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59 Janelia Publications

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    07/23/21 | YAP1 nuclear efflux and transcriptional reprograming follow membrane diminution upon VSV-G-induced cell fusion.
    Feliciano D, Ott CM, Espinosa-Medina I, Weigel AV, Benedetti L, Milano KM, Tang Z, Lee T, Kliman HJ, Guller SM, Lippincott-Schwartz J
    Nature Communications. 2021 Jul 23;12(1):4502. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-24708-2

    Cells in many tissues, such as bone, muscle, and placenta, fuse into syncytia to acquire new functions and transcriptional programs. While it is known that fused cells are specialized, it is unclear whether cell-fusion itself contributes to programmatic-changes that generate the new cellular state. Here, we address this by employing a fusogen-mediated, cell-fusion system to create syncytia from undifferentiated cells. RNA-Seq analysis reveals VSV-G-induced cell fusion precedes transcriptional changes. To gain mechanistic insights, we measure the plasma membrane surface area after cell-fusion and observe it diminishes through increases in endocytosis. Consequently, glucose transporters internalize, and cytoplasmic glucose and ATP transiently decrease. This reduced energetic state activates AMPK, which inhibits YAP1, causing transcriptional-reprogramming and cell-cycle arrest. Impairing either endocytosis or AMPK activity prevents YAP1 inhibition and cell-cycle arrest after fusion. Together, these data demonstrate plasma membrane diminishment upon cell-fusion causes transient nutrient stress that may promote transcriptional-reprogramming independent from extrinsic cues.

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    07/05/21 | Lipid droplets in the nervous system.
    Ralhan I, Chang C, Lippincott-Schwartz J, Ioannou MS
    Journal of Cell Biology. 2021 Jul 05;220(7):. doi: 10.1083/jcb.202102136

    Lipid droplets are dynamic intracellular lipid storage organelles that respond to the physiological state of cells. In addition to controlling cell metabolism, they play a protective role for many cellular stressors, including oxidative stress. Despite prior descriptions of lipid droplets appearing in the brain as early as a century ago, only recently has the role of lipid droplets in cells found in the brain begun to be understood. Lipid droplet functions have now been described for cells of the nervous system in the context of development, aging, and an increasing number of neuropathologies. Here, we review the basic mechanisms of lipid droplet formation, turnover, and function and discuss how these mechanisms enable lipid droplets to function in different cell types of the nervous system under healthy and pathological conditions.

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    07/01/21 | Biomolecular Condensates and Their Links to Cancer Progression.
    Cai D, Liu Z, Lippincott-Schwartz J
    Trends in Biochemical Sciences. 2021 Jul 01;46(7):535-549. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2021.01.002

    Liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) has emerged in recent years as an important physicochemical process for organizing diverse processes within cells via the formation of membraneless organelles termed biomolecular condensates. Emerging evidence now suggests that the formation and regulation of biomolecular condensates are also intricately linked to cancer formation and progression. We review the most recent literature linking the existence and/or dissolution of biomolecular condensates to different hallmarks of cancer formation and progression. We then discuss the opportunities that this condensate perspective provides for cancer research and the development of novel therapeutic approaches, including the perturbation of condensates by small-molecule inhibitors.

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    05/24/21 | A general method to improve fluorophores using deuterated auxochromes.
    Grimm JB, Xie L, Casler JC, Patel R, Tkachuk AN, Falco N, Choi H, Lippincott-Schwartz J, Brown TA, Glick BS, Liu Z, Lavis LD
    JACS Au. 2021 May 24;1(5):690-6. doi: 10.1021/jacsau.1c00006

    Fluorescence microscopy relies on dyes that absorb and then emit photons. In addition to fluorescence, fluorophores can undergo photochemical processes that decrease quantum yield or result in spectral shifts and irreversible photobleaching. Chemical strategies that suppress these undesirable pathways—thereby increasing the brightness and photostability of fluorophores—are crucial for advancing the frontier of bioimaging. Here, we describe a general method to improve small-molecule fluorophores by incorporating deuterium into the alkylamino auxochromes of rhodamines and other dyes. This strategy increases fluorescence quantum yield, inhibits photochemically induced spectral shifts, and slows irreparable photobleaching, yielding next-generation labels with improved performance in cellular imaging experiments.

