Non-centrosomal microtubule arrays assemble in differentiated tissues to perform mechanical and transport-based functions. Here, we identify C. elegans NOCA-1 as a protein with homology to vertebrate ninein. NOCA-1 contributes to the assembly of non-centrosomal microtubule arrays in multiple tissues. In the larval epidermis, NOCA-1 functions redundantly with the minus end protection factor Patronin/PTRN-1 to assemble a circumferential microtubule array essential for worm growth and morphogenesis. Controlled degradation of a γ-tubulin complex subunit in this tissue revealed that γ-tubulin acts with NOCA-1 in parallel to Patronin/PTRN-1. In the germline, NOCA-1 and γ-tubulin co-localize at the cell surface, and inhibiting either leads to a microtubule assembly defect. γ-tubulin targets independently of NOCA-1, but NOCA-1 targeting requires γ-tubulin when a non-essential putatively palmitoylated cysteine is mutated. These results show that NOCA-1 acts with γ-tubulin to assemble non-centrosomal arrays in multiple tissues and highlight functional overlap between the ninein and Patronin protein families.
- Anna Akhmanova, Utrecht University, Netherlands
© 2015, Wang et al.
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Membrane trafficking pathways perform important roles in establishing and maintaining the endosomal network. Retrograde protein sorting from the endosome is promoted by conserved SNX-BAR-containing coat complexes including retromer which enrich cargo at tubular microdomains and generate transport carriers. In metazoans, retromer cooperates with VARP, a conserved VPS9-domain GEF, to direct an endosomal recycling pathway. The function of the yeast VARP homolog Vrl1 has been overlooked due to an inactivating mutation found in commonly studied strains. Here, we demonstrate that Vrl1 has features of a SNX-BAR coat protein and forms an obligate complex with Vin1, the paralog of the retromer SNX-BAR protein Vps5. Unique features in the Vin1 N-terminus allow Vrl1 to distinguish it from Vps5, thereby forming a complex that we have named VINE. The VINE complex occupies endosomal tubules and redistributes a conserved mannose 6-phosphate receptor-like protein from endosomes. We also find that membrane recruitment by Vin1 is essential for Vrl1 GEF activity, suggesting that VINE is a multifunctional coat complex that regulates trafficking and signaling events at the endosome.
Fibroblasts produce the majority of collagen in the heart and are thought to regulate extracellular matrix (ECM) turnover. Although fibrosis accompanies many cardiac pathologies and is generally deleterious, the role of fibroblasts in maintaining the basal ECM network and in fibrosis in vivo is poorly understood. We genetically ablated fibroblasts in mice to evaluate the impact on homeostasis of adult ECM and cardiac function after injury. Fibroblast-ablated mice demonstrated a substantive reduction in cardiac fibroblasts, but fibrillar collagen and the ECM proteome were not overtly altered when evaluated by quantitative mass spectrometry and N-terminomics. However, the distribution and quantity of collagen VI, a microfibrillar collagen that forms an open network with the basement membrane, was reduced. In fibroblast-ablated mice, cardiac function was better preserved following angiotensin II/phenylephrine (AngII/PE)-induced fibrosis and myocardial infarction (MI). Analysis of cardiomyocyte function demonstrated altered sarcomere shortening and slowed calcium decline in both uninjured and AngII/PE infused fibroblast-ablated mice. After MI, the residual resident fibroblasts responded to injury, albeit with reduced proliferation and numbers immediately after injury. These results indicate that the adult mouse heart tolerates a significant degree of fibroblast loss with potentially beneficial impact on cardiac function after injury. The cardioprotective effect of controlled fibroblast reduction may have therapeutic value in heart disease.