Ji Sun

University of California, San Diego, San Diego, California, United States

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Publications (8)151.25 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) machinery is highly conserved and its components have been found in all five major supergroups of eukaryotes. The three ESCRT complexes and associated proteins play critical roles in receptor downregulation, retroviral budding, and other normal and pathological cellular processes. Besides monoubiquitin-dependent protein cargo recognition and sorting, the ESCRT machinery also appears to drive the formation of multivesicular bodies (MVBs). Recent advances in the determination of the function and structure of the ESCRT complexes have improved our understanding of the molecular details underlying the assembly and regulation of the ESCRT machinery.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2008 · Trends in Biochemical Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: Three large protein complexes known as ESCRT I, ESCRT II and ESCRT III drive the progression of ubiquitinated membrane cargo from early endosomes to lysosomes. Several steps in this process critically depend on PtdIns3P, the product of the class III phosphoinositide 3-kinase. Our work has provided insights into the architecture, membrane recruitment and functional interactions of the ESCRT machinery. The fan-shaped ESCRT I core and the trilobal ESCRT II core are essential to forming stable, rigid scaffolds that support additional, flexibly-linked domains, which serve as gripping tools for recognizing elements of the MVB (multivesicular body) pathway: cargo protein, membranes and other MVB proteins. With these additional (non-core) domains, ESCRT I grasps monoubiquitinated membrane proteins and the Vps36 subunit of the downstream ESCRT II complex. The GLUE (GRAM-like, ubiquitin-binding on Eap45) domain extending beyond the core of the ESCRT II complex recognizes PtdIns3P-containing membranes, monoubiquitinated cargo and ESCRT I. The structure of this GLUE domain demonstrates that it has a split PH (pleckstrin homology) domain fold, with a non-typical phosphoinositide-binding pocket. Mutations in the lipid-binding pocket of the ESCRT II GLUE domain cause a strong defect in vacuolar protein sorting in yeast.
    Preview · Article · Feb 2007 · Biochemical Society Symposium
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    ABSTRACT: ESCRT (endosomal sorting complex required for transport) complexes orchestrate efficient sorting of ubiquitinated transmembrane receptors to lysosomes via multivesicular bodies (MVBs). Yeast ESCRT-I and ESCRT-II interact directly in vitro; however, this association is not detected in yeast cytosol. To gain understanding of the molecular mechanisms of this link, we have characterised the ESCRT-I/-II supercomplex and determined the crystal structure of its interface. The link is formed by the vacuolar protein sorting (Vps)28 C-terminus (ESCRT-I) binding with nanomolar affinity to the Vps36-NZF-N zinc-finger domain (ESCRT-II). A hydrophobic patch on the Vps28-CT four-helix bundle contacts the hydrophobic knuckles of Vps36-NZF-N. Mutation of the ESCRT-I/-II link results in a cargo-sorting defect in yeast. Interestingly, the two Vps36 NZF domains, NZF-N and NZF-C, despite having the same core fold, use distinct surfaces to bind ESCRT-I or ubiquitinated cargo. We also show that a new component of ESCRT-I, Mvb12 (YGR206W), engages ESCRT-I directly with nanomolar affinity to form a 1:1:1:1 heterotetramer. Mvb12 does not affect the affinity of ESCRT-I for ESCRT-II in vitro. Our data suggest a complex regulatory mechanism for the ESCRT-I/-II link in yeast.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2007 · The EMBO Journal
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    ABSTRACT: The endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) complexes play a critical role in receptor down-regulation and retroviral budding. Although the crystal structures of two ESCRT complexes have been determined, the molecular mechanisms underlying the assembly and regulation of the ESCRT machinery are still poorly understood. We identify a new component of the ESCRT-I complex, multivesicular body sorting factor of 12 kD (Mvb12), and demonstrate that Mvb12 binds to the coiled-coil domain of the ESCRT-I subunit vacuolar protein sorting 23 (Vps23). We show that ESCRT-I adopts an oligomeric state in the cytosol, the formation of which requires the coiled-coil domain of Vps23, as well as Mvb12. Loss of Mvb12 results in the disassembly of the ESCRT-I oligomer and the formation of a stable complex of ESCRT-I and -II in the cytosol. We propose that Mvb12 stabilizes ESCRT-I in an oligomeric, inactive state in the cytosol to ensure that the ordered recruitment and assembly of ESCRT-I and -II is spatially and temporally restricted to the surface of the endosome after activation of the MVB sorting reaction.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2007 · The Journal of Cell Biology
