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- First insights into the phosphorylation of Toc34 proteins (2011)
- The translocation of nuclear-encoded precursor proteins into chloroplasts is a highly ordered process involving the action of several components to regulate this molecular ensemble. Not only GTP hydrolysis and GDP release but also the phosphorylation of TOC GTPases is a widely discussed mechanism to regulate protein import. The receptor component (Toc34) and its isoform of A. thaliana (atToc33) were found to be regulated by phosphorylation. Although the phosphorylation of Toc33 is already known for several years, several questions regarding the molecular components involved in the regulation of the phosphorylation process, precisely what is the protein kinase and where this kinase is initially localized, so far remained unclear. This thesis aimed at the defining of the phosphorylation status of TOC GTPases in monomeric and/or dimeric states, the identification of the nature of Toc33-PK (protein kinase), and in the same context it aimed at gaining first insights into the physiological significance of Toc33 phosphorylation. To this end, (I) An in vitro and in vivo system for investigating of TOC GTPases Phosphorylation (in monomeric or dimeric state) was developed. Since no information is available about the phosphorylation status of the Toc159 isoforms, the second receptor of the TOC complex, it was interesting to investigate whether these isoforms undergo phosphorylation or not. The results indicated that atToc159 isoforms are able to be phosphorylated by the kinase activity in purified outer envelope membranes (OEMs) of pea, but not atToc132. Moreover, an artificial dimer of psToc34 based on the interaction of a C-terminally fused leucine zipper was not phosphorylated. This result reflected the inability of the OEM kinase to phosphorylate the dimers of TOC GTPases. Also, In vivo labeling of atToc33 was developed and occurred in a dose-dependent manner. Therefore, this results evidenced that in vitro phosphorylation of atToc33 (both endogenous wild type and recombinant expressed proteins) is not artificial labeling but represents a physiological relevance. CD (circular dichroism) measurements revealed that recombinant GTPase domain of atToc33 is preferentially phosphorylated in its folded state. Therefore, it could be suggested that folding of atToc33rec is a prerequisite for its phosphorylation and the phosphorylation event occurs as a posttranslational modification most likely after insertion of Toc33 (Toc34) into the OE of chloroplasts. Secondly, (II) Isolation and identification of Toc33-PK from OEMs of chloroplasts was performed. Four independent strategies were developed to identify the Toc33-protein kinase: UV-induced and chemically-based crosslinking, different applied chromatographic techniques, identification of PK-Toc33 interaction by means of HDN-PAGE (histidine- and deoxycholate-based native PAGE), and finally mass spectrometric approaches were performed on fractions including the potential kinase activity. UV-induced crosslinking procedure was developed and resulted in covalent bonding of nine proteins to [a-32P] ATP, while chemically-based one was not significant. The applied chromatographic and HDN-PAGE approaches, including mass spectrometry, have revealed the identification of 13 protein kinases. Of these identified kinases, phototropin2 (Phot2, AT5G58140), leucine-rich repeat PK (LRR-PK, AT4G28650.1), and receptor-like transmembrane PK (RLK, AT5G56040.2) were selected as the most promising candidates (ca. kinase type and one transmembrane helix for membrane localization). (III) The physiological significance of Toc33 phosphoryation was shown to link this process with the environmental changes (especially, the light conditions). Identification of chloroplast OE-located PKs performed by nLC-MALDI-MS/MS resulted in the detection of Phot2. Furthermore, the subcellular localization of Phot2 in OEM of chloroplasts was confirmed by immunoblotting experiments using a-Phot2 antibody. The kinase activity of Phot2 towards TOC GTPases was characterized and revealed that fused GST-KD (kinase domain) protein able to specifically phosphorylate atToc33rec, but not atToc159rec. Also, endogenous atPhot2 was upregulated and heavily detected in the ppi1-S181A plant line (where serine to alanine exchange was performed to abolish the phosphorylation of atToc33). Hence, we suggested that certain signal cascades may directly or indirectly link Toc33 receptor phosphorylation, protein levels of Phot2 (as promising PK candidate), and irradiation conditions (as an inducing signal of the subsequent phosphorylation events). Light-dependent phosphorylation of Toc33 was shown either after de-etiolation conditions or after high light intensities of blue light was performed. Therefore, phosphorylation of Toc33 might be identified as an external regulatory signal to regulate preproteins import into chloroplasts in response to environmental conditions (e.g. light changes) or as a signal of chloroplast biogenesis.
