Eileen L Mallery

University of California, Riverside, Riverside, California, United States

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Publications (10)76.8 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: During plant cell morphogenesis signal transduction and cytoskeletal dynamics interact to locally organize the cytoplasm and define the geometry of cell expansion. The WAVE (WASP-family verprolin-homologous)/SCAR (Suppressor of Cyclic AMP Receptor) regulatory complex (W/SRC) is an evolutionarily conserved heteromeric protein complex. Within the plant kingdom W/SRC is a broadly used effector that converts ROP/RAC small GTPase signals into actin-related protein (ARP) 2/3 and actin-dependent growth responses. Although the components and biochemistry of the W/SRC pathway are well understood, a basic understanding of how cells partition W/SRC into active and inactive pools is lacking. In this paper we report that the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is an important organelle for W/SRC regulation. We determined that a large intracellular pool of the core W/SRC subunit NAP1, like the known positive regulator of W/SRC, the DOCK family guanine nucleotide exchange factor SPIKE1 (SPK1), localizes to the surface of the ER. The ER-associated NAP1 is inactive because it displays little colocalization with the actin network, and the ER localization requires neither activating signals from SPK1 nor a physical association with its W/SRC binding partner, SRA1. Our results indicate that in leaf pavement cells and trichomes, the ER is a reservoir for W/SRC signaling and may have a key role in the early steps of W/SRC assembly and/or activation.
    Plant physiology 04/2013; · 6.56 Impact Factor
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    Chunhua Zhang, Eileen L Mallery, Daniel B Szymanski
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    ABSTRACT: In plant cells the actin cytoskeleton adopts many configurations, but is best understood as an unstable, interconnected track that rearranges to define the patterns of long distance transport of organelles during growth. Actin filaments do not form spontaneously; instead filament nucleators, such as the evolutionarily conserved actin-related protein (ARP) 2/3 complex, can efficiently generate new actin filament networks when in a fully activated state. A growing number of genetic experiments have shown that ARP2/3 is necessary for morphogenesis in processes that range from tip growth during root nodule formation to the diffuse polarized growth of leaf trichomes and pavement cells. Although progress has been rapid in the identification of proteins that function in series to positively regulate ARP2/3, less has been learned about the actual function of ARP2/3 in cells. In this paper, we analyze the localization of ARP2/3 in Arabidopsis leaf pavement cells. We detect a pool of ARP2/3 in the nucleus, and also find that ARP2/3 is efficiently and specifically clustered on multiple organelle surfaces and associates with both the actin filament and microtubule cytoskeletons. Our mutant analyses and ARP2/3 and actin double labeling experiments indicate that the clustering of ARP2/3 on organelle surfaces and an association with actin bundles does not necessarily reflect an active pool of ARP2/3, and instead most of the complex appears to exist as a latent organelle-associated pool.
    Frontiers in Plant Science 01/2013; 4:238. · 3.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In growing plant cells, the combined activities of the cytoskeleton, endomembrane, and cell wall biosynthetic systems organize the cytoplasm and define the architecture and growth properties of the cell. These biosynthetic machineries efficiently synthesize, deliver, and recycle the raw materials that support cell expansion. The precise roles of the actin cytoskeleton in these processes are unclear. Certainly, bundles of actin filaments position organelles and are a substrate for long-distance intracellular transport, but the functional linkages between dynamic actin filament arrays and the cell growth machinery are poorly understood. The Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) "distorted group" mutants have defined protein complexes that appear to generate and convert small GTPase signals into an Actin-Related Protein2/3 (ARP2/3)-dependent actin filament nucleation response. However, direct biochemical knowledge about Arabidopsis ARP2/3 and its cellular distribution is lacking. In this paper, we provide biochemical evidence for a plant ARP2/3. The plant complex utilizes a conserved assembly mechanism. ARPC4 is the most critical core subunit that controls the assembly and steady-state levels of the complex. ARP2/3 in other systems is believed to be mostly a soluble complex that is locally recruited and activated. Unexpectedly, we find that Arabidopsis ARP2/3 interacts strongly with cell membranes. Membrane binding is linked to complex assembly status and not to the extent to which it is activated. Mutant analyses implicate ARP2 as an important subunit for membrane association.
