The Conserved NDR Kinase Orb6 Controls Polarized Cell Growth by Spatial Regulation of the Small GTPase Cdc42

Department of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL 33101-1015, USA.
Current biology: CB (Impact Factor: 9.57). 08/2009; 19(15):1314-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2009.06.057
Source: PubMed


The conserved NDR kinase regulates cell morphogenesis and polarized cell growth in different eukaryotic cells ranging from yeast to neurons. Although studies have unraveled the mechanism of regulation of NDR kinase activity, the mechanism of morphology control by NDR and the effectors that mediate NDR function are unknown. Via a chemical genetic approach, we show that the fission yeast NDR homolog, Orb6 kinase, maintains polarized cell growth at the cell tips by spatially regulating the localization of Cdc42 GTPase, a key morphology regulator. Loss of Orb6 kinase activity leads to the recruitment of Cdc42 GTPase and the Cdc42-dependent formin For3, normally found only at the cell tips, to the cell sides. Furthermore, we show that loss of Orb6 kinase activity leads to ectopic lateral localization of the Cdc42 guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) Gef1, but not of the other Cdc42 GEF, Scd1. Consistent with these observations, gef1 deletion suppresses the increased cell diameter phenotype of orb6 mutants. In contrast, the microtubule cytoskeleton and the localization of the microtubule-dependent polarity markers Tea1 and Tea4 are not altered by loss of Orb6 kinase activity. Our findings indicate that the conserved NDR kinase Orb6 regulates cell polarity by spatially restricting the localization and activity of Cdc42 GTPase.

