The fission yeast actin cytoskeleton is an ideal, simplified system to investigate fundamental mechanisms behind cellular self-organization. By focusing on the stabilizing protein tropomyosin Cdc8, bundling protein fimbrin Fim1, and severing protein coffin Adf1, we examined how their pairwise and collective interactions with actin filaments regulate their activity and segregation to functionally diverse F-actin networks. Utilizing multi-color TIRF microscopy of in vitro reconstituted F-actin networks, we observed and characterized two distinct Cdc8 cables loading and spreading cooperatively on individual actin filaments. Furthermore, Cdc8, Fim1, and Adf1 all compete for association with F-actin by different mechanisms, and their cooperative association with actin filaments affects their ability to compete. Finally, competition between Fim1 and Adf1 for F-actin synergizes their activities, promoting rapid displacement of Cdc8 from a dense F-actin network. Our findings reveal that competitive and cooperative interactions between actin binding proteins help define their associations with different F-actin networks.
- David R Kovar
- David R Kovar
- Jenna R Christensen
- Jenna R Christensen
- Kaitlin E Homa
- Glen M Hocky
- Sarah E Hitchcock-DeGregori
- Gregory A Voth
- David R Kovar
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Mohan K Balasubramanian, University of Warwick, United Kingdom
© 2017, Christensen et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
The force-from-lipids hypothesis of cellular mechanosensation posits that membrane channels open and close in response to changes in the physical state of the lipid bilayer, induced for example by lateral tension. Here, we investigate the molecular basis for this transduction mechanism by studying the mechanosensitive ion channel MscS from Escherichia coli and its eukaryotic homolog, MSL1 from Arabidopsis thaliana. First, we use single-particle cryo-EM to determine the structure of a novel open conformation of wild-type MscS, stabilized in a thinned lipid nanodisc. Compared with the closed state, the structure shows a reconfiguration of helices TM1, TM2 and TM3a, and widening of the central pore. Based on these structures, we examined how the morphology of the lipid bilayer is altered upon gating, using molecular dynamics simulations. The simulations reveal that closed-state MscS causes drastic protrusions in the inner leaflet of the lipid bilayer, both in the absence and presence of lateral tension, and for different lipid compositions. These deformations arise to provide adequate solvation to hydrophobic features of the protein surface in this conformation, and clearly reflect a high energy conformation for the membrane, particularly under tension. Strikingly, these protrusions are largely eradicated upon channel opening. An analogous computational study of open and closed MSL1 recapitulates these findings. The gating equilibrium of MscS channels thus appears to be dictated by two opposing conformational preferences, namely those of the lipid membrane and of the protein structure. We propose a membrane deformation model of mechanosensation, which posits that tension shifts the gating equilibrium towards the conductive state not because it alters the mode in which channel and lipids interact but because it increases the energetic cost of the morphological perturbations in the membrane induced by to the closed state.
The serotonin transporter (SERT/SLC6A4) is arguably the most extensively studied solute carrier (SLC). During its eponymous action – that is, the retrieval of serotonin from the extracellular space – SERT undergoes a conformational cycle. Typical inhibitors (antidepressant drugs and cocaine), partial and full substrates (amphetamines and their derivatives), and atypical inhibitors (ibogaine analogues) bind preferentially to different states in this cycle. This results in competitive or non-competitive transport inhibition. Here, we explored the action of N-formyl-1,3-bis (3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl)-prop-2-yl-amine (ECSI#6) on SERT: inhibition of serotonin uptake by ECSI#6 was enhanced with increasing serotonin concentration. Conversely, the KM for serotonin was lowered by augmenting ECSI#6. ECSI#6 bound with low affinity to the outward-facing state of SERT but with increased affinity to a potassium-bound state. Electrophysiological recordings showed that ECSI#6 preferentially interacted with the inward-facing state. Kinetic modeling recapitulated the experimental data and verified that uncompetitive inhibition arose from preferential binding of ECSI#6 to the K+-bound, inward-facing conformation of SERT. This binding mode predicted a pharmacochaperoning action of ECSI#6, which was confirmed by examining its effect on the folding-deficient mutant SERT-PG601,602AA: preincubation of HEK293 cells with ECSI#6 restored export of SERT-PG601,602AA from the endoplasmic reticulum and substrate transport. Similarly, in transgenic flies, the administration of ECSI#6 promoted the delivery of SERT-PG601,602AA to the presynaptic specialization of serotonergic neurons. To the best of our knowledge, ECSI#6 is the first example of an uncompetitive SLC inhibitor. Pharmacochaperones endowed with the binding mode of ECSI#6 are attractive, because they can rescue misfolded transporters at concentrations, which cause modest transport inhibition.