Recent Submissions

  • The Effect of Cytochalasans on the Actin Cytoskeleton of Eukaryotic Cells and Preliminary Structure⁻Activity Relationships.

    Kretz, Robin; Wendt, Lucile; Wongkanoun, Sarunyou; Luangsa-Ard, J Jennifer; Surup, Frank; Helaly, Soleiman E; Noumeur, Sara R; Stadler, Marc; Stradal, Theresia E B; HZI, Helmholtz Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig Germany. (MDPI, 2019-02-19)
    In our ongoing search for new bioactive fungal metabolites, two new cytochalasans were isolated from stromata of the hypoxylaceous ascomycete Hypoxylon fragiforme. Their structures were elucidated via high-resolution mass spectrometry (HR-MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Together with 23 additional cytochalasans isolated from ascomata and mycelial cultures of different Ascomycota, they were tested on their ability to disrupt the actin cytoskeleton of mammal cells in a preliminary structure–activity relationship study. Out of all structural features, the presence of hydroxyl group at the C7 and C18 residues, as well as their stereochemistry, were determined as important factors affecting the potential to disrupt the actin cytoskeleton. Moreover, reversibility of the actin disrupting effects was tested, revealing no direct correlations between potency and reversibility in the tested compound group. Since the diverse bioactivity of cytochalasans is interesting for various applications in eukaryotes, the exact effect on eukaryotic cells will need to be determined, e.g., by follow-up studies involving medicinal chemistry and by inclusion of additional natural cytochalasans. The results are also discussed in relation to previous studies in the literature, including a recent report on the anti-Biofilm activities of essentially the same panel of compounds against the pathogenic bacterium, Staphylococcus aureus. View Full-Text
  • The herpesviral antagonist m152 reveals differential activation of STING-dependent IRF and NF-κB signaling and STING's dual role during MCMV infection.

    Stempel, Markus; Chan, Baca; Juranić Lisnić, Vanda; Krmpotić, Astrid; Hartung, Josephine; Paludan, Søren R; Füllbrunn, Nadia; Lemmermann, Niels Aw; Brinkmann, Melanie M; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2019-01-29)
    Cytomegaloviruses (CMVs) are master manipulators of the host immune response. Here, we reveal that the murine CMV (MCMV) protein m152 specifically targets the type I interferon (IFN) response by binding to stimulator of interferon genes (STING), thereby delaying its trafficking to the Golgi compartment from where STING initiates type I IFN signaling. Infection with an MCMV lacking m152 induced elevated type I IFN responses and this leads to reduced viral transcript levels both in vitro and in vivo. This effect is ameliorated in the absence of STING. Interestingly, while m152 inhibits STING‐mediated IRF signaling, it did not affect STING‐mediated NF‐κB signaling. Analysis of how m152 targets STING translocation reveals that STING activates NF‐κB signaling already from the ER prior to its trafficking to the Golgi. Strikingly, this response is important to promote early MCMV replication. Our results show that MCMV has evolved a mechanism to specifically antagonize the STING‐mediated antiviral IFN response, while preserving its pro‐viral NF‐κB response, providing an advantage in the establishment of an infection.
  • xCELLanalyzer: A Framework for the Analysis of Cellular Impedance Measurements for Mode of Action Discovery

    Franke, Raimo; Hinkelmann, Bettina; Fetz, Verena; Stradal, Theresia; Sasse, Florenz; Klawonn, Frank; Brönstrup, Mark; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Sage, 2019-01-25)
    Mode of action (MoA) identification of bioactive compounds is very often a challenging and time-consuming task. We used a label-free kinetic profiling method based on an impedance readout to monitor the time-dependent cellular response profiles for the interaction of bioactive natural products and other small molecules with mammalian cells. Such approaches have been rarely used so far due to the lack of data mining tools to properly capture the characteristics of the impedance curves. We developed a data analysis pipeline for the xCELLigence Real-Time Cell Analysis detection platform to process the data, assess and score their reproducibility, and provide rank-based MoA predictions for a reference set of 60 bioactive compounds. The method can reveal additional, previously unknown targets, as exemplified by the identification of tubulin-destabilizing activities of the RNA synthesis inhibitor actinomycin D and the effects on DNA replication of vioprolide A. The data analysis pipeline is based on the statistical programming language R and is available to the scientific community through a GitHub repository.
  • Visualization of translocons in Yersinia type III protein secretion machines during host cell infection.

