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17 Janelia Publications

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    11/07/17 | Immature HIV-1 lattice assembly dynamics are regulated by scaffolding from nucleic acid and the plasma membrane.
    Pak AJ, Grime JM, Sengupta P, Chen AK, Durumeric AE, Srivastava A, Yeager M, Briggs JA, Lippincott-Schwartz J, Voth GA
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2017 Nov 07:. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1706600114

    The packaging and budding of Gag polyprotein and viral RNA is a critical step in the HIV-1 life cycle. High-resolution structures of the Gag polyprotein have revealed that the capsid (CA) and spacer peptide 1 (SP1) domains contain important interfaces for Gag self-assembly. However, the molecular details of the multimerization process, especially in the presence of RNA and the cell membrane, have remained unclear. In this work, we investigate the mechanisms that work in concert between the polyproteins, RNA, and membrane to promote immature lattice growth. We develop a coarse-grained (CG) computational model that is derived from subnanometer resolution structural data. Our simulations recapitulate contiguous and hexameric lattice assembly driven only by weak anisotropic attractions at the helical CA-SP1 junction. Importantly, analysis from CG and single-particle tracking photoactivated localization (spt-PALM) trajectories indicates that viral RNA and the membrane are critical constituents that actively promote Gag multimerization through scaffolding, while overexpression of short competitor RNA can suppress assembly. We also find that the CA amino-terminal domain imparts intrinsic curvature to the Gag lattice. As a consequence, immature lattice growth appears to be coupled to the dynamics of spontaneous membrane deformation. Our findings elucidate a simple network of interactions that regulate the early stages of HIV-1 assembly and budding.

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    10/31/17 | Membrane dynamics and organelle biogenesis-lipid pipelines and vesicular carriers.
    Stefan CJ, Trimble WS, Grinstein S, Drin G, Reinisch K, De Camilli P, Cohen S, Valm AM, Lippincott-Schwartz J, Levine TP, Iaea DB, Maxfield FR, Futter CE, Eden ER, Judith D, van Vliet AR, Agostinis P, Tooze SA, Sugiura A, McBride HM
    BMC Biology. 2017 Oct 31;15(1):102. doi: 10.1186/s12915-017-0432-0

    Discoveries spanning several decades have pointed to vital membrane lipid trafficking pathways involving both vesicular and non-vesicular carriers. But the relative contributions for distinct membrane delivery pathways in cell growth and organelle biogenesis continue to be a puzzle. This is because lipids flow from many sources and across many paths via transport vesicles, non-vesicular transfer proteins, and dynamic interactions between organelles at membrane contact sites. This forum presents our latest understanding, appreciation, and queries regarding the lipid transport mechanisms necessary to drive membrane expansion during organelle biogenesis and cell growth.

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    09/25/17 | Cell volume change through water efflux impacts cell stiffness and stem cell fate.
    Guo M, Pegoraro AF, Mao A, Zhou EH, Arany PR, Han Y, Burnette DT, Jensen MH, Kasza KE, Moore JR, Mackintosh FC, Fredberg JJ, Mooney DJ, Lippincott-Schwartz J, Weitz DA
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2017 Sep 25;114(41):E8618-27. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1705179114

    Cells alter their mechanical properties in response to their local microenvironment; this plays a role in determining cell function and can even influence stem cell fate. Here, we identify a robust and unified relationship between cell stiffness and cell volume. As a cell spreads on a substrate, its volume decreases, while its stiffness concomitantly increases. We find that both cortical and cytoplasmic cell stiffness scale with volume for numerous perturbations, including varying substrate stiffness, cell spread area, and external osmotic pressure. The reduction of cell volume is a result of water efflux, which leads to a corresponding increase in intracellular molecular crowding. Furthermore, we find that changes in cell volume, and hence stiffness, alter stem-cell differentiation, regardless of the method by which these are induced. These observations reveal a surprising, previously unidentified relationship between cell stiffness and cell volume that strongly influences cell biology.

