The TAM receptor tyrosine kinases Tyro3, Axl, and Mer regulate key features of cellular physiology, yet the differential activities of the TAM ligands Gas6 and Protein S are poorly understood. We have used biochemical and genetic analyses to delineate the rules for TAM receptor-ligand engagement, and find that the TAMs segregate into two groups based on ligand specificity, regulation by phosphatidylserine, and function. Tyro3 and Mer are activated by both ligands, but only Gas6 activates Axl. Optimal TAM signaling requires coincident TAM ligand engagement of both its receptor and the phospholipid phosphatidylserine (PtdSer): Gas6 lacking its PtdSer-binding 'Gla domain' is significantly weakened as a Tyro3/Mer agonist and is inert as an Axl agonist, even though it binds to Axl with wild-type affinity. In two settings of TAM-dependent homeostatic phagocytosis, Mer plays a predominant role while Axl is dispensable, and activation of Mer by Protein S is sufficient to drive phagocytosis.
Animal experimentation: This study was performed in strict accordance with the recommendations in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Health. All of the animals were handled according to approved institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) protocol of the Salk Institute, Animal Use Protocol No. 11-00051, approval date of record June 3, 2014.
- Stephen P Goff, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Columbia University, United States
© 2014, Lew et al.
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Dynamic Ca2+ signals reflect acute changes in membrane excitability, and also mediate signaling cascades in chronic processes. In both cases, chronic Ca2+ imaging is often desired, but challenged by the cytotoxicity intrinsic to calmodulin (CaM)-based GCaMP, a series of genetically-encoded Ca2+ indicators that have been widely applied. Here, we demonstrate the performance of GCaMP-X in chronic Ca2+ imaging of cortical neurons, where GCaMP-X by design is to eliminate the unwanted interactions between the conventional GCaMP and endogenous (apo)CaM-binding proteins. By expressing in adult mice at high levels over an extended time frame, GCaMP-X showed less damage and improved performance in two-photon imaging of sensory (whisker-deflection) responses or spontaneous Ca2+ fluctuations, in comparison with GCaMP. Chronic Ca2+ imaging of one month or longer was conducted for cultured cortical neurons expressing GCaMP-X, unveiling that spontaneous/local Ca2+ transients progressively developed into autonomous/global Ca2+ oscillations. Along with the morphological indices of neurite length and soma size, the major metrics of oscillatory Ca2+, including rate, amplitude and synchrony were also examined. Dysregulations of both neuritogenesis and Ca2+ oscillations became discernible around 2–3 weeks after virus injection or drug induction to express GCaMP in newborn or mature neurons, which were exacerbated by stronger or prolonged expression of GCaMP. In contrast, neurons expressing GCaMP-X were significantly less damaged or perturbed, altogether highlighting the unique importance of oscillatory Ca2+ to neural development and neuronal health. In summary, GCaMP-X provides a viable solution for Ca2+ imaging applications involving long-time and/or high-level expression of Ca2+ probes.
N6-methyladenosine (m6A) RNA modification impacts mRNA fate primarily via reader proteins, which dictate processes in development, stress, and disease. Yet little is known about m6A function in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which occurs solely during early meiosis. Here we perform a multifaceted analysis of the m6A reader protein Pho92/Mrb1. Cross-linking immunoprecipitation analysis reveals that Pho92 associates with the 3’end of meiotic mRNAs in both an m6A-dependent and independent manner. Within cells, Pho92 transitions from the nucleus to the cytoplasm, and associates with translating ribosomes. In the nucleus Pho92 associates with target loci through its interaction with transcriptional elongator Paf1C. Functionally, we show that Pho92 promotes and links protein synthesis to mRNA decay. As such, the Pho92-mediated m6A-mRNA decay is contingent on active translation and the CCR4-NOT complex. We propose that the m6A reader Pho92 is loaded co-transcriptionally to facilitate protein synthesis and subsequent decay of m6A modified transcripts, and thereby promotes meiosis.