    Nauth, Theresa; Huschka, Franziska; Schweizer, Michaela; Bosse, Jens B; Diepold, Andreas; Failla, Antonio Virgilio; Steffen, Anika; Stradal, Theresia E B; Wolters, Manuel; Aepfelbacher, Martin; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (PLOS, 2018-12-01)
    Type III secretion systems (T3SSs) are essential virulence factors of numerous bacterial pathogens. Upon host cell contact the T3SS machinery-also named injectisome-assembles a pore complex/translocon within host cell membranes that serves as an entry gate for the bacterial effectors. Whether and how translocons are physically connected to injectisome needles, whether their phenotype is related to the level of effector translocation and which target cell factors trigger their formation have remained unclear. We employed the superresolution fluorescence microscopy techniques Stimulated Emission Depletion (STED) and Structured Illumination Microscopy (SIM) as well as immunogold electron microscopy to visualize Y. enterocolitica translocons during infection of different target cell types. Thereby we were able to resolve translocon and needle complex proteins within the same injectisomes and demonstrate that these fully assembled injectisomes are generated in a prevacuole, a PI(4,5)P2 enriched host cell compartment inaccessible to large extracellular proteins like antibodies. Furthermore, the operable translocons were produced by the yersiniae to a much larger degree in macrophages (up to 25% of bacteria) than in HeLa cells (2% of bacteria). However, when the Rho GTPase Rac1 was activated in the HeLa cells, uptake of the yersiniae into the prevacuole, translocon formation and effector translocation were strongly enhanced reaching the same levels as in macrophages. Our findings indicate that operable T3SS translocons can be visualized as part of fully assembled injectisomes with superresolution fluorescence microscopy techniques. By using this technology, we provide novel information about the spatiotemporal organization of T3SS translocons and their regulation by host cell factors.
  • High cortactin expression in B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia is associated with increased transendothelial migration and bone marrow relapse.

    Velázquez-Avila, Martha; Balandrán, Juan Carlos; Ramírez-Ramírez, Dalia; Velázquez-Avila, Mirella; Sandoval, Antonio; Felipe-López, Alfonso; Nava, Porfirio; Alvarado-Moreno, José Antonio; Dozal, David; Prieto-Chávez, Jessica L; Schaks, Matthias; Rottner, Klemens; Dorantes-Acosta, Elisa; López-Martínez, Briceida; Schnoor, Michael; Pelayo, Rosana; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Nature publishing group, 2018-12-20)
    Cancer is a major cause of death in children worldwide, with B-lineage cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) being the most frequent childhood malignancy. Relapse, treatment failure and organ infiltration worsen the prognosis, warranting a better understanding of the implicated mechanisms. Cortactin is an actin-binding protein involved in cell adhesion and migration that is overexpressed in many solid tumors and in adult B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Here, we investigated cortactin expression and potential impact on infiltration and disease prognosis in childhood B-ALL. B-ALL cell lines and precursor cells from bone marrow (BM) and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of B-ALL patients indeed overexpressed cortactin. In CXCL12-induced transendothelial migration assays, transmigrated B-ALL cells had highest cortactin expression. In xenotransplantation models, only cortactin
  • On the relation between filament density, force generation, and protrusion rate in mesenchymal cell motility.

    Dolati, Setareh; Kage, Frieda; Mueller, Jan; Müsken, Mathias; Kirchner, Marieluise; Dittmar, Gunnar; Sixt, Michael; Rottner, Klemens; Falcke, Martin; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Amrican Society for Cell biology, 2018-11-01)
    Lamellipodia are flat membrane protrusions formed during mesenchymal motion. Polymerization at the leading edge assembles the actin filament network and generates protrusion force. How this force is supported by the network and how the assembly rate is shared between protrusion and network retrograde flow determines the protrusion rate. We use mathematical modeling to understand experiments changing the F-actin density in lamellipodia of B16-F1 melanoma cells by modulation of Arp2/3 complex activity or knockout of the formins FMNL2 and FMNL3. Cells respond to a reduction of density with a decrease of protrusion velocity, an increase in the ratio of force to filament number, but constant network assembly rate. The relation between protrusion force and tension gradient in the F-actin network and the density dependency of friction, elasticity, and viscosity of the network explain the experimental observations. The formins act as filament nucleators and elongators with differential rates. Modulation of their activity suggests an effect on network assembly rate. Contrary to these expectations, the effect of changes in elongator composition is much weaker than the consequences of the density change. We conclude that the force acting on the leading edge membrane is the force required to drive F-actin network retrograde flow.
  • The endosomal Toll-like receptors 7 and 9 cooperate in detection of MHV68 infection.

