Dimerization of the exocyst protein Sec6p and its interaction with the t-SNARE Sec9p
ABSTRACT Vesicles in eukaryotic cells transport cargo between functionally distinct membrane-bound organelles and the plasma membrane for growth and secretion. Trafficking and fusion of vesicles to specific target sites are highly regulated processes that are not well understood at the molecular level. At the plasma membrane, tethering and fusion of secretory vesicles require the exocyst complex. As a step toward elucidation of the molecular architecture and biochemical function(s) of the exocyst complex, we expressed and purified the exocyst subunit Sec6p and demonstrated that it is a predominantly helical protein. Biophysical characterization of purified Sec6p by gel filtration and analytical ultracentrifugation experiments revealed that Sec6p is a dimer. Limited proteolysis defined an independently folded C-terminal domain (residues 300-805) that equilibrated between a dimer and monomer in solution. Removal of residues 300-410 from this construct yielded a well-folded, monomeric domain. These results demonstrate that residues 300-410 are necessary for dimerization, and the presence of the N-terminal region (1-299) increases dimer stability. Moreover, we found that the dimer of Sec6p binds to the plasma membrane t-SNARE Sec9p and inhibits the interaction between Sec9p and its partner t-SNARE Sso1p. This direct interaction between the exocyst complex and the t-SNARE implicates the exocyst in SNARE complex regulation.
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ABSTRACT: A screen for mutations that affect the recruitment of the exocyst to secretory vesicles identified genes encoding clathrin and proteins that associate or colocalize with clathrin at sites of endocytosis. However, no significant colocalization of the exocyst with clathrin was seen, arguing against a direct role in exocyst recruitment. Rather, these components are needed to recycle the exocytic vesicle SNAREs Snc1p and Snc2p from the plasma membrane into new secretory vesicles where they act to recruit the exocyst. We observe a direct interaction between the exocyst subunit Sec6p and the latter half of the SNARE motif of Snc2p. An snc2 mutation that specifically disrupts this interaction led to exocyst mislocalization and a block in exocytosis in vivo without affecting liposome fusion in vitro. Overexpression of Sec4p partially suppressed the exocyst localization defects of mutations in clathrin and clathrin-associated components. We propose that the exocyst is recruited to secretory vesicles by the combinatorial signals of Sec4-GTP and the Snc proteins. This could help to confer both specificity and directionality to vesicular traffic.The Journal of Cell Biology 07/2013; DOI:10.1083/jcb.201211148 · 9.69 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Tethers play ubiquitous roles in membrane trafficking and influence the specificity of vesicle attachment. Unlike soluble N-ethyl-maleimide-sensitive fusion attachment protein receptors (SNAREs), the spatiotemporal dynamics of tethers relative to vesicle fusion are poorly characterized. The most extensively studied tethering complex is the exocyst, which spatially targets vesicles to sites on the plasma membrane. By using a mammalian genetic replacement strategy, we were able to assemble fluorescently tagged Sec8 into the exocyst complex, which was shown to be functional by biochemical, trafficking, and morphological criteria. Ultrasensitive live-cell imaging revealed that Sec8-TagRFP moved to the cell cortex on vesicles, which preferentially originated from the endocytic recycling compartment. Surprisingly, Sec8 remained with vesicles until full dilation of the fusion pore, supporting potential coupling with SNARE fusion machinery. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching analysis of Sec8 at cell protrusions revealed that a significant fraction was immobile. Additionally, Sec8 dynamically repositioned to the site of membrane expansion, suggesting that it may respond to local cues during early cell polarization.The Journal of Cell Biology 05/2013; 201(5). DOI:10.1083/jcb.201212103 · 9.69 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Unc13/Munc13s play a crucial function in neurotransmitter release through their MUN domain, which mediates the transition from the Syntaxin-1/Munc18-1 complex to the SNARE complex. The MUN domain was suggested to be related to tethering factors, but no MUN-domain structure is available to experimentally validate this notion and address key unresolved questions about the interactions and minimal structural unit required for Unc13/Munc13 function. Here we identify an autonomously folded module within the MUN domain (MUN-CD) and show that its crystal structure is remarkably similar to several tethering factors. We also show that the activity in promoting the Syntaxin-1/Munc18-1 to SNARE complex transition is strongly impaired in MUN-CD. These results show that MUN domains and tethering factors indeed belong to the same family and may have a common role in membrane trafficking. We propose a model whereby the MUN-CD module is central for Munc13 function but full activity requires adjacent sequences.Structure 10/2011; 19(10):1443-55. DOI:10.1016/j.str.2011.07.012 · 6.79 Impact Factor