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143 Publications

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    04/10/17 | AMPK and vacuole-associated Atg14p orchestrate µ-lipophagy for energy production and long-term survival under glucose starvation.
    Seo AY, Lau P, Feliciano D, Sengupta P, Le Gros MA, Cinquin B, Larabell CA, Lippincott-Schwartz J
    eLife. 2017 Apr 10;6:e21690. doi: 10.7554/eLife.21690

    Dietary restriction increases the longevity of many organisms but the cell signaling and organellar mechanisms underlying this capability are unclear. We demonstrate that to permit long-term survival in response to sudden glucose depletion, yeast cells activate lipid-droplet (LD) consumption through micro-lipophagy (µ-lipophagy), in which fat is metabolized as an alternative energy source. AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activation triggered this pathway, which required Atg14p. More gradual glucose starvation, amino acid deprivation or rapamycin did not trigger µ-lipophagy and failed to provide the needed substitute energy source for long-term survival. During acute glucose restriction, activated AMPK was stabilized from degradation and interacted with Atg14p. This prompted Atg14p redistribution from ER exit sites onto liquid-ordered vacuole membrane domains, initiating µ-lipophagy. Our findings that activated AMPK and Atg14p are required to orchestrate µ-lipophagy for energy production in starved cells is relevant for studies on aging and evolutionary survival strategies of different organisms.

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    04/07/17 | Defects in ER-endosome contacts impact lysosome function in hereditary spastic paraplegia.
    Allison R, Edgar JR, Pearson G, Rizo T, Newton T, Günther S, Berner F, Hague J, Connell JW, Winkler J, Lippincott-Schwartz J, Beetz C, Winner B, Reid E
    The Journal of Cell Biology. 2017 Apr 07;216(5):1337-55. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201609033

    Contacts between endosomes and the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) promote endosomal tubule fission, but the mechanisms involved and consequences of tubule fission failure are incompletely understood. We found that interaction between the microtubule-severing enzyme spastin and the ESCRT protein IST1 at ER-endosome contacts drives endosomal tubule fission. Failure of fission caused defective sorting of mannose 6-phosphate receptor, with consequently disrupted lysosomal enzyme trafficking and abnormal lysosomal morphology, including in mouse primary neurons and human stem cell-derived neurons. Consistent with a role for ER-mediated endosomal tubule fission in lysosome function, similar lysosomal abnormalities were seen in cellular models lacking the WASH complex component strumpellin or the ER morphogen REEP1. Mutations in spastin, strumpellin, or REEP1 cause hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP), a disease characterized by axonal degeneration. Our results implicate failure of the ER-endosome contact process in axonopathy and suggest that coupling of ER-mediated endosomal tubule fission to lysosome function links different classes of HSP proteins, previously considered functionally distinct, into a unifying pathway for axonal degeneration.

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    04/04/17 | Optical measurement of receptor tyrosine kinase oligomerization on live cells.
    Chung I
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Biomembranes. 2017 Apr 04;1859(9):1436-44. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamem.2017.03.026

    Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTK) are important cell surface receptors that transduce extracellular signals across the plasma membrane. The traditional view of how these receptors function is that ligand binding to the extracellular domains acts as a master-switch that enables receptor monomers to dimerize and subsequently trans-phosphorylate each other on their intracellular domains. However, a growing body of evidence suggests that receptor oligomerization is not merely a consequence of ligand binding, but is instead part of a complex process responsible for regulation of receptor activation. Importantly, the oligomerization dynamics and subsequent activation of these receptors are affected by other cellular components, such as cytoskeletal machineries and cell membrane lipid characteristics. Thus receptor activation is not an isolated molecular event mediated by the ligand-receptor interaction, but instead involves orchestrated interactions between the receptors and other cellular components. Measuring receptor oligomerization dynamics on live cells can yield important insights into the characteristics of these interactions. Therefore, it is imperative to develop techniques that can probe receptor movements on the plasma membrane with optimal temporal and spatial resolutions. Various microscopic techniques have been used for this purpose. Optical techniques including single molecule tracking (SMT) and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) measure receptor diffusion on live cells. Receptor-receptor interactions can also be assessed by detecting Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) between fluorescently-labeled receptors situated in close proximity or by counting the number of receptors within a diffraction limited fluorescence spot (stepwise bleaching). This review will describe recent developments of optical techniques that have been used to study receptor oligomerization on living cells. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Interactions between membrane receptors in cellular membranes edited by Kalina Hristova.

