Janice Griffith

University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands

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Publications (42)293.58 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Emerging evidence suggests that contact sites between different organelles form central hubs in the coordination of cellular physiology. Although recent work has emphasized the crucial role of the endoplasmic reticulum in interorganellar crosstalk, the cooperative behavior of other organelles is largely unexplored. Here, we identify a contact site named vCLAMP (vacuole and mitochondria patch) that integrates mitochondria with the lysosome-like vacuole and thus the endocytic pathway. vCLAMPs depend on the vacuolar HOPS tethering complex subunit Vps39/Vam6 and the Rab GTPase Ypt7, which also participate in membrane fusion at the vacuole. Intriguingly, vCLAMPs are located proximal to the ER-mitochondria encounter structure (ERMES) complexes, and an increase in vCLAMPs can rescue the growth defect of ERMES mutants. Importantly, the persistence of vCLAMPs is regulated by phosphorylation of Vps39 and is strongly reduced during respiratory growth. The identification of this organelle contact site reveals a physical and metabolic interconnection between the endocytic pathway and mitochondria.
    Developmental cell. 07/2014; 30(1):86-94.
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    ABSTRACT: Coronaviruses replicate their genomes in association with rearranged cellular membranes. The coronavirus nonstructural integral membrane proteins (nsps) 3, 4 and 6, are key players in the formation of the rearranged membranes. Previously, we demonstrated that nsp3 and nsp4 interact and that their co-expression results in the relocalization of these proteins from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) into discrete perinuclear foci. We now show that these foci correspond to areas of rearranged ER-derived membranes, which display increased membrane curvature. These structures, which were able to recruit other nsps, were only detected when nsp3 and nsp4 were derived from the same coronavirus species. We propose, based on the analysis of a large number of nsp3 and nsp4 mutants, that interaction between the large luminal loops of these proteins drives the formation of membrane rearrangements, onto which the coronavirus replication-transcription complexes assemble in infected cells.
    Virology. 06/2014; 458-459C:125-135.
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    Muriel Mari, Janice Griffith, Fulvio Reggiori
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    ABSTRACT: Endosomes are one of the major membrane sorting checkpoints in eukaryotic cells and they regulate recycling or destruction of proteins mostly from the plasma membrane and the Golgi. As a result the endosomal system plays a central role in maintaining cell homeostasis, and mutations in genes belonging to this network of organelles interconnected by vesicular transport, cause severe pathologies including cancer and neurobiological disorders. It is therefore of prime relevance to understand the mechanisms underlying the biogenesis and organization of the endosomal system. The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been pivotal in this task. To specifically label and analyze at the ultrastructural level the endosomal system of this model organism, we present here a detailed protocol for the positively charged nanogold uptake by spheroplasts followed by the visualization of these particles through a silver enhancement reaction. This method is also a valuable tool for the morphological examination of mutants with defects in endosomal trafficking. Moreover, it is not only applicable for ultrastructural examinations but it can also be combined with immunogold labelings for protein localization investigations.
    Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE. 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Transport along the endolysosomal system requires multiple fusion events at early and late endosomes. Deletion of several endosomal fusion factors, including the Vac1 tether, and the CORVET-specific subunits Vps3 and Vps8, results in a Class D vps phenotype. As these mutants have an apparent similar defect in endosomal transport, we asked if CORVET and Vac1 could still act in distinct tethering reactions. Our data reveal that CORVET mutants can be rescued by Vac1 overexpression in the endocytic pathway, but not in CPY or Cps1 sorting to the vacuole. Moreover, when we compared the ultrastructure, CORVET mutants were most similar to deletions of the Rab Vps21 and its GEF Vps9, and different from vac1 deletion, indicating separate functions. Likewise, CORVET still localized to endosomes even in the absence of Vac1, whereas Vac1 localization became diffuse in CORVET mutants. Importantly, CORVET localization requires the Rab5 homologs Vps21 and Ypt52, whereas Vac1 localization is strictly Vps21-dependent. In this context, we also uncover that Muk1 can compensate for loss of Vps9 in CORVET localization, indicating that two Rab5-GEFs operate in the endocytic pathway. Overall our study reveals a unique role of CORVET in the sorting of biosynthetic cargo to the vacuole/lysosome.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 12/2012; · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aggregation of α-synuclein (αSyn) is a neuropathologic hallmark of Parkinson's disease and other synucleinopathies. In Lewy bodies, αSyn is extensively phosphorylated, predominantly at serine 129 (S129). Recent studies in yeast have shown that, at toxic levels, αSyn disrupts Rab homeostasis, causing an initial endoplasmic reticulum-to-Golgi block that precedes a generalized trafficking collapse. However, whether αSyn phosphorylation modulates trafficking defects has not been evaluated. Here, we show that constitutive expression of αSyn in yeast impairs late-exocytic, early-endocytic and/or recycling trafficking. Although members of the casein kinase I (CKI) family phosphorylate αSyn at S129, they attenuate αSyn toxicity and trafficking defects by an S129 phosphorylation-independent mechanism. Surprisingly, phosphorylation of S129 modulates αSyn toxicity and trafficking defects in a manner strictly determined by genetic background. Abnormal endosome morphology, increased levels of the endosome marker Rab5 and co-localization of mammalian CKI with αSyn aggregates are observed in brain sections from αSyn-overexpressing mice and human synucleinopathies. Our results contribute to evidence that suggests αSyn-induced defects in endocytosis, exocytosis and/or recycling of vesicles involved in these cellular processes might contribute to the pathogenesis of synucleinopathies.
