Article

The role of the SEA (sea urchin sperm protein, enterokinase and agrin) module in cleavage of membrane-tethered mucins

Paediatric Molecular Genetics, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK.
FEBS Journal (Impact Factor: 4). 07/2005; 272(11):2901-11. DOI: 10.1111/j.1742-4658.2005.04711.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

The membrane-tethered mucins are cell surface-associated dimeric or multimeric molecules with extracellular, transmembrane and cytoplasmic portions, that arise from cleavage of the primary polypeptide chain. Following the first cleavage, which may be cotranslational, the subunits remain closely associated through undefined noncovalent interactions. These mucins all share a common structural motif, the SEA module that is found in many other membrane-associated proteins that are released from the cell surface and has been implicated in both the cleavage events and association of the subunits. Here we examine the SEA modules of three membrane-tethered mucins, MUC1, MUC3 and MUC12, which have significant sequence homology within the SEA domain. We previously identified the primary cleavage site within the MUC1 SEA domain as FRPG/SVVV a sequence that is highly conserved in MUC3 and MUC12. We now show by site-directed mutagenesis that the F, G and S residues are important for the efficiency of the cleavage reaction but not indispensable and that amino acids outside this motif are probably important. These data are consistent with a new model of the MUC1 SEA domain that is based on the solution structure of the MUC16 SEA module, derived by NMR spectroscopy. Further, we demonstrate that cleavage of human MUC3 and MUC12 occurs within the SEA domain. However, the SEA domains of MUC1, MUC3 and MUC12 are not interchangeable, suggesting that either these modules alone are insufficient to mediate efficient cleavage or that the 3D structure of the hybrid molecules does not adequately re-create an accessible cleavage site.

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Available from: Simon Sherman, Nov 24, 2014
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    • "A comparison of the molecular structure and size of MUC1 and MUC16 (Fig. 1B) demonstrates that, of the two mucins, the ectodomain of MUC16 is about 20 times larger than that of MUC1 and its ectodomain includes a number of sea urchin sperm protein, enterokinase and agrin (SEA) modules, whereas MUC1 has one SEA module [7]. These modules are found in many membrane-associated proteins that are released from the cell surface [8]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Membrane-anchored mucins are present in the apical surface glycocalyx of mucosal epithelial cells, each mucosal epithelium having at least two of the mucins. The mucins have been ascribed barrier functions, but direct comparisons of their functions within the same epithelium have not been done. In an epithelial cell line that expresses the membrane-anchored mucins, MUC1 and MUC16, the mucins were independently and stably knocked down using shRNA. Barrier functions tested included dye penetrance, bacterial adherence and invasion, transepithelial resistance, tight junction formation, and apical surface size. Knockdown of MUC16 decreased all barrier functions tested, causing increased dye penetrance and bacterial invasion, decreased transepithelial resistance, surprisingly, disruption of tight junctions, and greater apical surface cell area. Knockdown of MUC1 did not decrease barrier function, in fact, barrier to dye penetrance and bacterial invasion increased significantly. These data suggest that barrier functions of membrane-anchored mucins vary in the context of other membrane mucins, and MUC16 provides a major barrier when present.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    • "The deletion of the SEA module of perlecan affects heparan sulfate synthesis (Dolan et al. 1997). The sitespecific cleavage of SEA modules has been reported for human MUC1, MUC3, MUC12, MUC17, and Ig-hepta (Gum et al 2002; Abe et al. 2002; Palmai-Pallag et al. 2005). All of these cleavages occur between glycine and serine in the GSVVV motif , located in the middle of the SEA modules. "
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    ABSTRACT: A prominent feature of the rodent Muc3 SEA module is the precursor cleavage event that segregates the O-glycosylated N-terminal fragment and transmembrane domain into the noncovalently attached heterodimer. There are seven potential N-glycosylation sites that occur in a cluster in the SEA module of Muc3. However, it is unknown if these sites are modified or what the function of these N-glycans may be in the SEA module. Our data show that the proteolytic cleavage of the rodent Muc3 SEA module was partially prevented by treatment with tunicamycin, an inhibitor of N-glycosylation. Each single mutant of the seven N-glycosylation sites (N1A, N2A, N3A, N4A, N5A, N6A, and N7A) and multiple mutants, including double (N34A) and triple (N345A) mutants, and mutants with four (N3457A), five (N34567A), six (N134567A and N234567A), seven (N1234567A) mutations, confirmed that all seven of these potential sites are N-glycosylated simultaneously. The proteolytic cleavage of the SEA module was not affected when it lacked only one, two, or three N-glycans, but was partially inhibited when lacking four, five, and six N-glycans. In all, 2%, 48%, 85%, and 73% of the products from N3457A, N34567A, N134567A, and N234567A transfectants, respectively, remained uncleaved. The proteolytic cleavage was completely prevented in the N1234567A transfectant, which eliminated all seven N-glycans in the SEA module. The interaction of the heterodimer was independent of the N-glycans within the rodent Muc3 SEA module. Thus, the N-glycosylation pattern constituted a control point for the modulation of the proteolytic cleavage of the SEA module.
    Preview · Article · Jul 2009 · Glycobiology
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    • "If the molecule of 105 kDa was the carboxylterminus of chicken SPACR, it suggests that the molecule of 105 kDa and SPACR are from a single gene. The sea urchin, enterokinase, agrin (SEA) module is an extracellular domain present in a number of highly O-glycosylated membrane proteins, where it serves as a proteolytic cleavage site (Bork and Patthy 1995; Wreschner et al. 2002; Palmai-Pallag et al. 2005). SPACR, a heavily O-glycosylated protein, contains two SEA modules corresponding to amino acids 231–348 and 728–853 (Zako et al. 2002). "
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