Reticulon (Rtn) proteins shape tubular domains of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), and in some cases are autophagy receptors for selective ER turnover. We have found that maize Rtn1 and Rtn2 control ER homeostasis and autophagic flux in endosperm aleurone cells, where the ER accumulates lipid droplets and synthesizes storage protein accretions metabolized during germination. Maize Rtn1 and Rtn2 are expressed in the endosperm, localize to the ER, and re-model ER architecture in a dose-dependent manner. Rtn1 and Rtn2 interact with Atg8a using four Atg8-interacting motifs (AIMs) located at the C-terminus, cytoplasmic loop, and within the transmembrane segments. Binding between Rtn2 and Atg8 is elevated upon ER stress. Maize rtn2 mutants display increased autophagy and up-regulation of an ER stress-responsive chaperone. We propose that maize Rtn1 and Rtn2 act as receptors for autophagy-mediated ER turnover, and thus are critical for ER homeostasis and suppression of ER stress.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
- Marisa Otegui
- Marisa Otegui
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Dominique C Bergmann, Stanford University, United States
© 2020, Zhang 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.
TMEM16F, a Ca2+-activated phospholipid scramblase (CaPLSase), is critical for placental trophoblast syncytialization, HIV infection, and SARS-CoV2-mediated syncytialization, however, how TMEM16F is activated during cell fusion is unclear. Here, using trophoblasts as a model for cell fusion, we demonstrate that Ca2+ influx through the Ca2+ permeable transient receptor potential vanilloid channel TRPV4 is critical for TMEM16F activation and plays a role in subsequent human trophoblast fusion. GSK1016790A, a TRPV4 specific agonist, robustly activates TMEM16F in trophoblasts. We also show that TRPV4 and TMEM16F are functionally coupled within Ca2+ microdomains in a human trophoblast cell line using patch-clamp electrophysiology. Pharmacological inhibition or gene silencing of TRPV4 hinders TMEM16F activation and subsequent trophoblast syncytialization. Our study uncovers the functional expression of TRPV4 and one of the physiological activation mechanisms of TMEM16F in human trophoblasts, thus providing us with novel strategies to regulate CaPLSase activity as a critical checkpoint of physiologically and disease-relevant cell fusion events.
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