[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The vacuolar (H(+))-ATPase (V-ATPase) is crucial for maintenance of the acidic microenvironment in intracellular organelles, whereas its membrane-bound V(0)-sector is involved in Ca(2+)-dependent membrane fusion. In the secretory pathway, the V-ATPase is regulated by its type I transmembrane and V(0)-associated accessory subunit Ac45. To execute its function, the intact-Ac45 protein is proteolytically processed to cleaved-Ac45 thereby releasing its N-terminal domain. Here, we searched for the functional domains within Ac45 by analyzing a set of deletion mutants close to the in vivo situation, namely in transgenic Xenopus intermediate pituitary melanotrope cells. Intact-Ac45 was poorly processed and accumulated in the endoplasmic reticulum of the transgenic melanotrope cells. In contrast, cleaved-Ac45 was efficiently transported through the secretory pathway, caused an accumulation of the V-ATPase at the plasma membrane and reduced dopaminergic inhibition of Ca(2+)-dependent peptide secretion. Surprisingly, removal of the C-tail from intact-Ac45 caused cellular phenotypes also found for cleaved-Ac45, whereas C-tail removal from cleaved-Ac45 still allowed its transport to the plasma membrane, but abolished V-ATPase recruitment into the secretory pathway and left dopaminergic inhibition of the cells unaffected. We conclude that domains located in the N- and C-terminal portions of the Ac45 protein direct its trafficking, V-ATPase recruitment and Ca(2+)-dependent-regulated exocytosis.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 06/2012; 287(33):27537-46. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The pituitary melanotrope cells of the amphibian Xenopus laevis are responsible for the production of the pigment-dispersing peptide α-melanophore-stimulating hormone, which allows the animal to adapt its skin color to its environment. During adaptation to a dark background the melanotrope cells undergo remarkable changes characterized by dramatic increases in cell size and secretory activity. In this study we performed microarray mRNA expression profiling to identify genes important to melanotrope activation and growth. We show a strong increase in the expression of the immediate early gene (IEG) c-Fos and of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor gene (BDNF). Furthermore, we demonstrate the involvement of another IEG in the adaptation process, Nur77, and conclude from in vitro experiments that the expression of both c-Fos and Nur77 are partially regulated by the adenylyl cyclase system and calcium ions. In addition, we found a steady up-regulation of Ras-like product during the adaptation process, possibly evoked by BDNF/TrkB signaling. Finally, the gene encoding the 105-kDa heat shock protein HSPh1 was transiently up-regulated in the course of black-background adaptation and a gene product homologous to ferritin (ferritin-like product) was >100-fold up-regulated in fully black-adapted animals. We suggest that these latter two genes are induced in response to cellular stress and that they may be involved in changing the mode of mRNA translation required to meet the increased demand for de novo protein synthesis. Together, our results show that microarray analysis is a valuable approach to identify the genes responsible for generating coordinated responses in physiologically activated cells.
Journal of Cellular Physiology 03/2011; 227(1):288-96. · 4.22 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Upon transfer of Xenopus laevis from a white to a black background, the melanotrope cells in the pituitary pars intermedia secrete alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone, which stimulates dispersion of melanin pigment in skin melanophores. This adaptive behavior is under the control of neurotransmitters and neuropeptides of hypothalamic origin. The alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone-producing cells and their hypothalamic control system provide an interesting model to study proteins required for biosynthetic and secretory processes involved in peptide hormone production and for brain-pituitary signaling. We present a 2-D PAGE-based proteome map of melanotrope cells from black-adapted animals, identifying 204 different proteins by MS analysis.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The vacuolar (H(+))-ATPase (V-ATPase) is the main regulator of intraorganellar pH and in neuroendocrine cells is controlled by its accessory subunit, Ac45. Here, we report the discovery of the first isoform of a V-ATPase accessory subunit, namely an Ac45-like protein, denoted Ac45LP. Phylogenetic analysis revealed a lineage-dependent evolutionary history: Ac45 is absent in birds, and Ac45LP is absent in placental mammals, whereas all other tetrapod species contain both genes. In contrast to Ac45, Ac45LP is not proteolytically cleaved, a prerequisite for proper Ac45 routing. Intriguingly, Xenopus Ac45LP mRNA was expressed in developing neural tissue and in neural crest cells. In adult Xenopus, Ac45 mRNA is widely expressed mostly in neuroendocrine tissues, while Ac45LP mRNA expression was found to be restricted to the kidney and the lung. This novel Ac45LP may provide additional possibilities for V-ATPase regulation during neurodevelopment as well as in kidney and lung cells.
Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS 11/2009; 67(4):629-40. · 5.62 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The members of the p24 protein family have an important but unclear role in transport processes in the early secretory pathway. The p24 family consists of four subfamilies (alpha, beta, gamma, and delta), whereby the exact composition of the family varies among species. Despite more than 15 years of p24 research, the vertebrate p24 family is still surprisingly ill characterized. Here, we describe the human, mouse, Xenopus, and zebrafish orthologues of 10 p24 family members and a new member that we term p24gamma(5). Of these eleven p24 family members, nine are conserved throughout the vertebrate lineage, whereas two (p24gamma(4) and p24delta(2)) occur in some but not all vertebrates. We further show that all p24 proteins are widely expressed in mouse, except for p24alpha(1) and p24gamma(5) that display restricted expression patterns. Thus, we present for the first time a comprehensive overview of the phylogeny and expression of the vertebrate p24 protein family.
Molecular Biology and Evolution 06/2009; 26(8):1707-14. · 10.35 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To study in vivo the dynamics of the biosynthetic and secretory processes in a neuroendocrine cell, we use the proopiomelanocortin-producing intermediate pituitary melanotrope cells of Xenopus laevis. The activity of these cells can be simply manipulated by adapting the animal to a white or a black background, resulting in inactive and hyperactive cells respectively. Here, we applied differential display proteomics and field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) to examine the changes in architecture accompanying the gradual transition of the inactive to the hyperactive melanotrope cells. The proteomic analysis showed differential expression of neuroendocrine secretory proteins, endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-resident chaperones, and housekeeping and metabolic proteins. The FESEM study revealed changes in the ultrastructure of the ER and Golgi and the number of secretory granules. We conclude that activation of neuroendocrine cells tunes their molecular machineries and organelles to become professional secretors.
Journal of Endocrinology 07/2008; 198(3):607-16. · 4.06 Impact Factor