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    03/01/17 | Myosin VI facilitates connexin 43 gap junction accretion.
    Waxse BJ, Sengupta P, Hesketh GG, Lippincott-Schwartz J, Buss F
    Journal of Cell Science. 2017 03 01;130(5):827-840. doi: 10.1242/jcs.199083

    In this study, we demonstrate myosin VI enrichment at Cx43 (also known as GJA1)-containing gap junctions (GJs) in heart tissue, primary cardiomyocytes and cell culture models. In primary cardiac tissue and in fibroblasts from the myosin VI-null mouse as well as in tissue culture cells transfected with siRNA against myosin VI, we observe reduced GJ plaque size with a concomitant reduction in intercellular communication, as shown by fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) and a new method of selective calcein administration. Analysis of the molecular role of myosin VI in Cx43 trafficking indicates that myosin VI is dispensable for the delivery of Cx43 to the cell surface and connexon movement in the plasma membrane. Furthermore, we cannot corroborate clathrin or Dab2 localization at gap junctions and we do not observe a function for the myosin-VI-Dab2 complex in clathrin-dependent endocytosis of annular gap junctions. Instead, we found that myosin VI was localized at the edge of Cx43 plaques by using total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy and use FRAP to identify a plaque accretion defect as the primary manifestation of myosin VI loss in Cx43 homeostasis. A fuller understanding of this derangement may explain the cardiomyopathy or gliosis associated with the loss of myosin VI.

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    12/30/16 | Live cell single molecule-guided Bayesian localization super resolution microscopy.
    Xu F, Zhang M, He W, Han R, Xue F, Liu Z, Zhang F, Lippincott-Schwartz J, Xu P
    Cell Research. 2016 Dec 30:. doi: 10.1038/cr.2015.160
    12/14/16 | The nanoscale spatial organization of B cell receptors on IgM- and IgG-expressing human B cells.
    Lee J, Sengupta P, Brzostowski J, Lippincott-Schwartz J, Pierce SK
    Molecular Biology of the Cell. 2016 Dec 14;28(4):511-23. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E16-06-0452

    B cell activation is initiated by the binding of antigen to the B cell receptor (BCR). Here we used dSTORM super resolution imaging to characterize the nanoscale spatial organization of IgM and IgG BCRs on the surfaces of resting and antigen-activated human peripheral blood B cells. We provide insights into both the fundamental process of antigen-driven BCR clustering as well as differences in the spatial organization of IgM and IgG BCRs that may contribute to the characteristic differences in the responses of naïve and memory B cells to antigen. We provide evidence that although both IgM and IgG BCRs reside in highly heterogeneous protein islands that vary in both size and number of BCR single molecule localizations, both resting and activated B cells intrinsically maintain a high frequency of single isolated BCR localizations, which likely represent BCR monomers. IgG BCRs are more clustered than IgM BCRs on resting cells and form larger protein islands following antigen activation. Small dense BCR clusters likely formed via protein-protein interactions are present on the surface of resting cells and antigen activation induces these to come together to form less dense, larger islands, a process likely governed, at least in part, by protein-lipid interactions.

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    12/08/16 | Sonic Hedgehog Pathway activation increases mitochondrial abundance and activity in hippocampal neurons.
    Yao PJ, Manor U, Petralia RS, Brose RD, Wu RT, Ott C, Wang Y, Charnoff A, Lippincott-Schwartz J, Mattson MP
    Molecular Biology of the Cell. 2016 Dec 08:. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E16-07-0553

    Mitochondria are essential organelles whose biogenesis, structure, and function are regulated by many signaling pathways. In this study we present evidence that, in hippocampal neurons, activation of the Sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling pathway impacts multiple aspects of mitochondria. Mitochondrial mass was increased significantly in neurons treated with Shh. Using biochemical and fluorescence imaging analyses, we show that Shh signaling activity reduces mitochondrial fission and promotes mitochondrial elongation, at least in part, via suppression of the mitochondrial fission protein dynamin-like GTPase Drp1. Mitochondria from Shh-treated neurons were more electron-dense as revealed by electron microscopy, and had higher membrane potential and respiratory activity. We further show that Shh protects neurons against a variety of stresses, including the mitochondrial poison rotenone, amyloid β-peptide, hydrogen peroxide, and high levels of glutamate. Collectively, our data suggest a link between Shh pathway activity and the physiological properties of mitochondria in hippocampal neurons.