    Bussey, Kendra A; Murthy, Sripriya; Reimer, Elisa; Chan, Baca; Hatesuer, Bastian; Schughart, Klaus; Glaunsinger, Britt; Adler, Heiko; Brinkmann, Melanie M; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Amercan Society of Microbiology, 2018-11-14)
    Murine gammaherpesvirus 68 (MHV68) is an amenable small animal model for study of the human pathogens Epstein-Barr virus and Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus. Here, we have characterized the roles of the endosomal TLR escort protein UNC93B, endosomal TLR7, 9, and 13, and cell surface TLR2 in MHV68 detection. We found that the interferon α (IFNα) response of plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC) to MHV68 was reduced in Tlr9-/- cells compared to wildtype (WT), but not completely lost. Tlr7-/- pDC responded similarly to WT. However, we found that in Unc93b-/- pDC, as well as in Tlr7/Tlr9-/- double knockout pDC, the IFNα response to MHV68 was completely abolished. Thus, the only pattern recognition receptors contributing to the IFNα response to MHV68 in pDC are TLR7 and TLR9, but the contribution of TLR7 is masked by the presence of TLR9. To address the role of UNC93B and TLR for MHV68 infection in vivo, we infected mice with MHV68. Lytic replication of MHV68 after intravenous infection was enhanced in the lungs, spleen, and liver of UNC93B-deficient mice, in the spleen of TLR9-deficient mice, and in the liver and spleen of Tlr7/Tlr9-/- mice. The absence of TLR2 or TLR13 did not affect lytic viral titers. We then compared reactivation of MHV68 from latently infected WT, Unc93b-/-, Tlr7/Tlr9-/-, Tlr7-/-, and Tlr9-/- splenocytes. We observed enhanced reactivation and latent viral loads, particularly from Tlr7/Tlr9-/- splenocytes, compared to WT. Our data show that UNC93B- dependent TLR7 and TLR9 cooperate in and contribute to detection and control of MHV68 infection.
  • Regulation of MRTF-A by JMY via a nucleation-independent mechanism.

    Kluge, Franziska; Weissbach, Julia; Weber, Anja; Stradal, Theresia; Posern, Guido; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Springer-Nature, 2018-11-21)
    MRTF-A (myocardin-related transcription factor A) is a coactivator for SRF-mediated gene expression. The activity of MRTF-A is critically dependent on the dissociation of G-actin from N-terminal RPEL motifs. MRTF-SRF induction often correlates with enhanced polymerization of F-actin. Here we investigate MRTF regulation by the multifunctional JMY protein, which contains three WASP/verprolin homology 2 (WH2/V) domains and facilitates Arp2/3-dependent and -independent actin nucleation. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments, immunofluorescence and luciferase reporter assays were combined with selective inhibitors to investigate the effect of JMY and its domains on MRTF-A in NIH 3 T3 mouse fibroblasts. JMY induced MRTF-A transcriptional activity and enhanced its nuclear translocation. Unexpectedly, MRTF-A was hyperactivated when the Arp2/3-recruiting CA region of JMY was deleted or mutated, suggesting an autoinhibitory mechanism for full-length JMY. Moreover, isolated WH2/V domains which are unable to nucleate actin were sufficient for nuclear accumulation and SRF activation. Recombinant WH2/V regions of JMY biochemically competed with MRTF-A for actin binding. Activation of MRTF-A by JMY was unaffected by Arp3 knockdown, by an Arp2/3 inhibitor, and by latrunculin which disassembles cellular F-actin. Restriction of JMY to the nucleus abrogated its MRTF-A activation. Finally, JMY RNAi reduced basal and stimulated transcriptional activation via MRTF-A. Our results suggest that JMY activates MRTF-SRF independently of F-actin via WH2/V-mediated competition with the RPEL region for G-actin binding in the cytoplasm. Furthermore, the C-terminal region facilitates an autoinhibitory effect on full-length JMY, possibly by intramolecular folding.
  • Distinct Interaction Sites of Rac GTPase with WAVE Regulatory Complex Have Non-redundant Functions in Vivo.