    Human Molecular Genetics 03/2012; 21(11):2432-49. · 7.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mitochondria are organelles with a complex architecture. They are bounded by an envelope consisting of the outer membrane and the inner boundary membrane (IBM). Narrow crista junctions (CJs) link the IBM to the cristae. OMs and IBMs are firmly connected by contact sites (CS). The molecular nature of the CS remained unknown. Using quantitative high-resolution mass spectrometry we identified a novel complex, the mitochondrial contact site (MICOS) complex, formed by a set of mitochondrial membrane proteins that is essential for the formation of CS. MICOS is preferentially located at the CJs. Upon loss of one of the MICOS subunits, CJs disappear completely or are impaired, showing that CJs require the presence of CS to form a superstructure that links the IBM to the cristae. Loss of MICOS subunits results in loss of respiratory competence and altered inheritance of mitochondrial DNA.
    The EMBO Journal 11/2011; 30(21):4356-70. · 9.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Macroautophagy mediates the degradation of long-lived proteins and organelles via the de novo formation of double-membrane autophagosomes that sequester cytoplasm and deliver it to the vacuole/lysosome; however, relatively little is known about autophagosome biogenesis. Atg8, a phosphatidylethanolamine-conjugated protein, was previously proposed to function in autophagosome membrane expansion, based on the observation that it mediates liposome tethering and hemifusion in vitro. We show here that with physiological concentrations of phosphatidylethanolamine, Atg8 does not act as a fusogen. Rather, we provide evidence for the involvement of exocytic Q/t-SNAREs in autophagosome formation, acting in the recruitment of key autophagy components to the site of autophagosome formation, and in regulating the organization of Atg9 into tubulovesicular clusters. Additionally, we found that the endosomal Q/t-SNARE Tlg2 and the R/v-SNAREs Sec22 and Ykt6 interact with Sso1-Sec9, and are required for normal Atg9 transport. Thus, multiple SNARE-mediated fusion events are likely to be involved in autophagosome biogenesis.
    Cell 07/2011; 146(2):290-302. · 31.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The study of filamentous fungi is fundamental not only to extend their biotechnological applications, but also to develop new drugs to fight pathological species. Morphological analyses are particularly relevant when investigating their development and differentiation. The need to maintain the orientation of hypahe and the presence of a cell wall, which hampers the sample infiltration with cryoprotectants and other reagents necessary to preserve the cell ultrastructure, creates difficulties with the use of electron microscopy (EM). Here, we present an immunoelectron microscopy (IEM) procedure that combines the Tokuyasu protocol adapted to yeast and the flat-embedding technique. While the first method leads to a fine resolution of the ultrastructure of Aspergillus nidulans because of both the cell wall permeabilization and the negative membrane coloration, the second permits us to preserve the spatial distribution of the hypahe of this fungus. The presented data demonstrate the advantages of this combination and the unprecedented potential of this relatively simple and rapid protocol in resolving the morphology of filamentous fungi and performing localization studies.
    Journal of electron microscopy 01/2011; 60(3):211-6. · 1.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tethering factors are organelle-specific multisubunit protein complexes that identify, along with Rab guanosine triphosphatases, transport vesicles and trigger their SNARE-mediated fusion of specific transport vesicles with the target membranes. Little is known about how tethering factors discriminate between different trafficking pathways, which may converge at the same organelle. In this paper, we describe a phosphorylation-based switch mechanism, which allows the homotypic vacuole fusion protein sorting effector subunit Vps41 to operate in two distinct fusion events, namely endosome-vacuole and AP-3 vesicle-vacuole fusion. Vps41 contains an amphipathic lipid-packing sensor (ALPS) motif, which recognizes highly curved membranes. At endosomes, this motif is inserted into the lipid bilayer and masks the binding motif for the δ subunit of the AP-3 complex, Apl5, without affecting the Vps41 function in endosome-vacuole fusion. At the much less curved vacuole, the ALPS motif becomes available for phosphorylation by the resident casein kinase Yck3. As a result, the Apl5-binding site is exposed and allows AP-3 vesicles to bind to Vps41, followed by specific fusion with the vacuolar membrane. This multifunctional tethering factor thus discriminates between trafficking routes by switching from a curvature-sensing to a coat recognition mode upon phosphorylation.
