Alison L Jannuzi

The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, United States

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Publications (5)24.51 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We examined over 50 mutations in the Drosophila βPS integrin subunit that alter integrin function in situ for their ability to bind a soluble monovalent ligand, TWOW-1. Surprisingly, very few of the mutations, which were selected for conditional lethality in the fly, reduce the ligand binding ability of the integrin. The most prevalent class of mutations activates the integrin heterodimer. These findings emphasize the importance of integrin affinity regulation and point out how molecular interactions throughout the integrin molecule are important in keeping the integrin in a low affinity state. Mutations strongly support the controversial deadbolt hypothesis, where the CD loop in the β tail domain acts to restrain the I domain in the inactive, bent conformation. Site-directed mutations in the cytoplasmic domains of βPS and αPS2C reveal different effects on ligand binding from those observed for αIIbβ3 integrins and identify for the first time a cytoplasmic cysteine residue, conserved in three human integrins, as being important in affinity regulation. In the fly, we find that genetic interactions of the βPS mutations with reduction in talin function are consistent with the integrin affinity differences measured in cells. Additionally, these genetic interactions report on increased and decreased integrin functions that do not result in affinity changes in the PS2C integrin measured in cultured cells.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 07/2011; 286(35):30981-93. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M111.254797 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Integrin-mediated cell adhesion is essential for development of multicellular organisms. In worms, flies, and vertebrates, talin forms a physical link between integrin cytoplasmic domains and the actin cytoskeleton. Loss of either integrins or talin leads to similar phenotypes. In vertebrates, talin is also a key regulator of integrin affinity. We used a ligand-mimetic Fab fragment, TWOW-1, to assess talin's role in regulating Drosophila alphaPS2 betaPS affinity. Depletion of cellular metabolic energy reduced TWOW-1 binding, suggesting alphaPS2 betaPS affinity is an active process as it is for vertebrate integrins. In contrast to vertebrate integrins, neither talin knockdown by RNA interference nor talin head overexpression had a significant effect on TWOW-1 binding. Furthermore, replacement of the transmembrane or talin-binding cytoplasmic domains of alphaPS2 betaPS with those of human alphaIIb beta3 failed to enable talin regulation of TWOW-1 binding. However, substitution of the extracellular and transmembrane domains of alphaPS2 betaPS with those of alphaIIb beta3 resulted in a constitutively active integrin whose affinity was reduced by talin knockdown. Furthermore, wild-type alphaIIb beta3 was activated by overexpression of Drosophila talin head domain. Thus, despite evolutionary conservation of talin's integrin/cytoskeleton linkage function, talin is not sufficient to regulate Drosophila alphaPS2 betaPS affinity because of structural features inherent in the alphaPS2 betaPS extracellular and/or transmembrane domains.
    Molecular biology of the cell 06/2008; 19(8):3589-98. DOI:10.1091/mbc.E08-01-0085 · 5.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We conducted a genetic screen for mutations in myospheroid, the gene encoding the Drosophila betaPS integrin subunit, and identified point mutants in all of the structural domains of the protein. Surprisingly, we find that mutations in very strongly conserved residues will often allow sufficient integrin function to support the development of adult animals, including mutations in the ADMIDAS site and in a cytoplasmic NPXY motif. Many mutations in the I-like domain reduce integrin expression specifically when betaPS is combined with activating alphaPS2 cytoplasmic mutations, indicating that integrins in the extended conformation are unstable relative to the inactive, bent heterodimers. Interestingly, the screen has identified alleles that show gain-of-function characteristics in cell culture, but have negative effects on animal development or viability. This is illustrated by the allele mys(b58); available structural models suggest that the molecular lesion of mys(b58), V409>D, should promote the "open" conformation of the beta subunit I-like domain. This expectation is supported by the finding that alphaPS2betaPS (V409>D) promotes adhesion and spreading of S2 cells more effectively than does wild-type alphaPS2betaPS, even when betaPS is paired with alphaPS2 containing activating cytoplasmic mutations. Finally, comparisons with the sequence of human beta8 suggest that evolution has targeted the "mys(b58)" residue as a means of affecting integrin activity.
    Molecular Biology of the Cell 08/2004; 15(8):3829-40. DOI:10.1091/mbc.E04-02-0085 · 4.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Drosophila PS1 and PS2 integrins are required to maintain the connection between the dorsal and ventral wing epithelia. If alphaPS subunits are inappropriately expressed during early pupariation, the epithelia separate, causing a wing blister. Two lines of evidence indicate that this apparent loss-of-function phenotype is not a dominant negative effect, but is due to inappropriate expression of functional integrins: wing blisters are not generated efficiently by misexpression of loss-of-function alphaPS2 subunits with mutations that inhibit ligand binding, and gain-of-function, hyperactivated mutant alphaPS2 proteins cause blistering at expression levels well below those required by wild-type proteins. A genetic screen for dominant suppressors of wing blisters generated null alleles of a gene named moleskin, which encodes the protein DIM-7. DIM-7, a Drosophila homolog of vertebrate importin-7, has recently been shown to bind the SHP-2 tyrosine phosphatase homolog Corkscrew and to be important in the nuclear translocation of activated D-ERK. Consistent with this latter finding, homozygous mutant clones of moleskin fail to grow in the wing. Genetic tests suggest that the moleskin suppression of wing blisters is not directly related to inhibition of D-ERK nuclear import. These data are discussed with respect to the possible regulation of integrin function by cytoplasmic ERK.
    Genetics 10/2002; 162(1):285-96. · 4.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have analyzed a set of new and existing strong mutations in the myospheroid gene, which encodes the betaPS integrin subunit of Drosophila. In addition to missense and other null mutations, three mutants behave as antimorphic alleles, indicative of dominant negative properties. Unlike null alleles, the three antimorphic mutants are synthetically lethal in double heterozygotes with an inflated (alphaPS2) null allele, and they fail to complement very weak, otherwise viable alleles of myospheroid. Two of the antimorphs result from identical splice site lesions, which create a frameshift in the C-terminal half of the cytoplasmic domain of betaPS. The third antimorphic mutation is caused by a stop codon just before the cytoplasmic splice site. These mutant betaPS proteins can support cell spreading in culture, especially under conditions that appear to promote integrin activation. Analyses of developing animals indicate that the dominant negative properties are not a result of inefficient surface expression, or simple competition between functional and nonfunctional proteins. These data indicate that mutations disrupting the C-terminal cytoplasmic domain of integrin beta subunits can have dominant negative effects in situ, at normal levels of expression, and that this property does not necessarily depend on a specific new protein sequence or structure. The results are discussed with respect to similar vertebrate beta subunit cytoplasmic mutations.
    Molecular Biology of the Cell 05/2002; 13(4):1352-65. DOI:10.1091/mbc.01-08-0429 · 4.55 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

100 Citations
24.51 Total Impact Points


  • 2002–2004
    • The University of Arizona
      • Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology
      Tucson, AZ, United States