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    05/08/21 | Activity-dependent Golgi satellite formation in dendrites reshapes the neuronal surface glycoproteome
    Govind AP, Jeyifous O, Russell TA, Yi Z, Weigel AV, Ramaprasad A, Newell L, Ramos W, Valbuena FM, Casler JC, Yan J, Glick BS, Swanson GT, Lippincott-Schwartz J, Green WN
    bioRxiv. 05/2021:. doi: 10.1101/2021.04.06.438745

    Activity-driven changes in the neuronal surface glycoproteome are known to occur with synapse formation, plasticity and related diseases, but their mechanistic basis and significance are unclear. Here, we observed that N-glycans on surface glycoproteins of dendrites shift from immature to mature forms containing sialic acid in response to increased neuronal excitation. In exploring the basis of these N-glycosylation alterations, we discovered they result from the growth and proliferation of Golgi satellites scattered throughout the dendrite. Golgi satellites that formed with neuronal excitation were in close association with ER exit sites and early endosomes and contained glycosylation machinery without the Golgi structural protein, GM130. They functioned as distal glycosylation stations in dendrites, terminally modifying sugars either on newly synthesized glycoproteins passing through the secretory pathway, or on surface glycoproteins taken up from the endocytic pathway. These activities led to major changes in the dendritic surface of excited neurons, impacting binding and uptake of lectins, as well as causing functional changes in neurotransmitter receptors such as nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Neural activity thus boosts the activity of the dendrite’s satellite micro-secretory system by redistributing Golgi enzymes involved in glycan modifications into peripheral Golgi satellites. This remodeling of the neuronal surface has potential significance for synaptic plasticity, addiction and disease.Competing Interest StatementThe authors have declared no competing interest.

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    05/01/21 | RNA transport and local translation in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disease.
    Fernandopulle MS, Lippincott-Schwartz J, Ward ME
    Nature Neuroscience. 2021 May 01;24(5):622-32. doi: 10.1038/s41593-020-00785-2

    Neurons decentralize protein synthesis from the cell body to support the active metabolism of remote dendritic and axonal compartments. The neuronal RNA transport apparatus, composed of cis-acting RNA regulatory elements, neuronal transport granule proteins, and motor adaptor complexes, drives the long-distance RNA trafficking required for local protein synthesis. Over the past decade, advances in human genetics, subcellular biochemistry, and high-resolution imaging have implicated each member of the apparatus in several neurodegenerative diseases, establishing failed RNA transport and associated processes as a unifying pathomechanism. In this review, we deconstruct the RNA transport apparatus, exploring each constituent's role in RNA localization and illuminating their unique contributions to neurodegeneration.

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    04/29/21 | ER-to-Golgi protein delivery through an interwoven, tubular network extending from ER.
    Weigel AV, Chang C, Shtengel G, Xu CS, Hoffman DP, Freeman M, Iyer N, Aaron J, Khuon S, Bogovic J, Qiu W, Hess HF, Lippincott-Schwartz J
    Cell. 2021 Apr 29;184(9):2412. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2021.03.035

    Cellular versatility depends on accurate trafficking of diverse proteins to their organellar destinations. For the secretory pathway (followed by approximately 30% of all proteins), the physical nature of the vessel conducting the first portage (endoplasmic reticulum [ER] to Golgi apparatus) is unclear. We provide a dynamic 3D view of early secretory compartments in mammalian cells with isotropic resolution and precise protein localization using whole-cell, focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy with cryo-structured illumination microscopy and live-cell synchronized cargo release approaches. Rather than vesicles alone, the ER spawns an elaborate, interwoven tubular network of contiguous lipid bilayers (ER exit site) for protein export. This receptacle is capable of extending microns along microtubules while still connected to the ER by a thin neck. COPII localizes to this neck region and dynamically regulates cargo entry from the ER, while COPI acts more distally, escorting the detached, accelerating tubular entity on its way to joining the Golgi apparatus through microtubule-directed movement.