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    10/31/16 | AMPK activation prevents and reverses drug-induced mitochondrial and hepatocyte injury by promoting mitochondrial fusion and function.
    Kang SW, Haydar G, Taniane C, Farrell G, Arias IM, Lippincott-Schwartz J, Fu D
    PLoS One. 2016 Oct 31;11(10):e0165638. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0165638

    Mitochondrial damage is the major factor underlying drug-induced liver disease but whether conditions that thwart mitochondrial injury can prevent or reverse drug-induced liver damage is unclear. A key molecule regulating mitochondria quality control is AMP activated kinase (AMPK). When activated, AMPK causes mitochondria to elongate/fuse and proliferate, with mitochondria now producing more ATP and less reactive oxygen species. Autophagy is also triggered, a process capable of removing damaged/defective mitochondria. To explore whether AMPK activation could potentially prevent or reverse the effects of drug-induced mitochondrial and hepatocellular damage, we added an AMPK activator to collagen sandwich cultures of rat and human hepatocytes exposed to the hepatotoxic drugs, acetaminophen or diclofenac. In the absence of AMPK activation, the drugs caused hepatocytes to lose polarized morphology and have significantly decreased ATP levels and viability. At the subcellular level, mitochondria underwent fragmentation and had decreased membrane potential due to decreased expression of the mitochondrial fusion proteins Mfn1, 2 and/or Opa1. Adding AICAR, a specific AMPK activator, at the time of drug exposure prevented and reversed these effects. The mitochondria became highly fused and ATP production increased, and hepatocytes maintained polarized morphology. In exploring the mechanism responsible for this preventive and reversal effect, we found that AMPK activation prevented drug-mediated decreases in Mfn1, 2 and Opa1. AMPK activation also stimulated autophagy/mitophagy, most significantly in acetaminophen-treated cells. These results suggest that activation of AMPK prevents/reverses drug-induced mitochondrial and hepatocellular damage through regulation of mitochondrial fusion and autophagy, making it a potentially valuable approach for treatment of drug-induced liver injury.

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    10/28/16 | Increased spatiotemporal resolution reveals highly dynamic dense tubular matrices in the peripheral ER.
    Nixon-Abell J, Obara CJ, Weigel AV, Li D, Legant WR, Xu C, Pasolli HA, Harvey K, Hess HF, Betzig E, Blackstone C, Lippincott-Schwartz J
    Science (New York, N.Y.). 2016 Oct 28;354(6311):433-46. doi: 10.1126/science.aaf3928

    The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is an expansive, membrane-enclosed organelle that plays crucial roles in numerous cellular functions. We used emerging superresolution imaging technologies to clarify the morphology and dynamics of the peripheral ER, which contacts and modulates most other intracellular organelles. Peripheral components of the ER have classically been described as comprising both tubules and flat sheets. We show that this system consists almost exclusively of tubules at varying densities, including structures that we term ER matrices. Conventional optical imaging technologies had led to misidentification of these structures as sheets because of the dense clustering of tubular junctions and a previously uncharacterized rapid form of ER motion. The existence of ER matrices explains previous confounding evidence that had indicated the occurrence of ER “sheet” proliferation after overexpression of tubular junction–forming proteins.

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    10/24/16 | Bright photoactivatable fluorophores for single-molecule imaging.
    Lavis LD, Grimm JB, English BP, Choi H, Muthusamy AK, Mehl BP, Dong P, Brown TA, Lippincott-Schwartz J, Liu Z, Lionnet T
    Nature Methods. 2016 Oct 24;13(12):985-8. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.4034

    Small molecule fluorophores are important tools for advanced imaging experiments. The development of self-labeling protein tags such as the HaloTag and SNAP-tag has expanded the utility of chemical dyes in live-cell microscopy. We recently described a general method for improving the brightness and photostability of small, cell-permeable fluorophores, resulting in the novel azetidine-containing "Janelia Fluor" (JF) dyes. Here, we refine and extend the utility of the JF dyes by synthesizing photoactivatable derivatives that are compatible with live cell labeling strategies. These compounds retain the superior brightness of the JF dyes once activated, but their facile photoactivation also enables improved single-particle tracking and localization microscopy experiments.

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