure the rapid recycling of integrins. We report that these perimeter APPL1 endosomes modulate Akt signaling and activate Dyn1 to create a positive feedback loop required for rapid recycling of EGFR and β1 integrins, increased focal adhesion turnover, and cell migration. Thus, Dyn1- and Akt-dependent perimeter APPL1 endosomes function as a nexus that integrates signaling and receptor trafficking, which can be co-opted and amplified in mutant p53–driven cancer cells to increase migration and invasion.
Expansion of the autophagosomal membrane requires a mechanism to supply lipids while excluding most membrane proteins. In this issue, Valverde et al. (2019. J. Cell Biol.https://doi.org/10.1083/jcb.201811139) identify ATG2, a member of the autophagy-related protein family, as a lipid transfer protein and provide important novel insights on how autophagosomes grow.
Nearly all motile cilia have a "9+2" axoneme containing a central apparatus (CA), consisting of two central microtubules with projections, that is essential for motility. To date, only 22 proteins are known to be CA components. To identify new candidate CA proteins, we used mass spectrometry to compare axonemes of wild-type Chlamydomonas and a CA-less mutant. We identified 44 novel candidate CA proteins, of which 13 are conserved in humans. Five of the latter were studied more closely, and all five localized to the CA; therefore, most of the other candidates are likely to also be CA components. Our results reveal that the CA is far more compositionally complex than previously recognized and provide a greatly expanded knowledge base for studies to understand the architecture of the CA and how it functions. The discovery of the new conserved CA proteins will facilitate genetic screening to identify patients with a form of primary ciliary dyskinesia that has been difficult to diagnose.
Myelin-associated glycoprotein and chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans in the extracellular matrix can prevent regeneration of injured axons. In this issue, Kalinski et al. (2019. J. Cell Biol.https://doi.org/10.1083/jcb.201702187) report that inhibition of HDAC6 prevents the deacetylation of Miro1, increases mitochondrial axonal transport, and restores the size of axonal growth cones.
RIPK3, a key mediator of necroptosis, has been implicated in the host defense against viral infection primary in immune cells. However, gene expression analysis revealed that RIPK3 is abundantly expressed not only in immune organs but also in the gastrointestinal tract, particularly in the small intestine. We found that orally inoculated Listeria monocytogenes, a bacterial foodborne pathogen, efficiently spread and caused systemic infection in Ripk3-deficient mice while almost no dissemination was observed in wild-type mice. Listeria infection activated the RIPK3-MLKL pathway in cultured cells, which resulted in suppression of intracellular replication of Listeria. Surprisingly, Listeria infection–induced phosphorylation of MLKL did not result in host cell killing. We found that MLKL directly binds to Listeria and inhibits their replication in the cytosol. Our findings have revealed a novel functional role of the RIPK3-MLKL pathway in nonimmune cell-derived host defense against Listeria invasion, which is mediated through cell death–independent mechanisms.
PTEN loss stimulates prostate tumor progression by sustaining AKT activation. Nowak et al. (2019. J. Cell Biol. https://doi.org/10.1083/jcb.201902048) surprisingly show that the AKT-suppressing phosphatase PHLPP2 promotes disease progression in the context of dual PTEN and p53 loss by increasing MYC stability.
Mitophagy protects against ischemic neuronal injury by eliminating damaged mitochondria, but it is unclear how mitochondria in distal axons are cleared. We find that oxygen and glucose deprivation-reperfusion reduces mitochondrial content in both cell bodies and axons. Axonal mitochondria elimination was not abolished in Atg7fl/fl;nes-Cre neurons, suggesting the absence of direct mitophagy in axons. Instead, axonal mitochondria were enwrapped by autophagosomes in soma and axon-derived mitochondria prioritized for elimination by autophagy. Intriguingly, axonal mitochondria showed prompt loss of anterograde motility but increased retrograde movement upon reperfusion. Anchoring of axonal mitochondria by syntaphilin blocked neuronal mitophagy and aggravated injury. Conversely, induced binding of mitochondria to dynein reinforced retrograde transport and enhanced mitophagy to prevent mitochondrial dysfunction and attenuate neuronal injury. Therefore, we reveal somatic autophagy of axonal mitochondria in ischemic neurons and establish a direct link of retrograde mitochondrial movement with mitophagy. Our findings may provide a new concept for reducing ischemic neuronal injury by correcting mitochondrial motility.
RIPK3 induces necroptosis by phosphorylating MLKL, which then induces plasma membrane rupture and necrotic cell death. In this issue, Sai et al. (2019. J. Cell Biol.https://doi.org/10.1083/jcb.201810014) show that RIPK3-MLKL signaling in epithelial cells promotes Listeria clearance by directly suppressing cytosolic bacterial replication, without activating cell death.
Too little or too much force can trigger cell death, yet factors that ensure the survival of cells remain largely unknown. Here, we demonstrate that E-cadherin responds to force by recruiting and activating p21-activated protein kinase 2 (PAK2) to allow cells to stiffen, metabolize, and survive. Interestingly, PAK2 activation and its control of the apoptotic response are specific for the amplitude of force applied. Specifically, under low amplitudes of physiological force, PAK2 is protected from proteolysis, thereby ensuring cell survival. In contrast, under higher amplitudes of physiological force, PAK2 is left unprotected and stimulates apoptosis, an effect that is prevented by cleavage-resistant forms of the protein. Finally, we demonstrate that PAK2 protection is conferred by direct binding of AMPK. Thus, PAK2 mediates the survival of cells under force. These findings reveal an unexpected paradigm for how mechanotransduction, metabolism, and cell survival are linked.
Ubiquitination regulates many essential cellular processes in eukaryotes. This post-translational modification (PTM) is typically achieved by E1, E2, and E3 enzymes that sequentially catalyze activation, conjugation, and ligation reactions, respectively, leading to covalent attachment of ubiquitin, usually to lysine residues of substrate proteins. Ubiquitin can also be successively linked to one of the seven lysine residues on ubiquitin to form distinctive forms of polyubiquitin chains, which, depending upon the lysine used and the length of the chains, dictate the fate of substrate proteins. Recent discoveries revealed that this ubiquitin code is further expanded by PTMs such as phosphorylation, acetylation, deamidation, and ADP-ribosylation, on ubiquitin, components of the ubiquitination machinery, or both. These PTMs provide additional regulatory nodes to integrate development or insulting signals with cellular homeostasis. Understanding the precise roles of these PTMs in the regulation of ubiquitin signaling will provide new insights into the mechanisms and treatment of various human diseases linked to ubiquitination, including neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, infection, and immune disorders.