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Concept: Golgi apparatus


COPI-coated vesicles mediate trafficking within the Golgi apparatus and from the Golgi to the endoplasmic reticulum. The structures of membrane protein coats, including COPI, have been extensively studied with in vitro reconstitution systems using purified components. In a previous paper (Dodonova et al., 2017), we determined a complete structural model of the in vitro reconstituted COPI coat. Here, we applied cryo-focused ion beam milling, cryo-electron tomography and subtomogram averaging to determine the native structure of the COPI coat within vitrified Chlamydomonas reinhardtii cells. The native algal structure resembles the in vitro mammalian structure, but additionally reveals cargo bound beneath β'-COP. We find that all coat components disassemble simultaneously and relatively rapidly after budding. Structural analysis in situ, maintaining Golgi topology, shows that vesicles change their size, membrane thickness, and cargo content as they progress from cis to trans, but the structure of the coat machinery remains constant.

Concepts: Protein, Cell, Cell membrane, Golgi apparatus, Organelle, Secretion, Endoplasmic reticulum, Lysosome


Proteins endogenously secreted by human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and those present in hESC culture medium are critical regulators of hESC self-renewal and differentiation. Current MS-based approaches for identifying secreted proteins rely predominantly on MS analysis of cell culture supernatants. Here we show that targeted proteomics of secretory pathway organelles is a powerful alternate approach for interrogating the cellular secretome. We have developed procedures to obtain subcellular fractions from mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and hESCs that are enriched in secretory pathway organelles while ensuring retention of the secretory cargo. MS analysis of these fractions from hESCs cultured in MEF conditioned medium (MEF-CM) or MEFs exposed to hESC medium revealed 99 and 129 proteins putatively secreted by hESCs and MEFs, respectively. Of these, 53 and 62 proteins have been previously identified in cell culture supernatants of MEFs and hESCs, respectively, thus establishing the validity of our approach. Furthermore, 76 and 37 putatively secreted proteins identified in this study in MEFs and hESCs, respectively, have not been reported in previous MS analyses. The identification of low abundance secreted proteins via MS analysis of cell culture supernatants typically necessitates the use of altered culture conditions such as serum-free medium. However, an altered medium formulation might directly influence the cellular secretome. Indeed, we observed significant differences between the abundances of several secreted proteins in subcellular fractions isolated from hESCs cultured in MEF-CM and those exposed to unconditioned hESC medium for 24 h. In contrast, targeted proteomics of secretory pathway organelles does not require the use of customized media. We expect that our approach will be particularly valuable in two contexts highly relevant to hESC biology: obtaining a temporal snapshot of proteins secreted in response to a differentiation trigger, and identifying proteins secreted by cells that are isolated from a heterogeneous population.

Concepts: Cell, Golgi apparatus, Stem cell, Endoplasmic reticulum, Cell biology, Cellular differentiation, Cell culture, Embryonic stem cell


COPI mediates retrograde trafficking from the Golgi to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and within the Golgi stack, sorting transmembrane proteins bearing C-terminal KKxx or KxKxx motifs. The structure of KxKxx motifs bound to the N-terminal WD-repeat domain of β'-COP identifies electrostatic contacts between the motif and complementary patches at the center of the β'-COP propeller. An absolute requirement of a two-residue spacing between the terminal carboxylate group and first lysine residue results from interactions of carbonyl groups in the motif backbone with basic side chains of β'-COP. Similar interactions are proposed to mediate binding of KKxx motifs by the homologous α-COP domain. Mutation of key interacting residues in either domain or in their cognate motifs abolishes in vitro binding and results in mistrafficking of dilysine-containing cargo in yeast without compromising cell viability. Flexibility between β'-COP WD-repeat domains and the location of cargo binding have implications for COPI coat assembly.

