Drosophila mauve Mutants Reveal a Role of LYST Homologs Late in the Maturation of Phagosomes and Autophagosomes

Department of Neuroscience, UT Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Blvd, Dallas, TX, 75390-9111, USA.
Traffic (Impact Factor: 4.35). 08/2012; 13(12). DOI: 10.1111/tra.12005
Source: PubMed


Chediak-Higashi syndrome (CHS) is a lethal disease caused by mutations that inactivate the lysosomal trafficking regulator protein (LYST). Patients suffer from diverse symptoms including oculocutaneous albinism, recurrent infections, neutropenia and progressive neurodegeneration. These defects have been traced back to over-sized lysosomes and lysosome-related organelles (LROs) in different cell types. Here, we explore mutants in the Drosophila mauve gene as a new model system for CHS. The mauve gene (CG42863) encodes a large BEACH domain protein of 3535 amino acids similar to LYST. This reflects a functional homology between these proteins as mauve mutants also display enlarged LROs, such as pigment granules. This Drosophila model also replicates the enhanced susceptibility to infections and we show a defect in the cellular immune response. Early stages of phagocytosis proceed normally in mauve mutant hemocytes but, unlike in wild type, late phagosomes fuse and generate large vacuoles containing many bacteria. Autophagy is similarly affected in mauve fat bodies as starvation-induced autophagosomes grow beyond their normal size. Together these data suggest a model in which Mauve functions to restrict homotypic fusion of different pre-lysosomal organelles and LROs.

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    ABSTRACT: BEACH (named after 'Beige and Chediak-Higashi') is a conserved ~280 residue domain, present in nine human BEACH domain containing proteins (BDCPs). Most BDCPs are large, containing a PH-like domain for membrane association preceding their BEACH domain, and containing WD40 and other domains for ligand binding. Recent studies found that mutations in individual BDCPs cause several human diseases. BDCP alterations affect lysosome size (LYST and NSMAF), apoptosis (NSMAF), autophagy (LYST, WDFY3, LRBA), granule size (LYST, NBEAL2, NBEA), or synapse formation (NBEA). However, the roles of each BDCP in these membrane events remain controversial. After reviewing studies on individual BDCPs, we propose a unifying hypothesis that BDCPs act as scaffolding proteins that facilitate membrane events, including both fission and fusion, determined by their binding partners. BDCPs may also bind each other, enabling fusion or fission of vesicles that are not necessarily of the same type. Such mechanisms explain why different BDCPs may have roles in autophagy; each BDCP is specific for the cell type or the cargo, but not necessarily specific for attaching to the autophagosome. Further elucidation of these mechanisms, preferably carrying out the same experiment on multiple BDCPs, and possibly using patients' cells, may identify potential targets for therapy.
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M. Raman