Alix regulates cortical actin and the spatial distribution of endosomes.
ABSTRACT Alix/AIP1 is a proline-rich protein that has been implicated in apoptosis, endocytic membrane trafficking and viral budding. To further elucidate the functions of Alix, we used RNA interference to specifically suppress its expression. Depletion of Alix caused a striking redistribution of early endosomes from a peripheral to a perinuclear location. The redistribution of endosomes did not affect transferrin recycling or degradation of endocytosed epidermal growth factor receptors, although the uptake of transferrin was mildly reduced when Alix was downregulated. Quantitative immunoelectron microscopy showed that multivesicular endosomes of Alix-depleted cells contained normal amounts of CD63, whereas their levels of lysobisphosphatidic acid were reduced. Alix depletion also caused an accumulation of unusual actin structures that contained clathrin and cortactin, a protein that couples membrane dynamics to the cortical actin cytoskeleton. Our results suggest that Alix functions in the actin-dependent intracellular positioning of endosomes, but that it is not essential for endocytic recycling or for trafficking of membrane proteins between early and late endosomes in non-polarised cells.
- SourceAvailable from: Angela De Luca[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Several cell types secrete small membranous vesicles that contain cell-specific collections of proteins, lipids, and genetic material. The function of these vesicles is to allow cell-to-cell signaling and the horizontal transfer of their cargo molecules. Here, we demonstrate that muscle cells secrete nano-sized vesicles and that their release increases during muscle differentiation. Analysis of these nanovesicles allowed us to characterize them as exosome-like particles and to define the potential role of the multifunctional protein Alix in their biogenesis.03/2013;
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ABSTRACT: Late assembly (L)-domains are protein interaction motifs, whose dysfunction causes characteristic budding defects in enveloped viruses. Three different amino acid motifs, namely PT/SAP, PPXY and YPXnL have been shown to play a major role in the release of exogenous retroviruses. Although the L-domains of exogenous retroviruses have been studied comprehensively, little is known about these motifs in endogenous human retroviruses. Using a molecular clone of the human endogenous retrovirus K113 that had been engineered to reverse the presumed non-synonymous postinsertional mutations in the major genes, we identified three functional L-domains of the virus, all located in the Gag p15 protein. A consensus PTAP tetrapeptide serves as the core of a main L-domain for the virus and its inactivation reduces virus release in HEK 293T cells by over 80%. Electron microscopy of cells expressing the PTAP mutant revealed predominantly late budding structures and budding chains at the plasma membrane. The fact that this motif determines subcellular colocalization with Tsg101, an ESCRT-I complex protein known to bind to the core tetrapeptide, supports its role as an L-domain. Moreover, two YPXnL motifs providing additional L-domain function were identified in the p15 protein. One is adjacent to the PTAP sequence and the other is in the p15 N-terminus. Mutations in either motif diminishes virus release and induces an L-domain phenotype while inactivation of all three L-domains results in a complete loss of particle release in HEK 293T cells. The flexibility of the virus in the use of L-domains for gaining access to the ESCRT machinery is demonstrated by overexpression of Tsg101 which rescues the release of the YPXnL mutants. Similarly, overexpression of Alix not only enhances release of the PTAP mutant by a factor of four but also the release of a triple mutant, indicating that additional cryptic YPXnL domains with a low affinity for Alix may be present. No L-domain activity is provided by the proline-rich peptides at the Gag C-terminus. Our data demonstrate that HERV-K(HML-2) release is predominantly mediated through a consensus PTAP motif and two auxiliary YPXnL motifs in the p15 protein of the Gag precursor.Retrovirology 11/2013; 10(1):140. · 5.66 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Exosomes have been shown to act as mediators for cell to cell communication and as a potential source of biomarkers for many diseases, including prostate cancer. Exosomes are nanosized vesicles secreted by cells and consist of proteins normally found in multivesicular bodies, RNA, DNA and lipids. As a potential source of biomarkers, exosomes have attracted considerable attention, as their protein content resembles that of their cells of origin, even though it is noted that the proteins, miRNAs and lipids found in the exosomes are not a reflective stoichiometric sampling of the contents from the parent cells. While the biogenesis of exosomes in dendritic cells and platelets has been extensively characterized, much less is known about the biogenesis of exosomes in cancer cells. An understanding of the processes involved in prostate cancer will help to further elucidate the role of exosomes and other extracellular vesicles in prostate cancer progression and metastasis. There are few methodologies available for general isolation of exosomes, however validation of those methodologies is necessary to study the role of exosomal-derived biomarkers in various diseases. In this review, we discuss "exosomes" as a member of the family of extracellular vesicles and their potential to provide candidate biomarkers for prostate cancer.Cancers. 01/2013; 5(4):1522-44.