    Plant physiology 10/2009; 151(4):2095-109. · 6.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: During polarized growth and tissue morphogenesis, cells must reorganize their cytoplasm and change shape in response to growth signals. Dynamic polymerization of actin filaments is one cellular component of polarized growth, and the actin-related protein 2/3 (ARP2/3) complex is an important actin filament nucleator in plants. ARP2/3 alone is inactive, and the Arabidopsis thaliana WAVE complex translates Rho-family small GTPase signals into an ARP2/3 activation response. The SCAR subunit of the WAVE complex is the primary activator of ARP2/3, and plant and vertebrate SCARs are encoded by a small gene family. However, it is unclear if SCAR isoforms function interchangeably or if they have unique properties that customize WAVE complex functions. We used the Arabidopsis distorted group mutants and an integrated analysis of SCAR gene and protein functions to address this question directly. Genetic results indicate that each of the four SCARs functions in the context of the WAVE-ARP2/3 pathway and together they define the lone mechanism for ARP2/3 activation. Genetic interactions among the scar mutants and transgene complementation studies show that the activators function interchangeably to meet the threshold for ARP2/3 activation in the cell. Interestingly, double, triple, and quadruple mutant analyses indicate that individual SCAR genes vary in their relative importance depending on the cell type, tissue, or organ that is analyzed. Differences among SCARs in mRNA levels and the biochemical efficiency of ARP2/3 activation may explain the functional contributions of individual genes.
    The Plant Cell 05/2008; 20(4):995-1011. · 9.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: During morphogenesis, the actin cytoskeleton mediates cell-shape change in response to growth signals. In plants, actin filaments organize the cytoplasm in regions of polarized growth, and the filamentous arrays can be highly dynamic. Small GTPase signaling proteins termed Rho of plants (ROP)/RAC control actin polymerization. ROPs cycle between inactive GDP-bound and active GTP-bound forms, and it is the active form that interacts with effector proteins to mediate cytoskeletal rearrangement and cell-shape change. A class of proteins termed guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) generate GTP-ROP and positively regulate ROP signaling. However, in almost all experimental systems, it has proven difficult to unravel the complex signaling pathways from GEFs to the proteins that nucleate actin filaments. In this article, we show that the DOCK family protein SPIKE1 (SPK1) is a GEF, and that one function of SPK1 is to control actin polymerization via two heteromeric complexes termed WAVE and actin-related protein (ARP) 2/3. The genetic pathway was constructed by using a combination of highly informative spk1 alleles and detailed analyses of spk1, wave, and arp2/3 single and double mutants. Remarkably, we find that in addition to providing GEF activity, SPK1 associates with WAVE complex proteins and may spatially organize signaling. Our results describe a unique regulatory scheme for ARP2/3 regulation in cells, one that can be tested for widespread use in other multicellular organisms.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 04/2008; 105(10):4044-9. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The actin cytoskeleton dynamically reorganizes the cytoplasm during cell morphogenesis. The actin-related protein (Arp)2/3 complex is a potent nucleator of actin filaments that controls a variety of endomembrane functions including the endocytic internalization of plasma membrane , vacuole biogenesis , plasma-membrane protrusion in crawling cells , and membrane trafficking from the Golgi . Therefore, Arp2/3 is an important signaling target during morphogenesis. The evolutionarily conserved Rac-WAVE-Arp2/3 pathway links actin filament nucleation to cell morphogenesis . WAVE translates Rac-GTP signals into Arp2/3 activation by regulating the stability and/or localization of the activator subunit Scar/WAVE . The WAVE complex includes Sra1/PIR121/CYFIP1, Nap1/NAP125, Abi-1/Abi-2, Brick1(Brk1)/HSPC300, and Scar/WAVE : Defining the in vivo function of each subunit is an important step toward understanding this complicated signaling pathway. Brk1/HSPC300 has been the most recalcitrant WAVE-complex protein and has no known function. In this paper, we report that Arabidopsis brick1 (brk1) is a member of the "distorted group" of trichome morphology mutants, a group that defines a WAVE-ARP2/3 morphogenesis pathway . In this paper we provide the first strong genetic and biochemical evidence that BRK1 is a critical WAVE-complex subunit that selectively stabilizes the Arp2/3 activator SCAR2.
    Current Biology 06/2006; 16(9):895-901. · 9.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In a plant cell, a subset of actin filaments function as a scaffold that positions the endomembrane system and acts as a substrate on which organelle motility occurs. Other actin filament arrays appear to be more dynamic and reorganize in response to growth signals and external cues. The distorted group of trichome morphology mutants provides powerful genetic tools to study the control of actin filament nucleation in the context of morphogenesis. In this article, we report that DISTORTED3 (DIS3) encodes a plant-specific SCAR/WAVE homolog. Null alleles of DIS3, like those of other Arabidopsis thaliana WAVE and Actin-Related Protein (ARP) 2/3 subunit genes, cause trichome distortion, defects in cell-cell adhesion, and reduced hypocotyl growth in etiolated seedlings. DIS3 efficiently activates the actin filament nucleation and branching activity of vertebrate Arp2/3 and functions within a WAVE-ARP2/3 pathway in vivo. DIS3 may assemble into a WAVE complex via a physical interaction with a highly diverged Arabidopsis Abi-1-like bridging protein. These results demonstrate the utility of the Arabidopsis trichome system to understand how the WAVE and ARP2/3 complexes translate signaling inputs into a coordinated morphogenetic response.