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    03/03/21 | Actin cables and comet tails organize mitochondrial networks in mitosis.
    Moore AS, Coscia SM, Simpson CL, Ortega FE, Wait EC, Heddleston JM, Nirschl JJ, Obara CJ, Guedes-Dias P, Boecker CA, Chew T, Theriot JA, Lippincott-Schwartz J, Holzbaur EL
    Nature. 2021 Mar 03;591(7851):659-664. doi: 10.1038/s41586-021-03309-5

    Symmetric cell division requires the even partitioning of genetic information and cytoplasmic contents between daughter cells. Whereas the mechanisms coordinating the segregation of the genome are well known, the processes that ensure organelle segregation between daughter cells remain less well understood. Here we identify multiple actin assemblies with distinct but complementary roles in mitochondrial organization and inheritance in mitosis. First, we find a dense meshwork of subcortical actin cables assembled throughout the mitotic cytoplasm. This network scaffolds the endoplasmic reticulum and organizes three-dimensional mitochondrial positioning to ensure the equal segregation of mitochondrial mass at cytokinesis. Second, we identify a dynamic wave of actin filaments reversibly assembling on the surface of mitochondria during mitosis. Mitochondria sampled by this wave are enveloped within actin clouds that can spontaneously break symmetry to form elongated comet tails. Mitochondrial comet tails promote randomly directed bursts of movement that shuffle mitochondrial position within the mother cell to randomize inheritance of healthy and damaged mitochondria between daughter cells. Thus, parallel mechanisms mediated by the actin cytoskeleton ensure both equal and random inheritance of mitochondria in symmetrically dividing cells.

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    02/10/21 | Biomolecular Condensates and Their Links to Cancer Progression.
    Cai D, Liu Z, Lippincott-Schwartz J
    Trends in Biochemical Sciences. 2021 Feb 10:. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2021.01.002

    Liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) has emerged in recent years as an important physicochemical process for organizing diverse processes within cells via the formation of membraneless organelles termed biomolecular condensates. Emerging evidence now suggests that the formation and regulation of biomolecular condensates are also intricately linked to cancer formation and progression. We review the most recent literature linking the existence and/or dissolution of biomolecular condensates to different hallmarks of cancer formation and progression. We then discuss the opportunities that this condensate perspective provides for cancer research and the development of novel therapeutic approaches, including the perturbation of condensates by small-molecule inhibitors.

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    02/01/21 | Image-based pooled whole-genome CRISPRi screening for subcellular phenotypes.
    Kanfer G, Sarraf SA, Maman Y, Baldwin H, Dominguez-Martin E, Johnson KR, Ward ME, Kampmann M, Lippincott-Schwartz J, Youle RJ
    Journal of Cell Biology. 2021 Feb 01;220(2):. doi: 10.1083/jcb.202006180

    Genome-wide CRISPR screens have transformed our ability to systematically interrogate human gene function, but are currently limited to a subset of cellular phenotypes. We report a novel pooled screening approach for a wider range of cellular and subtle subcellular phenotypes. Machine learning and convolutional neural network models are trained on the subcellular phenotype to be queried. Genome-wide screening then utilizes cells stably expressing dCas9-KRAB (CRISPRi), photoactivatable fluorescent protein (PA-mCherry), and a lentiviral guide RNA (gRNA) pool. Cells are screened by using microscopy and classified by artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, which precisely identify the genetically altered phenotype. Cells with the phenotype of interest are photoactivated and isolated via flow cytometry, and the gRNAs are identified by sequencing. A proof-of-concept screen accurately identified PINK1 as essential for Parkin recruitment to mitochondria. A genome-wide screen identified factors mediating TFEB relocation from the nucleus to the cytosol upon prolonged starvation. Twenty-one of the 64 hits called by the neural network model were independently validated, revealing new effectors of TFEB subcellular localization. This approach, AI-photoswitchable screening (AI-PS), offers a novel screening platform capable of classifying a broad range of mammalian subcellular morphologies, an approach largely unattainable with current methodologies at genome-wide scale.

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