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    ABSTRACT: ESCRT complexes form the main machinery driving protein sorting from endosomes to lysosomes. Currently, the picture regarding assembly of ESCRTs on endosomes is incomplete. The structure of the conserved heterotrimeric ESCRT-I core presented here shows a fan-like arrangement of three helical hairpins, each corresponding to a different subunit. Vps23/Tsg101 is the central hairpin sandwiched between the other subunits, explaining the critical role of its "steadiness box" in the stability of ESCRT-I. We show that yeast ESCRT-I links directly to ESCRT-II, through a tight interaction of Vps28 (ESCRT-I) with the yeast-specific zinc-finger insertion within the GLUE domain of Vps36 (ESCRT-II). The crystal structure of the GLUE domain missing this insertion reveals it is a split PH domain, with a noncanonical lipid binding pocket that binds PtdIns3P. The simultaneous and reinforcing interactions of ESCRT-II GLUE domain with membranes, ESCRT-I, and ubiquitin are critical for ubiquitinated cargo progression from early to late endosomes.
    Full-text · Article · May 2006 · Cell
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    ABSTRACT: The endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) complexes are central to receptor downregulation, lysosome biogenesis, and budding of HIV. The yeast ESCRT-I complex contains the Vps23, Vps28, and Vps37 proteins, and its assembly is directed by the C-terminal steadiness box of Vps23, the N-terminal half of Vps28, and the C-terminal half of Vps37. The crystal structures of a Vps23:Vps28 core subcomplex and the Vps23:Vps28:Vps37 core were solved at 2.1 and 2.8 A resolution. Each subunit contains a structurally similar pair of helices that form the core. The N-terminal domain of Vps28 has a hydrophobic binding site on its surface that is conformationally dynamic. The C-terminal domain of Vps28 binds the ESCRT-II complex. The structure shows how ESCRT-I is assembled by a compact core from which the Vps23 UEV domain, the Vps28 C domain, and other domains project to bind their partners.
    Preview · Article · May 2006 · Cell
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    ABSTRACT: The multivesicular-body (MVB) pathway delivers transmembrane proteins and lipids to the lumen of the endosome. The multivesicular-body sorting pathway has crucial roles in growth-factor-receptor downregulation, developmental signalling, regulation of the immune response and the budding of certain enveloped viruses such as human immunodeficiency virus. Ubiquitination is a signal for sorting into the MVB pathway, which also requires the functions of three protein complexes, termed ESCRT-I, -II and -III (endosomal sorting complex required for transport). Here we report the crystal structure of the core of the yeast ESCRT-II complex, which contains one molecule of the Vps protein Vps22, the carboxy-terminal domain of Vps36 and two molecules of Vps25, and has the shape of a capital letter 'Y'. The amino-terminal coiled coil of Vps22 and the flexible linker leading to the ubiquitin-binding NZF domain of Vps36 both protrude from the tip of one branch of the 'Y'. Vps22 and Vps36 form nearly equivalent interactions with the two Vps25 molecules at the centre of the 'Y'. The structure suggests how ubiquitinated cargo could be passed between ESCRT components of the MVB pathway through the sequential transfer of ubiquitinated cargo from one complex to the next.
    Preview · Article · Oct 2004 · Nature
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    ABSTRACT: Ubiquitin (Ub) functions in many different biological pathways, where it typically interacts with proteins that contain modular Ub recognition domains. One such recognition domain is the Npl4 zinc finger (NZF), a compact zinc-binding module found in many proteins that function in Ub-dependent processes. We now report the solution structure of the NZF domain from Npl4 in complex with Ub. The structure reveals that three key NZF residues (13TF14/M25) surrounding the zinc coordination site bind the hydrophobic 'Ile44' surface of Ub. Mutations in the 13TF14/M25 motif inhibit Ub binding, and naturally occurring NZF domains that lack the motif do not bind Ub. However, substitution of the 13TF14/M25 motif into the nonbinding NZF domain from RanBP2 creates Ub-binding activity, demonstrating the versatility of the NZF scaffold. Finally, NZF mutations that inhibit Ub binding by the NZF domain of Vps36/ESCRT-II also inhibit sorting of ubiquitylated proteins into the yeast vacuole. Thus, the NZF is a versatile protein recognition domain that is used to bind ubiquitylated proteins during vacuolar protein sorting, and probably many other biological processes.
    Full-text · Article · May 2004 · The EMBO Journal

Publication Stats

807 Citations
151.25 Total Impact Points


  • 2008
    • University of California, San Diego
      • Division of Biological Sciences
      San Diego, California, United States
  • 2004-2007
    • Howard Hughes Medical Institute
      Ашбърн, Virginia, United States