    The Plant Cell 03/2005; 17(2):502-24. · 9.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The WAVE complex is an essential regulator of actin-related protein (ARP) 2/3-dependent actin filament nucleation and cell shape change in migrating cells. Although the composition of the WAVE complex is well characterized, the cellular mechanisms that control its activity and localization are not well known. The 'distorted group' defines a set of Arabidopsis genes that are required to remodel the actin cytoskeleton and maintain the polarized elongation of branched, hair-like cells termed trichomes. Several loci within this group encode homologs of ARP2/3 subunits. In addition to trichome distortion, ARP2/3 subunit mutants have reduced shoot fresh weight and widespread defects in epidermal cell-cell adhesion. The precise cellular function of plant ARP2/3, and the means by which it is regulated, is not known. In this paper, we report that the 'distorted group' gene PIROGI encodes a homolog of the WAVE complex subunit SRA1. The similar cell shape and actin phenotypes of pir and ARP2/3 complex subunit mutants suggest that PIROGI positively regulates ARP2/3. PIROGI directly interacts with the small GTPase ATROP2 with isoform specificity and with selectivity for active forms of the protein. PIROGI shares only 30% amino acid identity with its human homolog. However, both WAVE subunit homologs are functionally interchangeable and display identical physical interactions with RHO family GTPases and the Arabidopsis homolog of the WAVE complex subunit NAP125. These results demonstrate the utility of the 'distorted group' mutants to study ARP2/3 complex functions from signaling input to cell shape output.
    Development 10/2004; 131(17):4345-55. · 6.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In migrating cells, the actin filament nucleation activity of ARP2/3 is an essential component of dynamic cell shape change and motility. In response to signals from the small GTPase Rac1, alterations in the composition and/or subcellular localization of the WAVE complex lead to ARP2/3 activation. The human WAVE complex subunit, WAVE1/SCAR1, was first identified in Dictyostelium and is a direct ARP2/3 activator. In the absence of an intact WAVE complex, SCAR/WAVE protein is destabilized. Although the composition of the five-subunit WAVE complex is well characterized, the means by which individual subunits and fully assembled WAVE complexes regulate ARP2/3 in vivo are unclear. The molecular genetics of trichome distortion in Arabidopsis is a powerful system to understand how signaling pathways and ARP2/3 control multicellular development. In this paper we prove that the GNARLED gene encodes a homolog of the WAVE subunit NAP125. Despite the moderate level of amino acid identity between Arabidopsis and human NAP125, both homologs were functionally interchangeable in vivo and interacted physically with the putative Arabidopsis WAVE subunit ATSRA1. gnarled trichomes had nearly identical cell shape and actin cytoskeleton phenotypes when compared to ARP2/3 subunit mutants, suggesting that GRL positively regulates ARP2/3.
    Current Biology 09/2004; 14(15):1405-9. · 9.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Arabidopsis trichomes are unicellular, branched structures that have highly constrained requirements for the cytoskeleton. The 'distorted group' genes function downstream from microtubule-based branch initiation, and are required during the actin-dependent phase of polarized stalk and branch expansion. Of the eight known 'distorted group' genes, a subset encode homologs of ARP2/3 complex subunits. In eukaryotic cells, the seven-protein ARP2/3 complex nucleates actin filament networks that push on the plasma membrane and organelles. In plants cells, the existence and function of an ARP2/3 complex is unclear. In this paper, we report that DISTORTED2 (DIS2) encodes a paralogue of the ARP2/3 complex subunit ARPC2. DIS2 has ARPC2 activity, based on its ability to rescue the growth defects of arpc2 (arc35Delta) null yeast cells. Like known ARPC2s, DIS2 physically interacts with ARPC4. Mutations in DIS2 cause a distorted trichome phenotype, defects in cell-cell adhesion, and a modest reduction in shoot FW. The actin cytoskeleton in dis2 trichomes is extensive, but developing branches fail to generate and maintain highly organized cytoplasmic actin bundles.
    The Plant Journal 06/2004; 38(3):526-38. · 6.58 Impact Factor