    Schaks, Matthias; Singh, Shashi P; Kage, Frieda; Thomason, Peter; Klünemann, Thomas; Steffen, Anika; Blankenfeldt, Wulf; Stradal, Theresia E; Insall, Robert H; Rottner, Klemens; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2018-10-25)
    Cell migration often involves the formation of sheet-like lamellipodia generated by branched actin filaments. The branches are initiated when Arp2/3 complex [1] is activated by WAVE regulatory complex (WRC) downstream of small GTPases of the Rac family [2]. Recent structural studies defined two independent Rac binding sites on WRC within the Sra-1/PIR121 subunit of the pentameric WRC [3, 4], but the functions of these sites in vivo have remained unknown. Here we dissect the mechanism of WRC activation and the in vivo relevance of distinct Rac binding sites on Sra-1, using CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene disruption of Sra-1 and its paralog PIR121 in murine B16-F1 cells combined with Sra-1 mutant rescue. We show that the A site, positioned adjacent to the binding region of WAVE-WCA mediating actin and Arp2/3 complex binding, is the main site for allosteric activation of WRC. In contrast, the D site toward the C terminus is dispensable for WRC activation but required for optimal lamellipodium morphology and function. These results were confirmed in evolutionarily distant Dictyostelium cells. Moreover, the phenotype seen in D site mutants was recapitulated in Rac1 E31 and F37 mutants; we conclude these residues are important for Rac-D site interaction. Finally, constitutively activated WRC was able to induce lamellipodia even after both Rac interaction sites were lost, showing that Rac interaction is not essential for membrane recruitment. Our data establish that physical interaction with Rac is required for WRC activation, in particular through the A site, but is not mandatory for WRC accumulation in the lamellipodium.
  • RhoA, Rac1, and Cdc42 differentially regulate αSMA and collagen I expression in mesenchymal stem cells.

    Ge, Jianfeng; Burnier, Laurent; Adamopoulou, Maria; Kwa, Mei Qi; Schaks, Matthias; Rottner, Klemens; Brakebusch, Cord (2018-06-15)
    Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are suggested to be important progenitors of myofibroblasts in fibrosis. To understand the role of Rho GTPase signaling in TGF -induced myofibroblast differentiation of MSC, we generated a novel MSC line and its descendants lacking functional Rho GTPases and Rho GTPase signaling components. Unexpectedly, our data revealed that Rho GTPase signaling is required for TGF -induced expression of -smooth muscle actin (SMA) but not of collagen I 1 (col1a1). Whereas loss of RhoA and Cdc42 reduced SMA expression, ablation of the Rac1 gene had the opposite effect. Although actin polymerization and MRTFa were crucial for TGF -induced SMA expression, neither Arp2/3-dependent actinpolymerizationnorcofilin-dependent severinganddepolymerization of F-actin were required. Instead, F-actin levels were dependent on cell contraction, and TGF -induced actin polymerization correlated with increased cell contraction mediated by RhoA and Cdc42. Finally, we observed impaired collagen I secretion in MSC lacking RhoA or Cdc42. These data give novel molecular insights into the role of Rho GTPases in TGF signaling and have implications for our understanding of MSC function in fibrosis.
  • Assembling actin filaments for protrusion.

    Rottner, Klemens; Schaks, Matthias; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2018-09-29)
    Cell migration entails a plethora of activities combining the productive exertion of protrusive and contractile forces to allow cells to push and squeeze themselves through cell clumps, interstitial tissues or tissue borders. All these activities require the generation and turnover of actin filaments that arrange into specific, subcellular structures. The most prominent structures mediating the protrusion at the leading edges of cells include lamellipodia and filopodia as well as plasma membrane blebs. Moreover, in cells migrating on planar substratum, mechanical support is being provided by an additional, more proximally located structure termed the lamella. Here, we systematically dissect the literature concerning the mechanisms driving actin filament nucleation and elongation in the best-studied protrusive structure, the lamellipodium. Recent work has shed light on open questions in lamellipodium protrusion, including the relative contributions of nucleation versus elongation to the assembly of both individual filaments and the lamellipodial network as a whole. However, much remains to be learned concerning the specificity and relevance of individual factors, their cooperation and their site-specific functions relative to the importance of global actin monomer and filament homeostasis.
  • Functional expression of TLR5 of different vertebrate species and diversification in intestinal pathogen recognition.