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    07/17/17 | A consensus view of ESCRT-mediated Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 abscission.
    Lippincott-Schwartz J, Freed EO, van Engelenburg SB
    Annual Review of Virology. 2017 Jul 17;4(1):309-25. doi: 10.1146/annurev-virology-101416-041840

    The strong dependence of retroviruses, such as human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), on host cell factors is no more apparent than when the endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) machinery is purposely disengaged. The resulting potent inhibition of retrovirus release underscores the importance of understanding fundamental structure-function relationships at the ESCRT-HIV-1 interface. Recent studies utilizing advanced imaging technologies have helped clarify these relationships, overcoming hurdles to provide a range of potential models for ESCRT-mediated virus abscission. Here, we discuss these models in the context of prior work detailing ESCRT machinery and the HIV-1 release process. To provide a template for further refinement, we propose a new working model for ESCRT-mediated HIV-1 release that reconciles disparate and seemingly conflicting studies. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Virology Volume 4 is September 29, 2017. Please see for revised estimates.

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    06/29/17 | Rational engineering of photoconvertible fluorescent proteins for dual-color fluorescence nanoscopy enabled by a triplet-state mechanism of primed conversion.
    Mohr MA, Kobitski AY, Sabater LR, Nienhaus K, Obara CJ, Lippincott-Schwartz J, Nienhaus GU, Pantazis P
    Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English). 2017 Jun 29:. doi: 10.1002/anie.201706121

    Green-to-red photoconvertible fluorescent proteins (pcFPs) are powerful tools for super-resolution localization microscopy and protein tagging. Recently, they have been found to undergo efficient photoconversion not only by the traditional 400-nm illumination but also by an alternative method termed primed conversion, employing dual wavelength illumination with blue and far-red/near-infrared light. Primed conversion has been reported only for Dendra2 and its mechanism has remained elusive. Here, we uncover the molecular mechanism of primed conversion by reporting the intermediate "primed" state to be a triplet dark state formed by intersystem crossing. We show that formation of this state can be influenced by the introduction of serine or threonine at sequence position 69 (Eos notation) and use this knowledge to create "pr"- (for primed convertible) variants of most known green-to-red pcFPs.

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    05/24/17 | Applying systems-level spectral imaging and analysis to reveal the organelle interactome.
    Valm AM, Cohen S, Legant WR, Melunis J, Hershberg U, Wait E, Cohen AR, Davidson MW, Betzig E, Lippincott-Schwartz J
    Nature. 2017 May 24:. doi: 10.1038/nature22369

    The organization of the eukaryotic cell into discrete membrane-bound organelles allows for the separation of incompatible biochemical processes, but the activities of these organelles must be coordinated. For example, lipid metabolism is distributed between the endoplasmic reticulum for lipid synthesis, lipid droplets for storage and transport, mitochondria and peroxisomes for β-oxidation, and lysosomes for lipid hydrolysis and recycling. It is increasingly recognized that organelle contacts have a vital role in diverse cellular functions. However, the spatial and temporal organization of organelles within the cell remains poorly characterized, as fluorescence imaging approaches are limited in the number of different labels that can be distinguished in a single image. Here we present a systems-level analysis of the organelle interactome using a multispectral image acquisition method that overcomes the challenge of spectral overlap in the fluorescent protein palette. We used confocal and lattice light sheet instrumentation and an imaging informatics pipeline of five steps to achieve mapping of organelle numbers, volumes, speeds, positions and dynamic inter-organelle contacts in live cells from a monkey fibroblast cell line. We describe the frequency and locality of two-, three-, four- and five-way interactions among six different membrane-bound organelles (endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi, lysosome, peroxisome, mitochondria and lipid droplet) and show how these relationships change over time. We demonstrate that each organelle has a characteristic distribution and dispersion pattern in three-dimensional space and that there is a reproducible pattern of contacts among the six organelles, that is affected by microtubule and cell nutrient status. These live-cell confocal and lattice light sheet spectral imaging approaches are applicable to any cell system expressing multiple fluorescent probes, whether in normal conditions or when cells are exposed to disturbances such as drugs, pathogens or stress. This methodology thus offers a powerful descriptive tool and can be used to develop hypotheses about cellular organization and dynamics.

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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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    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