Pix1 and Pix2 are novel WD40 microtubule-associated proteins that colocalize with mitochondria in Xenopus germ plasm and centrosomes in human cells
ABSTRACT In many animals, the germ line develops from a distinct mitochondria-rich region of embryonic cytoplasm called the germ plasm. However, the protein composition of germ plasm and its formation remain poorly understood, except in Drosophila. Here, we show that Xpat, a recently identified protein component of Xenopus germ plasm, interacts via its C-terminal domain with a novel protein, xPix1. Xpat and xPix1 are co-expressed in ovaries, eggs and early embryos and colocalize to the mitochondrial cloud and germ plasm in stage I and stage VI oocytes, respectively. Although Xpat appears unique to Xenopus, Pix proteins, which contain an N-terminal WD40 domain and C-terminal coiled-coil, are widely conserved. In humans, two proteins, Pix1 and Pix2, are expressed at varying levels in different cancer cell lines. Importantly, as well as localizing to mitochondria, human Pix proteins localize to centrosomes and associate with microtubules in vitro and in vivo. Although, Pix proteins are stably expressed through the cell cycle, Pix2 concentrates on microtubule structures in mitosis and microinjection of Pix antibodies interferes with cell division. Based on these data, we propose that Pix1 and Pix2 are microtubule-associated adaptor proteins that likely contribute to a range of developmental and cell division processes.
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ABSTRACT: We have made a wide phylogenetic survey of Pix proteins, which are constituents of vertebrate centrioles in most eukaryotes. We have also surveyed the presence and structure of flagella or cilia and centrioles in these organisms, as far as is possible from published information. We find that Pix proteins are present in a vast range of eukaryotes, but not all. Where centrioles are absent so are Pix proteins. If one considers the maintenance of Pix proteins over evolutionary time scales, our analysis would suggest that their key function is to make cilia and flagella, and the same is true of centrioles. Moreover, this survey raises the possibility that Pix proteins are only maintained to make cilia and flagella that undulate, and even then only when they are constructed by transporting ciliary constituents up the cilium using the intraflagellar transport (IFT) system. We also find that Pix proteins have become generally divergent within Ecdysozoa and between this group and other taxa. This correlates with a simplification of centrioles within Ecdysozoa and a loss or divergence of cilia/flagella. Thus Pix proteins act as a weathervane to indicate changes in centriole function, whose core activity is to make cilia and flagella.PLoS ONE 02/2008; 3(11):e3778. · 4.09 Impact Factor
Article: A highly conserved Poc1 protein characterized in embryos of the hydrozoan Clytia hemisphaerica: localization and functional studies.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Poc1 (Protein of Centriole 1) proteins are highly conserved WD40 domain-containing centriole components, well characterized in the alga Chlamydomonas, the ciliated protazoan Tetrahymena, the insect Drosophila and in vertebrate cells including Xenopus and zebrafish embryos. Functions and localizations related to the centriole and ciliary axoneme have been demonstrated for Poc1 in a range of species. The vertebrate Poc1 protein has also been reported to show an additional association with mitochondria, including enrichment in the specialized "germ plasm" region of Xenopus oocytes. We have identified and characterized a highly conserved Poc1 protein in the cnidarian Clytia hemisphaerica. Clytia Poc1 mRNA was found to be strongly expressed in eggs and early embryos, showing a punctate perinuclear localization in young oocytes. Fluorescence-tagged Poc1 proteins expressed in developing embryos showed strong localization to centrioles, including basal bodies. Anti-human Poc1 antibodies decorated mitochondria in Clytia, as reported in human cells, but failed to recognise endogenous or fluorescent-tagged Clytia Poc1. Injection of specific morpholino oligonucleotides into Clytia eggs prior to fertilization to repress Poc1 mRNA translation interfered with cell division from the blastula stage, likely corresponding to when neosynthesis normally takes over from maternally supplied protein. Cell cycle lengthening and arrest were observed, phenotypes consistent with an impaired centriolar biogenesis or function. The specificity of the defects could be demonstrated by injection of synthetic Poc1 mRNA, which restored normal development. We conclude that in Clytia embryos, Poc1 has an essentially centriolar localization and function.PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(11):e13994. · 4.09 Impact Factor