    Faber, Eugenia; Tedin, Karsten; Speidel, Yvonne; Brinkmann, Melanie M; Josenhans, Christine; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2018-07-26)
    Toll-like receptor 5 (TLR5) is activated by bacterial flagellins and plays a crucial role in the first-line defence against pathogenic bacteria and in immune homeostasis, and is highly conserved in vertebrate species. However, little comparative information is available on TLR5 functionality. In this study, we compared TLR5 activation using full-length and chimeric TLR5 of various vertebrate species (human, chicken, mouse, pig, cattle). Chimeric TLR5 receptors, consisting of human transmembrane and intracellular domains, linked to extracellular domains of animal origin, were generated and expressed. The comparison of chimeric TLR5s and their full-length counterparts revealed significant functional disparities. While porcine and chicken full-length TLR5s showed a strongly reduced functionality in human cells, all chimeric receptors were functional when challenged with TLR5 ligand Salmonella FliC. Using chimeric receptors as a tool allowed for the identification of ectodomain-dependent activation potential and partially host species-specific differences in response to various enteric bacterial strains and their purified flagellins. We conclude that both the extra- and intracellular determinants of TLR5 receptors are crucial for compatibility with the species expression background and hence for proper receptor functionality. TLR5 receptors with a common intracellular domain provide a useful system to investigate bacteria- and host-specific differences in receptor activation.
  • Early cell death induced by Clostridium difficile TcdB: Uptake and Rac1-glucosylation kinetics are decisive for cell fate.

    Beer, Lara-Antonia; Tatge, Helma; Reich, Nicole; Tenspolde, Michel; Olling, Alexandra; Goy, Sebastian; Rottner, Klemens; Alekov, Alexi Kirilov; Gerhard, Ralf; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2018-06-14)
    Toxin A and Toxin B (TcdA/TcdB) are large glucosyltransferases produced by Clostridium difficile. TcdB but not TcdA induces reactive oxygen species-mediated early cell death (ECD) when applied at high concentrations. We found that nonglucosylated Rac1 is essential for induction of ECD since inhibition of Rac1 impedes this effect. ECD only occurs when TcdB is rapidly endocytosed. This was shown by generation of chimeras using the trunk of TcdB from a hypervirulent strain. TcdB from hypervirulent strain has been described to translocate from endosomes at higher pH values and thus, meaning faster than reference type TcdB. Accordingly, intracellular delivery of the glucosyltransferase domain of reference TcdB by the trunk of TcdB from hypervirulent strain increased ECD. Furthermore, proton transporters such as sodium/proton exchanger (NHE) or the ClC-5 anion/proton exchanger, both of which contribute to endosomal acidification, also affected cytotoxic potency of TcdB: Specific inhibition of NHE reduced cytotoxicity, whereas transfection of cells with the endosomal anion/proton exchanger ClC-5 increased cytotoxicity of TcdB. Our data suggest that both the uptake rate of TcdB into the cytosol and the status of nonglucosylated Rac1 are key determinants that are decisive for whether ECD or delayed apoptosis is triggered.
  • Actin dynamics in host-pathogen interaction.

    Stradal, Theresia E B; Schelhaas, Mario; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2018-06-23)
    The actin cytoskeleton and Rho GTPase signaling to actin assembly are prime targets of bacterial and viral pathogens, simply because actin is involved in all motile and membrane remodeling processes, such as phagocytosis, macropinocytosis, endocytosis, exocytosis, vesicular trafficking and membrane fusion events, motility, and last but not least, autophagy. This article aims at providing an overview of the most prominent pathogen-induced or -hijacked actin structures, and an outlook on how future research might uncover additional, equally sophisticated interactions.
  • The interferon-stimulated gene product oligoadenylate synthetase-like protein enhances replication of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) and interacts with the KSHV ORF20 protein.