Concepts: Protein, Cell, Cell membrane, Golgi apparatus, Secretion, Endoplasmic reticulum, Glycosylation, Lysosome


We have used a peptide-based targeting system to improve lysosomal delivery of acid α-glucosidase (GAA), the enzyme deficient in patients with Pompe disease. Human GAA was fused to the Glycosylation-Independent Lysosomal Targeting (GILT) tag, which contains a portion of insulin-like growth factor II (IGF-II), to create an active, chimeric enzyme with high affinity for the cation-independent mannose 6-phosphate receptor (CI-MPR). GILT-tagged GAA was taken up by L6 myoblasts about 25-fold more efficiently than was recombinant human GAA (rhGAA). Once delivered to the lysosome, the mature form of GILT-tagged GAA was indistinguishable from rhGAA and persisted with a half-life indistinguishable from rhGAA. GILT-tagged GAA was significantly more effective than rhGAA in clearing glycogen from numerous skeletal muscle tissues in the Pompe mouse model. The GILT-tagged GAA enzyme may provide an improved enzyme replacement therapy for Pompe disease patients.

Concepts: Protein, Cell, Golgi apparatus, Muscle, Therapy, Glycogen, Glycogen storage disease, Insulin-like growth factor 2


Since the discovery that proteins mutated in different forms of polycystic kidney disease (PKD) are tightly associated with primary cilia, strong efforts have been made to define the role of this organelle in the pathogenesis of cyst formation. Cilia are filiform microtubular structures, anchored in the basal body and extending from the apical membrane into the tubular lumen. Early work established that cilia act as flow sensors, eliciting calcium transients in response to bending, which involve the two proteins mutated in autosomal dominant PKD (ADPKD), polycystin-1 and -2. Loss of cilia alone is insufficient to cause cyst formation. Nevertheless, a large body of evidence links flow sensing by cilia to aspects relevant for cyst formation such as cell polarity, Stat6- and mammalian target of rapamycin signalling. This review summarizes the current literature on cilia and flow sensing with respect to PKD and discusses how these findings intercalate with different aspects of cyst formation.

Concepts: Immune system, Kidney, Cell, Genetic disorder, Golgi apparatus, Cytoskeleton, Polycystic kidney disease, Cilium


The Golgi apparatus has attracted intense attentions due to its fascinating morphology and vital role as the pivot of cellular secretory pathway since its discovery. However, its complex structure at the molecular level remains elusive due to limited approaches. In this study, the structure of Golgi apparatus, including the Golgi stack, cisternal structure, relevant tubules and vesicles, were directly visualized by high-resolution atomic force microscope. We imaged both sides of Golgi apparatus membranes and revealed that the outer leaflet of Golgi membranes is relatively smooth while the inner membrane leaflet is rough and covered by dense proteins. With the treatment of methyl-β-cyclodextrin and Triton X-100, we confirmed the existence of lipid rafts in Golgi apparatus membrane, which are mostly in the size of 20 nm -200 nm and appear irregular in shape. Our results may be of significance to reveal the structure-function relationship of the Golgi complex and pave the way for visualizing the endomembrane system in mammalian cells at the molecular level.

Concepts: Cell, Cell membrane, Golgi apparatus, Organelle, Endoplasmic reticulum, Protein targeting, Endomembrane system, Secretory pathway


JNJ-26854165 (serdemetan) has previously been reported to inhibit the function of the E3 ligase human double minute-2, and we initially sought to characterize its activity in models of mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) and multiple myeloma (MM). Serdemetan induced a dose dependent inhibition of proliferation in both wild-type (wt) and mutant (mut) p53 cell lines, with IC50’s from 0.25 μ/L to 3 μ/L, in association with an S phase cell cycle arrest. Caspase-3 activation was primarily seen in wtp53 bearing cells, but also occurred in mutp53 bearing cells, albeit to a lesser extent. 293T cells treated with JNJ-26854165, and serdemetan-resistant fibroblasts displayed accumulation of cholesterol within endosomes, a phenotype reminiscent of that seen in the ATP-binding cassette sub-family A member-1 (ABCA1) cholesterol transport disorder, Tangiers disease. MM and MCL cells had decreased cholesterol efflux and electron microscopy demonstrated the accumulation of lipid whorls, confirming the lysosomal storage disease phenotype. JNJ-26854165 induced induction of cholesterol regulatory genes sterol regulatory element-binding transcription factor-1 and -2, liver X receptors α and β, along with increased expression of Niemann-Pick disease type-C1 and -C2. However, JNJ-26854165 induced enhanced ABCA1 turnover despite enhancing transcription. Finally, ABCA1 depletion resulted in enhanced sensitivity to JNJ-26854165. Overall, these findings support the hypothesis that serdemetan functions in part by inhibiting cholesterol transport, and that this pathway is a potential new target for the treatment of MCL and MM.