    The Journal of Cell Biology 11/2010; 191(4):845-59. · 10.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Eukaryotes use the process of autophagy, in which structures targeted for lysosomal/vacuolar degradation are sequestered into double-membrane autophagosomes, in numerous physiological and pathological situations. The key questions in the field relate to the origin of the membranes as well as the precise nature of the rearrangements that lead to the formation of autophagosomes. We found that yeast Atg9 concentrates in a novel compartment comprising clusters of vesicles and tubules, which are derived from the secretory pathway and are often adjacent to mitochondria. We show that these clusters translocate en bloc next to the vacuole to form the phagophore assembly site (PAS), where they become the autophagosome precursor, the phagophore. In addition, genetic analyses indicate that Atg1, Atg13, and phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate are involved in the further rearrangement of these initial membranes. Thus, our data reveal that the Atg9-positive compartments are important for the de novo formation of the PAS and the sequestering vesicle that are the hallmarks of autophagy.
    The Journal of Cell Biology 09/2010; 190(6):1005-22. · 10.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The delivery of proteins and organelles to the vacuole by autophagy involves membrane rearrangements that result in the formation of large vesicles called autophagosomes. The mechanism underlying autophagosome biogenesis and the origin of the membranes composing these vesicles remains largely unclear. We have investigated the role of the Golgi complex in autophagy and have determined that in yeast, activation of ADP-ribosylation factor (Arf)1 and Arf2 GTPases by Sec7, Gea1, and Gea2 is essential for this catabolic process. The two main events catalyzed by these components, the biogenesis of COPI- and clathrin-coated vesicles, do not play a critical role in autophagy. Analysis of the sec7 strain under starvation conditions revealed that the autophagy machinery is correctly assembled and the precursor membrane cisterna of autophagosomes, the phagophore, is normally formed. However, the expansion of the phagophore into an autophagosome is severely impaired. Our data show that the Golgi complex plays a crucial role in supplying the lipid bilayers necessary for the biogenesis of double-membrane vesicles possibly through a new class of transport carriers or a new mechanism.
    Molecular biology of the cell 05/2010; 21(13):2270-84. · 5.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Membrane tethering, the process of mediating the first contact between membranes destined for fusion, requires specialized multisubunit protein complexes and Rab GTPases. In the yeast endolysosomal system, the hexameric HOPS tethering complex cooperates with the Rab7 homolog Ypt7 to promote homotypic fusion at the vacuole, whereas the recently identified homologous CORVET complex acts at the level of late endosomes. Here, we have further functionally characterized the CORVET-specific subunit Vps8 and its relationship to the remaining subunits using an in vivo approach that allows the monitoring of late endosome biogenesis. In particular, our results indicate that Vps8 interacts and cooperates with the activated Rab5 homolog Vps21 to induce the clustering of late endosomal membranes, indicating that Vps8 is the effector subunit of the CORVET complex. This clustering, however, requires Vps3, Vps16, and Vps33 but not the remaining CORVET subunits. These data thus suggest that the CORVET complex is built of subunits with distinct activities and potentially, their sequential assembly could regulate tethering and successive fusion at the late endosomes.
    Molecular biology of the cell 10/2009; 20(24):5276-89. · 5.98 Impact Factor
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    Janice Griffith, Fulvio Reggiori
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    ABSTRACT: Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been a valuable model organism for the study of the endosomal system of eukaryotic cells. Morphological analyses, however, have been limited because of the lack of specific protein markers and of procedures that lead to a satisfactory ultrastructural resolution. We have recently developed an immunoelectron microscopy (IEM) protocol adapted from the Tokuyasu method to prepare cryosections from mildly fixed yeast. This novel approach allows excellent cell preservation and a unique resolution of the yeast morphology. Here, we present a protocol that combines this procedure with the specific labeling of the various endosomal compartments with positively charged Nanogold. In particular, we show that this new protocol generates excellent results when applied for the examination of early and late endosomes, and of mutants with an endosomal trafficking defect. Importantly, this method is compatible with immunogold labeling of protein markers, and it is consequently appropriate for localization studies of both resident and cargo proteins. This new IEM protocol will be a valuable tool for the large community of scientists using yeast as a model system to investigate the membrane transport and the biogenesis of the endosomal system.
    Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry 06/2009; 57(8):801-9. · 2.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dendritic cells (DCs) are crucial for priming of naive CD8(+) T lymphocytes to exogenous antigens, so-called "cross-priming." We report that exogenous protein antigen can be conserved for several days in mature DCs, coinciding with strong cytotoxic T lymphocyte cross-priming potency in vivo. After MHC class I peptide elution, protein antigen-derived peptide presentation is efficiently restored, indicating the presence of an intracellular antigen depot. We characterized this depot as a lysosome-like organelle, distinct from MHC class II compartments and recently described early endosomal compartments that allow acute antigen presentation in MHC class I. The storage compartments we report here facilitate continuous supply of MHC class I ligands. This mechanism ensures sustained cross-presentation by DCs, despite the short-lived expression of MHC class I-peptide complexes at the cell surface.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 05/2009; 106(16):6730-5. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been a crucial model system for the study of a multitude of cellular processes because of its amenability to genetics, molecular biology and biochemical procedures. By contrast, the morphological analysis of this organism by immunoelectron microscopy (IEM) has remained in a primordial phase preventing researchers to routinely incorporate this technique into their investigations. Here, in addition to simple but detailed protocols to perform conventional electron microscopy (EM) on plastic embedded sections, we present a new IEM procedure adapted from the Tokuyasu method to prepare cryosections from mildly fixed cells. This novel approach allows an excellent cell preservation and the negatively stained membranes create superb contrast that leads to a unique resolution of the yeast morphology. This, plus the optimal preservation of the epitopes, permits combined localization studies with a fine resolution of protein complexes, vesicular carriers and organelles at an ultrastructural level. Importantly, we also show that this cryo-immunogold protocol can be combined with high-pressure freezing and therefore cryofixation can be employed if difficulties are encountered to immobilize a particular structure with chemical fixation. This new IEM technique will be a valuable tool for the large community of scientists using yeast as a model system, in particular for those studying membrane transport and dynamics.
    Traffic 08/2008; 9(7):1060-72. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mannose-6-phosphate receptors (MPRs) transport lysosomal hydrolases from the trans Golgi network (TGN) to endosomes. Recently, the multi-ligand receptor sortilin has also been implicated in this transport, but the transport carriers involved herein have not been identified. By quantitative immuno-electron microscopy, we localized endogenous sortilin of HepG2 cells predominantly to the TGN and endosomes. In the TGN, sortilin colocalized with MPRs in the same clathrin-coated vesicles. In endosomes, sortilin and MPRs concentrated in sorting nexin 1 (SNX1)-positive buds and vesicles. SNX1 depletion by small interfering RNA resulted in decreased pools of sortilin in the TGN and an increase in lysosomal degradation. These data indicate that sortilin and MPRs recycle to the TGN in SNX1-dependent carriers, which we named endosome-to-TGN transport carriers (ETCs). Notably, ETCs emerge from early endosomes (EE), lack recycling plasma membrane proteins and by three-dimensional electron tomography exhibit unique structural features. Hence, ETCs are distinct from hitherto described EE-derived membranes involved in recycling. Our data emphasize an important role of EEs in recycling to the TGN and indicate that different, specialized exit events occur on the same EE vacuole.
    Traffic 04/2008; 9(3):380-93. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Gamma interferon-induced lysosomal thiolreductase (GILT) is expressed constitutively in antigen-presenting cells, where it reduces disulfide bonds to facilitate antigen presentation. GILT is synthesized as an enzymatically active precursor protein and is processed in early endosomes to yield the mature enzyme. The exposure of the promonocytic cell line THP-1 to Escherichia coli causes a differentiation-dependent induction of GILT expression in which the majority of precursor GILT is secreted as active enzyme. We confirm this result in cultured primary monocytes and macrophages, and demonstrate, as an in vivo correlate of the phenomenon, upregulation of precursor GILT levels in the serum of mice injected with lipopolysaccharide. We show that macrophage differentiation is accompanied by a transcriptional downregulation of mannose-6-phosphorylation, which likely prevents the recognition and proper sorting of soluble lysosomal enzymes by the mannose-6-phosphate receptors. We provide evidence for a mechanism of generalized soluble lysosomal enzyme secretion through the constitutive secretory pathway.