- The interaction of the cytochrome bc 1 complex with its substrate cytochrome c : high resolution structure and implications for transient binding (2005)
- Reggie proteins : oligomerization, interdependency and influence on cell-matrix-adhesions (2008)
- Reggie-1 (flotillin-2) and reggie-2 (flotillin-1) are membrane microdomain proteins which are associated with the membrane by means of acylation. They influence different cellular signaling processes, such as neuronal, T-cell and insulin signaling. Upon stimulation of the EGF receptor, reggie-1 becomes phosphorylated and undergoes tyrosine 163 dependent translocation from the plasma membrane to endosomal compartments. In addition, reggie-1 was shown to influence actindependent processes. Reggie-2 has been demonstrated to affect caveolin- and clathrin-independent endocytosis. Both proteins form homo- and hetero-oligomers, but the function of these oligomers has remained elusive. Moreover, it has not been clarified if functions of reggie-1 are also influenced by reggie-2 and vice versa. The first aim of the study was to further investigate the interplay and the heterooligomerization of reggie proteins and their functional effects. Both reggie proteins were individually depleted by means of siRNA. In different siRNA systems and various cell lines, reggie-1 depleted cells showed reduced protein amounts of reggie-1 and reggie-2, but reggie-2 knock down cells still expressed reggie-1 protein. The decrease of reggie-2 in reggie-1 depleted cells was only detected at protein but not at mRNA level. Furthermore, reggie-2 expression could be rescued by expression of siRNA resistant wild type reggie-1-EGFP constructs, but not by the soluble myristoylation mutant G2A. This mutant was also not able to associate with endogenous reggie-1 or reggie-2, which demonstrates that membrane association of reggie-1 is necessary for hetero-oligomerization. In addition, fluorescence microscopy studies and membrane fractionations showed that correct localization of overexpressed reggie-2 was dependent on co-overexpressed reggie-1. Thus, hetero-oligomerization is crucial for membrane association of reggie-2 and for its protein stability or protein expression. Moreover, the binding of reggie-2 to reggie-1 required tyrosine 163 of reggie-1 which was previously shown to be important for endosomal translocation of reggie-1. Since reggie-2 was implicated to function in clathrin- and caveolin-independent endocytosis pathways, the effect of reggie-2 depletion on reggie-1 endocytosis was investigated. Indeed, reggie-1 was dependent on reggie-2 for endosomal localization and EGF-induced endocytosis. By FRET-FLIM analysis it could be shown that reggie heterooligomers are dynamic in size or conformation upon EGF stimulation. Thus, it can be concluded that reggie proteins are interdependent in different aspects, such as protein stability or expression, membrane association and subcellular localization. In addition, these results demonstrate that the hetero-oligomers are dynamic and reggie proteins influence each other in terms of function. A further aim was the characterization of reggie-1 and reggie-2 function in actindependent processes, where so far only reggie-1 was known to play a role. Depletion of either of the proteins reduced cell migration, cell spreading and the number of focal adhesions in steady state cells. Thus, also reggie-2 affects actin-dependent processes. Further investigation of the focal adhesions during cell spreading revealed that depletion of reggie-1 displayed different effects as compared to reggie-2 knock down. Reggie-1 depleted cells had elongated cell-matrix-adhesions and showed reduced activation of FAK and ERK2. On the other hand, depletion of reggie-2 resulted in a restricted localization of focal adhesion at the periphery of the cell and decreased ERK2 phosphorylation, but it did not affect FAK autophosphorylation. Hence, reggie proteins influence the regulation of cell-matrix-adhesions differently. A link between reggie proteins and focal adhesions is the actin cross-linking protein -actinin. The interaction of -actinin with reggie-1 could be verified by means of co-immunoprecipitations and FRET-FLIM analysis. Reggie-1 binds -actinin especially in membrane ruffles and in other locations where actin remodeling takes place. Moreover, -actinin showed a different localization pattern during cell spreading in reggie-1 depleted cells, as compared to the control cells. These results provide further insights into the function of both reggie proteins. Their interplay and hetero-oligomerization was shown to be crucial for their role in endocytosis. In addition, both reggie proteins influence actin-dependent processes and differentially affect focal adhesion regulation.