Concepts: DNA, Protein, Gene, Golgi apparatus, Chromosome, Cell cycle, Proteasome, Mantle cell lymphoma


Enzyme replacement therapy for mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIB (MPS IIIB; Sanfilippo B syndrome) has been hindered by inadequate mannose 6-phosphorylation and cellular uptake of recombinantly produced human α-N-acetyl-glucosamindase (rhNAGLU). We expressed and characterized a modified, recombinant human NAGLU fused to the receptor binding motif of insulin-like growth factor-II (rhNAGLU-IGF-II) to enhance its ability to enter cells using the cation-independent mannose 6-phosphate receptor, which is also the receptor for IGF-II (at a different binding site). RhNAGLU-IGF-II was stably expressed in Chinese hamster ovary cells, secreted and purified to apparent homogeneity. The Km and pH optimum of the fusion enzyme was similar to those reported for rhNAGLU. Both intracellular uptake and confocal microscopy suggested MPS IIIB fibroblasts readily take up the fusion enzyme via receptor-mediated endocytosis that was significantly inhibited (p<0.001) by monomeric IGF-II peptide. Glycosaminoglycan storage was reduced by 60% (p<0.001) to near background levels in MPS IIIB cells after treatment with rhNAGLU-IGF-II, with half-maximal correction at concentrations of 3-12 pM. Similar cellular uptake mechanism via the IGF-II receptor was also demonstrated in two different brain tumor-derived cell lines. Fusion of NAGLU to IGF-II enhanced its cellular uptake while maintaining enzymatic activity, supporting its potential as a therapeutic candidate for MPS IIIB.

Concepts: Protein, Cell, Enzyme, Golgi apparatus, Therapy, Chinese hamster ovary cell, Insulin-like growth factor 2, Mucopolysaccharidosis


The bacterial Type VI secretion system (T6SS) delivers proteins into target cells using fast contraction of a long sheath anchored to the cell envelope and wrapped around an inner Hcp tube associated with the secreted proteins. Mechanisms of sheath assembly and length regulation are unclear. Here we study these processes using spheroplasts formed from ampicillin-treated Vibrio cholerae. We show that spheroplasts secrete Hcp and deliver T6SS substrates into neighbouring cells. Imaging of sheath dynamics shows that the sheath length correlates with the diameter of spheroplasts and may reach up to several micrometres. Analysis of sheath assembly after partial photobleaching shows that subunits are exclusively added to the sheath at the end that is distal from the baseplate and cell envelope attachment. We suggest that this mode of assembly is likely common for all phage-like contractile nanomachines, because of the conservation of the structures and connectivity of sheath subunits.

Concepts: Cell, Bacteria, Microbiology, Cytosol, Golgi apparatus, Secretion, Endoplasmic reticulum, Cell biology


The Golgi apparatus lies at the heart of the secretory pathway where it is required for secretory trafficking and cargo modification. Disruption of Golgi architecture and function has been widely observed in neurodegenerative disease, but whether Golgi dysfunction is causal with regard to the neurodegenerative process, or is simply a manifestation of neuronal death, remains unclear. Here we report that targeted loss of the golgin GM130 leads to a profound neurological phenotype in mice. Global KO of mouse GM130 results in developmental delay, severe ataxia, and postnatal death. We further show that selective deletion of GM130 in neurons causes fragmentation and defective positioning of the Golgi apparatus, impaired secretory trafficking, and dendritic atrophy in Purkinje cells. These cellular defects manifest as reduced cerebellar size and Purkinje cell number, leading to ataxia. Purkinje cell loss and ataxia first appear during postnatal development but progressively worsen with age. Our data therefore indicate that targeted disruption of the mammalian Golgi apparatus and secretory traffic results in neuronal degeneration in vivo, supporting the view that Golgi dysfunction can play a causative role in neurodegeneration.

Concepts: Neuron, Golgi apparatus, Cerebellum, Dendrite, Neurons, Purkinje cell, Parallel fiber, Dendritic spine