    Traffic 10/2007; 8(9):1179-89. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The LDL receptor-related protein 1B (LRP1B) is a putative tumor suppressor homologous to LRP1. Both LRP1 and LRP1B contain cytoplasmic tails with several potential endocytosis motifs. Although the positions of these endocytic motifs are similar in both receptors, LRP1B is internalized at a 15-fold slower rate than LRP1. To determine whether the slow endocytosis of LRP1B is due to the utilization of an endocytosis motif other than the YATL motif used by LRP1, we tested minireceptors with mutations in each of the five potential motifs in the LRP1B tail. Only mutation of both NPXY motifs together abolished LRP1B endocytosis, suggesting that LRP1B can use either of these motifs for internalization. LRP1B contains a unique insertion of 33 amino acids not present in LRP1 that could lead to altered recognition of trafficking motifs. Surprisingly, deletion of this insertion had no effect on the endocytosis rate of LRP1B. However, replacing either half of the LRP1B tail with the corresponding LRP1 sequence markedly accelerated LRP1B endocytosis. From these data, we propose that both halves of the LRP1B cytoplasmic tail contribute to a unique global conformation, which results in less efficient recognition by endocytic adaptors and a slow endocytosis rate.
    Experimental Cell Research 10/2007; 313(15):3298-307. · 3.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mast cells are widely distributed throughout the body and express effector functions in allergic reactions, inflammatory diseases, and host defense. Activation of mast cells results in exocytosis of preformed chemical mediators and leads to novel synthesis and secretion of lipid mediators and cytokines. Here, we show that human mast cells also express and release the cytotoxic lymphocyte-associated protease, granzyme B. Granzyme B was active and localized in cytoplasmic granules, morphologically resembling those present in cytotoxic lymphocytes. Expression and release of granzyme B by mast cell-lines HMC-1 and LAD 2 and by cord blood- and mature skin-derived human mast cells depended on the mode of activation of these cells. In mast cell lines and cord blood-derived mast cells, granzyme B expression was mainly induced by non-physiological stimuli (A23187/PMA, Compound 48/80) and substance P. In contrast, mature skin-derived mast cells only produced granzyme B upon IgE-dependent stimulation. We conclude that granzyme B is expressed and released by human mast cells upon physiologic stimulation. This suggests a role for granzyme B as a novel mediator in mast cell biology.
    Molecular Immunology 08/2007; 44(14):3462-72. · 2.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The human mannose 6-phosphate uncovering enzyme participates in the uncovering of the mannose 6-phosphate recognition tag on lysosomal enzymes, a process that facilitates recognition of those enzymes by mannose 6-phosphate receptors to ensure delivery to lysosomes. Uncovering enzyme has been identified on the trans-Golgi network at steady state. It has been shown to traffic to the plasma membrane from where it is rapidly internalized via endosomal structures, the process being mediated by a tyrosine-based internalization motif, Y488HPL, in its cytoplasmic tail. Using immunogold electron microscopy a GFP-uncovering enzyme fusion construct was found to be colocalized with the cation-dependent mannose 6-phosphate receptor in regions of the trans-Golgi network, suggesting that uncovering enzyme might follow a similar pathway of exit from the trans-Golgi network as that of the cation-dependent mannose 6-phosphate receptor. In this study, we identified the signal sequence in the cytoplasmic tail of uncovering enzyme responsible for its exit from the trans-Golgi network. Using GFP fusion constructs of the transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains of uncovering enzyme, we could show, by automated analysis of confocal immunofluorescence images, that residues Q492EMN in the cytoplasmic tail of uncovering enzyme are involved in its exit from the trans-Golgi network. Detailed characterization of the exit signal revealed that residue Q492 is the most important to the exit function while M494 and N495 also contribute. The cytoplasmic tail of the uncovering enzyme does not possess any of the known canonical signal sequences for interaction with Golgi-associated gamma ear-containing adaptor proteins. The identification of a trans-Golgi network exit signal in its cytoplasmic tail elucidates the trafficking pathway of uncovering enzyme, a crucial player in the process of lysosomal biogenesis.
    Journal of Cell Science 08/2005; 118(Pt 13):2949-56. · 5.88 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
293.58 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1998–2014
    • University Medical Center Utrecht
      • Department of Cell Biology
      Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • 2009–2012
    • Universität Osnabrück
      • Biochemistry
      Osnabrück, Lower Saxony, Germany
  • 1997–2010
    • Universiteit Utrecht
      • • Institute of Biomembranes
      • • Department of Cell Biology
      Utrecht, Provincie Utrecht, Netherlands
  • 2008
    • Universitätsklinikum Freiburg
      Freiburg an der Elbe, Lower Saxony, Germany