    Bussey, Kendra A; Lau, Ulrike; Schumann, Sophie; Gallo, Antonio; Osbelt, Lisa; Stempel, Markus; Arnold, Christine; Wissing, Josef; Gad, Hans Henrik; Hartmann, Rune; Brune, Wolfram; Jänsch, Lothar; Whitehouse, Adrian; Brinkmann, Melanie M; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2018-03)
    Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is one of the few oncogenic human viruses known to date. Its large genome encodes more than 85 proteins and includes both unique viral proteins as well as proteins conserved amongst herpesviruses. KSHV ORF20 is a member of the herpesviral core UL24 family, but the function of ORF20 and its role in the viral life cycle is not well understood. ORF20 encodes three largely uncharacterized isoforms, which we found were localized predominantly in the nuclei and nucleoli. Quantitative affinity purification coupled to mass spectrometry (q-AP-MS) identified numerous specific interacting partners of ORF20, including ribosomal proteins and the interferon-stimulated gene product (ISG) oligoadenylate synthetase-like protein (OASL). Both endogenous and transiently transfected OASL co-immunoprecipitated with ORF20, and this interaction was conserved among all ORF20 isoforms and multiple ORF20 homologs of the UL24 family in other herpesviruses. Characterization of OASL interacting partners by q-AP-MS identified a very similar interactome to that of ORF20. Both ORF20 and OASL copurified with 40S and 60S ribosomal subunits, and when they were co-expressed, they associated with polysomes. Although ORF20 did not have a global effect on translation, ORF20 enhanced RIG-I induced expression of endogenous OASL in an IRF3-dependent but IFNAR-independent manner. OASL has been characterized as an ISG with antiviral activity against some viruses, but its role for gammaherpesviruses was unknown. We show that OASL and ORF20 mRNA expression were induced early after reactivation of latently infected HuARLT-rKSHV.219 cells. Intriguingly, we found that OASL enhanced infection of KSHV. During infection with a KSHV ORF20stop mutant, however, OASL-dependent enhancement of infectivity was lost. Our data have characterized the interaction of ORF20 with OASL and suggest ORF20 usurps the function of OASL to benefit KSHV infection.
  • Diverse functions of myosin VI elucidated by an isoform-specific α-helix domain.

    Wollscheid, Hans-Peter; Biancospino, Matteo; He, Fahu; Magistrati, Elisa; Molteni, Erika; Lupia, Michela; Soffientini, Paolo; Rottner, Klemens; Cavallaro, Ugo; Pozzoli, Uberto; Mapelli, Marina; Walters, Kylie J; Polo, Simona; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2016-04)
    Myosin VI functions in endocytosis and cell motility. Alternative splicing of myosin VI mRNA generates two distinct isoform types, myosin VI(short) and myosin VI(long), which differ in the C-terminal region. Their physiological and pathological roles remain unknown. Here we identified an isoform-specific regulatory helix, named the α2-linker, that defines specific conformations and hence determines the target selectivity of human myosin VI. The presence of the α2-linker structurally defines a new clathrin-binding domain that is unique to myosin VI(long) and masks the known RRL interaction motif. This finding is relevant to ovarian cancer, in which alternative myosin VI splicing is aberrantly regulated, and exon skipping dictates cell addiction to myosin VI(short) in tumor-cell migration. The RRL interactor optineurin contributes to this process by selectively binding myosin VI(short). Thus, the α2-linker acts like a molecular switch that assigns myosin VI to distinct endocytic (myosin VI(long)) or migratory (myosin VI(short)) functional roles.
  • A Genome-Wide siRNA Screen Implicates Spire1/2 in SipA-Driven Salmonella Typhimurium Host Cell Invasion.

    Andritschke, Daniel; Dilling, Sabrina; Emmenlauer, Mario; Welz, Tobias; Schmich, Fabian; Misselwitz, Benjamin; Rämö, Pauli; Rottner, Klemens; Kerkhoff, Eugen; Wada, Teiji; Penninger, Josef M; Beerenwinkel, Niko; Horvath, Peter; Dehio, Christoph; Hardt, Wolf-Dietrich; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2016)
    Salmonella Typhimurium (S. Tm) is a leading cause of diarrhea. The disease is triggered by pathogen invasion into the gut epithelium. Invasion is attributed to the SPI-1 type 3 secretion system (T1). T1 injects effector proteins into epithelial cells and thereby elicits rearrangements of the host cellular actin cytoskeleton and pathogen invasion. The T1 effector proteins SopE, SopB, SopE2 and SipA are contributing to this. However, the host cell factors contributing to invasion are still not completely understood. To address this question comprehensively, we used Hela tissue culture cells, a genome-wide siRNA library, a modified gentamicin protection assay and S. TmSipA, a sopBsopE2sopE mutant which strongly relies on the T1 effector protein SipA to invade host cells. We found that S. TmSipA invasion does not elicit membrane ruffles, nor promote the entry of non-invasive bacteria "in trans". However, SipA-mediated infection involved the SPIRE family of actin nucleators, besides well-established host cell factors (WRC, ARP2/3, RhoGTPases, COPI). Stage-specific follow-up assays and knockout fibroblasts indicated that SPIRE1 and SPIRE2 are involved in different steps of the S. Tm infection process. Whereas SPIRE1 interferes with bacterial binding, SPIRE2 influences intracellular replication of S. Tm. Hence, these two proteins might fulfill non-redundant functions in the pathogen-host interaction. The lack of co-localization hints to a short, direct interaction between S. Tm and SPIRE proteins or to an indirect effect.
  • Diversified actin protrusions promote environmental exploration but are dispensable for locomotion of leukocytes.

