Structural Basis for the Golgi Association by the Pleckstrin Homology Domain of the Ceramide Trafficking Protein (CERT).
ABSTRACT Ceramide transport from the endoplasmic reticulum to the Golgi apparatus is crucial in sphingolipid biosynthesis, and the process relies on the ceramide trafficking protein (CERT), which contains pleckstrin homology (PH) and StAR-related lipid transfer domains. The CERT PH domain specifically recognizes phosphatidylinositol 4-monophosphate (PtdIns(4)P), a characteristic phosphoinositide in the Golgi membrane, and is indispensable for the endoplasmic reticulum-to-Golgi transport of ceramide by CERT. In this study, we determined the three-dimensional structure of the CERT PH domain by using solution NMR techniques. The structure revealed the presence of a characteristic basic groove near the canonical PtdIns(4)P recognition site. An extensive interaction study using NMR and other biophysical techniques revealed that the basic groove coordinates the CERT PH domain for efficient PtdIns(4)P recognition and localization in the Golgi apparatus. The notion was also supported by Golgi mislocalization of the CERT mutants in living cells. The distinctive binding modes reflect the functions of PH domains, as the basic groove is conserved only in the PH domains involved with the PtdIns(4)P-dependent lipid transport activity but not in those with the signal transduction activity.
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ABSTRACT: Ceramide transfer protein (CERT) is responsible for the nonvesicular trafficking of ceramide from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to the trans Golgi network where it is converted to sphingomyelin (SM). The N-terminal pleckstrin homology (PH) domain is required for Golgi targeting of CERT by recognizing the phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate (PtdIns(4)P) enriched in the Golgi membrane. We report a crystal structure of the CERT PH domain. This structure contains a sulfate that is hydrogen bonded with residues in the canonical ligand-binding pocket of PH domains. Our nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) chemical shift perturbation (CSP) analyses show sulfate association with CERT PH protein resembles that of PtdIns(4)P, suggesting that the sulfate bound structure likely mimics the holo form of CERT PH protein. Comparison of the sulfate bound structure with the apo form solution structure shows structural rearrangements likely occur upon ligand binding, suggesting conformational flexibility in the ligand-binding pocket. This structural flexibility likely explains CERT PH domain's low affinity for PtdIns(4)P, a property that is distinct from many other PH domains that bind to their phosphoinositide ligands tightly. This unique structural feature of CERT PH domain is probably tailored towards the transfer activity of CERT protein where it needs to shuttle between ER and Golgi and therefore requires short resident time on ER and Golgi membranes.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(11):e79590. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Budding is the final step of the late phase of retroviral life cycle. It begins with the interaction of Gag precursor with plasma membrane (PM) through its N-terminal domain, the matrix protein (MA). However, single genera of Retroviridae family differ in the way how they interact with PM. While in case of Lentiviruses (e.g., human immunodeficiency virus) the structural polyprotein precursor Gag interacts with cellular membrane prior to the assembly, Betaretroviruses [Mason-Pfizer monkey virus (M-PMV)] first assemble their virus-like particles (VLPs) in the pericentriolar region of the infected cell and therefore, already assembled particles interact with the membrane. Although both these types of retroviruses use similar mechanism of the interaction of Gag with the membrane, the difference in the site of assembly leads to some differences in the mechanism of the interaction. Here we describe the interaction of M-PMV MA with PM with emphasis on the structural aspects of the interaction with single phospholipids.Frontiers in Microbiology 01/2013; 4:423. · 3.90 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Ceramide transfer protein (CERT) transfers ceramide from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to the Golgi complex. Its deficiency in mouse leads to embryonic death at E11.5. CERT deficient embryos die from cardiac failure due to defective organogenesis, but not due to ceramide induced apoptotic or necrotic cell death. In the current study we examined the effect of CERT deficiency in a primary cell line, namely, mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs). We show that in MEFs, unlike in mutant embryos, lack of CERT does not lead to increased ceramide but causes an accumulation of hexosylceramides. Nevertheless, the defects due to defective sphingolipid metabolism that ensue, when ceramide fails to be trafficked from ER to the Golgi complex, compromise the viability of the cell. Therefore, MEFs display an incipient ER stress. While we observe that ceramide trafficking from ER to the Golgi complex is compromised, the forward transport of VSVG-GFP protein is unhindered from ER to Golgi complex to the plasma membrane. However, retrograde trafficking of the plasma membrane-associated cholera toxin B to the Golgi complex is reduced. The dysregulated sphingolipid metabolism also leads to increased mitochondrial hexosylceramide. The mitochondrial functions are also compromised in mutant MEFs since they have reduced ATP levels, have increased reactive oxygen species, and show increased glutathione reductase activity. Live-cell imaging shows that the mutant mitochondria exhibit reduced fission and fusion events. The mitochondrial dysfunction leads to an increased mitophagy in the CERT mutant MEFs. The compromised organelle function compromise cell viability and results in premature senescence of these MEFs.PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(3):e92142. · 3.53 Impact Factor