Trafficking and developmental signaling: Alix at the crossroads.
ABSTRACT Alix is a phylogenetically conserved protein that participates in mammals in programmed cell death in association with ALG-2, a penta-EF-hand calciprotein. It contains an N-terminal Bro1 domain, a coiled-coil region and a C-terminal proline-rich domain containing several SH3- and WW-binding sites that contribute to its scaffolding properties. Recent data showed that by virtue of its Bro1 domain, Alix is functionally associated to the ESCRT complexes involved in the biogenesis of the multivesicular body and sorting of transmembrane proteins within this specific endosomal compartment. In Dictyostelium, an alx null strain shows a markedly perturbed starvation-induced morphogenetic program while ALG-2 disruptants remain unaffected. This review summarizes Dictyostelium data on Alix and ALG-2 homologues and evaluates whether known functions of Alix in other organisms can account for the developmental arrest of the alx null mutant and how Dictyostelium studies can substantiate the current understanding of the function(s) of this versatile and conserved signaling molecule.
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ABSTRACT: Many pathogenic bacteria live in close association with protozoa. These unicellular eukaryotic microorganisms are ubiquitous in various environments. A number of protozoa such as amoebae and ciliates ingest pathogenic bacteria, package them usually in membrane structures, and then release them into the environment. Packaged bacteria are more resistant to various stresses and are more apt to survive than free bacteria. New evidence indicates that protozoa and not bacteria control the packaging process. It is possible that packaging is more common than suspected and may play a major role in the persistence and transmission of pathogenic bacteria. To confirm the role of packaging in the propagation of infections, it is vital that the molecular mechanisms governing the packaging of bacteria by protozoa be identified as well as elements related to the ecology of this process in order to determine whether packaging acts as a Trojan Horse.
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ABSTRACT: Figure optionsDownload full-size imageDownload high-quality image (96 K)Download as PowerPoint slide09/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.jprot.2014.07.034