    Leithner, Alexander; Eichner, Alexander; Müller, Jan; Reversat, Anne; Brown, Markus; Schwarz, Jan; Merrin, Jack; de Gorter, David J J; Schur, Florian; Bayerl, Jonathan; de Vries, Ingrid; Wieser, Stefan; Hauschild, Robert; Lai, Frank P L; Moser, Markus; Kerjaschki, Dontscho; Rottner, Klemens; Small, J Victor; Stradal, Theresia E B; Sixt, Michael; TWINCORE, Zentrum für experimentelle und klinische Infektionsforschung GmbH, Feodor-Lynnen-Str.7, 30625 Hannover, Germany. (2016-11)
    Most migrating cells extrude their front by the force of actin polymerization. Polymerization requires an initial nucleation step, which is mediated by factors establishing either parallel filaments in the case of filopodia or branched filaments that form the branched lamellipodial network. Branches are considered essential for regular cell motility and are initiated by the Arp2/3 complex, which in turn is activated by nucleation-promoting factors of the WASP and WAVE families. Here we employed rapid amoeboid crawling leukocytes and found that deletion of the WAVE complex eliminated actin branching and thus lamellipodia formation. The cells were left with parallel filaments at the leading edge, which translated, depending on the differentiation status of the cell, into a unipolar pointed cell shape or cells with multiple filopodia. Remarkably, unipolar cells migrated with increased speed and enormous directional persistence, while they were unable to turn towards chemotactic gradients. Cells with multiple filopodia retained chemotactic activity but their migration was progressively impaired with increasing geometrical complexity of the extracellular environment. These findings establish that diversified leading edge protrusions serve as explorative structures while they slow down actual locomotion.
  • Kindlin-2 recruits paxillin and Arp2/3 to promote membrane protrusions during initial cell spreading.

    Böttcher, Ralph T; Veelders, Maik; Rombaut, Pascaline; Faix, Jan; Theodosiou, Marina; Stradal, Theresia E B; Rottner, Klemens; Zent, Roy; Herzog, Franz; Fässler, Reinhard; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr.7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-09-14)
    Cell spreading requires the coupling of actin-driven membrane protrusion and integrin-mediated adhesion to the extracellular matrix. The integrin-activating adaptor protein kindlin-2 plays a central role for cell adhesion and membrane protrusion by directly binding and recruiting paxillin to nascent adhesions. Here, we report that kindlin-2 has a dual role during initial cell spreading: it binds paxillin via the pleckstrin homology and F0 domains to activate Rac1, and it directly associates with the Arp2/3 complex to induce Rac1-mediated membrane protrusions. Consistently, abrogation of kindlin-2 binding to Arp2/3 impairs lamellipodia formation and cell spreading. Our findings identify kindlin-2 as a key protein that couples cell adhesion by activating integrins and the induction of membrane protrusions by activating Rac1 and supplying Rac1 with the Arp2/3 complex.
  • Actin assembly mechanisms at a glance.

    Rottner, Klemens; Faix, Jan; Bogdan, Sven; Linder, Stefan; Kerkhoff, Eugen; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-10-15)
    The actin cytoskeleton and associated motor proteins provide the driving forces for establishing the astonishing morphological diversity and dynamics of mammalian cells. Aside from functions in protruding and contracting cell membranes for motility, differentiation or cell division, the actin cytoskeleton provides forces to shape and move intracellular membranes of organelles and vesicles. To establish the many different actin assembly functions required in time and space, actin nucleators are targeted to specific subcellular compartments, thereby restricting the generation of specific actin filament structures to those sites. Recent research has revealed that targeting and activation of actin filament nucleators, elongators and myosin motors are tightly coordinated by conserved protein complexes to orchestrate force generation. In this Cell Science at a Glance article and the accompanying poster, we summarize and discuss the current knowledge on the corresponding protein complexes and their modes of action in actin nucleation, elongation and force generation.

View more