The actin cytoskeleton mediates mechanical coupling between cells and their tissue microenvironments. The architecture and composition of actin networks are modulated by force, but it is unclear how interactions between actin filaments (F-actin) and associated proteins are mechanically regulated. Here, we employ both optical trapping and biochemical reconstitution with myosin motor proteins to show single piconewton forces applied solely to F-actin enhance binding by the human version of the essential cell-cell adhesion protein αE-catenin, but not its homolog vinculin. Cryo-electron microscopy structures of both proteins bound to F-actin reveal unique rearrangements that facilitate their flexible C-termini refolding to engage distinct interfaces. Truncating α-catenin's C-terminus eliminates force-activated F-actin binding, and addition of this motif to vinculin confers force-activated binding, demonstrating that α-catenin's C-terminus is a modular detector of F-actin tension. Our studies establish that piconewton force on F-actin can enhance partner binding, which we propose mechanically regulates cellular adhesion through a-catenin.
The atomic coordinates for the metavinculin ABD-F-actin complex and α-catenin ABD-F-actin complex have been deposited in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) with accession codes 6UPW and 6UPV, and the corresponding cryo-EM density maps in the Electron Microscopy Data Bank (EMDB) with accession codes EMD-20844 and EMD-20843.The code for analyzing TIRF movies is freely available as an ImageJ plugin with a graphical user interface at https://github.com/alushinlab/ActinEnrichment. All other data are available in the manuscript or supplementary materials.
- Gregory M Alushin
- Gregory M Alushin
- Gregory M Alushin
- Shixin Liu
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Andrew P Carter, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, United Kingdom
© 2020, Mei 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 development of haematopoietic stem cells into mature erythrocytes – erythropoiesis – is a controlled process characterized by cellular reorganization and drastic reshaping of the proteome landscape. Failure of ordered erythropoiesis is associated with anaemias and haematological malignancies. Although the ubiquitin system is a known crucial post-translational regulator in erythropoiesis, how the erythrocyte is reshaped by the ubiquitin system is poorly understood. By measuring the proteomic landscape of in vitro human erythropoiesis models, we found dynamic differential expression of subunits of the CTLH E3 ubiquitin ligase complex that formed maturation stage-dependent assemblies of topologically homologous RANBP9- and RANBP10-CTLH complexes. Moreover, protein abundance of CTLH’s cognate E2 ubiquitin conjugating enzyme UBE2H increased during terminal differentiation, and UBE2H expression depended on catalytically active CTLH E3 complexes. CRISPR-Cas9-mediated inactivation of CTLH E3 assemblies or UBE2H in erythroid progenitors revealed defects, including spontaneous and accelerated erythroid maturation as well as inefficient enucleation. Thus, we propose that dynamic maturation stage-specific changes of UBE2H-CTLH E2-E3 modules control the orderly progression of human erythropoiesis.
Different organelles traveling through neurons exhibit distinct properties in vitro, but this has not been investigated in the intact mammalian brain. We established simultaneous dual color two-photon microscopy to visualize the trafficking of Neuropeptide Y (NPY)-, LAMP1-, and RAB7-tagged organelles in thalamocortical axons imaged in mouse cortex in vivo. This revealed that LAMP1- and RAB7-tagged organelles move significantly faster than NPY-tagged organelles in both anterograde and retrograde direction. NPY traveled more selectively in anterograde direction than LAMP1 and RAB7. By using a synapse marker and a calcium sensor, we further investigated the transport dynamics of NPY-tagged organelles. We found that these organelles slow down and pause at synapses. In contrast to previous in vitro studies, a significant increase of transport speed was observed after spontaneous activity and elevated calcium levels in vivo as well as electrically stimulated activity in acute brain slices. Together, we show a remarkable diversity in speeds and properties of three axonal organelle marker in vivo that differ from properties previously observed in vitro.