[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Extracellular vesicles (EVs), including exosomes, have been widely recognized for their role in intercellular communication of the immune response system. In the past few years, significance has been given to exosomes in the induction and modulation of cell-fate-inducing signalling pathways, such as the Hedgehog (Hh), Wnts, Notch, transforming growth factor (TGF-β), epidermal growth factor (EGF) and fibroblast growth factor (FGF) pathways, placing them in the wider context of development and also of cancer. These protein families induce signalling cascades responsible for tissue specification, homeostasis and maintenance. Exosomes contribute to cell-fate signal secretion, and vice versa exosome secretion can be induced by these proteins. Interestingly, exosomes can also transfer their mRNA to host cells or modulate the signalling pathways directly by the removal of downstream effector molecules from the cell. Surprisingly, much of what we know about the function of exosomes in cell determination is gathered from pathological transformed cancer cells and wound healing while data about their biogenesis and biology in normal developing and adult tissue lag behind. In this report, we will summarize some of the published literature and point to current advances and questions in this fast-developing topic. In a brief foray, we will also update and shortly discuss their potential in diagnosis and targeted cancer treatment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic screens in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae have identified many proteins involved in the secretory pathway, most of which have orthologues in higher eukaryotes. To investigate whether there are additional proteins that are required for secretion in metazoans but are absent from yeast, we used genome-wide RNA interference (RNAi) to look for genes required for secretion of recombinant luciferase from Drosophila S2 cells. This identified two novel components of the secretory pathway that are conserved from humans to plants. Gryzun is distantly related to, but distinct from, the Trs130 subunit of the TRAPP complex but is absent from S. cerevisiae. RNAi of human Gryzun (C4orf41) blocks Golgi exit. Kish is a small membrane protein with a previously uncharacterised orthologue in yeast. The screen also identified Drosophila orthologues of almost 60% of the yeast genes essential for secretion. Given this coverage, the small number of novel components suggests that contrary to previous indications the number of essential core components of the secretory pathway is not much greater in metazoans than in yeasts.
The EMBO Journal 11/2009; 29(2):304-14. · 9.82 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several regulators of endocytic trafficking have recently been identified as tumour suppressors in Drosophila. These include components of the endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) machinery. Disruption of subunits of ESCRT-I and -II leads to cell-autonomous endosomal accumulation of ubiquitinated receptors, loss of apicobasal polarity and epithelial integrity, and increased cell death. Here we report that disruption of the ATPase dVps4, the most downstream component of the ESCRT machinery, causes the same array of cellular phenotypes. We find that loss of epithelial integrity and increased apoptosis, but not loss of cell polarity, require the activation of JNK signalling. Abrogation of JNK signalling prevents apoptosis in dVps4 deficient cells. Indeed double deficiency in dVps4 and JNK signalling leads to the formation of neoplastic tumours. We conclude that dvps4 is a tumour suppressor in Drosophila and that JNK is central to the cell-autonomous phenotypes of ESCRT-deficient cells.
PLoS ONE 02/2009; 4(2):e4354. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Two lipids (palmitate and palmitoleic acid) are appended onto Wnt proteins. It has been suggested that palmitate is required for signalling, whereas palmitoleic acid is necessary for progression through the secretory pathway. By mutating the relevant amino acids, we have investigated how these adducts contribute to the secretion and signalling activity of Wingless, the main Drosophila member of the Wnt family. Analysis of Wingless with a Cysteine 93 to Alanine mutation ([C93A]Wingless) shows that palmitoylation is essential for signalling activity in vivo (as well as in cultured cells). Moreover, without palmitate, Wingless fails to reach the surface of imaginal disc cells and, as electron microscopy (EM) analysis suggests, appears to accumulate in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Artificial targeting of palmitate-deficient Wingless to the plasma membrane does not rescue signalling activity. Therefore, palmitate at C93 has a dual role: in secretion and signalling. From our analysis of [S239A]Wingless, which lacks a conserved residue shown to be acylated in Wnt3a, we infer that palmitoleic acid is not, as previously suggested, absolutely required for secretion. Nevertheless, this mutant has poor signalling activity, suggesting that palmitoleic acid contributes significantly to signalling. We suggest that the overall level of lipidation affects signalling activity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The glycolipoproteins of the Wnt family raise interesting trafficking issues, especially with respect to spreading within tissues. Recently, the retromer complex has been suggested to participate in packaging Wnts into long-range transport vehicles. Our analysis of a Drosophila mutant in Vps35 show that, instead, the retromer complex is required for efficient progression of Wingless (a Drosophila Wnt) through the secretory pathway. Indeed expression of senseless, a short-range target gene, is lost in Vps35-deficient imaginal discs. In contrast, Vps35 is not required for Hedgehog secretion, suggesting specificity. Overexpression of Wntless, a transmembrane protein known to be specifically required for Wingless secretion overcomes the secretion block of Vps35-mutant cells. Furthermore, biochemical evidence confirms that Wntless engages with the retromer complex. We propose that Wntless accompanies Wingless to the plasma membrane where the two proteins dissociate. Following dissociation from Wingless, Wntless is internalized and returns to the Golgi apparatus in a retromer-dependent manner. Without the retromer-dependent recycling route, Wingless secretion is impaired and, as electron microscopy suggests, Wntless is diverted to a degradative compartment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Eukaryotes use autophagy to turn over organelles, protein aggregates, and cytoplasmic constituents. The impairment of autophagy causes developmental defects, starvation sensitivity, the accumulation of protein aggregates, neuronal degradation, and cell death [1, 2]. Double-membraned autophagosomes sequester cytoplasm and fuse with endosomes or lysosomes in higher eukaryotes , but the importance of the endocytic pathway for autophagy and associated disease is not known. Here, we show that regulators of endosomal biogenesis and functions play a critical role in autophagy in Drosophila melanogaster. Genetic and ultrastructural analysis showed that subunits of endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT)-I, -II and -III, as well as their regulatory ATPase Vps4 and the endosomal PtdIns(3)P 5-kinase Fab1, all are required for autophagy. Although the loss of ESCRT or Vps4 function caused the accumulation of autophagosomes, probably because of inhibited fusion with the endolysosomal system, Fab1 activity was necessary for the maturation of autolysosomes. Importantly, reduced ESCRT functions aggravated polyglutamine-induced neurotoxicity in a model for Huntington's disease. Thus, this study links ESCRT function with autophagy and aggregate-induced neurodegeneration, thereby providing a plausible explanation for the fact that ESCRT mutations are involved in inherited neurodegenerative disease in humans .
Current Biology 11/2007; 17(20):1817-25. · 9.49 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Members of the Hedgehog (Hh) family of proteins are conserved morphogens that spread and modulate cell fates in target tissue. Mature Hh carries two lipid adducts, a palmitoyl group at the N terminus and cholesterol at the C terminus. Recent findings have addressed how these lipid modifications affect the function and transport of Hh in Drosophila. In contrast to the palmitoyl adduct, cholesterol appears not to be essential for signalling. However, the absence of the cholesterol adduct affects the spread of Hh within tissues. As we discuss here, the exact nature of this effect is controversial.
Development 09/2006; 133(16):3055-61. · 6.21 Impact Factor