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    • "We propose an antagonistic regulation, whereby the NdrC is activated by RasG and inactivated by RasB. The previously described interaction between the Schizosaccharomyces pombe Cdc42, a small GTPase, and Orb6, a member of the LATS/NDR group of kinases [42] suggests the possible generality of this type of mechanism, and it will be important to investigate whether the mammalian LATS kinases are also regulated by small GTPases during cell division. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Nuclear Dbf-related/large tumor suppressor (NDR/LATS) kinases have been shown recently to control pathways that regulate mitotic exit, cytokinesis, cell growth, morphological changes and apoptosis. LATS kinases are core components of the Hippo signaling cascade and important tumor suppressors controlling cell proliferation and organ size in flies and mammals, and homologs are also present in yeast and Dictyostelium discoideum. Ras proto-oncogens regulate many biological functions, including differentiation, proliferation and apoptosis. Dysfunctions of LATS kinases or Ras GTPases have been implicated in the development of a variety of cancers in humans. Results In this study we used the model organism Dictyostelium discoideum to analyze the functions of NdrC, a homolog of the mammalian LATS2 protein, and present a novel regulatory mechanism for this kinase. Deletion of the ndrC gene caused impaired cell division and loss of centrosome integrity. A yeast two-hybrid analysis, using activated Ras proteins as bait, revealed NdrC as an interactor and identified its Ras-binding domain. Further in vitro pull-down assays showed that NdrC binds RasG and RasB, and to a lesser extent RasC and Rap1. In cells lacking NdrC, the levels of activated RasB and RasG are up-regulated, suggesting a functional connection between RasB, RasG, and NdrC. Conclusions Dictyostelium discoideum NdrC is a LATS2-homologous kinase that is important for the regulation of cell division. NdrC contains a Ras-binding domain and interacts preferentially with RasB and RasG. Changed levels of both, RasB or RasG, have been shown previously to interfere with cell division. Since a defect in cell division is exhibited by NdrC-null cells, RasG-null cells, and cells overexpressing activated RasB, we propose a model for the regulation of cytokinesis by NdrC that involves the antagonistic control by RasB and RasG.
    BMC Cell Biology 07/2014; 15(1):25. DOI:10.1186/1471-2121-15-25 · 2.34 Impact Factor
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    • "Accordingly, simulations predicted that the OSW should rupture at many sites if growth is diffuse and not restricted to a single cap (Figure 5A). To experimentally test this, we assayed spores of the orb6-25 mutant, a mutant in the NDR kinase orb6p, which shuts off polarity establishment at a downstream level when grown at restrictive temperature (Das et al., 2009). These spores grew in a perfectly isotropic manner, with polarity factors diffusely distributed around the surface, and remained round many hours after the typical timing corresponding to WT outgrowth (Figures 5B and 5C). "
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    ABSTRACT: The morphogenesis of single cells depends on their ability to coordinate surface mechanics and polarity. During germination, spores of many species develop a polar tube that hatches out of a rigid outer spore wall (OSW) in a process termed outgrowth. However, how these awakening cells reorganize to stabilize this first growth axis remains unknown. Here, using quantitative experiments and modeling, we reveal the mechanisms underlying outgrowth in fission yeast. We find that, following an isotropic growth phase during which a single polarity cap wanders around the surface, outgrowth occurs when spores have doubled their volume, concomitantly with the stabilization of the cap and a singular rupture in the OSW. This rupture happens when OSW mechanical stress exceeds a threshold, releases the constraints of the OSW on growth, and stabilizes polarity. Thus, outgrowth exemplifies a self-organizing morphogenetic process in which reinforcements between growth and polarity coordinate mechanics and internal organization.
    Developmental Cell 03/2014; 28(5):534-46. DOI:10.1016/j.devcel.2014.01.023 · 9.71 Impact Factor
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    • "Since kinase-dead Orb6K122A failed to rescue the nak1 or orb6 polarity defects, Orb6 kinase activity appears to be critical for the ability of Orb6 to promote cell polarity. This is consistent with a previous report that inhibition of Orb6 kinase activity alters Cdc42 localization at the cell tips, which is required to promote polarized cell growth [12]. Also, the polarity defect due to HA-Orb6K122A overexpression in WT cells suggests that this mutant protein may dominantly interfere with the MOR pathway by binding to either an upstream regulator or downstream target. "
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    ABSTRACT: The Ndr-related Orb6 kinase is a key regulator of polarized cell growth in fission yeast, however the mechanism of Orb6 activation is unclear. Activation of other Ndr kinases involves both autophosphorylation and phosphorylation by an upstream kinase. Previous reports suggest that the Nak1 kinase functions upstream from Orb6. Supporting this model, we show that HA-Orb6 overexpression partially restored cell polarity in nak1 ts cells. We also demonstrated by coimmunoprecipitation and in vitro binding assays that Nak1 and Orb6 physically interact, and that the Nak1 C-terminal region is required for Nak1/Orb6 complex formation in vivo. However, results from in vitro kinase assays did not show phosphorylation of recombinant Orb6 by HA-Nak1, suggesting that Orb6 activation may not involve direct phosphorylation by Nak1. To investigate the role of Orb6 phosphorylation and activity, we substituted Ala at the ATP-binding and conserved phosphorylation sites. Overexpression of kinase-dead HA-Orb6(K122A) in wild-type cells resulted in a loss of cell polarity, suggesting that it has a dominant-negative effect, and it failed to rescue the polarity defect of nak1 or orb6 ts mutants. Recombinant GST-Orb6(S291A) did not autophosphorylate in vitro suggesting that Ser291 is the primary autophosphorylation site. HA-Orb6(S291A) overexpression only partially rescued the orb6 polarity defect and failed to rescue the nak1 defect, suggesting that autophosphorylation is important for Orb6 function. GST-Orb6(T456A) autophosphorylated in vitro, indicating that the conserved phosphorylation site at Thr456 is not essential for kinase activity. However, HA-Orb6(T456A) overexpression had similar effects as overexpressing kinase-dead HA-Orb6(K122A), suggesting that Thr456 is essential for Orb6 function in vivo. Also, we found that both phosphorylation site mutations impaired the ability of Myc-Nak1 to coimmunoprecipitate with HA-Orb6. Together, our results suggest a model whereby autophosphorylation of Ser291 and phosphorylation of Thr456 by an upstream kinase promote Nak1/Orb6 complex formation and Orb6 activation.
    PLoS ONE 05/2012; 7(5):e37221. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0037221 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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